Alternative Press Expo, a marketplace for independent comics, publishing & art, is taking place this weekend at Fort Mason, back at its original San Francisco location. This is also the last year it will be run by Comic-Con. Next year it reverts back to the San Jose-based SLG Publishing.
The expo occupies one of the large pavilions, with programs taking place in the adjacent firehouse. I caught most of cartoonist Jason Shiga's presentation, in which he playfully demonstrated the ingenious mechanisms of his interactive comics, inspired by the choose-your-own-adventure books he read as a child. I was amazed by the intricate paper gears he devised for an unrealized comic whose panels rotate into view. At the end of the event he scanned the audience to make sure there were no children, then gave us a sneak preview of a future issue of Demon, his 720-page black comedy. The episode was replete with foul-mouthed denunciations of everything from literature to Disneyland.
Estrella Vega's paleontology-themed art books, she immediately handed one to me so I could see how it unfolds into a 3-dimensional shape. It is good to know that Last Gasp has published a picture book about that enchanting German Christmas tradition of the Krampus. When I stopped to chat with cartoonist Geoff Vasile, he reminisced rousingly about his first time at APE & wondered why I didn't go by my on-line moniker all the time.
§ APE 2014
Alternative Press Expo
Oct. 4 & 5
Fort Mason Center