At the Alternative Press Expo, Saturday was bustling with attendees, the exhibitors seemed
wild-eyed and eager. The special guest artists were milling around like
normal people, and lots of industry connections were made.
But as a fan and not a “type”, I renamed this expo as the “I wish I had money to buy all this junk” expo.
There weren’t only comics and big-wigs, but local artists selling screen-printed posters, shirts,
pillows, tote-bags, lots of buttons and knick-knacks. If I could only
afford to buy Christmas presents, I would have been more enthusiastic. The
most popular table was the one with free flyers.
Sunday was a little more low-key as exhibitors and their friends hung
out, looking tired, hiding beers or two, drinking coffee and eating croissants. Some
tables were sold out, or had 20% sales. Lots were giving out free candy.
friend goes every year, and normally he stocks up on comics. This year
he made no purchases. “These comics seems to be more about melancholy
graphics then stories” he said. I told him that must be the new trend. This
melancholy applied to the Expo atmosphere as well.
The awkward thing about APE is that the artist is sitting right
there. So when you go up to a table and browse through their items, you
feel compelled to act interested, or you don’t go up at all, meanwhile
shamefully directing your eyes somewhere else. Even though I discovered
new titles and artists, I felt much more comfortable browsing in an
actual store then buying directly from the artist, which I could do
The webcomics panel sealed
the deal on my feelings of indifference. Most of the artists who have
web-comics started in print and then went net. But their ultimate goal
is to get published. Which is a really honest response, but how can
they think this archaically when newspapers and magazines are going
bankrupt, and people see buying books as a real luxury? Batton Lash
said something really inspirational: “The serialized comics will
disappear in 5-10 years.” Which is an actualization that old farty
newspapers like to deny and battle.
was the only one who really acknowledged that print is dying and outdated,
that if a web-comic becomes popular enough and has decided to become a
book, the book will be printed on more expensive paper with a really
great layout, instead of mass-produced cheapness. And that makes sense
because, as, Dash Haspiel noted “You can’t gift someone a link.” But aren’t gifts archaic too?