Bleeding Cool reports that exhibitors at this weekend’s Alternative Press Expo, held this year at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, California, have been informed that current organisers Comic-Con International will be handing back control of the event to the show’s original creator Dan Vado of Slave Labor Graphics Publishing, as of next year.
The Alternative Press Expo or (APE), started life in San Jose in 1994, with CCI taking responsibility a year later and moving the show to San Francisco in 2000, and was founded as ‘an event for self-publishers, independent publishers and alternative cartoonists to showcase their books’. This year saw over three hundred and thirty exhibitors greet tens of thousands of visitors over two days and on Friday night, those exhibitors revealed that they had signed a waiver that allowed Comic-Con International to pass their details on to SLG Publishing, in preparation for next years event.
The official Program Book, presented to all attendees of the show, had this to say on the matter:
“The 22nd Alternative Press Expo in 2015 will return to Dan Vado and his team at SLG Publishing.
With this transfer, Dan will once again be at the helm of what we feel is the best alternative comics show on the convention circuit. Dan continued to run the event for the first few years after Comic-Con took over and has continued to be supportive of the show as a longtime exhibitor and by bringing in guests to APE at his own expense. Since then he has also delved into producing other creative events including an annual charity zombie walk in San Jose (Zombie-O-Rama) and launching an all-ages music and art venue (TheArt Boutiki). That is in addition to his almost 30 years of comics publishing with SLG.
It has been Comic-Con International’s pleasure and honor to be the stewards of APE, 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.”
There has been plenty of speculation as to why the transition (some of it made by this site and our guests in yesterday’s Cup O’ Tea hangout!) but Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston is reporting that the arrangement isn’t as nefarious or as convoluted as could be assumed: Dan Vado wanted to run it again, CCI asked if he wanted it back, he said yes. Sounds pretty civil. It’s also sounding as though the talks between the two organisations have taken place quickly and very recently. We’ve spoken to David Glanzer, Director of Press and Public Relations for CCI and it sounds like any plans – for APE, or any new event on the horizon – haven’t even been broached in the office yet…
“To be honest, there hasn’t been much thought beyond making sure this years APE is the best it can be. The hand off is really just happening now and our focus is on making sure Dan has all he needs to continue the great tradition he began so many years ago and talk of any new endeavour on our part is probably just a bit premature at this point.”
This doesn’t mean that resources that have been previously in place for APE cannot now be either shifted to provide focus on CCI’s other two events, San Diego Comic-Con and WonderCon, or indeed, create a third event to fill the calendar. As soon as CCI let their plans be known, we’ll let you know. Because we’re nice like that.