I just got back from Columbus, Ohio and SPACE (the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo). This show for small press and independent cartoonists is one of the highlights of my year, and I am proud to say I have never missed one since the very first edition, a one day event held in an exhibition building at the State Fairgrounds. SPACE keeps getting bigger and better, while still maintaining a genuine friends-and-family atmosphere. I always come home feeling reassured that even though I work alone most of the time, I am also part of a community.
The highlight of this year’s show was the preview of the independent film based on Matt Feazell’s The Amazing Cynicalman featuring performances (and an enormous amount of hard work) by Matt, Jim Mackey, Suzanne Baumann, and many, many others. I’ve been hearing about this project and seeing bits and pieces of it for several years, and the mostly-finished product was, well, amazing. There are few narrative forms as seemingly dissimilar as a folded paper minicomic and a full scale feature film, but this movie manages to capture the spirit of the comic amazingly well. And it is always fun to see people you know well up on the screen. Some of my cartoonist friends are pretty good actors! The preview played to a packed house on Saturday night, and was held over for a second showing on Sunday afternoon.
In spite of the silver screen excitement, the rest of the weekend was still all about comics, and talking shop with readers and fellow cartoonists. I’m sure reviews will start trickling into these blog posts as soon as I actually start reading some of the comics I bought and traded for. Please be patient– it’s a big pile, and they all look wonderful.
Other personal highlights of the weekend included spending way too much money on used books and vintage fountain pens, and meeting Carol Tyler’s dog, Tue.
Next year’s SPACE will be April 13th and 14th, 2013, or at least that’s what I have written in my notebook. More details, and more about this year’s show, can be found at Back Porch Comics .