With all the East Coast excitement last week, we did not give proper attention to APE, the Alternative Press Expo held in SF. So here’s some linkage:

§ First off, the show ill be moving next year, back to Fort Mason. The show has been held at the Concourse in the middle of downtownish for several years. It was held at Fort Mason, on the North Shore, at least a few times…I seem to recall that it was described as “damp” but that may just be my imagination. If anyone has any thoughts on the move, sounds off in the comments.


§ Hazel Newlevant received the 2013 Queer Press Grant (QPG) during the Queer Cartoonists Panel for her works “Dance the Blues” and “If this be sin”.

Hazel Newlevant’s entry, Dance the Blues, and If This Be Sin, are a collection of powerful short stories that take us into “the rich heritage of queer women expressing themselves through blues music”. In Dance the Blues, contestants at a dance competition ignore gender roles and switch partners with ease. If This Be Sin, includes the history of a female jazz pianist who finds success performing in men’s clothes, but faces crushing reprisals in public life.

“Gladys Bentley was a singer and piano player who performed bawdy tunes in Harlem nightclubs throughout the 1920s and ’30s. Dressed in her signature white tuxedo, Bentley’s crossdressing act poked fun at the limitations of gender boundaries, and has been cited as a predecessor to the modern day Drag King.” -Newlevant.

Looking at her website and portfolio, we’d heartily agree that Newlevant is worthy of attention! Previous recipients of the grant, which is administered by Prism Comix,include Christine Smith (2012: The Princess), Blue Delliquanti (2012: O Human Star), Robert Kirby (2011:Three), Tana Ford (2010: Duck), Jon Macy (2010: Fearful Hunter), Ed Luce (2009: Wuvable Oaf), Eric Orner (2009: Storybox), Pam Harrison (2008:House of the Muses), Justin Hall (2007: Glamazonia), Tommy Roddy (2007:Pride High), Megan Gedris (2006: YU+ME), and Steve MacIsaac (2005:Shiftlifter).

Tom Spurgeon has the collective memory for APE 2013, and it seems like it was nice and all…APE has been pinpointed as a soft spot in the generally strong indie comics circuit for a while now…people tell me it’s gotten very “crafty” and the despite the giant piles of money sitting around in Silicon Valley, the people who go to APE are mostly stylish, torn fishnet types who don’t spend a lot of money.


Anyway, Eric Reynolds from Fantagraphics has a definitive account, with cute pictures. The official Toucan Blog has two posts of photos. Saturday and Sunday

As you can see, no show surpasses APExpo for sheer color and visual splendor in and of itself.

David Blake Lucarelli has the best overview I found, at Bleeding Cool of all places:

From the perspective of exhibitors how was the con? I sold exactly the same amount I did at Long Beach Comic Expo on a per day basis, and my neighbors sales to either side of me were comparable. None of us “made our tables,” that is, sold in the number of books what we spent to Exhibit there, but we all felt pretty good about exposing our books to a lot of new people that had never seen them before. The location provided free electricity, which was a nice perk, although the Con will be moving elsewhere next year. As well run and well organized as both Comic Con, and WonderCon, on Sunday they featured a program where exhibitors could display signs in their booths to sell directly to comics shops. It’s a great idea, but in actual practice, neither I, nor any of my neighbors was ever even approached. As for San Francisco itself, it’s a beautiful and artistic city (The city hall lit purple at night to offset it’s gold trimming is particularly majestic), with fabulous restaurants. On the downside, the hotels aren’t cheap, and I speak from personal experience when I say that a “rock and roll hotel,” may sound great in theory, but in actual practice, it means a loud thumping dance party that reverberates throughout all the rooms, and is not at all conducive to the kind of sleep a comics exhibitor needs to pimp his comics to the multitudes with the appropriate level of energy.

I don’t know Lucarelli and whether he’s just a cranky pants or what so once again, please sound off in the comments

§ Okay back to New York Comic-con! If you aren’t sick of it all already. This guy had pretty much the same reaction I did, terror on days 1 and 2 and then acceptance and fun on days 3 and 4.

§ Others has sheer triumphalism as with NYC Comic Con 2013 Is Proof that Comics are Finally Cool

Regardless of the inherent craziness and commercialization that accompanies the rising popularity of superheroes and comic books, NYCC still remains a celebratory event that appeals to its core base . This massive convening of costumed fans (nicknamed Cosplayers), the press, more mainstream fans, and artists and writers shows just how far Comic Con has moved from its niche origins. While SDCC International remains the original, NYCC has taken off in it’s own right. It’s come a long way in eight years. NYCC, if its growth rate continues at such a rapid pace, may have to take a cue from San Diego and bring the Con out into the streets.


§ Studio Coffee Run: Marvel has all sorts of TV stuff brewing, including maybe that Agent Carter thing, and probably several VOD series.

I hear that Marvel is quietly putting together a package of four drama series and a miniseries — a total of some 60 episodes — that would be taken out to the VOD and cable space, with Netflix, Amazon and WGN America rumored as potential candidates. Feelers had been sent out, and I hear there’s already interest from digital platforms and traditional cable networks in the package, which I hear is in very early stages with very little talent attached. Reps for Marvel refused any comment. The company has been so adamant about keeping its projects under wraps that ABC topper Paul Lee joked at TCA in August that critics who wanted to attend a screening of the Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot — the only one in ages to not be distributed in advance — could expect to be asked to submit “a sample of your grandmother’s urine or the Marvel guys won’t let you in.”


§ Comics are for immigrants, fromKal-el to Asterix

“The whole history of comic books is the history of immigration,” said curator Helene Bouillon. Comic characters themselves are also often masked allegories for being foreign, from Asterix, the yellow-haired Gaul who fights Romans and travels around the world, to the alien Kal-El, who tries to live on earth among humans despite his super powers, the exhibit argues. “Superman is the super immigrant. who comes from planet Krypton with super powers but who is faced with the feeling of being in exile” Bouillon said. The exhibit also shows how the medium became more serious in the second half of the 20th century, using the medium to express uncomfortable truths about society’s tolerance. It includes original illustrations from Iran-born cartoonist Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical novel “Persepolis,” which tells the bleak story of a young girl fleeing to Europe against the backdrop of the Iranian Revolution. A film based on the novel won the Jury Prize at the Cannes film festival in 2007.


§ I understand people on Tumblr don’t like you stealing their photos, so let’s jsut say, these cosplayers sum it all up for me.

§ More awesome photos.

§ Did artist Paolo Rivera have the best wedding art of all times? Probably. Also…congrats to the bride and groom.

§ It was a very slow day in Marion, OH as this police log revealed:

THEFTS A woman reported a lawn mower, $100 comic book collection and 45-pound weights stolen in the 400 block of Polk Street. A man reported two air ratchets and a right-angle grinder stolen in the 200 block of Bellevue Avenue.


§ Here’s more on Whoopi Goldberg’s secret comics love:

She explains, “I was pitching a comic book that I’m hoping to do… I’ve been a comic book kid all of my life. One of those things you don’t see is… comic book heroes, female, with any hips, you don’t see them over 12 years old, maybe something sagging a little, nothing is ever moving. So I’m working on something that will alleviate that… “It will be me (as a superhero)… I do look like a comic book hero and I love that.” Goldberg isn’t the first celebrity to develop superhero powers in print – Ministry rocker Al Jourgensen is also launching his own comic book series, while actress Alyssa Milano, RUN-D.M.C. star Darryl McDaniels and singer Wayne Coyne have their own graphic novels too.


§ Horror manga month with Hino, Ito, and more of the creepiest stuff ever.


  1. Sweety and I stayed at the hotel Phoenix one year before we ran the Bay to Breakers. I can attest that the loud thumping and bumping from the dance party was not conducive to a great night’s rest.

    No more Rock and Roll Hotel for me!

  2. I hope APE keeps developing. I’ve enjoyed it 3X, twice as a exhibitor, but I know there’s concern from long time participants.

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