bg/ish: Heavy Rain In The Forecast, Must Mean A.P.E. Is In Town...
Those of you who were familiar with the previous bg/ag publishing website might remember a crazy roadtrip ag and I took to San Francisco to cover the Alternative Press Expo, otherwise known as A.P.E. It was a trip that pushed the limits of human endurance and was dominated by a heavy downpour of rain. I don't think we could have planned that trip more poorly than we did, however, our deficient preparation and the ensuing results is what gave that trip it's character, and in the end it was a mild success.
Some years later, now calling San Francisco home, I found myself waiting in line to purchase a bagel, thumbing through one of the free Comic-Con magazines stacked in the corner of the shop, and stumbling upon an ad for A.P.E. 2008. I checked the forecast, and of course, heavy rain was on the horizon...
* * * * *
I made my way down to A.P.E. this past Sunday afternoon, feeling "the buzz" as soon as I had locked my bike up and started walking towards the entrance. I lingered around the entrance for a few minutes and the sun broke through the clouds long enough for me to snap a photo of the sign. A few minutes later, a guy walked out of the show, took off his badge, and hung it on a small post I happened to be loitering near. I watched him walk off, cross the street, and disappear down the block. Seizing the opportunity to save $10, I quickly grabbed the badge, put it around my neck, and decided to test the validity of my new found credentials. I breezed through security and hit the convention with a hop in my step and 10 extra buggs in my pocket.
I honestly did not know what to expect from A.P.E. this time around. Admittedly, part of me was skeptical and unsure if my foray to the show would amount to nothing more than a wasted Sunday afternoon. However, I must say, A.P.E. was brilliant.
I quickly realized that A.P.E. had become all the things I loved about the Comic-Con/WonderCon experience, without all the things I hate about those experiences, namely, big crowds and the hoopla perpetuated by the big companies. The size of the convention has maybe doubled since the fateful trip ag and I took, which amounted to about 3 hours of "rounds", at an easy pace, several times through all the exhibitors.
It's refreshing to see, even at the Independent level, so much talent and creativity gathered under one roof. It's also quite inspiring. Talking to people who have put so much hard work into their creative ideas and visions, it's hard not to feel "the vibe" and wonder to yourself, "What have I done lately?"
Overall, I'd call A.P.E. 2008 a wild success (at least for me), it certainly got me back into that "Con" mode for an afternoon and got me looking forward to WonderCon coming in February 2009. Oh and of course I ended up with a bit of swag, even on my limited budget.
Since A.P.E. is really all about the talent, I'll leave you with some links to some of the artists, writers and work that impressed me from the show.
The art of Jason Dryg
The artwork of Brigette B.
The Bill Holbrook Store
The Bunny System
Thanks again to all the great exhibitors at A.P.E. 2008! As usual, bg loves you and hates you just the same.
UPDATE: LaughingSquid.com's APE 2008 Photoset on Flickr