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:
It’s fast becoming Jamaica Dyer week here at Robot 6. Yesterday she contributed to the weekly What Are You Reading column, and today she is the subject of an interview. Dyer joined me in this email interview mostly to discuss the serialization of her graphic novel, Fox Head Stew (at MTV Geek), the tale of two twentysomethings–Dee and Sam (aka Bunny Boy)–making their way through life. But she was also enthused to discuss the Isotope Comics-arranged Live Art Show as part of San Francisco’s Noise Pop Music Festival 20th Anniversary. My thanks to Dyer for her time.
Tim O’Shea: While Fox Head Stew is being serialized at MTV Geek, I am curious are you looking to release it through a traditional publisher at some point?
Jamaica Dyer: Yes, I would love to see Fox Head Stew printed as a book. I don’t have a publisher for it yet but I’m definitely on the market! I did some print-on-demand copies last year and it looks amazing on paper. Finding a publisher for it is difficult, because while it’s the sort of story that indie publishers like, they typically only print black and white books, and I have to insist on having it printed in color. It’s my own fault for insisting on painting the whole thing!
My hope is that through exposure on MTV Geek, the audience might decide that a book about girls experimenting in college, glam rock bands, and psychedelic fantasy sequences rendered in watercolor are the sort of stories they want to read in comics! There’s a definite perception in mainstream comics of superheros and action stories, but this is an exciting opportunity to change that perception and expose new genres to the MTV audience.
Passings | Richard Alf, who as a teenager fronted the money for the first three years of San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con, the annual event that later became Comic-Con International, passed away Wednesday from pancreatic cancer. He was 59. Alf, who co-chaired the first convention in 1970 and became chairman the following year, later opened Comic Kingdom in North Slope, a business he sold by the end of the decade. [U-T San Diego, Mark Evanier]
Conventions | iFanboy, San Francisco’s Isotope Comics and Grant Morrison are teaming up for MorrisonCon, which will feature “A once in a lifetime opportunity to see Grant Morrison and 9 hand picked comic creator superstars, all together for one weekend, one time only.” They’ve released few details so far, but the website says it’ll occur next fall. [MorrisonCon]
Awards | Comic-Con International is now accepting submissions for the 2012 Eisner Awards, which will be presented in San Diego in July. The deadline for submitting materials for consideration is March 6. [CCI]
Isotope Comics in San Francisco will host DC Comics’ traveling New 52 Art Tour in December, as all month long they’ll display six 11×17 sets of artwork (from script to inks to the final full-color production pages), along with every page from Batwoman #3.
And to kick it off, they’re planning a pair of events to kick it off on Saturday, Dec. 3. During the day they’ll host an all-ages autograph signing with Batwoman‘s JH Williams III and W. Haden Blackman, followed that night by an afterparty with both creators, Batwoman-themed cocktails and special highball glasses designed by Williams. The afterparty is a ticketed event, and you buy tickets here.
You can find an image of the glass after the jump.
Isotope Comics in San Francisco will welcome Supergods and Action Comics writer Grant Morrison to their shop on Saturday, not only for a signing during the day, but also for one of their famous evening happy hours.
Both events will require advance tickets, which include a copy of his new book Supergods. The evening event also includes a Grant Morrison Supergods Commemorative Lowball with artwork by Cameron Stewart and Sonia Harris from Comics Should Be Good.
You can find all the details on Isotope’s site, and check out the lowball artwork after the jump.
With fans chomping at the bit to see J.H. Williams III return in the new Batwoman series this September, you might get your fix first in your local record store iTunes. Last week it was announced that the California-based artist is working with legendary post-punk band Blondie for artwork on an upcoming album.
This matchmaking was done by San Francisco comic store owner James Sime of Isotope Comics. Sime is a regular on the Bay Area music scene, and finagled himself and Williams backstage at a recent Blondie show. Sime tells a heartwarming story on the Isotope blog of a impromptu moment of mutual admiration between Williams and the band members of Blondie. That chance meeting turned into business, as their full-on collaboration was announced for a deluxe edition of Blondie’s new album Panic Of Girls. No word yet on when this will see the light of day, but now you have one more reason to tune in to Blondie.
Go over to Williams’ own site to read his thoughts.
Kirkman will be heading up a bar crawl of drinking establishments in the Bay Area. Intended for those of legal drinking age and up (21 in California), this event will feature a San Francisco tour bus to the various hotspots in San Francisco. On board will be Kirkman, as well as Isotope proprietor James Sime as well as iFanboy co-founders Conor Kilpatrick and Ron Richards.
For the price of a $50 ticket, people will get “VIP transport” to every stop on the crawl, an exclusive Walking Dead SF Bar Crawl Survival Guide, as well as the chance to rub shoulders with zombie impresario Robert Kirkman.
“Wear your best zombie gear, indulge in one of the many of The Walking Dead drink specials the bars will be serving all night, and get a personal introduction to Robert Kirkman from yours truly! What could be better!?” stated Sime in a press release.
Tickets are limited, so go to Isotopecomics.com or iFanboy.com by today to secure tickets when they go on sale at 3 p.m. Eastern / Noon Pacific today. For those that don’t get tickets before they sell out, Image will be hosting a raffle at their booth at WonderCon this weekend.