Alternative Press Expo
Rick Geary, creator of the various “Murder Treasury” books published by NBM Publishing, will be on hand this weekend at the Alternative Press Expo to debut his new book Madison Square Tragedy: The Murder of Stanford White.
Here’s a description:
Stanford White is one of New York’s most famous architects having designed many mansions and the first Madison Square Garden. His influence on New York’s look at the turn of the century was pervasive. As he became popular and in demand, he also became quite self-indulgent. He had a taste for budding young showgirls on Broadway, even setting up a private apartment to entertain them in, including a room with… a red velvet swing. When he meets Evelyn Nesbit, an exquisite young nymph, cover girl, showgirl, inspiration for Charles Dana Gibson’s “The Eternal Question” and for the later movie “The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing,” he knows he’s on to something special. However, Evelyn eventually marries a young Pittsburgh decadent heir with a dark side who develops a deep hatred for White and what he may or may not have done to her, setting up the most scandalous murder of the time.
Geary has proved to be an adept and engrossing storyteller as he recounts the stories around these murders, so if you’re attending the show, be sure to stop by the NBM table (#203) and check this one out. Alternative Press Expo runs Saturday and Sunday at the Concourse in San Francisco.
Drawn and Quarterly has announced its debuts and signing schedule for this weekend’s Alternative Press Expo, which will be your first opportunity to buy the newest book from APE special guest Anders Nilsen (Big Questions).
“Anders has always created pretty epic works in the past, and I think Rage of Poseidon really falls into that category,” D+Q’s Tracy Hurren said in July at Comic-Con International. “It combines his interest in philosophy and religion and myth, which we saw in Big Questions, in a style that’s more similar to what’s seen in ‘Monologues for Calculating the Destiny of Black Holes,’ although you can see the style’s a little divergent from that, too, using silhouettes with very sparse backgrounds.”
If you’re attending the Alternative Press Expo this weekend in San Francisco, be sure to check out table 523, which will be the temporary home of Rina Ayuyang’s Yam Books. The publisher will be debuting the latest haunting-yet-mesmerizing book by cartoonist Renee French, Hagelbarger and That Nightmare Goat.
As the press release states, Hagelbarger and That Nightmare Goat is “a stunning vignette full of rich imagery and comics hi-jinx that tells the tale of Renee’s favorite bulbous aquatic hero, Hagelbarger, in a perilous adventure with his pals Tiffo and Hap, battling that villainous goat.” No doubt it will be equal parts adorable and frightening.
Check out the full cover below. The Alternative Press Expo, or APE, runs Oct. 12-13 at the Concourse in San Francisco.
This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the Bay Area’s Alternative Press Expo, and Comic-Con International has announced the special guests who will be in attendance when it returns to the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco Oct. 12-13 for what will be its last show at the venue.
This year’s special guests are:
- Colleen Coover, co-creator (with husband Paul Tobin) of Gingerbread Girl and the Eisner-nominated Bandette. She’s also the creator of Small Favors and Banana Sunday.
- Bill Griffith, the legendary creator of the comic strip Zippy the Pinhead.
- Anders Nilsen, creator of Big Questions, The End, Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow and Dogs and Water.
- Diane Noomin, creator of DiDi Glitz and editor of the Twisted Sisters anthologies of women cartoonists.
- Raina Telgemeier, creator of the popular all-ages graphic novels Smile and Drama
APE was started in 1994 by SLG Publishing’s Dan Vado and was held in San Jose until 1999. It moved to San Francisco after that and has been held at the Concourse since 2004. But according to CCI, the show will be looking for a new home next year. “Sadly, we have been notified that this will be the last year for APE at that location,” a statement on the show’s website reads. “The Concourse is scheduled to be razed at some point in the future to make room for new condominiums.”
The Alternative Press Expo, or APE, kicked off today in San Francisco, and I made the trek up north to partake in comic culture-dom. I missed the show last year, and in fact haven’t been to a comic convention since SDCC in 2010, so it was fun to get back into the con groove. And APE is just the place to do it, with its laid back vibe and focus on making, buying and talking about comics.
Like I said, I missed last year’s show, so I have no idea how the crowds compared or the size of the place compared. Since I first started attending the show in 2007, they’ve switched up the layout of the place, and it seemed much bigger, with more exhibitors, than it has in the past. There seemed to be a bunch of people there, many with kids, and the folks exhibiting who I talked to for the most part seemed to be happy with the turn out. The weather was beautiful, which can sometimes be a hindrance; San Francisco doesn’t have that many days per year where there’s lots of sunshine and it’s very warm outside, so you never know when someone might decide to hit the park instead of, say, a convention. It’ll be interesting to hear what the CCI folks say about attendance this year
The Alternative Press Expo, or APE, returns to the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco this weekend. The show’s special guests are Groo creator Sergio Aragonés, Flood creator Eric Drooker, all three legendary Hernandez Brothers, The Cardboard Valise creator Ben Katchor, jobnik! creator Miriam Libicki, and Weathercraft creator and giant pen owner Jim Woodring, all of whom have spotlight panels over the course of the two days. In addition, other guests attending the show include Shannon Wheeler, Stan Mack, Justin Hall, Derek Kirk Kim, Jason Shiga, Thien Pham, Jamaica Dyer and many more.
In addition to the spotlight panels, the show has panels on politics and comics, censorship, queer cartoonists and a “Gigantes” meet-up with the Hernandez Bros. and Aragones. They also have workshop panels if you’re interested in making comics and a “creator connection” that allows aspiring creators to find writers or artists to work with.
The show is usually one of my favorites of the year, mainly because it’s so easy going and loaded with opportunities to discover something new and cool. Here’s a round-up of some of the folks you can see and buy cool stuff from at the show, as well as things to do inside and outside of the Concourse:
Prism Comics, the nonprofit group that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender creators and comics, has opened submissions for this year’s Queer Press Grant.
The grant is awarded to writers/artists or teams working on comic books, comic strips, webcomics or graphic novels with significant LGBT characters and themes. Creators don’t need to be LGBT to apply; entries are judged by the Prism board and past recipients based first on artistic merit, and then financial need, proposal presentation and the work’s contributions to the LGBT community.
“The Queer Press Grant is a significant resource to help promote LGBT themes in independent comics, and to support up-and-coming cartoonists bringing their projects into the world,” Justin Hall, Prism’s talent relations chair, said in a statement. “Every year, the QPG gives both financial support and extra publicity to a worthy recipient.”
Past winners include Robert Kirby, Eric Orner, Megan Gedris and Ed Luce.
Guidelines can be found on the Prism website. The deadline is Oct. 1, with the winner announced at the Oct. 13-14 Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco.
Distributors | Johanna Draper Carlson catches a couple of tweets from publishers indicating that independent-comics distributor Haven, formed in 2008 from the assets of Cold Cut Distribution, is shutting down at the end of the month. Calls for confirmation this morning to Haven’s Skokie, Illinois, offices went to voicemail. The company’s closing would leave Diamond without any significant competition for independent comics distribution — print comics, at least. As Johanna notes, the industry giant still has a rival in another quarter: digital distributor comiXology. [Comics Worth Reading]
Legal | The defense rested in the Michael George trial Tuesday after the comics retailer, who is accused in the 1990 murder of his first wife, chose not to take the stand. His lawyers argued that if he were to do so, his testimony would become the sole focus of the trial. George’s current wife Renee, who was kept out of the courtroom for most of the trial in case she was called as a witness, also did not testify. Closing arguments are scheduled for Thursday, and then the case will be sent to the jury. [Detroit Free Press]
Legal | Defense testimony began in the Michael George trial Monday after the judge denied a motion by the defense to order an acquittal. George’s daughter Tracie testified that she remembers her father sleeping on the couch in his mother’s house the night in 1990 when his first wife Barbara was shot and killed in their Clinton Township, Michigan, comic store. Another defense witness, Douglas Kenyon, told the jury he saw a “suspicious person” in the store that evening and that Barbara George, who waited on him, seemed nervous. [Detroit Free Press]
Conventions | Last weekend’s Alternative Press Expo inspired Deb Aoki to offer a burst of suggestions on Twitter as to how it could be made better. Heidi MacDonald collected the tweets into a single post, and the commenters add some worthwhile points (including not scheduling it opposite the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, which attracts much of the same audience and is free). [Deb Aoki's Twitter, The Beat]
Awards | Ian Culbard’s adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness won the British Fantasy Award for best comic/graphic novel, presented Saturday by the British Fantasy Society. [The British Fantasy Society]
Comics retailer Isotope Comics in San Francisco is once again hosting their annual mini-comics award competition, and — AHHHH!!! — entries are due Monday by midnight!
“It’s my favorite time of year, when we get an opportunity to help spotlight a creator who is toiling in the underground making something magical that almost no one has seen yet… seriously, what could be more exciting?!” said Isotope retailer James Sime, “I consider the winner to be the comic industry’s Miss America for the year, it’s the Isotope’s job to get their work out there to the comics press and reviewers. And I’m proud to say that winning this award has helped some amazingly talented folks get noticed and published by some of the best and coolest comic publishers in our industry. So don’t be shy… I know that many of you out there are hand-crafting some mini-comics brilliance, let us help share your work with the world!”
Past winners of the award include Joshua W. Cotter, Max Riffner, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey and Danica Novgorodoff, among many others. To enter this competition, simply send five copies of your mini-comic to Isotope’s address (326 Fell St. San Francisco, CA 94102) before the Sept. 26 deadline.
Wheeler is also one of the special guests at the show this year, which also include Kate Beaton, Daniel Clowes, Craig Thompson, Matthew Thurber and Adrian Tomine. APE runs Oct. 1-2 in San Francisco.
Over on the CBR mothership, two potential “book of the year” candidates are talking about what makes them tick. First up is Daniel Clowes, author of Wilson. In a report on Clowes’s Dan Nadel-hosted spotlight panel at APE, CBR’s Karl Kelly reveals that Clowes thinks none too highly of the readability of classic comics even by artists he admires:
“I realized at a certain point that the thing that keeps me drawing comics and the thing that has always moved me along is that comics history is really disappointing,” Clowes responded. “It’s not the same as the history of novels, history of art, history of movies, the body of work is pretty spotty. The things we imagined don’t really exist. We imagine that Alex Toth did really amazing comics in the 50s that really worked, that were like Howard Hawk’s movies, but he didn’t do that. He never made a comic you could read. It’s terrible, and I say that thinking that he was one of the greatest geniuses of the 20th Century.”
Pigeon Press wuz robbed! Publisher Alvin Buenaventura reports that his new publishing venture had two copies of the legendary, gigantic, expensive hardcover anthology Kramers Ergot 7 stolen from its table at APE this past Sunday morning. Buenaventura, who’s had a rough enough year as it is, is looking for help from any APE exhibitors and attendees who may have witnessed the thieves in action. With a book that size, they’d be hard to miss.
If you were at APE and you saw something, say something! Not only will you help catch a thief and (hopefully) facilitate the return of some very expensive merchandise, you’ll also help solve the mystery of how anyone could waltz away with two copies of a book roughly the size of a Great Dane.
While Saturday in San Francisco was beautiful, Sunday brought rain — so what better way to spend time indoors than to hang out at the Alternative Press Expo? I got there a little earlier on Sunday than I did the day before, so it was a little less crowded when I arrived. That would change as the day went on.
I had about half an hour to kill before the Writers Old Fashioned panel at noon, so I headed to their booth to find a copy of Pete Hodapp’s award-winning minicomic. Retailer James Sime, who runs the Isotope minicomics awards every year, had tweeted that the winner would be APE selling copies of his book, so I wanted to make sure I picked one up. Hodapp was at the WOF table with Kirsten Baldock, who works at Isotope and is a writer as well. I missed the party the night before, but Baldock had great things to say about his acceptance speech, and I was glad I got a copy before they were all snatched up.
After that I started slowly making my way toward the room where the panels were being held, stopping at a few tables to see what people had. I met Barry Deutsch, who was there with copies of his book Hereville, and we talked while he moved from one table to another. I also met Charles Yoakum and bought a copy of his crime comic, The Carnival. Yoakum worked for years as an inker, doing books like Bloodshot, Turok, Magnus Robot Fighter, Batman: Outlaws and many more. He said he stepped away from comics around 2000, and only recently returned. He inked Paul Gulacy’s pencils in the Radical series Time Bomb, and he’s writing and drawing his own comics as well … which is what brought him to the show.