It’s a lovely Saturday here in Berkeley. Nice in SF, too. K & I took BART over to SF this morning for the Alternative Press Expo. I wanted to get there by noon when the exhibition center opened because the first panel was queer cartoonists which included Leanne Franson (whose semi-autobiographical Liliane I discovered in mini-comics form), Robert Triptow (who took over editing Gay Comix in the early 80s), David Kelly (whose Steven’s Comics is a cute slice of 70s childhood) and Paige Braddock (whose Jane’s World began life as a syndicated comic strip). Justin Hall, whose work I didn’t know until today, moderated the panel and, once she got warmed up, Leanne Franson hogged the microphone with sweet if repetitive babble about trying to make ends meet as a cartoonist and children’s book illustrator. Hall is balding and hunky, a bit of Willem Defoe around the eyes. I ended up buying something or other by most of the panelists when I happened upon their booths.
Tim Fish had a booth for his Cavalcade of Boys, which I praised last year on my LoveSettlement blog. He’s as cute as his drawings, slim and sharp-featured. I’m not sure I caught up on all the issues I’ve missed since Comic Relief hasn’t been getting them but I’m glad to see Fish is collecting the comics in trade paperback form. Even if it means I end up buying them twice.
After hours of poking around table after table after table of small press comics and dolls and posters and videos, but mostly comics, K & I settled down on the floor next to the Hungry Tiger booth and chatted with David Maxine and Eric Shanower. Sounds like they don’t have time for sticking around after the expo (I asked ‘em to dinner), will be driving back to San Diego right after everything closes up tomorrow evening. Too bad. And just so you don’t think I’ve given up Oz entirely (but for all you know I’m dressed as Dorothy right now, eh?) I bought the Shanower-illustrated Wicked Witch of Oz, which has been available for ten years but which I just never got around to buying. Or felt too poor to buy. Or, let’s face, just couldn’t stand the thought of reading. Oz? Haven’t I read enough Oz books!