Novelist, comic book writer, and also comic book reviewer for www.BrokenFrontier.com, also website marketing coach for the Online Marketing Solutions company Push Traffic dot com. Incidentally, I am also the worst writer in the world.
I'm back! Huzzah! $1300 lighter in the wallet and I'm back! Probably fifty pounds heavier on the bookshelf (that's the sweet part), and somehow, even drinking and eating greasy Chinese and deep fried shit from a nonetheless cool-ass hole-in-the-wall diner, I think I'm one or two pounds lither in the waist. Travel can take it out of a fella...
So I went to Ape Con. I didn't take pictures, because I don't have a camera and my phone plan charges me for every damn photo I take so...no pictures. But here's the skinny:
The floor was PACKED with exhibitors and books. So many that I don't think anyone was actually doing all that well sales-wise. Not only were people buying less due to the harsh economic realities of the day, but the number of actual artists and writers and BOOKS there was ridiculous. I'm super happy to see so many bright-eyed talents, but jesus, there's too many of us. No one was getting much notice. Except Chris Ware. Whole island-sized sections were blocked off from even being seen due to the snaking, wriggling, writhing, living line of hardcore fans that stemmed from Chris Ware's booth.
Everyone I chatted with were happy to be there, having a ball in at least a social sense, but everyone was somewhat moribund by the complete lack of selling anything. Which is half the point of a con: people get to see your stuff, on a shelf or platform, as though you were in a real store. And yet no-to-few sales. Le sigh....
Beyond that element, however, the after-events were phenomenal.
I got to go to the SAN FRANCISCO CARTOON ART MUSEUM where free drinks and food were offered, and then a whole slew of creators got to show slideshow presentations of their books while they READ THEM ALOUD. Yes, a comic book/graphic novel READING. That sounds pretty godawful, actually, but actually it was breathtaking. The creators dove right in and had an intense amount of fun reading their pages out loud, and tried valiantly to craft impromptu sound effects and commentary and all-around the audience was either rolling in the aisles or completely captivated by the show. If you ever find your self in SF, go here. And donate liberally to keep this wonderful little gem of a museum alive! (They deserve it for having entertained me so!)
Then we pranced over to the infamous comic shop Isotope Comics owned by the infamously friendly and wacky-looking James Sime, where more free booze was (at this point) dribbled onto the floor more than into mouths, and i got to argue with everyone over what a hack Grant Morrison is.
Second day of the Con we said our goodbyes, and bought a few final choice books (some Dark Horse book, the total surprise of the show, called "THE NIGHT OF YOUR LIFE", the first collection of strips from a "collective dream diary" [which is much more entertaining than it sounds], wherein artist Jesse Reklaw asked folks to write to him and tell him their dreams, which he then narrated and put to paper, after being performed out loud at the Cartoon Art Museum showcase and blowing the minds of both my gf, Gillian, and myself, was greedily snatched up and taken home and so far Gillian's successfully convinced half a dozen people to buy the thing - she's a fan, and the book is incredibly funny in that poignant utterly touching way that only dream logic can garner. Go check out the online free version at www.slowwave.com). Then we flew home. Now I'm back.
Look for Lowdowns on all the swag I brought home. I plan to spotlight everything I can find the time to do so as I read them. Lots to talk about and lots of books you'll likely never hear about anywhere else. BE HERE!!! (or...go read Batman. Stupid Morrison.)