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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:
Matt Maxwell announced yesterday that his second Strangeways graphic novel, The Thirsty will be in the upcoming Previews catalog under the order code item FEB121066. For those not familiar with it, Strangeways is a series of horror-Western graphic novels written by Maxwell and drawn by Argentinian artists Gervasio and Jok. The first Strangeways novel, Murder Moon plunked former Union officer Seth Collins into the Weird West to confront a werewolf; The Thirsty brings him to a new town infested with vampires.
Maxwell has serialized The Thirsty here on Robot 6 and is currently doing so again on his own site (where you can also read Murder Moon in its entirety), but this will be the first time it’s available in print.
Around here, we’re big fans of Strangeways, Matt Maxwell’s series of horror-Western graphic novels. Maxwelll’s practically family, having serialized his second book The Thirsty on Robot 6, so it’s exciting that he’s now announced the third volume. Whereas Murder Moon was a werewolf tale and The Thirsty featured vampires, The Land Will Know is all about the ghosts. Maxwell calls it “the campfire ghost story reinvented” and describes it as sort of an EC-inspired anthology, but with a bridge story that ties the individual tales together into a single piece.
He’s started announcing artists for the various stories, but more details will be coming later. Gervasio and Jok (who’ve both worked on Strangeways before) will be drawing the bridge story as well as one of the other tales. Benjamin Dewey (Dark Horse Presents), Tom Neely (The Blot, The Wolf), and Tom Fowler (Venom) will each be doing stories as well. Check out Maxwell’s website for more details, samples of the artists’ work, and future updates.
The final page of STRANGEWAYS: THE THIRSTY here at Robot 6. Debriefing to follow.
Yeah, wrap-up will be coming later. Thanks for reading along, folks.
Still gonna be at Wonder-Con. Still gonna be in the small press area. And I’ll bet you a dollar that nobody will ask for a five minute story, even though I don’t usually charge for them. Betcha.
And as a reminder, I’ll be at this weekend’s Wonder-Con in San Francisco, over in the small press area. Probably going to be at the thing at the Isotope on Saturday. And eating at Henry’s Hunan sometime. Mmmm…Hunan ham…
Back next week.
Less grumpy, but still, don’t poke me.
Back next week.
Long trip back from Seattle plus time change plus bad news = grouchy author. Do not poke grouchy author. Just read pages instead.
Back Wednesday. Hopefully less grouchy, but wouldn’t bet on it.
Silent panel. Does it work? Does it not? Still feelin’ that out.
And again, as a reminder, I’ll be up at the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle this weekend (first big show of the year for me!). I’m in the C’s of Artist’s Alley, so come on by and say hello and remind me that real people do indeed read this strip on a weekly basis, or I’m gonna end up thinking that all my commentors are just figments of my imagination.
As usual, Five Minute Stories will be available for those who ask nicely, provide three words and something to write upon. If you don’t provide those, how can I be expected to provide a story in return? Plenty of show-priced collections of MURDER MOON, as well as the ashcan version of the first chapter of THE THIRSTY. And you can even hit me up for a sketch, but it’ll probably end up coming from my extensive swipe file.
See you back here next week.
Joe’s dead, baby. Joe’s dead.
Just the first of many reminders, but I’ll be up at the Emerald City Comic Con this weekend, somewhere in the J tables of Artist’s Alley. Looking forward to the show, may even get a chance to see some of it, as I’ll have tablemates to help watch things if I want to stretch my legs. The guys from BRAINS, Anthony Leano and Paul Allen, will be splitting the table with me, so you can wet your horror whistle in more ways than one. Should be a good show.
Hey, anyone know a good Mediterranean/Persian restaurant in Seattle? I could do with some koubideh. Or maybe a nice shawerma.
Back on Wednesday.
Uh-oh. That can’t be the way they planned all that.
See you all next week.
Back on track to two pages a week.
Of course, now that I’ve said that, I’ll cut my pinky off or something…
Well, looks like someone has a bunch of new best friends.
Let’s see how that works out on Wednesday.