2014 SMALL PRESS AND ALTERNATIVE COMICS EXPO

This year I had the pleasure of tabling with Nils Balls and Jarrod Shanahan, tabling in between Jeremy Baum,Chris Monday and Heather Hively and across from Katherine Wirick.
Perfect setup!

SPACE IS WEIRD
Now weird has a spectrum of connotations, positive, neutral and negative, but we can all agree that “weird” comfortably applies.

SPACE is weird in just the way I like though and that’s why I go every year. The amount of talent in that room really is staggering and there’s more cool stuff each year. The classic tabling at a show lament applies: I wish I’d had more time to go around and check stuff out! Here are some quick reviews of comics I got at the show and enjoyed.

Dutchy Digest #8
Steven Hager and Bruce Rosenberger
A lovely new issue every year to prove to your friends that there really are comics about anything and everything.


BANG BANG Goes Hunter
and I Spy Page Turner
Danny Ferbert
Damn! The kid is CRANKING OUT some comics. I can’t tell if there’s a myriad of sci-fi influences going on in theses books or if Danny is living in his own world and drawing his ideas straight out of the ether. Either way, props to him for the prolific output.

Copy This
D. Blake
Neat, well designed review mini covering a cool cross section of mini comics.

Beijing Fog
Demophon
Solid single issue story with plenty of atmosphere and surprising amount of detail for such a short comic.

Murder On The North Sea
Christina Wald
A beautiful comic from a table loaded down with gorgeous work.

The Signifiers #1
Michael Neno
Michael Neno is SPACE regular who I’ve been meaning to introduce myself to for years. I found a copy of Reactionary Tales #1 back in high school and have been curious about the guy ever since. I finally took the opportunity and was rewarded with a nice chat and comic full of bugged out ideas set to page handsomely and confidently. An excellent book for sure.

Transformers
Jeff Sims
Shockingly different from anything I’ve ever read or seen before and really fun to flip through.

Downs Ashcan
Tony Goins
I always look forward to the new Downs book. Tony always manage a cool new angle in the often derivative paranormal investigator genre.

The Last Messiah
Marky Starr and Mack White
On the strength of the legendary Mack White’s art, I checked this out months ago and really dug it. The verdict remains the same.

Night Glider Annual #1
Jonny Sims
Superhero origin and fight comic by a kid at least a third of my age that reads better than most of the major publisher output I’ve taken in in the last couple years

Mewl, Chalmers and Witchcraft The Conjuring
Jason Young
Jason Young, as I remember it, was the first artist I found at SPACE (and I’ve been going since 2009) that I took a keen interest in. Since then I have ecstatically grabbed up every comic he’s made. This year I was delighted to see that he had a table full of fresh prints and THREE new minis. His new comics beautifully reflect his range and ability. The crushingly sad Chalmers. The subtle and effective poetry of Mewl. The humor and kooked out horror of Witchcraft The Conjuring. Yet each are still distinctly the work of the one and only Jason Young.

I’m Outta Here
Chris Monday
A comic full of stories about suicide as funny, plainly stated and refreshingly aware as anything you’ve read by Chris Monday. Great stuff.

Pizza and Beer
Cowboy House
These boys have been killing it lately. Disparate styles mesh seamlessly in this cleverly designed, beautifully drawn book.

Screens
Fred Frances
I’ve got my eye on this man. He’s making great strides with each new comic he’s putting out there and this one ranks up there with my all time favorite minis. Nice just to flip through, but goddamn! there’s a lot going on in there.

Helper Bot 0.15
Jeff Gibbons
Jeff is a MASTERFUL comic artist but you’d never know from how quietly and humbly he conducts himself. He makes the whole thing look effortless. It’s always a treat when he’s got something new out. The dude houses that vital and complex inner world that you and me just front like we have.

Fütchie Perf
Kevin Czap
in a flipbook with
Hank The Zine Dealer
John G
Rock solid mini by two boss level Cleveland comic masters.
Kevin’s sweet disposition always translates beautifully into his comics, his words and the alluring sweep of his brush.
John G kills it every time he puts brush to paper. I just had the pleasure of checking out the last few issues of The Lake Erie Monster in a single night and this was the perfect compliment.
The two stories, though brief andvastly different, have a little bit of overlap and compliment one another beautifully.

Breakthrough In Bad Words
Tyne Lowe
This very pleasant surprise was traded to me by someone just walking around. It’s a lovingly made comic full of funny childhood recollections made hilarious by some rock solid cartooning.

Moby Dick
Matt Kish
A shocking amount of range and imagination is on display in this monster of a book that I can’t even begin to describe. I’m really looking forward to spending some time with it.
Meeting Matt Kish was a highlight of a weekend that was wall to wall good times. Check the man’s stuff out!

The comics my mom got
My mom lives fifteen minutes away from the show and drops by every year with chinese food and good cheer. Here’s what she picked up

En Tenebres
Joseph Freistuhler
Gruesome black and white horror book full of beauteous storytelling and crazy detailed textures and landscapes.

Turtle Wax, Electric Transit Vol 2 and Vol 3
Danny Ferburton

Animal Crackers
Scott and Jeff Kraynack
Super outlandish and beautifully painted book revolving around a powerful central idea.

March Volume 1
Rep John Lewis
Nate Powell
Andrew Aydin
Nate Powell may just be the hardest working man in comics. I’ll alternately read his comics to get lost in the beautiful art or to try and extract what little I can from the masterful instinct evident in every panel. I had the joyful opportunity to study some of his original art. He brought watercolor pages this year!

Parisel 313!

Spangler The Laser Ninja 17 and 37, The Dream! 23 and 24
The most colorful character at the show by a country mile. The man speaks only in wisecracks. His comics reflect his enthusiasm and sunny disposition and are perhaps the only purchase I consider to be vital each year I go.

Silber Media

Mobil Zombie, REH 5 and 6, Pow Wow 1, 2 and 3,
Lost Kises 23, 24 and 26
Ultimate Lost Kisses 15
Brian John Mitchell
Andre White, David Branstetter and ED
I have so many BJM minis I have to keep them in a giant bowl. The man is a sharp and skilled renaissance man with an good eye for who best to collaborate with. He’s also a real sweetheart.

T-shirts

Max Wheeler

Silber Media

Dutchy Digest

Prints

Jason Young
Kit Vasey and Kris Starlein
Rochelle

Various prints ranging in quality from fantastic to excellent.

Here’s what I emptied out my pockets at the end of the week.

BONUS
Here’s what I picked up at comic shops while on tour

Body Count 2 and 4
Dave Cooper and Barry Blair
Fat Jack’s Comicrypt - Philly, PA
Geary-esque early work from the legendary Dave Cooper had for ten cents each.

Marvel Spotlight volume 2 #10 
Bill Mantlo and Steve Ditko
South Philly Comics
A perfect old school comic. Extra Ditko idiosyncrasies in a story tailor made for him. Super fun, half insane, solid gold. One buck.

64 page Tales From The Crypt reprint
The EC Crew
South Philly Comics
Almost all of the EC greats are represented in this gem. Classics from cover to cover. One buck.

House
Josh Simmons
Atomic City Comics, Philly, PA
An all time favorite. I had forgotten how bleak this comic is.

The Troll King
Kolbeinn Karlsson
Spit and A Half
I had given up on getting my copy back from my friend who borrowed it two years ago so I leaped at the chance to get a copy from king Cat John Porcellino.

That’s it! Thank y’all for reading and see you next year if not sooner.

I gently modified a Bud Light / NFL hoodie from Nils “Hundred Dollar Bills” Balls

Pictured at the bottom: after eight days and two thousand miles on the road.