Wednesday, November 05, 2008

This Is Happening

It's really happening. Just a few weeks ago I wouldn't have thought it was possible. I've never been so excited and enthralled by the outcome of an election. Obama's acceptance speech was genuinely moving. Obama has the potential to be one of the truly great presidents, maybe to be among the greatest presidents in history.

Unfortunately he's inherited a big mess, but so did Franklin Roosevelt. This is a genuine opportunity to make revolutionary change. So don't blow it Obama!

Edit: It looks like prop 8, the proposition to ban gay marriage, is going to pass here in California. As excited as I am about Obama, prop 8 is a real setback for California.


After that this seems pretty trivial, but here I am at the Alternative Press Expo that was held this last weekend:

The picture's are a little blurry since I forgot my camera and we had to use Regina's picture phone. It was pouring down rain, so from what I heard, the turn out wasn't what was expected, but despite this we did really well. To the right of me is Mari Naomi, author of Estrus Comics, autobiographical comics about her love life. She was really a neat woman, and it was good to meet her.

Here's our spread. We sold out of the elephants print, and sold a ton of the smaller bicycle tree print. We had a larger bicycle tree print, but the small one had a little color, and people seemed to like that one better because of the color. The Baby God minis did Ok, but I sold very few Blue Kid minis for some reason. Since the Blue Kid is the thing I'm most proud of right now this was a little disappointing, but I did learn that people really really seem to like these two particular prints. I didn't have business cards, and I'm not set up to sell anything on my website, so I'm probably going to have to do something about that. Regina is the one hiding behind the table. She won't let me include any pictures of her on the blog.

This was my first sighting of the elf:

To the left of me is Ben Costa, author of a really amazing comic called Shilong Pang and another really cool guy.

More elf. Just in front of the elf is another talented cartoonist that was seated near us. His name is R. Carrasquillo according to his mini comic, The Heights, but I don't remember what the R stands for.To the very far right is Morgan Lee Kessler who had mini zines and prints. She was responsible for our first sale, a Baby God.

And here's the elf in all his glory:

For some reason he reminds me of Doug Henning.

I vowed this time not to buy anything at APE that I could buy anywhere else, something that, for the most part, I stuck to. My major purchases were from the one and only Jason Shiga. Most of his books are hand made, and all of them are amazing. This year he even recorded a rap album! "I Love My Shigacorn" and "2Pac Lives" are my favorite rap singles of all time!

From top left, clockwise: Shiga's rap album (I bought three), Hello World, a choose your own adventure type of comic that is mindblowingly complex (Shiga is a mathematician and often uses math in the formal presentation of his comics), and last, Empire Park, Shiga's newest. Shiga is not only amazing with the formal aspects of comics, but he's great at writing characters and dialogue and, in the case of his books Fleep and Bookhunter, suspenseful plots. His books get very poor distribution so he's the best kept secret in comics.

You can buy his books and music here.

Other highlights included the new giant Kramer's Ergot which is mindblowingly huge and mindblowingly beautiful but also really really spendy. Ted Stearn has a very funny and underrated strip called Fuzz and Pluck. His new hardbound is called Splitsville. Lets see, Jesse Reklaw's Diary Comics, the new Acme Novelty Library, too much stuff to recount, but I didn't really get as good a look around as I would've liked since I was so busy selling things.

I almost forgot:

The Wuvable Oaf! The sweetest gay bear comic you will ever read. It's also very funny and beautifully drawn!


  1. Looks like you had fun at the con, and actually sold stuff! Very encouraging!
    That Wuvable Oaf stuff looks funny and entertaining.
    And how does Kramer's do it??? Who has $100 to spend on crap like that? Amazing.

  2. The Wuvable Oaf was a rare find. There's this great scene where the Wuvable Oaf emerges from the womb as a bearded and fully hairy baby. It just gets better from there! The Wuvable Oaf is the kind of thing you hope to find at small press conventions like these--self published books you wouldn't get to see under any other circumstances.

    And yes, we actually sold stuff! I never experienced that kind of enthusiasm for my work. It was pretty gratifying, and we're going to try to sell more posters at the next second saturday open studio tour in Sacramento.

    And Mark, your stuff's on the way, I just need to get it together and mail it.

    Kramer's is a pickle. If you saw it Mark, I think you'd agree it's pretty f'in beautiful. It's HUGE. Full color tabloid-sized comics by Chris Ware and Dan Clowes and others. It's also outrageously expensive, which makes it really inaccessible to a lot of people. I don't think anybody has any business charging $130 bucks for a comic book no matter how huge. Nonetheless, I totally covet it.

    But when you make something like that, only a select group of people with a certain level of disposable income can enjoy it, which totally sucks. For all Harkham's talk about doing comics for the sheer comic bookness of it, for all his lauding of the Fort Thunder folks, the irony is, the Fort Thunder guys won't have the disposable income to buy the thing. Which I think is sad.

  3. I went to APE a few years ago. Well...maybe like six years ago? It was in Washington DC. Complete accident, actually. I just happened to be in the neighborhood. I quite enjoyed myself.

  4. I think that might have been a different convention because for as long as I can remember, APE has been held in the Bay Area. I went to the first one in San Jose, but most of them have been held at the Concourse in San Francisco. The first one was really tiny.