20th annual indie comics event had modest genesis

Bob Corby wasn't sure there would be a second Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo, let alone consider there might be a 20th. But when he informally polled the 30 or so indie comic makers he invited to the first one, the reply was that they definitely wanted to do it again.

"In the ’80s, the small press movement was basically a bunch of us trading comics by mail," said Corby, who founded Back Porch Comics and then SPACE because, basically, who else was gonna do it? "I was always a fanboy. I did a lot of recruiting for SPACE early on. It was an odd concept in its time."

Of course, small press comics, and the comics scene in the city, are much different now. That there are more than a few folks who credit Corby with being a big part of that is humbling, Corby said.

"I'm proud that people think that, but it's just a 'Field of Dreams' thing, where I started something and people came," Corby said.

The 20th SPACE, set for this weekend at the Northland Performing Arts Center, will dwarf the first one in the number of international comic creators and publishers, but the "fanboy" atmosphere remains.