Alternative Press Expo [APE] 2010 – Recapon October 28, 2010 at 5:04 am
Well, It’s a bit late, but I forgot to bring my camera with me to the convention this time… so I had to wait for everyone to slowly send me the pictures over the period of the last week. Which is actually sorta of better because everyone that took pictures got more candid shots and totally different angles / ideas than I would have come up with. So yay for that!
This was my second time exhibiting at APE, which also marked my 1 Year Anniversary as an Exhibitor! I was excited to return because I could finally evaluate my growth and see if the things I’ve learned in this last year were effective. I must say I they have been. I owe many thanks to my friend Daniel Davis, of Monster Commute and James Hicks of Little Vampires for all their help this past year, recommending good conventions to attend as well as advice on booth set ups and merchandising. This convention also marked the largest group of TNP Press members at one exhibit together! This is actually quite a feat, considering two of our active (and 1 inactive) members live in Europe! But somehow this year, both of the active European members made the venture all the way to the United States to join us! This was an interesting con as well because I wasn’t actually exhibiting under TNP Press, but Rampage Network, another band of fine web-comic artists (including me), that come together to support one another through banner exchanges, networking and and all that weird internet marketing mumbo-jumbo.
Same as last year, I went to the pre-show mixer… but a big difference from last year was that this time I knew people! (This was a big deal for me because last year… I walked around with Ali, really unsure of ourselves, super shy, and didn’t really know much about networking and meeting other artists at the time.) Not only that, I was able to meet a lot more people for the first time because I’ve been friends with them on the internet for a while. For example, Ryan Hudson of ChannelATE, we’ve been friends on twitter and facebook for some time because of his wife, Vee, used to follow my old project Unconscious Ink [ui]. And of course, Rembrand of Beardfluff, a fellow TNP member that lives in Belgium! …how else would I have met him unless we had a venue like APE to meet at? Exhibits are the common ground for us artists to bond and share our ideas; So freakin’ awesome. Anyway. As you can see in this photograph. Ryan is the confused, but determined to figure things out, guy. Rembrand is the nice guy that looks like he’s about to pull an axe out from behind the table and lob off your head! Seriously though, I couldn’t have asked for two better artists to sit next to me for the weekend. Ryan, his wife Vee, and Rembrand were great company.
As I said above, this con was both a convention of meeting new people, but also a con of seeing old friends. Last year at APE, Ali of Rob The Bot and I met Philippa Rice of My Cardboard Life (another fellow TNPPresser) for the first time. I was anxious to see Phil again because you never know how friendships change or shape over a year of not seeing each other. It’s interesting, what I’m finding the longer that I do these shows is that no matter how much time passes, when you see your friends again at the conventions, it’s as if time hasn’t passed at all! What’s even crazier is, you actually end up feeling even more bonded to the person naturally, just because the two of you know each other more than you know the thousands of people that are in attendance at the convention. That single common ground makes you feel closer to the fellow exhibitors as if you’ve been friends for years. At least that’s what I’m finding, especially with artists like Phillippa, and Cari Corine (who I will talk about more in a moment).
I met Cari Corine of D00R, earlier this year when we exhibited together at Emerald City Comicon, in Seattle. We bonded really fast, and now have inside jokes due to the fact that she fell ill during the convention. Anyway, when we saw her again at San Diego Comic Con 2010, I felt as if I had known her for well over a year, at least, when in actually I only “met her” online a few months before ECCC because of the fact that we are both in Rampage Network together. Which is also how I know Savannah of Amya, through Rampage.. or Cari.. I’m not even sure anymore. It was nice to finally meet her, talk about the best ways to market our comics, and just chit chat about things in general. I sat directly across from them, and loved the hell out of the super majestic banners they had TOWERING behind them. I think, soon, I’m gonna have to get one like that made for L.A.W.L.S. cos its unfortunate that at the conventions so far, I don’t really have any way to promote it, other than the Fail Whale T’s and the Classhole Print. Pretty much what I exhibit with currently is just my “ArtisticDOOM” prints, which even though I’m able to sell them fine, it would be nice to really exhibit with more of a focus on my actual comic work.
A few years ago, I had random found a comic called Buttersafe, and enjoyed their work so much that I had asked them to do a guest strip for my comic at the time, Reeder Rabbit. They were kind enough to do one for me, which instantly, in my book made us friends. Anyway, last year the creators Ray and Alex, had stopped by my booth and bought a copy of my Reeder Rabbit zine, and were telling me that they were considering exhibiting in 2010, which they did! That made me even more happy, not only were the people I’ve mentioned above exhibiting near me, but so were these guys. Last year though, i only very briefly got to meet them in person and discuss San Fransisco a bit. This year, after the first day they took us on this crazy long QUEST to find a burrito. Which was worth it, we got to have some tasty late night mexican food and talk comics over beer and grub. CAN’T BEAT THAT!
The second night a plethora of us went and got some fantastic Thai food a few blocks away from the convention center. Which was great, while I was sitting there, I realized that I’ve finally started to find my own place within the Webcomics community, I’ve started developing some amazing friendships, found great minds to colaborate and discuss with, and am having a blast doing what I love while being around people I genuinely enjoy spending time with. This, made me, even more than sale at the convention, happy about what I’ve accomplished over this last year, to see how much I’ve grown and learned. What this con gave me, was the assurance and promise that for the years to come, no matter what the challenges that will arise will be that I will be able to over come them and have amazing friends who will back me along the way.
I Don’t want to bore you guys to much longer with some more blah blah blah about my thoughts and impressions of this con, so I’ll close up here. Before I go though, I want to mention a few other notable people I met or who were there, that I’d like to take the opportunity to mention. The crazy dude who does Scapula, stopped by, which unfortunately I wasn’t able to leave my booth long enough to check it his booth. He tried to poison me with a Millano cookie right as the convention was ending. Luckily, my defenses blocked the poisons and I survived. SO, we can be friends. Also, right next to Cari and Savannah were my good friends Micheal May of Eros Inc and his girlfriend Nan Lawson. I did wander over to them and briefly say hi, but the unfortunate side effect of doing conventions is that you only have a really a few hours to try to hang out with and spend time with people. Everyone has there own plans and schedules not to mention dexterity after a long grueling day of work… So that was sadly all the time I really got to spend with them. I wasn’t even able to snap a picture with them before they left because they had to rush back down to LA to make sure they could get to their day jobs the next day; which is understandable. So, I just wanted to take the time to point you guys in their direction to see their awesome work. Finally, I also met Jules, the girl who does Marsh Rocket, which contrary to her belief, I had actual seen her comic… I just didn’t remember the name of it.
Anyway, that’s my rant about APE 2010, I had lots of fun and can’t wait until the next convention…which will either been Emerald City Comicon 2011 or Phoenix Comicon 2010. I’ve been confirmed for PHXCC but ECCC is still up in the air. I’ll let you guys know more as I find out myself.