We had a great time at the 2013 Alternative Press Expo (APE), seeing inspiring artists’ work, talking to fellow comics fans and, of course, debuting Renee French’s new book “Hagelbarger and That Nightmare Goat.” Thanks to everyone who stopped by and bought this beautiful book. We got the book from the printers the evening before the show, and we could not be happier at how it turned out. Thanks to 1984 Printing for their awesome work.
Renee drew in everyone’s books all weekend, participated in two panels back-to-back on Saturday and dazzled all her adoring fans with her magnetic personality (I am sure Renee spit up her drink just reading that.)
Those who purchased the book walked away with a free button and a tiny, secret Hagelbarger map print to tuck away in one of their favorite pages of book. Renee is the best, and I am so thrilled to get the chance to showcase more of her astounding work. If you weren’t at the show, get your copy of Renee’s book here in our webshop!
APE was amazingly crowded this year which was in contrast to last year, where crowds and sales were slow even though Los Bros Hernandez were present to celebrate their 30th anniversary of Love and Rockets. surprising. Sure, the show was celebrating its 25th anniversary this time around, but it seemed like a footnote. I am hopeful that with the show moving back to Fort Mason, there will be more enthusiasm for the show and more comics fans and creators will want to attend and exhibit. (And I hope to sell tons of comics to the sunbathing residents of the Marina District.)
Don’t get me wrong, I love APE and I’m grateful that I have it as my local show. And as usual, am happy that I got to connect with Bay Area cartoonist pals like Tyler Cohen, Eli Bishop, Thi Bui, Wahab Algarmi, Veronica Graham, Ed Luce, Alec Longstreth, his talented wife, Claire tabling next to my Portlander bro, Greg Means. Also got to see Ben Catmull who was showing off his beautiful coffee table book, Ghosts and Ruins, and Janelle Hessig who was promoting all sorts of comics at the neighboring Last Gasp table. I was happy to see artists who are now stationed in the East Coast like Jesse Reklaw, debuting his collection of Couch Tag at the Fantagraphics table, and it was a true honor to talk to Nick Bertozzi who I have been a fan of for years. I was excited to finally buy the latest issue of Rubber Necker.
Big wonderful surprise sighting: Scott Roberts who came all the way from Chicago. We talked about being in fantasy football leagues. He’s the commissioner of his own league! (He was also recording the Packers game that Sunday so he could watch when he got home later.) We made initial plans to start a Cartoonists FFL with hopes to gain more than the mandatory 4 participants next football season. Also cool to see Joan Reilly who sold out of the Feminist Big But anthology that she co-edited with Shannon O’Leary. Nice to talk to Eric Reynolds at the Fantagraphics booth, and to stand patiently in the long line at the Drawn and Quarterly table to get the debut book “Rage of Poseidon” signed by Anders Nilsen. He’s such a patient dude and amazing artist.
One of the best moments was staring at Bill Griffith draw a comic strip behind the Fantagraphics table. Of course I didn’t talk to him because I am totally unworthy of doing that. (The only thing you can really do is shut up and watch.)
One of my favorite purchases at the show was this sketchbook zine of baseball players called “Pictures of Pitchers” drawn by Katherine Wirick– A nice buy during October baseball. Also got the latest Love and Rockets and the new issue of Adrian Tomine’s Optic Nerve which fondly reminded me of his earlier stories.
Anyway, thanks to APE for a fun show, and of course, to thee one and only Renee French for making such an amazing book and for signing at the table all weekend. Also thank you to Ken McCarty and Josh Frankel for helping out at the table, and for Lark Pien for hanging out and sharing some laughs on Saturday too. Till next year.