Wednesday, October 21, 2009

APE Wrap Up

I know... it's taken me until Wednesday for this write up!  This is mostly due, though, to the fact that I'm actually on top of my post-con follow-ups for once.  So, its a good thing, really.  Anyhow, here's my interpretation of the 2009 Alternative Press Expo:

Fantastic turn out both in exhibitors and attendees alike.  There was so much to see and take in, and, what with a table to run, I unfortunately didn't get to see as much as I'd have liked.  If you're not familiar with what APE is, in a nutshell, its basically show based around small press/indie comics, but also draws in a lot of zines and non-comics artisans.  It's a very diverse show, to say the least, though comics are still definitely the predominant feature here.

I read a blog review that described APE as less of a fan con and more of a swap meet for creators (liberally paraphrasing there), which I think is a fair assessment of what this show is about.  I would have to say that half or more of the folks who happened by our table were creators/publishers/artists/writers themselves.  Not an incredible situation for sales, but I definitely had more than a few fantastic conversations with people who are in the same, or similar, place that we're at.  In fact, a lot of talk about alternative distribution methods, which is always of interest to me.  Another topic for another day, I suppose.

As interesting as everyone who was there, there were some interesting folks not there as well.  A couple of the larger independent publishers who had tables there last year (and, I assume, in the past) were absent.  Notably Image Comics and IDW.  I'm thinking, though, that their absence was due more to the Wizard World/Big Apple Con happening on the same days.  Why no one's blogging about that feud is anyone's guess! 

It also seemed like there was a lot less retail action than last year.  Notably, one of the shops I bought from growing up, Lee's Comics, who are typically present at the local cons, was not there.  Now I'm not saying that there were no retailers, just less than last year, and far fewer than years passed.  I'm not sure whether that is indicative to the gradual shift in the focus of the show (I had attended in the late '90s when it was in Santa Clara, and it was quite a different animal in those days), or if cons in general are having less appeal to the retail market.  We'll see what the situation is come WonderCon, I suppose. 

Overall, though, I had a blast.  Our sales weren't the most stellar going, but we were pushing stuff that was a tad more mainstream in a more artsy fartsy market, so I think we did pretty good considering.  And I did come home with a few goodies, the prizes being:

A Bone sketch and a signed RASL collection from Jeff Smith (still a super nice guy after all his success).

The Collected Essex County by Jeff Lemire (at a killer price, thanks Top Shelf).

These nifty painted wood "Pac Man Ghosts."

Great show, can't wait till next year, coming up:  WonderCon!

No comments:

Post a Comment