A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
Comics need more fun, dammit.
Sometimes it's easy to forget that comics are fun. There's a seemingly endless amount of white noise dedicated to attempting to suck all the enjoyment out of the comic industry. "The direct market is dying," "The artform is ignored," "The speculators are returning," "Manga rules the world and no one seems to care," "The publishers are flooding the market," "Wolverine's back in his yellow spandex suit," are all great topics of discussion and worth putting thought into. But this industry was built on the backs of enjoyment, entertainment and good old-fashioned fun. In the world of meaningful discussion, analytic analysis and complex discourse, it's easy to forget that the reason that we care so much about the funny books is because reading comic books is fun. Emphasis on that "fun" word (my other favorite "f" word).
Emphasizing the fun is the extremely simple concept on which my comic lounge and everything I do within the comic industry is based. Sure, I want my business to be successful. Sure, I want to see the comic industry thrive, but you know what? I also want to have fun.
The entire reason I write this column, throw crazy ass events, do guerilla marketing, and get out of bed in the morning is because I have an insatiable appetite for having a damn good time. And anyone who is lucky enough to combine that which they love with that which they do for a living with that which they think is unbelievably fun is living the good life.
Regular readers of this column have heard me ranting about how excited I was about the Alternative Press Expo (APE) coming to my own stomping grounds in San Francisco.
One of the fundamental things to love about APE is the manic, creative energy. People who had never made a comic before in their life before attending last year were so inspired that they sat behind a table this year with hot, fresh comics. People who slaved alone through night after night to get their comics done in time got to hear some supportive feedback and grab themselves a little cash for their hard work at APE. And even people who have been in the industry for years are reinvigorated by the dynamic, creative energy that charges the convention year after year.
APE is all about creative people getting out there and doing shit, making comics, meeting people…and yes, having fun.
And so, in the interest of fun, I'm going to share with you some of the most fun I've had over the past couple of weeks, leading up to APE, and after it.
As comics fans, I know that you like your stories to be accompanied by pictures, and I've talked a lot already, so from here on out we're going to let my camera do most of the talking.
On Wednesday, February 18th, mere days before the official APE con kick off, Tom Beland, one of the most fun men in comics, took advantage of the Isotope's Permanent Art Installation's drafting table and brought the creative process to the people, making an issue of his "True Story Swear to God" comic while they watched. Tom took time out from the pencil, paper, and pen to talk art theory, creative process, and self-publishing with those in attendance. And also, Tom made sure to draw sketches in the front cover of his "True Story Swear to God" trade paperback and gave out pages of original artwork to enthusiastic fans.