Report from Alternative Pres Expo 2013

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I hopped on the Greyhound going from LA to San Jose and seven hours later I was in the company of friends and collaborators JTMB, PJ, and Sean (Sean do you have a website?). We spent the morning catching up and drinking too much coffee before jumping into PJ’s car and driving up to San Fran and the EXPO. Inside we went our separate ways so as to more effectively spread the message of our respective free mini comics to the people of APE 2013. For my part, I gave out (and left behind) a good number of AGARA preview posters:

imageComing 2014? Let’s hope.

This was my first APE and I couldn’t help but compare it to my only other convention experience: San Diego Comic Con. Being much smaller with  an refreshingly relaxed intimate vibe, I can honestly say that I don’t really care if I ever go to SDCC again. APE is the convention of my dreams. The only way it could have been better would have been if we had had a table to sell things rather than running around giving things out for free. Next year!

Over the course of two days of roaming and shopping and talking and gawking I came out with a decent sized stack of really great comics.

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Above: One Last Day by Adam Yeater - a cool little piece of  b&w psychedelia.

Knives for Fish by JF - a simple but fun tale of a malfunctioning carbon monoxide detector.

FLYLAND Charles N George Sirtup III  - this is actually a 600 page novel about a religion based on flies and was given to me by it’s creator for no reason other than my being able to lift it.

The 2nd Dimension Vols 2 &3 by Tom Hontos  - Maybe the strangest find of the weekend. Hontos’ simply drawn gag strips vary from baffling to hilarious but never fail to entertain.

Hagelbarger and the Nightmare Goat by Renee French - Meeting and talking with Renee French was the highlight of my Expo experience (exporeince?). She is one of the best.

Dvorak Zine by Alec Longstreth  - It’s a history of keyboard and typewriter key arrangement! much more entertaining than it sounds.

Cabravore by Mark Thompson  - not read it yet, but it looks neat

Quick, Convenient Repairs/ Unfit For Human Company by Brad Gottschalk - Borderline surrealist storytelling with characters  that all seem to be on the verge of exploding with rage. Good stuff.

Mothers by VA Graham and JA Eisenhower - A cat a cobra and a bird die in the defense of their young. Beautifully drawn comic with a silent storybook-like quality that, after finishing, I immediately read again.

Guns A’ Blazin! by Mike Wellman and Rafael Navarro - not read this yet but it looks neat, an outer space western with art reminiscent of Jack Kirby and Darwyn Cooke

also pictured are a few back issues I bought from a dealer: Spacehawk by Basil Wolverton, Planet of Vampires published by Atlas Comics, and Grit Bath by Renee French.

And so the convention ended and we headed back to JTMB’s place for a night of booze and comics drawing. This image sums up the night I think

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And then it was with a head filled with ideas and a heart full of dreams that I boarded the Greyhound back to Los Angeles. Until the next Expo I shall be  dreaming and drawing and planning and preparing. See you there!

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