This last weekend was the Alternative Press Expo—or as all of us Bay Area artistés in the know like to call it—APE. While a majority of the expo’s media coverage focused on the holy trifecta of indie comic creators (Adrian Tomine, Craig Thompson, and Daniel Clowes) making their star-crossed arrival/synergized book tour appearances, the real action was on the convention center’s floor, where hundreds of exhibitors had their latest works on display.
Of course, the downside with there being so many folks is you were bound to have missed some cool stuff. To think of it, you probably missed a lot of cool stuff. But fear not, here’s a list of the raddest creators that may of flown under your radar.
Who: LA-based cartoonist, metalhead, and Catholic school survivor Gabe Martinez.
What: Martin The Satanic Raccoon, a comic about (you guessed it) a devil worshiping raccoon.
You should have picked up: Gabe’s latest collection of illustrations 101 Drawings of Jesus, 101 Drawings of Hitler: The 1st Installment, which features your favorite son-of-God and totalitarian dictator in some less than usual artistic renditions (I know, that’s a total oxymoron). Examples? Just imagine Jesus dressed as psychedelic Super Mario analog and Hitler drawn as Mickey Mouse from Fantasia with a swastika emblazed shooting star flying overhead and you’re somewhere along the right path.
Who: Jason and Eric, The Brothers Washburn
What: Only the coolest art journal/activity book/B&W periodical on the planet, Color Ink Book
You should have picked up: Every issue of Color Ink Book features a slew of amazing artists, but few of them have ever gotten their own toy based on their work. That’s all the more reason why you should snatch up one of the “Lurker” resin figures modeled after fan-favorite artist Skinner’s character of the same name. BONUS: they even glow in dark, which is great for adding a little bit of light to your already bleak existence.
Who: Stephen Linquist, Travis Linquist, and Miguel Cervantes
What: A reeducation on the demise of our favorite pre-historic pals, fittingly entitled, The Dinosaurs Are Dead: The Truth Behind the Extinction.
You should have picked up: Quite possibly one of the best deals at the show, these guys were selling The Dinosaurs Are Dead book (a hardcover no less!) and t-shirt for only 10 bucks. Since I only own about four t-shirts as it is, I was all over this. What really sold me was when I asked Stephen to give me his elevator pitch for the book, in which he gladly replied, “It’s The Walking Dead meets Jurassic Park.” He was right, except his book has a whole lot less Jeff Goldblum and way more gruesome decapitations.
Who: Avi Ehrlich
What: The one and only Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club
You should have picked up: Oakland’s galactic pioneers, The Phenomenauts, might as well be a group straight out of a comic book, so why not give them one of their own? Avi and the gang at Silver Sprocket thought so too, and the end result is Adventures in the Third Dimension, the band’s latest release which comes with a “Martian” green vinyl EP and a full size comic book, marking the space explorer’s 2D debut.
Who: Cartoonist and Dogpatch resident Ray Sumser
What: An acrylic, 6′x9′, 1,546 cartoon character manifesto called “The Comicosm” (pictured above).
You should have picked up: Ray had some cool oversized prints of “The Comicosm” for sale, but the big thing to keep your eyes open for his next project, “The Cartoonuum“. Similar to his previous work, it’ll be a celebration of Saturday morning nostalgia, but this time around it’ll feature over 2,000 characters and will scale 11 feet in width; Ray will be showcasing both paintings at the Treehouse Gallery on October 23rd, so check it out and show your support for the inner 5 year old in all of us.
Words & photos by Sean Logic
Check out the official Alternative Press Expo website for info on guests, creators, and next year’s show.