The Alternative Press Expo – Where an Indie can be an Indie!
by Alex Schumacher
In this fair country of the United States of ‘Merica, the comic book medium is oft thought of as being intrinsically connected to super-duds, spandex, and a juvenile demographic. Allow me to be the one to enlighten those who may have fallen prey to this god-damn fallacy: Comics are for everybody! They are not disposable periodicals filled with sterile entertainment for children. I urge anyone who frequents this site, or other literary magazines, to seek out the work of Alison Bechdel, Art Spiegelman, Marjane Satrapi, John (Derf) Backderf, Julia Wertz, Guy DeLise, and multitudes of other creators dispensing brilliant pieces of fiction and non-fiction that have zero association with Spiderman or Captain America. Instead of “The Big 2” – whose names I cannot reveal without dry heaving – explore the catalogues of Drawn & Quarterly, Fantagraphics, or Pantheon (graphic novel imprint of Random House).
I guarantee you will be surprised by the wealth of inspiring and illuminating work you discover.
To that end, I invite all who live in or around the Bay Area of California (or whomsoever can make the trip on short notice) to attend The Alternative Press Expo this weekend! This annual infamous convention is dedicated to independent, small and self-publishers as well as artists of all sorts. Their Wikipedia provides the following: “[Founded in 1994 by Dan Vado] as an event for self-publishers, independent publishers and alternative cartoonists to showcase their books, The Alternative Press Expo [or APE was] originally held in San Jose, California. Comic-Con International took over responsibility for the event in 1995. APE is currently held in San Jose after being held in San Francisco for 15 years. Two days after APE 2014, Dan Vado announced the responsibility for APE was being handed back to him and he was moving APE back to San Jose.”
If you can bear to part with your beloved fucking couch and Netflix for a few hours, this event just may be the place you discover your new favorite writer/illustrator! Along with Ray Zepeda Jr., of Tragic Hero Comics Publishing, I will be slinging some books and limited edition prints all weekend from our perch at booth 224. I have also been tapped to participate in a couple of panels on Saturday and Sunday. You can visit the website for additional details and programming times at http://www.alternativepressexpo.com/. Come on out, buy some books, and watch me make an ass of myself in front of a live studio audience. How often do you have that opportunity?
Featured guests for this year include Jhonen Vasquez, of Invader Zim and Johnny the Homicidal Maniac fame, and John “Derf” Backderf, a personal favorite and author of Trashed, Punk Rock and Trailer Parks, and the international best-seller My Friend Dahmer. Cartoonist/writer pals Betsy Streeter, Andrew Farago, and Shaenon Garrity will also be on hand to pawn some of their swag on unsuspecting victims… er, fans.
Pictured is the cover for my collection of literary magazine work, Defiling the Literati, which will be available all weekend. I will also have copies of my picture book (yes, I have written for children) and convention-themed Decades of (in)Experience limited edition prints. If there is sufficient interest, I will also open myself up to restricted commissions. In conclusion, get your asses to the San Jose Convention Center this Saturday and/or Sunday, September 23rd & 24th 2017!
Bread Crumbs from the Void will return in two weeks with some all new hard-nosed advice. Until next time keep scribbling, you freaks.
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