So this was the last Ape, at least the last run by Comic-Con. It was held at Fort Mason, which is on the water in San Francisco. It’s usually held at the concourse, but that is being torn down for a new condo.
Friday - swung into Last Gasp in the city for the pre show party. It’s always a blast to see the other vendors and friends, have some food and wander the funky isles of books that they sell. The office is filled with all sorts of oddities, old pinball machines, model kits, carnival posters, etc. Just a great place to chill with other artists.
Sat - Getting down to the con was easy, ended up parking on the wrong side of the lot though, so we ended up hoofing all the gear a lot further than normal. The new venue, Fort Mason, was actually pretty nice. Lots of light, it was cooler being on the water (it was a pretty warm day) and they brought in food trucks for lunch. (a huge plus, as there isn’t much in the way of food in walking distance) They also ran shuttles from Bart and Cal Trains which is nice.
The late afternoon did bring the sun deathray. I was lucky to not have a table in the direct path of the Riddick beam. Still, had a couple interactions with people that had to shade their eyes.I got to talk to a lot of people about process and making comics. Always cool when you get to meet so many artists.
Also got to catch up with a lot of people, ex co-workers, friends that I only see at cons, etc. Sui stopped by which was pretty damn cool. Few other people that I only know from dA came by, and some long time fans as well. Nina formerly from Tapastic swung by which was neat, also got to chat with Chelsey briefly. Just so much great energy (as cheesy as that sounds) from cool people.
Sun - Farmers Market took over the main parking lot which made life difficult. The con was dead during the morning, but picked up as it got later. There was a fair in the castro, a music fest in the park, a bridge to bridge run, and another con running all on sunday. The city was crazy busy.
General observations - as the economy is turning around I saw a lot more demand for prints and less demand for comics.
Lot of small format sketchbooks with +$10 or more for cost, often in black and white. I should stop doing the comic format ones full color for $5 and do a smaller size, with more pages.
I gave away free buttons just in a pile on the table and that seemed to get some people to stop that would have walked past.
well that's about it. I had a great time, and will be doing the show next year when SLG takes it over.