This past Saturday, I attended SPACE, the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo in Columbus, OH. It was a great chance to meet new cartoonists and talk about the trade with a variety of cool people. What cool people might those be? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Denver Brubaker, Tales of a Checkered Man
Chad Sell, Manta-Man

Chad Sell, creator of the webcomic 'Manta-Man'

I was first introduced to Denver Brubaker through my blog This Week in Webcomics when he shot me an email to tell me about his webcomic. When I saw his booth listed in the SPACE program, I remembered his email and decided to swing by. We talked a bit about his strip “>Tales of a Checkered Man, a newspaper-style strip whose protagonist is an unorthodox, acrophobic superhero. We discussed Tom Dell’aringa’s excellent webcomic Marooned (Tom, sadly, wasn’t in attendance at SPACE this year), and about the business of doing a webcomic in general. Denver also introduced me to his fellow cartoonist Chad Sell, who creates the superhero serial comedy Manta-Man.

E.J. Barnes, Illustrator
E.J. Barnes, Illustrator

EJ Barnes is a multitalented individual. She had a number of comics, artworks, and humorous greeting cards available at her table (I bought this one, because I love terrible puns), but what most impressed me was her three-minute animated short “Leatherwing Bat,” set to a traditional folk song which she and a colleague performed together. Each of the frames was drawn and painted by hand and filmed frame-by-frame in 16mm! You can check out the whole gamut of her works at her personal site (linked above).

Eric Glastetter, writer, G2 Comics
Eric Glastetter, writer for G2 Comics

I feel bad for Eric, because even though he was one of the most interesting guys I talked to at SPACE, I can barely remember the topic of our conversation at all. He’s the writing half of the creative team at G2 Comics, who have launched two comic series in the past three years: Antic, a story of gods and god-slayers, and The Triad, an angels-and-demons epic spanning heaven, hell, and everywhere in between. We talked about the mythological themes in his comics and about G2’s upcoming series Raptor Sniper, which branches out into action-comedy. Raptor Sniper looks like it will have a Dr.-McNinja-esque feel to it, and I look forward to finding out more about it. You can check out G2’s comic offerings at their site, G2comics.com.

Joe “PohGo” Pruitt, Twilight Star Studios / The Comic Book Connection Initiative
Joe Pruitt, artist for Twilight Star Studios

Joe Pruitt draws for Twilight Star Studios, which you can check out via the links above, but he introduced himself to me in connection with the Comic Book Connection Initiative, a small non-profit organization that takes donations of comic books and distributes them to homeless shelters, food pantries, after-school programs and hospitals. I’d never heard of any comic-book program like this; the only similar initiative I could think of was Penny Arcade’s Child’s Play. Comic strips and comic books were a huge part of my childhood, and they’re great for stimulating children’s imagination and desire to read. Check out their Facebook page, and if you’re a Columbus resident, consider making a donation at their pickup spots at Comic Town (Morse Rd.) or Packrat Comics (Hilliard).

Gordon McAlpin, Multiplex
Gordon McAlpin, creator of Multiplex

You remember this guy! You remember him from this strip. Or maybe this strip. He does a comic called Multiplex, it’s pretty cool.