This weekend we went to APE, the Alternative Press Expo, in San Francisco. It’s a wonderful little comic convention that features independent and small press publishers. (Basically not the “big 4”- DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Image) These are people who are, for the most part, struggling to make comics while juggling a “real job”, who then have to fight to get their comics seen and bought. Some of them are crap and there’s a reason they haven’t been “discovered”, but there are a select few that are diamonds in the rough, little gems of gorgeous comic making, and that’s why I love APE so much.
We walked into APE and were immediately drawn to the Voodoo Baby table. Voodoo Baby is a company that makes adorable keychains out of string, and we’d been on the lookout for them because B really wanted to get one of their “Bat boy” (NOT Batman, wouldn’t want to violate copyright, or whatever you’d be violating in this case- licensing?) keychains. (Check them out here)
As he was making his purchase, I looked at the table next to theirs, and recognized it as the table of the creator of Gashapon Shop, a wonderful webcomic. I squealed, “Look, it’s that comic!” to B, as the creator looked at me with a look that said, “You think I’m someone I’m not.” I told him that we loved his comic, and basically gushed at him, and B came over and backed up my story that we actually did know his comic, as he continued to look at us incredulously. When we finished, he said that we were the first people all day that he didn’t already know (ie, his friends) to know his comic. He was so excited that he had the guy at the table with him take a picture of him with us, and we ended up leaving his table with one of everything he had to sell. I even got one of his original pages for a measly $10! When we stopped back by hours later to say goodbye, he had us pose for another picture, because the first one didn’t come out. I know we probably made his day, but his excitement and enthusiasm really made mine. I looked at his website later that night, and this is what he’d posted:
“APE 2006 was awesome. I had a really great time and met a lot of really nice people. I’d like to really give shoutout (I’ll have a picture up soon) to Bruce, Maryanne (hopefully that’s spelled right) and the mysterious girl that stopped by my booth and said, “I’m well aware of your website.” They were really gems in my experience and definately makes me want to not only return to APE for 2007, but continue to draw in general. ”
YAY! That just makes me happy.