Thursday, December 17, 2009

Exhibitor: Tom Williams

This is the first of what will hopefully be a weekly series covering interviews with some of the exhibitors you will find at SPACE next April. Enjoy your holidays.

I decided to start with Tom Williams since he produces a lot of the artwork associated with SPACE (not to mention our spiffy new web design) and he just happened to be the first one to return the interview questions.

Tom Williams started out self-publishing Crash Comics in 1996. Crash included such great characters as Guston Phillips, the Cyclops cowboy (or is it cowboy Cyclops) and the Satanic Paper Boy.
The turn of the century brought Tom to Misa, a coming of age story. Misa was the winner of the 2002 Day Prize for best self-published comic.
Tom has also produced work with a number of collaborators on paper and shiny screens including Dara Naraghi, Sean McKeever and Brian McLaclan. Tom also contributed Northern Lad to the massive Comicbook Tattoo, an anthology with stories inspired by the songs of Tori Amos.
Tom continues to crank his comics in print and electronically and gives SPACE a good face.

1) Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up on a farm and settled in Columbus after I got a nice scholarship to CCAD. Graduated. I thought hard about moving to Brooklyn or the west coast but I can always visit. Columbus has an alright art/music scene and its crazy cheap to live here. So there you go. I have a day job and do the odd freelance gig here and there. Being as the freelance checks randomly show up, it's nice having that cushion. I've participated in gallery shows state side as well as England.

2) Tell us about your comics.

My self-publishing has been pretty sparse as of late. I split my time between working on my own stuff and freelance work with publishers. I like variety. Bouncing around from genre to genre, I've been focusing on longer works when not doing short stories in Panel. I'm painfully slow on the writing end hence the sluggish output. I'm fascinated by fringe science/archeology, mythology and comparative religion. Stuff I've been working on lately involves that. Beginning soon, I'll be handling art chores on a second OGN project for Oni Press. We're shooting for the fall next year.

3) How long have you been self-publishing?

I've been self-publishing since college. So off and on about 10 years. Things have been changing so radically in the industry, I'm excited by digital downloads. I'll keep publishing minis and stuff for cons but the floppy's on the way down. There are a few great exceptions but you're average comic shop is pretty leery of taking on anything new by an unknown talent. I've had a former contributor whose debut graphic novel got canceled because of low orders. It's rough out there right now.

4) Why did you decide to start self-publishing your comics?

I thought it'd be a good way to get feedback and work out my storytelling. Each new project gets better and better. While some folks do this as a hobby, my goal was to attract some freelance or something published by somebody else. I don't have the business sense to launch something like Cartoon Books.

5) Who are your main artistic influences--both in and out of comics?

Before college, all I knew was comics and the handful of Rockwell prints scattered about my parent's house. The (Kenton) library wasn't much more help. In college, I got exposed to a crapload of designers, illustrators, and artists. I love Alex Toth, Jack Kirby, Lucien Freud, Charles Schultz, Anselm Keifer, Tardi, Baru, Dave McKean, Jasper Johns, etc. Rock posters, Paul Pope, James Jean, Jillian Tamaki, Sam Weber, Guy Davis, and Jeff Soto.

6) What comics do you read?

I don't read many mainstream books. I'll follow certain artists and or writers. I'll pick up a copy of Jonah Hex anytime Jordi Bernet is drawing it.

Tom (right) with Matt Kish at SPACE '09

7) What are some of your favorite books? (the kind without pictures)

I like David Sedaris, Neil Gaiman, and the idea of cracking open Gravity's Rainbow. It seems like I never have the time to sit down and read a book. Books on cd work out better but like trying to read the real thing, I keep putting it off. Lolita on disc has been sitting in my studio. I can't remember the day I checked it out from the library. It's due back in a week.

8) You have provided flyer and poster images (not to mention a website redesign) for SPACE since 2002. How is it working with that Corby guy? Why the dedication (besides the money,Ha!)?

I really believe in the show and what it's trying to do. It's fun.

9) What's it like working for Tori Amos?

It was pretty cool. Once it was pitched to Rantz (the editor) and Tori, they pretty much left me alone to work on my story. Every creator was left to do whatever he or she does and it turned out into a solid anthology. I'm bummed that I missed the San Diego launch. There was a meet & greet with Tori and the creators who showed up.

10) Your work is a combination of hand drawn and computer manipulated images. Can you give us a brief rundown on how you work?

I'll work up the drawing to a certain point then scan it in. I've been using Painter more since I got the program. If you do get it, it's a memory hog (more so than Photoshop) but a great program for illustrators and cartoonists.

11) Will you have anything new for SPACE? Or are you working on anything new?

I hope so. Worst case scenario, maybe a couple of new prints but I'd really like to put together a new mini. We'll see how the work goes on the book for Oni.

12) A traveling sales chicken comes up to a farm house. What happens next?
The chicken turns out to be not a sales chicken but a suicide bomber. KA-BOOOM!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lump of Coal #3 Now Available!

Just in time for Holiday Gift Giving. Lump of Coal #3 is available. The Art Explorer Post 407 Comics Group (long time SPACE exhibitors) is back with another Lump of Coal, the mini-comic stocking stuffer for that scrooge in your life. The third issue of Christmas strips with a bad attitude. All proceeds go to the Post for art supplies and trips. 24 page mini for 0nly $1.50. Available now at Back Porch Comics

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Paul Hornschemeier & Jay Ryan Report

Due to family commitments I wasn't able to make it to Paul Hornschemeier & Jay Ryan's appearence at Wholly Craft last Friday but James Payne has a short report on the stop on his blog.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Genghis Con

Coming to the Beachland Ballroom (Cleveland,OH) on November 28th is the first Genghis-Con. Last show of the season I guess. Things start at 12noon (to 6pm) and is only $5 to get in. So far the line up is an even mix of folks from the tri-state scenes in Columbus, Detroit, Pittsburgh and beyond.

They're also looking for more exhibitors. So if you're interested and self-publish comics, zines, screen posters, or any other alt-media, the Genghis-Con wants you. Sounds like a good thing and is fronted by Astound Comics (out of Westlake).

For more information go here.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Paul Hornschemeier @ Wholly Craft in Nov.

*Wholly Craft is having another book signing in November with Paul Hornschemeier & Jay Ryan in November. Friday the 13th to be exact at 7pm. Paul has been at the show numerous times. Actually, at my first S.P.A.C.E., I tabled next to Paul. Nice guy. He'll be signing his new collection All and Sundry from Fantagraphics. He's paired up with Chicago poster artist Jay Ryan. Jay's got a new art book (of his posters) called Animals and Objects In and Out of Water. I've been a fan of Jay's since I discovered him on

*apparently there's a memo circulating around that Wholly Craft is the new C-bus spot for indie comic signings. Ogre's got to step it up. Kidding.


Monday, October 19, 2009

John Porcellino Columbus Stop

As reported here earlier John Porcellino the author of the autobio mini comic "King-Cat" was here on October 12 in support of his new collection "Map of My Heart". You can read a great account of his visit by J. Caleb Mozzocco at


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

TMA:Lit Graphic

Finally a reason to post: The Toledo Museum of Art is having an exhibit (till January 3rd) called Lit Graphic. The show went up earlier this month and features originals by Peter Kuper, Robert Crumb, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Eisner and others.

'Organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., the traveling exhibition features more than 146 artworks by 24 contemporary graphic novelists and historic practitioners of this ever-evolving art form.'

The best part is admission is free.

You're driving up to Toledo, Ohio to check this out... right? Right???

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

24 Hour Comics Marathon on Halloween Weekend

This year, the official 24HCD fell on the same weekend as Columbus' Mid-Ohio-Con (Oct 3-4); and so, Max Ink (author of Blink and executive director of Sunday Comix) took it upon himself to organize a special "Halloween Edition" 24HCD for the Columbus comic book creating community. The cartoonist group Sunday Comix will set up at Crimson Cup (4541 N. High St.) on Halloween Weekend from noon Saturday until noon Sunday. Also, Sunday Comix is partnering with the HERO Initiative and will have comic book related items (including the very first 24 Hour Comics Anthology) available for sale and the proceeds will go directly to the Initiative.

Updates on the event and samples of the comics made at the marathon will be posted on

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Small Press Exhibitors & Creators @Mid-Ohio Con

The exhibitors and creator commons lists are now up for Mid-Ohio Con.

Exhibitors (including Back Porch Comics at booth 702) are at

and other small press creators are at

I will also be a panelist in a small press panel on Sunday at 3:00 PM with Chuck Moore (Comics Related) and Lora Innes (Dreamer).

Con Info:

October 3–4, 2009

Greater Columbus Convention Center

Exhibit Hall E

Columbus, Ohio

Monday, September 28, 2009


Comic Book Guy entertaining a film offer after self publishing his comic. From "The Simpsons" Season 21 Ep. 1 Aired 9/27/09.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Oh Comics & SPACE Exhibitors @ Mid-Ohio Con

Back Porch Comics proudly announces the publication of Oh,Comics! #18 “Earth”. Dig it! 76 salt of the earth pages containing 18 rock solid strips by 13 dirty creators! (Okay too far.) The alluvium anthology will premiere at the Mid-Ohio Con in Columbus Ohio (on the Glacial Till Plain) on October 3 and 4, 2009. At $3.50 it’s dirt cheap! (Okay that sucked but we did resist the urge to say “It rocks!”) Also available on-line at on October 5. 2009.

Covers by Sue Lense

The Great Reclamation by Ben Small

Blink: Why Bother? By Max Ink & Jonathon Riddle

Wasted Potential by Ray Tomzcak

Onion City in Spring by Sue Lense

Muck and Myerson! by Brent Riches

Vugz by Bob Corby

R.A.IN.B.O.W. : As the Worms Turn by Michael Carroll

Wasted Potential by Ray Tomzcak

A Fairly Short Cornelia Story by Kel Crum

Memories of Earth by Matt Levin

Dirt by Tom Roberts

Onion City by Sue Lense

Hugh Manatee by Matt Wyatt

Wasted Potential :Uncle Norm’s Puzzle Page by Ray Tomzcak

‘Lil F.E.D.S.: Defenders of the Earth Sand by Steve Myers

The Kansas City Tots Versus The Sand Men by Steve Myers

Onion City by Sue Lense

Marcel’s Effortless Garden by Bob Corby

Besides Oh, Comics! #18 there will be a contingent of SPACE exhibitors premiering comics at the show:

Craig Bogart- The Ineffables: Order of Succession

Craig Bogart & Brent Bowman -Allied Powers #2

PANEL- Panel 14: Horror

Fan-Atic Press- ODD COMICS #1 by Dan Burke

Stephen Hines -Clyde the Redneck #2 & Valedictorian USA #1

Ryan Claytor from Elephant Eater Comics- And Then One Day #7 and The Machinist

Joseph Morris from TORC Press -The Hot Fudge Sundae Adventure Club

Also in attendance will be Cosmic Moustache Comics, Sunday Comix, Joe Shover (Zonetrooper), Ren McKinzie- Blades Edge Illustrations, Mason Easley ( Psychic Soldier Kai )and Chuck Moore - Writer, Killer Robots Love You – Webcomic and the mastermind behind Comic-Related.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

SPACE Prize Judges

We are getting close to announcing the 2009 SPACE Prize finalists but before that we'd like to get you acquainted with our judges.

For the General category our judges will be J. Caleb Mozzocco and returning judge, Tim Corrigan.

Caleb is a freelance writer who lives and works in Columbus, Ohio. He blogs about comics at and also contributes to Blog@Newsarama. Some of his blogs have been picked up at Journalista on the Comics Journal website and Heidi McDonald's The Beat.

Tim has been producing comics since the late 70’s under his New Voice Media and C& T Graphics imprints. Check out his Mightyguy comics along with tons of other titles. Also he was the publisher of the Small Press Comics Explosion and later the Small Press Creative Explosion. The SPCE was the reason many small press publishers got involved in publishing their own comics back in the 80’s including a certain SPACE event coordinator. Tim is a SPACE Life Time Achievement Award winner

In the Mini-comics / Short Story category our judges are Matt Feazell and Max Ink.

Matt has been producing mini-comics under the Not-Available imprint since the early 80's. He is best know for the Amazing Cynicalman and making his customers draw. Matt is also a SPACE Life Time Achievement award winner.

Max is a Columbus small press staple. He has been contributing to small press publications since the late 80's and has concentrated on his own creation Blink for the last decade or so. Max is also very active in the Small Press community founding organizations like Sequentially Speaking and Sunday Comix. He is also a guest blogger here and will help keep us up to date on a lot of the Columbus comics happenings along with the latest SPACE news.

In the Web-comics category I will be acting as one of the judges and we're still looking for another.

The third judge in each of these categories will be the SPACE 2009 exhibitors. The exhibitors vote will be weighted as an equal vote along with the other two judges in each category.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

John Porcellino Book Signing Tour

Legendary small press artist/writer (and S.P.A.C.E. alumni) John Porcellino is on tour across the United States promoting the release of his newest collection of comics, Map of My Heart (released Sept. 29 and published by Drawn & Quarterly) and will be arriving in Columbus on Monday, October 12 for an appearance at Wholly Craft (3169 N. High St., beginning at 7pm. (Interesting to note: Ohio has been called "The Heart of It All" and John will be making a grand total of 4 appearances throughout this fair state. He'll be in Akron on Sept. 23 @ Square Records, Cinci on Sept 29 @ Shake It! Records & on Oct 10 he'll be @ Cleveland's Visible Voice. For a full tour listing, see here.)

Map of My Heart celebrates the twentieth anniversary of John Porcellino’s seminal and influential comics zine, King-Cat Comics, which he started self-publishing in 1989 and which has been his predominant means of expression. In this collection, while Porcellino is living in isolation and experiencing the pain of divorce, he crafts melancholic, tender graphic ballad of heartbreak and reflection.

Known for his sad, quiet honesty rendered in his signature deceptively minimalist style, Porcellino has a command of graphic storytelling as sophisticated as the medium’s more visually intricate masters. Few other artists are able to so expertly contemplate the sadness, beauty, and wonder of life in so few lines.

Patrick Porter will accompany John with some fine acoustic music.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New Website Design is Up

The re-vamped SPACE website is up and running. Just go to (if you're not already there.)
Beside the new look we've also added the current exhibitors list for 2010, info on exhibitor tables, the beginning of our media kit, some history of the show, more accessible contact info, hotel info and some snazzy buttons.
And in case you're afraid you will only get to listen to me, we will be adding a few other bloggers to the news page.
Thanks to Tom Williams for the great new design and the persistence it took to get me to make the change.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Venue for SPACE 2010

SPACE 2010

April 24 & 25, 2010
Ramada Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, Columbus 4900 Sinclair Rd. Columbus OH 43229

Off I71 at the Morse / Sinclair exitFree Parking, Special Hotel Rate, Airport Shuttle.

For the hotel room block with a rate of $79.00 a night at the Ramada Plaza Hotel & Conference Center 4900 Sinclair Road Columbus, OH 43229 call (614) 846-0300 or toll free number 877-609-6086 and ask for the "SPACE room block" or download, fill out and e-mail (or fax) the reservation form.
The hotel offers 262 deluxe guest rooms, Justin’s Place Restaurant and Bowties Lounge, indoor pool, a large whirlpool, fitness center, complimentary parking and airport transportation.
The cut off date for the group is April 2, 2010.
Reservation Form