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Monday, October 19, 2009

APE 2009

I headed off to the Alternative Press Expo a couple days early this year so I could visit with a couple old friends and actually see the city for a change. As soon as I checked into my hotel (no bedbugs as an internet review had warned. Phew!) I hopped on a trolley and wound my way to Japantown to visit Kinokuniya to try to seek out some current manga to try and see if it fits into a future D+Q book. I found a few things and while talking to the very helpful clerk (as opposed to the clerk that said "ask her" without looking up at me), she recommended that I try out New People as well. Just a couple blocks away tucked into the back of a coffee shop/movie theater (?!) there's a cool little place with design-y Giant Robot-style fashion, toys, and books. In fact, I might even deem it yet another knockoff if it weren't for the fact that Yuichi Yokoyama designed the place!! The shelving is made out of the masks that grace his brilliant Travel book published last year by Picture Box. And evidently he painted them in the store during business hours. Nice.
The next day, I got lost trying to find the McSweeneys offices. I ended up on the wrong end of Valencia but spied this new shop (8 months I believe owner and sole employee David Pinch told me) Caffeinated Comics. I'd like to see a bit more alternative comics on the shelves but it's hard to argue with the fact that it was clean and well lit. And had coffee. It came very close to my dream store--Comics 'n' Ribs.

I can't even begin to properly describe the place that Eli Horowitz took me for lunch but imagine a giant chinese market that will fry your chosen fish on the premises. And now imagine a gourmet hamburger stand inexplicably operating in the corner of that market two days a week and then imagine taking that hamburger and walking into a quiet Chinese restaurant and buying a Tecate or soda and they'll begrudgingly let you sit there and eat your gravy fries and gourmet burger.

In case you were wondering, the McSweeneys offices are an even bigger pig-sty than when I last visited a couple of years ago. I don't think Eli (left) even has a desk. He's just sitting in a chair somewhere near a desk. And they have a TEAM of interns working at a table silently and diligently (I counted something like 9 when I was there.) Of course, there were many cool projects being worked on and most I am sworn to secrecy on but I think I can show a few in the next couple of days. {I came straight to work from the airport this morning and I get the distinct feeling that this is all going to read like a bunch of jibber jabber.}

In front of the McSweeneys offices is the snappy stationery store and publishing company Little Otsu. Here is employee Alexa being half a good sport about having her picture taken.

I finally got around to going to the actual Alternative Press Expo on Saturday morning and set up. Why we had these wonderful new titles--Red Snow and Hot Potatoe--debuting.

And these gentlemen (R. Sikoryak and Marc Bell) signing.

How did I pull all this off seemingly alone? I was not alone! I had awesome interns!! We hired two interns from the McSweeneys office. Saturday we had Ms. Katrina Ortiz. She was unflappable!

Anders went all Zissou on Sunday. And signed a ton of Big Questions 13. The official word is that there are two more issues to go!!

And Sunday's "interns are awesome" awesome intern was Ms. Gemma Juan-Simo. She was great as I left her alone in the booth for hours at a time while I commiserated with Frankie Santoro (see Flog for his APE hijinks) about how Chris doesn't appreciate Jessica and Alison.

APE was fun. Thanks to all the great customers and my palsies Caitlin, Greg, Mia, Doug, Michelle, Dylan, Tim, Tom, David, AND Marc, Bob, and Anders for hanging out.

{Peggy's note: Jibber jabber indeed, this post was riddled with so many grammatical and spelling errors to edit, you would think I wrote it}


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