Comic-Con International will return ownership of the Alternative Press Expo to founder Dan Vado, who plans to move the show next year from San Francisco back to San Jose, California.
The announcement was made earlier today at the 21st APE, which continues through Sunday at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco.
"It has been Comic-Con International's pleasure and honor to be the stewards of APE," CCI Executive Director Fae Desmond wrote in a letter published in the convention program, "and while we may be a little sad to see it go, that sadness is assuaged by excitement, as we know Dan is perhaps the only person who loves this event more than we do.
The owner of SLG Publishing, Vado founded APE in 1994 in San Jose as a showcase for alternative cartoonists, self-publishers and indie publishers. Comic-Con International took over ownership the following year, although Vado continued to run the event for a few more years; it was moved in 2000 to San Francisco, where it remained through this year.
Vado told The Beat that he wants to change the event's date so it won't conflict with New York Comic Con (APE was a winter/spring show for most of its existence, shifting to the fall in 2008). He also hopes to borrow a page from the Toronto Comic Arts Festival by holding APE at a venue like San Jose's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library and offering free admission and low tables fees.