I'm going into this hoping that less is more and that a little convention report goes a long way with most folks. I know that's true of myself. I have yet to meet a comic book convention that I want to read more about than, say, WWI, despite how many con reports endeavor to prove me wrong.
What I'm really saying is, I didn't take as many pics as I should, especially as the weekend wore on.
I flew down Friday afternoon, this time attended by my girls (wifey Rhea and 5YO child unit Clem), which was a rare treat for me. It wouldn't be APE without a kickoff party at the "offices" of the House that Ron Turner Built, a.k.a Last Gasp, so we began there. In a vast warehouse of thousands of filthy, filthy books (I mean that most affectionately), my little girl zoomed in on this book like she was a dog working for the DEA and this was a brick of high grade hash that someone abandoned hastily during a raid of the premises:
BOO: THE LIFE OF THE WORLD'S CUTEST DOG features back cover endorsements from Nicky Hilton, Khloé Kardashian, cuteoverload.com and "Facebook Fan." Of course we bought it for her. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if Gary Groth had had a daughter.
I could have spent the rest of the weekend taking pictures at Last Gasp. It is one of my favorite places in the world. It gives me MAJOR WORKPLACE ENVY. Fantagraphics is a wonderful place but we don't have Binky Brown's coffin on the wall (although our inventory manager, Martin Bland, has a very similar Jack-in-theBox):
Anyway, the always totally awesome Kristine Anstine showed Clem the toy section while Mommy and Daddy enjoyed the party a bit more...
Kristine, however, continued to take orders throughout the party because she's a PRO (take note: this will come up again later).
Before we took leave, the great Ron Turner himself gave us a tour of his "private stash". I love and respect Ron immensely and really admire the empire he's built. His collection of cool shit is nonpareil.
From Last Gasp, we kept on truckin' (hyuk) to Mission Comics for onetime MOME contributor Malachi Ward's exhibition. Which was great, but you'll have to take my word for it, because I'd had two IPAs by that point and forgot to take any more photographs.
APE kicked off on Saturday morning at 11AM after a couple hours of set up. This will be my own little "panic room" for the next 36 hours or so:
Here is our first customer of the day, Brian Herrick, a fine cartoonist in his own right, with equally exceptional taste. I believe he is the first person in the world to take home a copy of Julia Gfrörer's BLACK IS THE COLOR. With great power comes great responsibility, Brian. I was so excited for you I couldn't hold the camera straight.
Remember when I mentioned Kristine Anstine being a true PRO? Well, here's another. APE Special Guest Bill Griffith dutifully worked on not one but two ZIPPY dailies behind our booth all weekend, in those rare moments that no one was asking him if he was having fun yet. Now that's a pro. Always working. I asked Bill if he ever got tired of drawing (something I've heard more than once from cartoonists who have been at it a lot less time than him). He matter-of-factly and without missing a beat answered, "No."
Can you tell I'm running out of steam? I'm thinking of trying to get a blurb from cuteoverload.com for this one:
Here is a picture of Alec Longsteth, followed by a picture of Mario Hernandez. Excellent gentlemen, each. Mario is always one of the people I look forward to seeing most at APE. He had the prettiest fingernails at the show this year.
Here is my APE stash. I didn't get a chance to do any proper shopping this year, but thanks to generosity of many of my fellow exhibitors, I managed to come home with an impressive haul.
Which reminds me, did anyone else notice the spine of this month's issue of THE BELIEVER?:
There were so many old friends at APE that I didn't get a chance to take a photo of, like Jim Blanchard, J.R. Williams, Pat Moriarity, and Renée French. I was too busy closing deals. ABC! ALWAYS BE CLOSING. What can I say? I, too, am a PRO.
Anyway, let me leave you with this cuteoverload.com-worthy piece by Graham Chaffee:
Details to come on their website soon but feel free to grab your day planner, smart phone or recently shaved dog to jot down the details:
Saturday, November 23 Centre Gallery (Room 1365-Building 1, 3rd Floor) 11 a.m. Making Music with Comics ED PISKOR on Hip Hop Family Tree and VIVEK J. TIWARY on The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, with PETER BAGGE and PAUL POPE. Moderator, JOAN HILTY.
If you live in Pasadena, you better attend this! Quoted directly from their press release:
Jaime Hernandez, co-creator of the famed Los Bros Hernandez's alt-comic Love and Rockets, is a legend with fans everywhere. Among the most notable is Pulitzer Prize-winning author (and comics and graphic novels lover) Junot Diaz, who's cited Los Bros as a major influence on both his writing and his sensibilities.
This month the much-anticipated deluxe edition of Diaz's short story collection, This Is How You Lose Her, comes out. But the buzz hasn't been about the stories, because this time the big story's actually been the pictures -- drawn by the unmistakable hand of Jaime Hernandez.
On Monday, November 4th, Jaime Hernandez comes to The Crawford Family Forum for an evening of art, books, and conversation. KPCC FM "Off-Ramp" producer Kevin Ferguson talks with Hernandez about his latest work, how it relates to Love and Rockets, and where his future's taking him.
This incredible event is free, and open to the public. Doors are at 7:00 PM, and you better be in your seat by 7:30 PM. The Crawford Family Forum is located at 474 S. Raymond Avenue in Pasadena.
• Philadelphia, PA: Spend the evening with Michael Kupperman! Kupperman will host a retrospective of his career thus far, including illustrated readings of his work and screenings of his animation including the Adult Swim pilot SNAKE ‘N’ BACON, plus brand new pieces. (more info)
Kupperman will host a retrospective of his career thus far, including illustrated readings of his work and screenings of his animation including the Adult Swim pilot SNAKE ‘N’ BACON, plus brand new pieces. - See more at: http://www.fantagraphics.com/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=An-Evening-With-Michael-Kupperman-This-Sunday-in-Philadelphia.html&Itemid=113#sthash.jtCGW4aM.dpuf
Just an evening?! Well, we'll take what we can get of acclaimed cartoonist Michael Kupperman!
The evening in question is this Sunday, October 20th at the PhilaMOCA. Kupperman will host a retrospective of his career thus far, including illustrated readings of his work and screenings of his animation including the Adult Swim pilot SNAKE ‘N’ BACON, plus brand new pieces. Brand new pieces!!!
Doors are at 7:00 PM, and the awesomeness starts at 7:30 PM. PhilaMOCA is located at 531 N 12th Street in Philadelphia.
* Other People's Publications, er... "Production"! ** Yeah, You Know Me.
It's not enough that Danny Bland's debut novel is amazing, no. Local 638 Records had to go and release an audio version of this semi-autobiographical wicked tale that takes "amazing" to a whole 'nother level!!!
Just take a look at this stellar roster of readers: Duff McKagan (Guns & Roses), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age), Steve Earle, Aimee Mann, Mark Arm (Mudhoney), Marc Maron (WTF With Marc Maron)... and that's just to name a few! See the complete star-studded line-up and sample some passages at their Bandcamp page. Together, the audio book is over seven hours long! Hello, road trip accompaniment!
Plus, each incredible artist, actor, and musician who recorded a chapter DONATED their time and talents. If that's not a testament to the powerful prose of Bland, I don't know what is.
Believe it or not, it gets even better: a portion of all audiobook proceeds will go to MusiCares, a non-profit arm of the Grammy Foundation providing medical care and sobriety resources for musicians. (Once you read the book, you'll understand why!)
If somehow I still haven't convinced you, then stop by Elliott Bay Bookstore in Seattle on Saturday, October 12th to witness a riveting reading by Bland himself at 7:00 PM! Then come get your CD at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's Georgetown district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone: (206) 658-0110. (Don't live in Seattle? Click on over to Local 638 Records for all your purchasing needs!)
Join us this Saturday, October 12 at Fantagraphics Bookstore for a big Jim Woodring event. The launch party for Jim's stunning new graphic novel Fran features an exhibition of oversized drawings done with his giant quill pen. The 7-foot instrument will also be on display. Musical entertainment will be provided by K recording artist Stephen Steinbrink.
Visitors to this event will be among the first in the country to get copies of Fran, the anxiously anticipated follow-up to Jim’s visionary wordless tales Weathercraft and Congress of the Animals. The reception takes place Saturday from 6:00 to 9:00 PM and coincides with the festive Georgetown Art Attack, featuring compelling visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic neighborhood.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 26 when Fantagraphics Bookstore hosts a tasting party for Woodring’s new batch of Oddland beer from Georgetown-based Elysian Brewing. Odd attire encouraged.
Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Seattle’s colorful Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.