My friend and fellow publisher and artist Clint Basinger picked me up at 7:30am (Central Time) for our trip to SPACE this year. We had the car full to the brim with boxes, suitcases full of books and more as usual. The trip never seems to take 5.5 hours since we are talking the whole way. We did get stuck for maybe 1 hour between Louisville and Cinncinati where a huge tractor trailer full of boxes of bread had gone off to the left and took out the middle of a guard rail and went down into a rivine. As we went by I grabbed some quick shots of the mess. The truck was up on the road again hooked up to a large wrecker. It was missing the two front tires and most of the back end of the trailer part. Huge piles of bread packages and boxes were tangled up with wreckage. Of course as soon as we passed this the road was clear both lanes.....the hold up was all the watchers slowing down to view the damage.
We arrive at the ExtendedStay America on schedule around 3:00PM Eastern Time. We get checked in and the key card for the room is a grey rectangular plastic card with holes punched out of it. Like working the first computers back in 1958 or something. And they didn't work very well. Didn't want to open the door and when it did, it almost totally refused to let go of my card. The room was just average but did have a little kitchen and refridgerator that we never used. The beds were as hard as concrete and the tv in the room was about 15". I felt like we were back in time to like 1980 or something. We were told at the desk that there would be no room service. Well, you get what you pay for, uh, less than you pay for these days. And no free little bottles of shampoo in the bathroom either. I think I found an empty one.
Clint monkeying around on the OSU campus.
We check in and rush to the OSU campus as they have a special opening of the Cartoon Museum and it only lasts from 3 to 5. Not a very convient time for us but we finally make it there with 10 minutes before they close! Clint and I see some other small press creators there and we enter the small museum and see an original Calvin and Hobbes sunday page, and a Charles Shultz "Peanuts" strip from April, 1956 (It was created 4 months before I was born.)
Some early artists on the giant art board that will be shown at SPACE the next day.
Those items alone were worth the rush to get there. The rest of the place looks great but we are escorted out by a not all that friendly lady and hit the road back to our hotel, ExtendedHell.
> Clint and I took off with Ryan and Joe Morris of http://www.torcpress.com/ They are looking over their menus at a resturant near the OSU campus called Mad Mex. They love this place. Now we do too!
On the wall near our booth at Mad Mex.
Near Mad Mex.
I go out to the lobby looking for a coke/water machine and find Larry Blake and a friend of his sitting in the lobby. Seeing Larry is one of the main reasons I go to SPACE each year. We used to see each other at the Chicago Cons in the 80's. Then the elevator comes down and it's Tim Corrigan! The "MAN" of small press. I'd just printed up a new MightyGuy comic book for Tim and later he comes to the room and I load him up with 1/2 the print run. He is impressed with the slick cover and loves the book. He will sell about 12 of them at the show and I sold 3.
Larry Blake in the lobby taken with my iPhone3G.
Day 1 of SPACE.
The Shriner's Convention Center. Under the statue: "No Man Stands So Tall as when he Stoops to Help a Child"
Clint Basinger (http://www.cosmicmoustachecomics.com/) busy working at his booth next to mine.
After going to McDonalds for breakfast Clint and I get to the Shrine Center and start unloading the car. This is probably the worst part of it all. You have to carry and drag tons of stuff into the event and set up your table. We were at the very back of the event in the right corner. So lots of walking involved. By the time the show starts at 10:00 I'm a sweaty mess......Oh well.
David Branstetter and wife of http://www.strawmancomics.com/
Bob Corby con organizer, publisher and artist, and I think that is his daughter running the SPACE sign-up booth.
Allen Freeman (me) and Christina Wald-- Illustrator extrodinaire from Cinncinati, OH.
Nic Havert of Pickle Press (http://www.picklepress.net/) Nic and I are going to co-produce a limited edition print of my art of his Witch character.) I also bought his new comic The Three Keys #2. Can't wait to read it! Tim Corrigan of New Voice Media http://mightyguycomics.tripod.com/index.html Tim is the reason I started going to the SPACE show, along with Larry Blake and Matt Feazell, etc...but mostly to see Tim.
The Old Folks of Small Press (Left to Right) Jim Main, Ian Shires, Wade Busby, Tim Corrigan, Larry Blake, Allen Freeman (me) and Jim Pack.
The annual giant art board with lots of creators work from SPACE covering it.
I handed out some of the contributor copies of Slam Bang #4 vol III, which I'd just gotten from my printer on Thursday, the day before we left for SPACE. That was cutting it close. But cutting it even closer was that the printer shipped the Mightyguy books, and #3 and #4 of Rock and Roll Death Wagon to my hotel. They were waiting for me when we arrived on Friday. That was a relief.
Nate Corrigan (Tim's older son) is a fantastic artist also, and publisher of Gumshoe Comics! Email him: mailto:email@example.com
I gave one to Tim Corrigan, Larry Blake, Jim Pack, Clint (of course), Brian Hagen and David Branstetter. Sam Gafford had contributed but it turns out when I was laying out the book I'd gone to move his strip from one part to another and it got skipped. Sam was crushed and I was very upset about it. I told him I'd put his story in the next issue no matter what the theme is (it's FAST FOOD).
Kel M. Crum http://www.dangerousbird.com/
The memorable display for the comic Left Handed Sophie.
So I'm hoping he forgives me in time. He put out Small Press Extra with my cover art on the front and back. it's a great magazine about small press and this is the SPACE special issue. Go to http://www.trufanpublications.com/spe.html to read about Small Press Extra. Don't see anything about this new issue on their site yet, so email them and ask about it.
Randy Paré on the right http://www.terikryder.com/
Mike Indovina of Satyr Play Productions: http://www.geocities.com/mikeindovian/Satyr.html
John Wilson of Comic Related.
Chuck Moore (Owner, Comic Related) interviewing Randy Paré. http://www.comicrelated.com/
Brian Hagen see his portfolio: http://www.brian-hagen.com/
Chris Martin artist on SCRAP by Studio Akumakaze http://www.myspace.com/akumakaze
(His art is so HOT I had to censor it....)
I met with lots of new artists and creators and tried to steer them towards contributing to my Slam Bang anthology. And then it was the end of day one. Clint and eventually get back to the hotel and check over our bounty of new comics. Then crash out.
Clint and I hit the McDonald's for breakfast then rush over to the convention to set up. The crowd wasn't all that bad for a Sunday, at least at the start of the day. 10am till 5pm is the times for the show.
Matt Feazell artist and pubisher known for Cynicalman! http://www.cynicalman.com/
Clint Basinger's drawing in a fan's sketchbook.
Max Ink. Artist and Publisher: http://www.onwardstudio.com/
Then about 5 people showed up. Sigh. And they had a small laptop playing the movie into a digital projector to a pretty good size screen. But the laptop didn’t want to start the movie at first…..but eventually did. But it didn’t take away the play buttons at the bottom, and about a 3” strip on the right from top to bottom was playing the movie but from a different section of the movie at the same time….weird…oh, there was no RED color in any of the movie….the digital projector must have been on the blink or they didn’t know how to adjust it……sheesh….but the worst part was they had part of the room partitioned off with some tables and chairs. As soon as the movie started this guy, girl and another guy sit down in those tables and they start talking….they talked all through the movie, and were still talking when I left. I’m too nice. I thought several times to go back there and tell them to move the meeting someplace else….sheesh.
But the few that saw it loved it!
Craig Bogart http://www.theineffables.com/
Wade Busby of Mr. Emergency! Hey, I inked his 3rd issue!
Weird Muse Comics cool table display and card holder. http://weirdmuse.ecrater.com/
Dan Taylor of Weird Muse Comics and Jim Main of Main Publishing. http://www.poopsheetfoundation.com/profile/JimMain
Larned Justin http://www.freewebs.com/candidcartoons
I sold more books and some of the Mutant DVD's and I'm pretty sure I got more people interested in contributing to Slam Bang #5 vol III, the FAST FOOD theme issue. (Deadline end of 2009.) So I had a great time and was just about the last person to leave. I had to go out to the car and get even more of my Slam Bang #4 vol III books out as I was selling them right up to the end of the show.
Larry Blake received a SPACE Lifetime Achievement Award, framed art of him in the center. The frame was signed by creators that really dig Larry and all his comics! Congratz Larry!
George Lane is a huge fan of small press, and a great artist too!mailto:KingGeo3@comcast.net
Russell Merritt of Banshuwa Studio. Russell contributed a great strip to Slam Bang #4 vol III, the music issue. Russell and I plan on working together one some comics in the future. Hope so. http://www.comicspace.com/banshuwa/
Left to right: Larry Blake, Jim Pack (Comet Tales)
Well the taking down the tables isn't all that much fun but Clint and I got the stuff back in the car, said goodbye to a few last minute folks and drove to the Wendy's and ate our lunch/dinner. Then just as it started to rain down pretty hard....head out for the 5.5 hour drive back to KY.
Now I've got to gear up for Free Comic Book Day, as Clint and I'll be setting up our tables in Evansville, IN at the Comic Quest in the morning, and then leaving at noon to set up in Owensboro which is where I live and near where Clint lives. We feel we should help out our own town as much as we can. Wish us luck.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SmallPressPalaver/ Small Press Palaver
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/skeetsmonstersandheroes/ Steve Keeters Monters and Heroes
http://www.poopsheetfoundation.com/ Poopsheet Foundation
See you at SPACE 2010!
All the comics I picked up will eventually be reviewed in my Small Press Newsroom blog. http://smallpressnewsrooom.blogspot.com/
Send your comics for review to: Small Press Newsroom, c/o Allen Freeman, 6668 Waterford PL, Owensboro, KY 42303
Allen Freeman (http://www.fanaticpress.com/)