The Alternative Press Expo (APE) has quickly become one of my most anticipated shows. The breadth of artists and creativity in the room was astounding. This show allows for an easily accessible venue for artists and self-publishers to showcase their talent. An affordable entry fee, easy access and parking, and very reasonable table cost, make this a welcome event for those trying to gain exposure. The APE staff and organizers make the show pleasant and easy, which is a welcome experience when compared to some of the more hectic shows I set up at.
We had a busy spot near the front entrance. We were next to our friends at Stuart Ng Books. This show had an obvious increase in attendance compared to last year. There was also an additional growth of 50-tables over the 2009 show. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to learn about us, to see what’s new, and to those who bought a book or two. It all helps so we can continue fueling our passion and making more books.
The Friday before the show, I received copies of both Xenozoic by Mark Schultz and Inspirations by William Stout. We had them available at APE where a lucky few were able to pick up copies prior to their arriving in the stores. Our book distributor has them in the warehouse and is currently shipping them out. They should arrive at your local book and comic book stores soon (first week of November 2010).
The Xenozoic book was the obvious star of the show, garnering the most looks and purchases. Al Williamson Archives also did well for us. Inspirations and The Legend of Steel Bashaw by Petar Meseldžija had a great deal of interest, too. The Legend of Steel Bashaw was perused and purchased mostly by women―an interesting observation I noticed. Before my Franklin Booth: Painter with a Pen book sold out, women were the primary purchasers at shows. It’s good to have a book that appeals to women again.
I broke away from my booth on Sunday to walk around. There were a lot of terrific artists at the show. Some were early in their career, while others were well established with a mature style. I enjoyed seeing a lot of animators there. Many are amazing, but don’t have much name recognition from working in a studio environment. APE is a smart move to build up their name.
I got to see Brett Warnock, publisher of Top Shelf, who along with Chris Staros puts out some of the best graphic novels out there. They have excellent packaging and a nice “feel” to their books. If you haven’t read Blankets by Craig Thompson or Essex County by Jeff Lemire, I highly recommend them. My new favorite title from them is the Johnny Boo line by James Kochalka. I read Johnny Boo to my four year old. So funny!
We’ll be set up again next year. See you there!
Text and photos © 2010 John Fleskes