Sunday, March 20, 2011
SPACE 2011 REPORT
I was very excited for this year's Small Press Alternative Comics Expo (SPACE) in Columbus, Ohio. Not only was last year's show the best SPACE yet, but three friends were joining me on the fun this year. It was at the same venue as last year, the Ramada Plaza Hotel, which is beyond the previous venues: the school gym-ish fairgrounds building, the poorly lit Shriners center and the seemingly abandoned Holiday Inn.
The exhibit room was full and it seemed well attended. SPACE isn't like most comic shows. It's a place mainly for folks who put together their own comics, some for the shear joy of it, some looking for their big break. It's a wonderful hodgepodge of the indy scene, from award-winners with book deals to crudely drawn characters on homemade cut and staple jobs.
You know it's going to be a good show when early on an exhibitor asks if you'd like a free mustache. Then you see he's handing you a business card with a stick-on mustache glued to the back. I now only took the card, I put on the mustache. I kept it on until I was having a conversation with another person and felt completely ridiculous. The mustache guy was Ed Delaney of Peculiar Comics. He was also selling a black & white comic that came with free crayons. Kudos on the fresh ideas, Ed!
Pal Todd Fox had a couple of artists do sketches of his co-creation, Aym Geronimo. Here he is with webcomics artist Alex Heberling.
One of those SPACE surprises was happening upon artist Sandy Plunkett. Though his comic work is sporadic, Plunkett is known for his illustrative style, reminiscent of the Alex Raymond school. Last year he released a collection of his sketchbook drawings. It was nice to meet him and talk a little Caniff. Here's pal Lucas (right) with Sandy.
This is a little much, but it's Todd's picture of me taking a picture of pal Ted with Sandy.
One nice thing about SPACE is finding truly talented artists. One such is Robert Clare Forest. He's apparently so prolific that he was selling at originals for less than most people sell prints. The pieces below spoke to me...not comfortable what that may say about me, though.
Me with the lads at the annual SPACE Prize ceremony, hosted by show organizer Bob Corby. The prizes are for the best comics at the previous year's show. You can read about the winners here. All in all, we drove away making plans to come back again next year (as long as Wizard doesn't buy 'em out)!