Only one time in my life have I ever sat in a room filled with the spirit of genuine enlightenment. It was when I attended an evening with Ram Dass at the Victoria Theater in Dayton, Ohio. He filled a room with his presence and every person in attendance knew that every word he spoke was given straight to them as a gift from the source of all wisdom. I've never felt such presence emanate from another individual in all my life. Until this afternoon when I sat and watched one of the kindest, gentlest souls I've ever witnessed handing out agape love like he had access to an endless supply of it.
Guy Davis has paid his dues. I can't even begin to imagine the hours he's invested in developing his craft, let alone the number of miles he's traveled to sit behind eight foot tables to ply his wares. The man has earned the right to pass over all but the largest of conventions in the most culturally enlightened of metropolitan cities. Yet there he was on a Sunday afternoon in the overcrowded basement of a Columbus, Ohio Ramada Inn with the lights flickering and threatening to go completely dark at any moment, not as a big fish in a little pond, but as one of a group of regular people gathered together to share a common love of comic books.
Pilgrim after pilgrim handed him small drawings, hoping for nothing more than a positive word of encouragement and he treated each offering as if it was a treasure he'd been blessed to receive and he would not allow a single soul to leave his table until he'd traded them for a shirt, a book or a drawing of his own. He made friends, not fans and it was something magical and wonderful to watch. He made each one of us who visited his table feel as if we were the most important person he'd spent time with during the entire afternoon. It was an experience I'll never forget.
I went to SPACE (Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo) in Columbus, Ohio to meet the Legendary, Guy Davis. I could have paid my monies to enter the event, walked to his table, got my photo and autograph and left the convention a completely happy and satisfied man, but Guy gave me something far more valuable than a celebrity photo and a signed book. Guy Davis reminded me how special and unique we all are and that each and every one of has a gift that only we can share with everyone else in the world around us. His gift enabled me to share an afternoon with a wonderful group of people, each one of which enriched the experience of the day and sent me home feeling refreshed, renewed and invigorated.
Space turned out to be far more than I expected it to be. It wasn't just a gathering of small press dealers hawking their wares. It was a fellowship of people who share a genuine passion and love for comic books. We held church and it was indeed a religious experience. SPACE is an event for anyone who reads comic books whether they ever become a collectible item or not. Every collector of comics should make a pilgrimage to this show at least once in their lifetime and experience comic book love in its purest form. This is a convention stripped of plasma screens, Hollywood celebrities and thousand dollar booths. It isn't about major announcements, movie premieres and internet lounges. SPACE is about the books, the people who make them and those of us who read them. It is about shaking hands, exchanging contact information and making new friends. This was my first trip to SPACE, but it certainly won't be my last. My thanks go out to Guy Davis and all of the great people who made this such a wonderful day. See you all next year?