Thursday, October 22, 2009

The 2009 APE report, Pt. 2!

Continuing my memories on this past weekend's Alternative Press Expo at the Concourse in San Francisco. Pt. 1 was posted yesterday, which you could read by scrolling down....

It wouldn't be an APE without another one of my long-time friends, Rafael Navarro. Creator of SONAMBULO, this guy is a seasoned convention veteran, traveling across the country and selling loads of his comics and unloading tons of charisma everywhere he goes. (If you look closely, you'll see him in the EL MUERTO movie!)

For the last several years, I've been listening to a great podcast called FISTFUL OF SOUNDTRACKS, hosted by Jimmy Aquino. AFOS is a show about film scores and soundtracks, with plenty of music and deft commentary by the host. There are times when Jimmy gets on an Ennio Morricone kick, or busts out some Blaxploitation funk. It's a really great show, and one I love to listen to as I draw. Jimmy stopped by my table back in '07, and I was glad to see him make another visit to APE this year. Jimmy also writes and draws an online comic THE PALACE, and was the writer on one of the short stories included in Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology.

I was actually twittering with him a few days before (what, you aren't following me on Twitter?), as he was doing a live Twitter feed while podcasting his latest episode of his show. He was playing every single title song from all 22 James Bond movies, and he'd post a couple of tweets for each song, offering commentary and behind the scenes facts. I responded to several of his tweets because if you didn't know, I'm a complete James Bond fanatic! But, we'll have to leave that for maybe another blog!

Speaking of podcasting, I've been making my way into the podcast world for about 2 years now. My first show, PLANET COMIC BOOK RADIO, is on official haitus. But for the last year or so, I've been podcasting another show called JAVILAND, where I and a roundtable of D.I.Y. cartoonist/publishers will talk about various issues related to making comics and distributing them ourselves. Well, I've met other cartoonists who also podcast, and this year I got to meet one of them for the first time in person.

On the left are Jim Lujan and in the baseball cap, Kevin Cross. On my right is Mark Rudolph, who I met this past weekend for the first time, despite talking with him on numerous podcasts over the last year!

Kevin I met at APE several years ago, when he was working on a comic book called ZOMBIES AND BROKEN HEARTS. Kevin's latest comic project is a really cool looking book called MONKEY MOD, which he's developing as a web comic. Kevin hosts a podcast called BIG ILLUSTRATION PARTY TIME with Joshua Kemble, which deals with the ins and outs of freelance illustration. Kevin also co-hosts the GHETTOMATION podcast with Ghettomation King Jim Lujan! Ghettomation is Jim's term for very low-maintenance animation, which he manages to produce while still creating really imaginative, and funny, movies.

This Mark Rudolph guy...Well, he's quite the talent himself. A prolific podcaster, Mark is the co-host, with Jerzy Drozd, of the ART & STORY line of podcasts. ART & STORY is a weekly show where the two creators discuss the numerous aspects of creating comics. From choosing the best fonts for a particular story, to breaking down their pencil layouts to tell the clearest story possible, these guys really get into the nitty gritty of creating comics. Mark also hosts a podcast on Heavy Metal called REQUIEM! But when he's not on the mic, he's working on freelance illustration projects as well as his own comics. He's a really strong inker, and his attention to improving his skill has shown tremendously in the work I've seen from him over the last year.

Sunday was definitely my day for visiting and taking pics. This lovely couple is Melissa and John Narcomey, of High Tower Comics.

I met John some years ago at APE, as we were table neighbors. Lately, I've seen lots more of him recently, and in fact I'm currently working on a pin-up for his GHOSTFACE comic!

Met lots more people, both fans and fellow creators, but it's impossible to photograph every moment. Here's a shot of my table, with my MAN-SWAMP comic book (part of the Xomix Comix line I created with my friend Ted Seko) and MANGA MUERTO VOL. 1. I also increased my line of buttons, including the new, popular glow-in-the-dark EL MUERTO skull button!

I felt a real sense of accomplishment in having two new books to debut at APE. I've never been able to release two books within a few months of each other, and in fact I'll be releasing another book in the beginning of 2010!

On the Monday after the convention, I called into the ART & STORY ALIVE podcast and shared with host Jerzy Drozd my impressions of not just doing the APE, but what it takes for us self-published cartoonists to make our convention appearances positive and productive. I chime in on the fist half of the show if you want to give it a listen.

I haven't been to WONDERCON but for a few shows years ago. And I haven't exhibited at San Diego since 2005. But there is something about the APE that I just love. The staff, starting with Director of Operations Justin Dutta , has always been exemplary. It could be the symbolic nature of the fact that I launched my D.I.Y comic book EL MUERTO there years ago in 1998. Probably the fact that alternative comics creators and fans congregate there every year is a plus. I always love the 6 hour drive up Interstate 5 as it allows for either some great quite time with only the sounds of my favorite music keeping me company or the non-stop chatter and banter with my fellow comic book friends. All I know is that, God willing, I'll continue to exhibit every year at APE with new books to sell, new fans to make, new friends to meet.

Thanks to Jim Lujan for this pic, and for drawing up the logo and skull face on my candy dish!


Greenblatt the Great! said...

Now will there be a part 3, Javy? Ha, ha! Just kidding!

Nice freestyle on the bowl, J-Lu! I saw you starting to work on it but did not notice the finished product. Thank goodness you didn't accidentally spell "El Muetro," right, Jav? Everyone knows Diego never rides the subway!


Greenblatt the Great! said...

Hey, by the way, great shot of "Raffles" Navarro and his awesome artwork. That is the quintessential photo of the man. It should be the photo on the back of his memoir!

One of the great by-products of having Jim Lujan road-trip with us was that he was totally game for taking photos and documenting the whole weekend. That was my role in years past with the disposable cameras, but this year I got lazy and didn't bring one. Three-thousand cheers for Jim! He totally mad-dogged APE in the eye!

Like the song goes: "APE fought the Luge, but the Luge won!"