I visited the Small Press and Alternative Comic Expo (S.P.A.C.E.) this weekend. I didn’t have a table there this year since I pushed back my new publication schedule. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to a con as an attendee. I had a lot of fun and spent way too much money (worth it).
There is a remarkable difference between going to an indie comic convention and going to a mainstream one. The first thing that stands out are the visitors. There isn’t a lot of cosplay and the crowd tends to be older, more serious, and much more low key. That isn’t to say that the crowd doesn’t have energy. It absolutely does. It’s the difference between the buzz you feel in an art expo versus the buzz you feel at a high school football game.
The work for sale at the tables is remarkable different as well. You aren’t going to see a whole lot of posters of mainstream characters for sale. Predominantly what you find are works of real art with creators who have put everything they could of themselves into their work. The art styles are varied, experimental, and daring. The stories take risks, delve deep, shoot out into space, and celebrate the potential of the medium.
I absolutely love the world of indie comics. It’s kind of the research laboratory arm of the comic industry. Any new innovations you see in mainstream comics were very likely pioneered by an indie artist or writer. These alternative comic expos are the best place to see what comics can be capable of accomplishing.Tags: comics, conventions