Here is my "SPACE report" of the S.P.A.C.E. convention which I originally posted day one and day two on the Cerebus Yahoo!Group. Well, the convention wasn't on those two days - I showed up early on Friday and the convention was on Saturday.

SPACE 2005

April 15th

Having made it to Columbus, Ohio, I grab my checked bag (yes, I check what could be considered a carry on ‘cause I’m too lazy to carry it during my lay over) and head out to the shuttle to the hotel. I’m looking around for the shuttle and there aren’t any there, so I head over to the phone to call one and as soon as I do one pulls up. The guy who walks up to it turns around and looks at me.

“Margaret?” he inquires. I say I am. And low and behold, Jeff S has made it to the convention. He tells me about how he didn’t think he was going to be able to make it, but got a deal and was able to come. We head over to the Holiday Inn on I-70 and check in. The hotel clerk asks me twice for my last name so I hand her my driver’s license. She tells me that I didn’t have reservations for that night, but for the 16th and 17th instead. Dangnabit I mutter. The hotel clerk said she’d see what she could do for me and went to the back room. When she came back she said she could just switch my reservation over from the 17th to the 15th instead. Jeff said I should thank Tony P for not showing up as I prolly got his room. So thanks Tony. (I still wish ya had made it though.)

So we check in, and get some eats at the restaurant. As we’re chowing down on some tasty sammichs, Larry H walks in and joins us. After we all had some lunch we went down to the lobby to await the rest of the group – as we knew more people would be showing up on Friday, but no one had printed out the list of who was coming.

Sitting in the lobby, we talked about many different topics – all of them faint in my memory now (why didn’t I take out my notebook?!?). And then Larry goes, Dave is checking in. I look over and yes, indeedy, Dave is standing there checking in. Gerhard comes over and says hello and showed us the new digital camera he has. I asked him if that was replacing his huge camera from last year and he said it was. That he hadn’t finished a roll of film, but with the digital camera he had taken over 6,000 pictures. One of the guys asked if he had used that camera to take the picture on the Collected Letters phonebook and Ger stated he did. In fact, he said, the picture on the cover is a composite of several pictures that he took and then put together. He said to get that picture that he’d have to remove a wall and stand back a bit.

Ger said he had something for us, and asked were a printer was – we told him about the computer room and he headed in that direction. When he came back he gave us each a copy of the “Report to the Newsgroup” hot off the presses – Ger had brought a disc with the Report on it to make copies for the Yahoos! Who showed up for SPACE. In it was a discussion of Cerebus Canon and the three categories for Cerebus stories.

Ger snapped a few pictures (Gerhard – we’d love to see them!) and headed upstairs. Dave came over and said hello and shook our hands and headed off also. But as soon as he left, he came back – with goodies. He had a letter for Jeff and a letter for me, and then he handed me two really old looking notebooks. I looked a the cover of the top one, “Albatross 1” it said. Umm. I opened it up to a random page, being really gentle about it ‘cause it looked like it was about to fall apart.

Oh goodness.

They were the Cerebus notebooks. Eep! I started gingerly going thru one, but thought better of it – as I knew I could get distracted by them for a long time, and I didn’t want to handle them any more then I had to – as the pages were turning yellow already and the cover and first couple pages to the first note book were starting to come off already. Gloves, I thought to myself, I need some latex gloves before I handle these puppies.

I sat there with the notebooks on my lap while Jeff, Larry and myself had a talk with Dave in the lobby. We talked about many things, but some topics we touched were Dave in real life and Dave in the letters and how we feel more comfortable writing to him (well, at least I do, talking to “the man himself” is a bit unsettling, though I’d prolly be more relaxed after a buggid of beer), the Larry Summers and women in sciences thing, and a few Cerebus things. It was pretty cool just sitting there talking to Dave, Jeff S. and Larry and having the notebooks on my lap. It was about all this Fangirl could take.

Then Andy came down, a comics creator who we got the inside scoop was the winner of the Day Prize. Dave said the other nominees knew if they had won or not, so it wasn’t a big deal, but to keep it to ourselves for now. So he got up and went to have dinner with Andy and Gerhard. When he did that, I headed up to my room to hide the Cerebus notebooks – couldn’t have these getting in the wrong hands and finding their way to Ebay. We hung around a bit more, and Lenny showed up. We were all getting hungry and wondering when Jeff T was going to show, so I gave Jeff T a call.

And woke him up. D’oh! Sorry Jeff!

Jeff and his wife, Pat, came down and we headed over the hotel restaurant for dinner. And as we walked up, there was Dave, Ger, Andy and one of Andy’s friends having dinner. Woot! So we made our way to a huge table and sat down for eats. Lenny started ordering tons of appetizers and we all got something to drink while we talked about the day so far. After Dave, Ger and them had finished dinner, us Yahoos! were still being loud and laughing our butts off, over came Dave and Ger. Ger said hello, and took a few more pictures and headed off. Dave came over and sat down with us and talked a bit more to us all.

The one thing I really remember was how Jeff T had asked about some Cerebus stories that hadn’t seen print but somehow Jeff had heard about, and Dave went on a tangent about how Barry Windsor-Smith had done a long Cerebus story, called Cerebus Vanaheim, and had it penciled but when Dave called him, Barry didn’t want to send it to Dave. Dave then made an imploring look on his face and stretched his hands out and said I’m sure it’s good Barry, just send it to me please!

And I had the feeling (yes, a feeling) that Dave felt the same away about BWS as we feel about him. The fan and the creator. Dave said that BWS had told him that he didn’t want to finish his Cerebus story as Cerebus is Dave’s and no one can do Cerebus right other then Dave Sim. Dave said that may be true, but still Barry, send me the pages. Barry never did send him the pages.

After some good conversation with Dave – help me out here guys, my memory is fuzzy at best - Dave said he had an early morning and needed to head back up to his room. He said his good byes and took his leave.

And I just want to say – I’ve been to every SPACE con which Dave has attended, and this is the first time that he has made a point to stop, sit down and talk with us. Last year he was nice enough to take his picture with the group and say hello to us all, but this year’s reception was amazing. I just want to say thanks to Dave for stopping, sitting down with us and chatting for a while. It was much appreciated. And thanks to Ger for stopping by and saying hello, and taking all those pictures!

April 16th

Since this was my vacation, I was hoping to sleep in, but I was awoken by Hell’s Bells Saturday morning. I jumped out of bed and thinking it was the fire alarm, I ran to the door. I peered outside and looked: no alarms going off or people running out of rooms. But yet the bells continued to clang. I looked at the clock, 6:30am, and as soon as I did, the bells went off – someone there had a crazy alarm clock.

I tried to go back to sleep, but was so excited about the up coming day that I just got up. Not having a teevee at home, I turned it on and found out I really wasn’t missing much on a Saturday morning. So I got ready, and then read some of Reads before heading downstairs for breakfast. I bumped into Jeff S who was headed off to the grocery store to buy Petunias, so I grabbed myself a table.

While I was eating, Lenny showed up and had his stereotypical bagel. No lox (though, until that day I had no idea what that was), but cream cheese. Larry showed up and then Jeff S came back to the table after getting his petunias, which he had left in his room. The restaurant was packed with comics’ creators and the waitresses were running around trying to take care of us all. You’d think the hotel would think, hey, a comic book convention with lots of hungry folk, lets bring in more staff for the weekend, but they didn’t.

About 10:15am we headed down to pay our $5 and get our SPACE pamphlet. I then had a big decision: do I head to the small room first or the huge ballroom full of comics? I didn’t want to get in line right away for Dave and Ger. Heh. So I headed to the small backroom. I found a bunch of good comics and then turned around to see Matt Dow and his smiling girlfriend Paula pushing mugs at show attendees. Well, they really weren’t, but it makes for a funny picture: take my mug, please!

I talked to Matt and Paula for a while, he kept making me laugh with his non stop jokes. I got his mini comic Racecar Comics #1 which is a collection of his convention post-it sketches, which are funny as heck. The flip side of the mini is the Cerebus Vs. Iguana Vs. Beer #1, which is several pages of a dead Cerebus and Iguana and beer. Funny stuff. Matt had his pencils for Iguana Vs. Beer #1 there, but the book needed funding for publication if I remember right. The pages I skimmed through were pretty funny, and reminded me of the joke women vs. beer. Matt – get this published, I’ll buy a copy and twist the arm of any Cerebite that doesn’t buy a copy. The guy can’t really draw all that good – well, better then me – but his comics are funny. Oh, and ask him if he has any more plans to put out a Cerebus tee-shirt or more Cerebus stuff ::evil laugh:: hehehehe.

After I was finished in the small room, I made the trek over to the ball room. As I was leaving the small room, Jeff T and Pat walked by me and said hello – Jeff was kind enough to give me a CD with all the Yahoo!Group messages on it. Thanks Jeff! Now I just need to go thru it and delete all of Ryan’s Star Wars posts. Hahaha! J/K Ryan!

On the way to the ballroom I see the Cerebites in line for Dave and Ger, I say hello and walk into the ballroom. After checking out the majority of the Day Prize nominees and picking up their work, I wonder around and check out some other comics. Trying to make small talk with comics creators at times seems like trying to draw blood from a stone. The ones that would talk, make eye contact and had something intelligent to say about their books – I at least picked up issue #1 of their book to give a try. I talked to one guy, Steve about his book, Whistle Blower for a bit. An ex-Marine who is writing about a whistle blower of a major defense contractor, his art was incredible. He had stopped by the night before and talked with Dave and us while we were in the lobby. Nice guy, great book check out his website>.

I read the first two issues at the airport, and the story is just as good as the art.

After finishing up in the ballroom, I headed out to see how big the line for Dave and Ger was – and was surprised. It wasn’t long at all. Some of the Cerebites were still in line, Larry had just finished and Lenny was telling Dave about his secret Jews mailing list while Jeff S listened in. There were a few non-Yahoo! Cerebites in line before me also.

As I was standing in line some guy came up behind me with a huge pile of Cerebus goodies and another guy was following him. The guy with the goodies says Hi Margaret, and once again, I have no clue who this guy is but I have an idea of how he knows me. Turns out, it was Nate and his friend Dave, both of which had driven out to Columbus from northern NJ together. They left Friday and got in on Saturday morning about 3am, slept in their car in the parking lot and woke up about 10am. Hey Nate – next time you do that, I’m sure one of the fellow Cerebites would have let you go into their room and taken a shower, or at least sleep on the floor. Just let us know ya will need a spot.

Nate was kind enough to show me his big stack of goodies: a Cerebus #1, Cerebus #300, a couple phonebooks, a Swords collection, a TMNT collection, and other stuff. Wowza! I told him not to feel bad, that Dave will sign them all, as he did for the guy that brought the box of goodies last year. Nate took off to use the restroom, and when he returned his friend Dave told him he has made them thirty bucks. Nate was like, cool, whatcha sell my Cerebus #1? Dave was like yup. If only. If only.

Then Bryan E came up to me, who I did recognize from last year’s SPACE as the guy who did that really cool Cerebus promo DVD. Bryan said he was working on a project for Dave and would like to interview me and any other Cerebus fans I thought would be interested in doing so. So I said sure I’ll volunteer and I pointed out Lenny and Jeff S in line. The other Yahoos! weren’t around for me to pick on also.

After Bryan took off, Jeff T got in line behind some more Cerebus fans. We finally got up to the front of the line, and Dave says, sorry folks, I’m going to be doing signatures only no more sketches until after the Day Prize. I look at my phone, which said it was 12:30 pm.

Bryan and Jeff S. showed up again so Jeff T and myself decided to do the little interviews before the Day Prize presentation. I’ve asked Bryan if it would be okay for me to tell ya what the project is that he is working on, or if he could post about it, but I don’t want to give out the goods if he doesn’t want it to go public yet. But let me just say it is a really cool idea.

At the Day Prize presentation, Matt Feazel got the Lifetime Achievement award. He also got two very nice pieces of original art from Dave and Ger: Dave had done a drawing of Matt and then Ger had colored in a copy of it. Really nice looking. The Day Prize was then given out, and everyone left to go back in line. When we got there, Ger was by himself and we were wondering where Dave was at. About 10 minutes later he shows up, and the signing and sketching begun again.

I got a really nice sketch in my Reads phonebook, and made small talk as much as I could. I asked Dave about the Cerebus #7 with no blue on the cover and if it was real or a cheap knockoff by someone. He stated that was real, and it also had no inside front or back cover. He said that when he went to check out the file copies that he had a couple #7s with no blue on the cover. He stated that he liked those copies better then the other copies ‘cause they didn’t have the wedding picture in them. Ahh, Dave – it was hard to tell if he was joking or not. I laughed though, as I thought it was funny.

After getting my sketch completed by Ger, I said goodbye to Dave & Ger and Dave was like you’re saying goodbye like you won’t see us the rest of the day, and you know you will. I just giggle nervously, remembering the first time me and Tony were at SPACE and how we came back for a second pass though the line. Heh.

Lenny, Larry and myself went to grab some appetizers in the restaurant and some drinks, as we were thirsty and would need a little something to hold us over until the Sausage Fest. While we were sitting there enjoying a moment’s rest and some good eats, Jason Trimmer shows up and says hello. We talk a little about his up coming art show “The Bookes of Cerebus: The Comic Art of Dave Sim and Gerhard” which will be opening up at St. Bonaventure University’s The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on September 23, 2005 with an artist talk and reception on Oct 1 at 1pm.

Afterward lunch I head down to the lobby and chill out there for a while. Josh Flowers is there, taking a break from it all. Occasionally we turn around to see what Dave and Ger are doing. More Cerebites show up, and some leave, and then return, but the Hotel Lobby was the gathering place. There was an intense discussion on Cerebus Canon and what is to be considered Iconic or High Iconic, which many stories and reasons being thrown around. The con was drawing to a close, but there was no sign of Dave or Ger. Last year we had made it clear by asking them to take pictures with the Yahoo!Group. This year, we didn’t, and so paid the price: Dave had gone up to his room to relax before dinner and Ger had mysteriously disappeared as well. Dave had been feeling a bit under the weather last week, and he had told me when I was in line that at the start of the day he would feel fine but as the day wore on, the would get more and more tired. So I could understand his need for a breather.

So the Cerebites decided to head over to the Sausage Haus, as we were getting hungry. People kept leaving the lobby though, and going upstairs for stuff or like Jeff S, to change into more proper attire. After the crew was rounded up, and Jason said he was headed to his parents for dinner, we headed over in two cars to the restaurant.

This time would be different then last year: no getting lost for us, we had printed two sets of directions and each car had one. Lenny’s car took the lead position while Jeff T followed. Lenny drove like a typical New Yorker, and we all got lost again. The directions had led us astray, but Lenny’s car of people managed to figure it out, and so did we and after a couple turns we ended up at the Sausage Haus.

There were quite a few people waiting outside, and it was a beautiful evening for it, unlike last year’s snowstorm. Jeff S. went inside and gave our name and number of people for a table and came back out with the news: an hour and a half wait. Would we stay for it or find somewhere else?

We would stay, for it was sausages and beer. We looked around the Fudge Haus, and a few comments about how Sausages and Fudge don’t really mix were made, but I thought: both were tasty, what more need be said? Part of the group wanted to have drinks, so they made their way to a bar while some of us hung around and waited for the table.

We didn’t have to wait long, as they called us early, only after 45 minutes of waiting, which wasn’t really that long after snacking on a little bit of chocolate and waiting outside in the warm spring air. We got our table, which was only three small tables with 9 chairs crammed around them. A group of six got up and left and I told Josh to grab a table. He didn’t get up in time as a guy came around to clean off the time. I called him over to the table and asked him if we could have an extra table as there were nine of us and a little elbow room would be appreciated. He said he’d have to ask the manager, and so a couple minutes later the manager came over. I repeated my request and he looked around, another table of four had left, and he said, lets take a table from here instead, if that will do you? I said that would be excellent and it was most appreciated.

We stretched out and the waitress came by for drink orders. I asked for a Schmidt’s Golden and she said sorry, they were all out of that and of potato salad. A hush fell around the table. Noooooooo! I cried out, raising my first in fury. Gah! So I just settled for another beer, a wunkle I think it was called. She asked, small, medium or large. I pondered the question for all of two seconds and said large.

When she brought out the drinks, and gave me my buggid of beer, I was calling Jeff T for the 10th time. The Cerebites who had stayed at the Haus had been seated, but those who had gone to the bar had not yet returned. I was nervous that their seats and the table would be taken away from us, and then they would show up with no place to sit. Josh went out to look for them, but came back empty handed.

Finally they showed up, and I went outside to ensure that they knew were seated at our table and didn’t just up and leave them. The waitress came around and took more drink orders and finally we got to go to the sausage bar. Last year I had something off the menu, but this year it was the sausage bar for me. I’m definitely going to starve myself before going again, so I can eat more then one plate. Heck, Paula had like two or three plates, granted she put that icky green stuff (lettuce and salad stuff) on her plate, but still, my one plate pales in comparison. Of course, I had started working on my second buggid of beer, so perhaps that was taking up all the room in my tummy.

For desert it was huge creampuffs all around, and once again, I couldn’t finish mine. ::sigh:: so tasty! I did manage to finish that second buggid of beer though. Heh. Josh mentioned, reminded us actually, that he had to take off for Kentucky, and had to leave that night. So we all headed back to the hotel were we said our good byes to Josh. Also – thanks to Josh for the DVDs of Dave’s panel at last year’s SPACE con, for only $2 that was an awesome deal.

We got back to the hotel and went to sit in the bar, but saw a table and decided to sit there. Just as we were going to make ourselves comfortable a hotel employee comes up to us and tells us that the restaurant is close and if we want to order anything it’d have to be from the bar. We reply that we just want to sit and talk and if we need any drinks we’ll be okay getting to get them from the bar. So we sit down and Jeff T and myself head over for beers. After getting the beers we start to get up to sit at the table and the hotel employee stopped us and said what did I tell you, if you want to have something you’ll have to have it at the bar, we can’t have you sitting at the table with it.

::sigh:: Okay, I understand why, ‘cause she didn’t want to have to clean up our “mess” herself – though we would bring our glasses / bottles back to the bar – but still, would it really kill her to let us sit there until the bar closed? It was only 11pm or so, and the bar was still opened for a few more hours. After the excellent customer service the first day at the hotel check in, this lack of customer service just astounded me. They lost some money from us as we took our beers and headed upstairs to Jeff T’s room.

In Jeff T’s room, Pat, Paula, Matt, Lenny, Larry and myself were regaled with Jeff S’s tale of how he gave (loaned) his brother three hundred bucks, spent a night in jail and was late to his father’s place for father’s day. Jeff T kept handing me mini comic after mini comic of all the good stuff he had managed to pick up. Which was a lot: the entire bed was covered in comics.

After Matt told us a story, which my two buggids worth of beer addled mind can’t remember now, Larry excused himself for the night. I did the same, as I was exhausted after being up since 6:30 am. When I got back up to my room, I was hunting for my travel itinerary so I knew what time I had to leave in the morning. I couldn’t find it. I tore everything apart looking for it, but it wasn’t there. So I went downstairs to get online on the hotel computers and I found what time I had to leave: about 6am. My flight left at the early time of 9:10 am and after the security debacle at TF Green in Providence (well, Warwick actually, but lets not nitpick okay?) I wanted to give myself plenty of time. I couldn’t remember how long it took to drive to the hotel, but I was thinking an hour for that at the most (which it wasn’t, but again, two buggids of beer), and then an hour for check in and security.

When the alarm went off at that morning, I didn’t really want to get up. I had a slight headache, but that was it, well, other then still being tired. I made my way to the airport, and to home, to start planning next year’s trip.

Well, actually, to start planning scanning in those Cerebus notebooks. I’ve rearranged my computer set up so the scanner is on the desk and it will be easier to scan in stuff. Tomorrow at work I’m going to make off with a couple pairs of gloves, which I don’t think they’ll mind for such a good cause. As I scan in pages I’ll start indexing them, I want to put them on the website so you guys can see them, as I’m pretty excited about all the cool info in them and the discussions about them we can have!

There are also a few other SPACE reports out there to check out:

From the Cerebus Fangirl Site found on the web at: contents maybe printed for later reading if you so desire, just don't copy it and say it's yours though.