Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo
|Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo|
|Venue||Ohio Expo Center (2000–2006)|
Aladdin Shrine Center (2007–2009)
Ramada Plaza Hotel & Conference Center (2010–2014))
Northland Performing Arts Center (2015)
|Organized by||Bob Corby/Back Porch Comics|
The Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo, or SPACE or S.P.A.C.E., is an annual convention in Columbus, Ohio, United States, for alternative comics, minicomics, and webcomics. Bob Corby founded the convention as a gathering place for "the comics and the creators with no distractions." The show is sponsored by Corby's Back Porch Comics, a Columbus small press comics publisher.
Prior to SPACE, there had been a few small small press-themed conventions in Columbus, including segments of the Mid-Ohio Con (dating from the 1980s) and a stop on Dave Sim's 1995 "Spirits of Independents" tour. In 2000, inspired by Spirits of Independence, and with Sim's blessing, Columbus small press comics publisher Bob Corby staged the first SPACE show at the Rhodes Center in the Ohio Expo Center. 49 small press exhibitors — including Matt Feazell, Carla Speed McNeil, Alex Robinson, and William Messner-Loebs — came from as far as Illinois, North Carolina, and Connecticut.
In 2001, Sim collaborated directly with Corby, and SPACE became the home of the inaugural Day Prize, administered in person by Sim. 65 exhibitors came from as far west as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New York City. Columbus-based Jeff Smith made a surprise appearance.
From 2001–2008, Sim was a special guest at every SPACE show, often with his long-time collaborator Gerhard. In 2004, Sim was awarded the SPACE Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2007, with SPACE growing in popularity and exhibitors, the show expanded to two days and moved to the Aladdin Shrine Center. The 2008 show, Sim's last appearance, featured 30 of his original drawings, and over 150 creators and publishers. The 2009 show featured an exhibit of original pages from Carol Tyler's new graphic novel, You’ll Never Know, Book One: A Good and Decent Man.
In 2010, the show expanded once again, moving to the Ramada Plaza Hotel & Conference Center. The 2012 show featured creators like Nate Powell, Carol Tyler, John Porcellino, Tom Scioli, and Eric Adams.
Dates and locations
|April 15, 2000||Ohio Expo Center, Rhodes Center||...|
|March 31, 2001||Ohio Expo Center, Rhodes Center||Dave Sim||first presentation of the Day Prize|
|April 20, 2002||Ohio Expo Center, Rhodes Center||Dave Sim and Gerhard|
|April 5, 2003||Ohio Expo Center, Rhodes Center||Dave Sim and Gerhard|
|April 3, 2004||Holiday Inn, Columbus East||Dave Sim and Gerhard||Sim awarded the SPACE Lifetime Achievement Award|
|April 16, 2005||Holiday Inn, Columbus East||Dave Sim and Gerhard|
|May 13, 2006||Aladdin Shrine Center||Dave Sim and Gerhard|
|April 21–22, 2007||Aladdin Shrine Center||Dave Sim||Event expands to two days|
|March 1–2, 2008||Aladdin Shrine Center||Dave Sim|
|April 18–19, 2009||Aladdin Shrine Center|
|April 24–25, 2010||Ramada Plaza Hotel & Conference Center|
|March 19–20, 2011||Ramada Plaza Hotel & Conference Center|
|April 21–22, 2012||Ramada Plaza Hotel & Conference Center|
|April 13–14, 2013||Ramada Plaza Hotel & Conference Center||Graphic novel category added to SPACE Price|
|April 12–13, 2014||Ramada Plaza Hotel & Conference Center|
|July 18–19, 2015||Northland Performing Arts Center|
|April 9–10, 2016||Northland Performing Arts Center|
The Day Prize / the SPACE Prize
In 2001, Dave Sim and his collaborator Gerhard founded the Howard E. Day Prize for outstanding achievement in self-publishing, in tribute to Sim's mentor, Gene Day. Bestowed annually at SPACE from 2002 to 2008 the prize consisted of a $500 cash award and a commemorative plaque. The recipient was chosen by Sim and Gerhard from a pool of submitted works.
In 2008, Sim announced he was withdrawing from convention appearances (including SPACE) to concentrate on new work. In addition, Sim announced that, beginning in 2009, the Day Prize was going to be folded into the Joe Shuster Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards. SPACE organizer Bob Corby announced the creation of the SPACE Prize beginning at the 2008 show. Entries for the SPACE Prize are submitted by that year's exhibitors, with a list of finalists selected by Corby. The winner is chosen by a group of judges and SPACE exhibitors.
In 2009, the SPACE Prize expanded to include three categories, General, Minicomic/Short story, and Webcomic.
Day Prize/SPACE Prize Winners
- 2001: Faith: A Fable, by Bill Knapp
- 2002: Misa, by Tom Williams
- 2003: Askari Hodari #3, by Glen Brewer
- 2004: Owly: The Way Home, by Andy Runton
- 2005: The Lone and Level Sands, by A. David Lewis and mpMann (a.k.a. Marvin Perry Mann)
- 2006: Chemistry-Comic & CD Soundtrack, by Steve Peters
- 2007: Mr. Big, by Matt & Carol Dembicki
- 2008: A Thorn in the Side, by Bill Knapp
- General: The Dreamer #1–5, by Lora Innes
- Minicomic/Short story: Aliens Poop on Your Children, by Chris Garrett
- Webcomic: Introspective Comics, by Ryan Dow
- General: (tie) Cragmore Book One, by Pat N. Lewis; and Mirror Mind, by Tory Woollcott
- Minicomic/Short story: Board of Superheroes #2, by Matt Feazell
- Webcomic: Champ 2010, by Jed Collins
- General: The Collected Diabetes Funnies, by Colin Upton
- Minicomic/Short story: Sing, Sing, by Paul Zdepski
- Webcomic: Spoilers, by Kevin Czapiewski
- General: (tie) Kiss & Tell A Romantic Resume Ages 0 to 22, by Mari Naomi; and No One is Safe, by Katherine Wirick
- Minicomic/Short story: And Then One Day #9, by Ryan Claytor
- Webcomic: Next Year’s Girl, by Katie Valeska
- Graphic Novel: Xoc: The Journey of a Great White, by Matt Dembicki
- General: Ragged Rider: Tales of a Cowboy Mummy, by Andrew Meyerhoefer
- Minicomic/Short story: Better Together, by Ryan Claytor
- Webcomic: Little Guardians, by Lee Cherolis and Ed Cho
- Graphic Novel: Persia Blues, written by Dara Naraghi, illustrated by Brent Bowman
- General: Black of Heart, written by Chris Charlton, illustrated by David Hollenbach
- Minicomic/Short story: (tie) Birds in a Sluddle, by Pam Bliss; and Blindspot #3, by Joseph Remnant; and Limp Wrist, written by Scout Wolfcave, illustrated by Penina Gal
- Webcomic: Black Rose, by Aaron Minier, Christopher Atudt, and Brandon Peat
- Corby quoted in "What is S.P.A.C.E.," Official website. Accessed June 10, 2012.
- "Convention to Feature Independent Publications," Columbus Dispatch (April 14, 2005).
- "Event to include writers, artists," Columbus Dispatch (Feb. 28, 2008).
- Zabel, Joe. "SPACE Show — Columbus does Indies," Amazing Montage Magazine (May 2000).
- "SPACE 2000," Official website. Accessed June 10, 2012.
- "SPACE 2001," Official website. Accessed June 10, 2012.
- "SPACE". BackPorchComics.com. Retrieved 2011-07-18.
- "Bill Knapp Wins SPACE Prize," Cosmo's Corner: The Official SPACE blog (January 11, 2009).
- "Gene Day Award for Self-Publishing," Joe Shuster Awards official site. Accessed June 12, 2012.