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The Small Press Expo is North America’s premiere independent cartooning and comic arts festival.
SPX brings together more than 4,000 cartoonists and comic arts enthusiasts
every fall in Bethesda, Maryland.
Betaman is what we would call a "Kyodai Hero," a giant humanoid paladin, decked out in a form-fitting latex suit and a goofy oversized helmet, that employs his innate grappling and otherworldly powers to protect the citizens of Earth from hulking, inter-dimensional kaiju, hell-bent on wreaking havoc across our tiny blue planet.
There's no creature he won't tackle, no metropolis he won't jump to protect; but they've been coming with more frequency lately, and he's the only one of his kind we've got to save us.
It's a lot of pressure for one guy to burden, even if he might be an alien himself. It may just be about the time that he could use a little bit of help - he has been at it for over a quarter of a century, after all...
But Betaman's not the only one who's tired of the kaiju menace, and this isn't HIS story.
The Kaiju Cadaver Clean-up Crew 1 (KC3-1) are our Nation's first responders to the bloody aftermath left in the wake of a kaiju's encounter with Betaman. What, you thought that mess just cleaned up itself? Like they just immediately vaporize, or something? Nope. These guys gotta get in there, get dirty, and hack those things to pieces so the streets can be swept, the buildings can be rebuilt, and we can get back to our day-to-day lives.
* You've got George, the crew's foreman; who demands the job's done thoroughly and efficiently, if not necessarily entirely "by the book," cuz he's been doin' this shit far too long to let inconsequential details keep him away from his family waiting for him back home any longer than his salary requires.
* Next is Jay, the crew's Utili-Mech pilot. He initially took the job and learned to drive the thing as a stepping stone on his way toward higher aspirations, but a few half-assed attempts at the AMP-Cert (Advanced Mechanoid Pilot Certification), and maybe three-dozen broken hearts later, turns out he's been working the same dead-end job for nearly a decade.
Then there are the two newbie interns.
* "Punky" doesn't exactly embrace the nickname she so clearly fits - but of course she doesn't... There's a certain image you're obviously trying to project when you're a girl with a brightly-colored Chelsea-cut, and you cover yourself with piercings and tattoos; and your motives for doing so are usually equally transparent.
* Junk basically comes off as a slowish vato who's allowed himself to fully succumb to frequent bouts with the munchies. But if it were actually as bad as it seems bad, how come he's never late and is usually the team's most gung-ho (though far from infallible) member?
Between the four of them, they've been at it longer than Betterman himself, and they've got at least two things in common: they all work together in the same unit of the KC3; and they're all bored as hell.
What could be more exciting than standing right on the sidelines of gargantuan battles with whole cities - hell, the whole planet - on the line?
Well, how 'bout what you actually had planned for the day?