It seems that October is a great time to like independent comics. October 4th was 24 Hour Comic Book Day, which is explained here. And now, we’ve just had APE (Alternative Press Expo) this past weekend in San Francisco.
It’s fitting that APE is a part of Comic-Con International, as the convention is reminiscent of “Artist’s Alley.” For those who have never been down the “Alley,” I’ll give you a little taste. “Artist Alley” is simply a long parade of tables, featuring a range of artists, some presenting comic books and stories, while others offer prints and singular pictures and you would find well known artists sitting next to a struggling one. APE is this on a larger scale.
It’s like the punk rock convention of the Comic-Con series (the other two conventions being WonderCon and Comic Con). It has the same scheduling as the bigger conventions, with panels and signings and ways for attendees to share their work. But it has a far more home-grown feeling. The panels are great, but instead of a big meeting room, its just a room that is created by curtains. During the Daniel Clowes (creator of such works as “Ghost World”) panel, the only question I heard was from the girl sitting right next to me because the rumble of the crowd on the other side of the curtain. But where that might be detrimental to a panel at WonderCon, it seemed to be the accepted practice of APE. It’s a more intimate affair. I could also buy a $6 Gin and Tonic, which definitely is not something you can find at other conventions
APE is one of the best ways to find new artists and writers. The people listed below are various comics that I was really fond of. There is a passion in their work. Where the artists and writers featured at WonderCon and Comic Con are more likely to be there because this is their job, the majority of the people found at APE are there because of their passion. At the very least, it is always inspiring to see how people are using comics as their creative outlet.
The list below are some of the people I was able to meet during the weekend. Some of them will be featured in the immediate future for posts. Please check out their work and see some of the unexplored territory of independent comics.