Tuesday, April 24, 2007

SPACE CON #8 a Two Day Event! April 21, 22. Official Report.

Well where should I begin? First of all I had a very bad cold for almost 2 weeks before the SPACE (Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo) convention this year. (Held every year in Columbus, Ohio.) I had to get the video ready and make up some boxes to sell at the show. Chris Moshier had shot most of the footage last year at this convention and even edited the footage into a great 2 disk package! All I had to do was make up a box cover design, and a label design for the disks. I did get it all done but it was very tough when you are blowing y0ur nose and your head feels like it is the size of the EPCOT world display. I also had just gotten a new camcorder to try out at the con this year. So was busy trying to learn how it worked. To top it off my dad was in the hospital with a weak heart. Everyone told me to go ahead and make it to the show. I always love this convention and can't wait to see my old friends in small press like Tim Corrigan, Larry Blake, Matt Feazell, Bob Corby etc....and to meet up with writer Chris Moshier who writes for Fan-Atic Press. He and I met up there last year where he and his friend Mike Hutchings video taped interviews for me last year.

Anyway, I decided to make it to the show and it was as much fun as always and I'm glad I made it. I had to drive 5 hours that Friday, but the weather was great. In fact the weather was almost too good.

Chris Moshier on the left with Ken Henson of the comic HORACE on the right.

The first day of SPACE con was a slow start. We figured that most people were so grateful for the nice weather at last that they wanted to go outside and enjoy it. Sales on my books was an alltime low for SPACE con at least for Saturday.

The highlight of my day was when I played the DVD I'd been working on: Dean LeCrone vs. The Mutants of Comic Con. Where I filmed Dean a cartoonist who is also an actor who can improv extremely well. I filmed him interviewing costumed folks at the 2006 San Diego Comic con and we have the DVD movie about 90% done. Anyway I played it on my little DVD player at my booth and about 8 or 10 folks gathered around and laughed their heads off for the next 40 minutes! Some needed to be elsewhere and would start to leave but come back as they couldn't get enough of Dean and what he would do next at that con. It really will be a huge hit, I believe! A cult classic!

The crowd did increase and I also had a fan that had me sign about 10 of the comics I'd worked on and book covers I'd not seen in 20 years! That was a treat! I forgot to ask him where he found those comics.....

Craig Boldman writer for ARCHIE, and writer/artist for his own comics, gets interviewed.

Chris Moshier ran around to find certain creators that were on a list he had made up. He wanted this next DVD of SPACE to focus on the history of SPACE con, and have some more focused interviews on the founders of the convention and found out how it all got started. We used his tripod and my micraphone to get a more professional look to the video this time. We got some great interviews with such creators as: Bob Corby, Dave Sim, Tim Corrigan, Matt Feazell, and many, many others! I also ran around here and there and did some more mini interviews and tried to capture the look and feel of the convention this year. With 144 tables we were as usual only able to cover about 40 or 50 people if that. It is very hard to get around to everyone and we regret that we can't get to everyone, even when it is a 2 day event this time.

The night of the first day was to be the party at a place called MOMO2. Chris and I went to this party with Mike Huchings (who was in the POST SPEAK in the 2006 DVD) who helped us with the interviews a bit on Saturday afternoon and his girlfriend. MOMO2 was a teen hangout with computer games, bowling etc.....but we eventually ended up at the Applebee's resturant where we talked about the con and other pop culture.
Mike sporting his Fan-Atic Press t-shirt with his girlfriend. (I'm bad with names and can't remember her name right now, sorry.)

Chris had to leave and drive back to NY early on Sunday, so that left me to man the booth and try and video. Also I was on the panel "Old Timers Rant". Matt Feazell, Allen Freeman (that's me) and Larry Blake were to be on the panel but Larry couldn't make it so Tim Corrigan took his place. I tried to tape it but not sure if it turned out since I just set it up on a tripod and left it on. I think I got 1/2 of it before the tape ran out. Anyway the presenter or guy running the panel did a very good job. I'll find his name in the program and add it here later. Matt did most of the talking I think, and he was very entertaining. He even acted like an old man now and then, "You young folks don't know how great you have it now..." which was pretty funny. So the crowd which consited of Bob Corby, Dan W. Taylor and about 4 or 5 others were entertained and asked some great questions. It was the most fun I'd ever had being on a panel and I wasn't even nervous. My only problem was that my cold was still with me even though I thought I was getting over it. Halfway through the panel my throat went inside out on me and I felt like I had to cough. You know, the sort of cough that you feel will not ever end? I tried to hold it back and evidently wasn't doing very well and Tim gave me some of his drink. The water bottle machine was empty when I tried to get one right before the panel.

Dan W. Taylor artist and publisher

Then still struggling with the cough, Matt gave me a throat losenge! So they saved me. I recovered and was able to continue adding my great insight to the panel. We talked about some of the creators we wished were still producing comics like, Steve Willis, Ted Bolman, David Miller and more....

Larry Blake (L) with Tim Corrigan (R).

So I ended up selling enough books and DVD's to pay for my hotel for 3 nights (I only had to split it with Chris which also helped a lot!) and for my gas and food. So basically I broke even but made lots of new friends and contacts for future contributors to Slam Bang. I handed out flyers for the new Ka-Whump! #2 fanzine about small press comics, sold about 10 copies of the mag, and handed out my new postcards for Fan-Atic Press.

Microcosm Publishing were accross from my booth and seemed to get a nice crowd around their table off and on.

I'll be posting up some of the interviews and video footage here and there as I work on editing the DVD for SPACE CON 2007. Wish me luck! And sure, I hope to make it back to SPACE con in 2008! I love it! I still have my dumb cold a little as I can't shake it completely, my dad got out of the hospital and is doing better right now....in case you were wondering.

Here is an unknown comic fan with Larned Justin on the right. Larned and I went out to eat after the con on Sunday and chatted it up at Max and Irma's. Great hamburgers! And thanks Learned for helping me load my car after the show. I always bring too much stuff to this show.

Here is Tim Corrigan holding up a copy of Ka-Whump! #2. He said he was very impressed with the magazine and was hoping the small press community could support 3 zines about small press right now.

I have a few more photos that I may include here later. Mostly I was shooting video and will post up some of the clips here and there of the footage, so stay tuned!

----Allen Freeman 4/24/2007 www.fanaticpress.com


Steve said...

Excellent con report and some really nice photos. Wish I could have been there. Don't let me off the hook for next year, just bug the heck outta me and I'll probably be able to make it (even the wife is supportive now).

-AF said...

Yes! Spead the word! SPACE is the Place in 2008! We can re-light the flame of Chicago con 1987-88!

And if it is just a one day event next year (God forbid), we should all plan to meet someplace on Sunday to draw and talk!