is about the comics and the creators with no distractions. I've always
felt a great creative buzz during the show."
Bob put together the first Oh, Comics! an annual anthology title and
sold it at the Mid-Ohio Con here in Columbus. There was only one table
and about 13 small press publishers showed up, but that planted a
seed in Bobs head. He continued with Oh, Comics! and then in
1995 Dave Sim announced his "Spirits of Indendents" tour.
The very first one was here in Columbus. The following year though
the Spirits show disappeared he continued exhibiting at regular conventions.
But all of the sudden, all of the regular conventions became "Pop-Culture"
conventions in an attempt to bring more people though the door. The
net result is that the small press folks seemed to be selling less.
At that point Bob decided to bring the "Spirits" show back.
He wrote a letter to Dave Sim and asked if he could continue the Columbus
Spirits show. Dave answered back and said to go for it but he wouldn't
be able to attend because he was concentrating on keeping Cerebus
on schedule. Without Dave's involvement, Bob didn't feel that
he should continue with the Spirits name so he came up with the Small
Press and Alternative Comics Expo or SPACE.
hit a rough patch starting out.
Bob was putting the second show together kind of going through the
motions half expecting it to bomb again when he got a phone call from
Dave. Dave had decided to start up the Day Prize and wanted to do
it at SPACE. Bob quickly accepted his offer. The Day
Prize or more formally The Howard Eugene Day Memorial Award
is named in honor of Gene Day, Sims mentor during his early
years in comics. Entries are submitted by the exhibitors of SPACE
with the nominees and winner chosen by Dave Sim and Gerhard. (before
his departure from Aadvark-Vaniheim) With Dave's help, attendance
improved and things began to smooth out.
the fun of the show is watching exhibitor's work blossom over the
years. Some continue on with cartooning. Some move on to gallery work.
Some go to work for the 'mainstream' crowd. Some of these include
folks like Jim Rugg, Paul Hornschemier, Andy Runton, Alex Robinson,
Mike Dawson, Farel Darymple, Esao Andrews, Kevin Huizenga, Nate
Powell and John Porcellino.
know what you'll find at S.P.A.C.E. A new favorite. An old one. Multiple
genres represented. People from the webcomics world. People who just
do mini-comics. The show has creators just starting out. As well as
creators who have been working on their craft for quite some time.
Pro... amateur... the common thread is they're all creating their
the Day Prize has been merged with the Joe Shuster awards, but in
2009, Bob began the
SPACE Prize. A juried festival award given to the best
small press comics at the show. Entries are culled from submitted works
at the show.