APE—the Alternative Press Expo—moves to San Jose next year, and it will be held in the San Jose Convention Center, which already hosts the more mainstream Big Wow Comics Fest in April. APE will stay in its fall dates, in this case October 3-4. The dates, and more plans for the show, were revealed in a wide ranging interview with show runner Dan Vado conducted by Deb Aoki for Publishers Weekly. Although indie CAFs haven’t exactly thrived in traditional convention centers—Stumptown in Portland springs to mind—Vado has big plans to tie the comic fest in more with other local San Jose cultural events:
Undeterred, Vado is moving forward with his plans to make APE 2015 a uniquely San Jose show. APE’s new home, the San Jose Convention Center South Hall is adjacent to galleries, restaurants, and music venues, including The Art Boutiki, a gallery/comics shop/live-music venue owned and operated by Vado. With this in mind, Vado is hoping to make APE a bigger part of the San Jose art, music and culture scene.
“It’s been a goal of mine to make APE into a multi-venue event, with additional events, and programming in the nearby SoFa district in downtown San Jose, within a few blocks from the show. If we get participation from the nearby galleries, I think it’ll be an exciting opportunity to give this show a more European flavor,” said Vado.
Besides having numerous places to eat, shop, and socialize, Downtown San Jose is also home to San Jose State University, a large public library, and is easily accessible by the South Bay light rail system. “What makes Downtown San Jose unique is its immediacy and intimacy,” raved Vado. APE 2015 will be held on the weekend after First Friday, the monthly event that attracts art lovers to downtown San Jose. “I think people will be surprised at how big the art scene is in San Jose,” he said.
Aoki also reports on tentative steps towards starting some kind of new CAF in SF, as discussed at a town hall meeting several weeks ago.