I attended APE this year in San Francisco. APE is a lot like Comicon down in San Diego except that the artists and writers at APE don’t have a deal with a big named publisher and/or they don’t write comics about men who wear capes and women who fight crime in their panties. From walking the floor and browsing tables it appears that comics can be, and are, about just anything! There were comics set in the past, present, and future. There were funny comics, serious comics, comics drawn well and comics drawn poorly. There was even a guy there who was selling every Jack Chick publication?!
I hadn’t intended to purchase anything at APE, but once I met up with internet friend, Nich Maragos, who knows a lot more about this stuff than I do, was only too happy to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for the art with me which lead to some purchases. Which by itself isn’t a bad thing seeing as the holidays are coming up and I know a number of people who would appreciate some good graphic novels. I also had the opportunity to meet and talk to several artist/writers: Craig Thompson, Kate Beaton, Shaenon K. Garrity, Jason Thompson, Shannon Wheeler, Elle Skinner, Scott Campbell and so many more who’s names have slipped my mind or cards I’ve lost.
What else? Oh, I ran into Tim Schafer at the Double Fine booth and he was nice enough to hit me in the chest with his yo-yo, while we were there we also lamented the fact that they couldn’t market anything with a muppet on it due to Sesame Street’s strict licensing agreements. Shannon Wheeler was more than happy to share with those who talked to him original pieces of Too Much Coffee Man panels as well as endless humorous anecdotes about his time in the industry. I especially enjoyed his story about how in the 90’s when every comic was selling with some gimmick (foil or holograms) they wanted to do something but wanted to keep costs way down and so went out with guns and shot a bunch of comics, the larger the caliber of bullet the more damage done to and cost of the comic =P
Finally, and this might be the best part of APE is that when you purchase a comic or book after talking to the author they’re more than happy to personalize it for you!
All in all I had wonderful time at the Expo and I’m hoping I can make it to next year’s.
PS – again, I want to thank Nich for letting me taglong at APE and Shivam for hosting us and many other friends afterwards.