I’m on vacation today, so it’ll be a quick post.

Yesterday I went to the Alternative Press Expo, i.e. APE, in San Francisco. It’s been put on by Comic-Con International for years now as an indie comics and zine focused con.

I went with no defined budget and an empty bag which … may not have been the best choice. Or was it?! Anyway, I got a lot of great comics, a sampling of which can be seen here:

books I got at APE

some of my sweet loot

One of the more interesting tables was the collection of RE/Search books, i.e. books compiled from the punk zine of the 70s, Search and Destroy. I got a book on “modern pagans,” which collects interviews and essays by everyone from Starhawk to Margot Adler to Genesis P-Orridge, whom I think of as a punk musician and a performance artist first, but apparently is also pagan. Nifty. I bought the book from the publisher himself, V. Vale, a high-energy man who wanted to take each customer’s picture with the book they bought.

I suppose with all that punk action, it was only appropriate that I also got Henry + Glenn Forever & Ever, an epic, uhh, fanfic, about Henry Rollins of Black Flag and Glenn Danzig of The Misfits as gay lovers in a sort of functional relationship that involves Satanist BFFs, Glenn’s bizarrely cheerful mother brought back from the grave, and such trials as grocery shopping. One of the most delightful things about the book is that each cover is drawn as a riff on some other comic– Archie, Hellboy, Tintin, Romance Comics, and more. A bevy of artists draw the comic itself, and the variety is great. I’m particularly a fan of Tom Neely’s cute 1950s newspaper comic style. In any case, a great series, and well worth picking up.

I also finally picked up a copy of the Eisner-nominated No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, which traces the history of and collects comics made by queer folks about queer folks from the mid 1940s on. It’s a seminal work and I’m excited to dig into it. It’s also edited by my friend and grad school buddy, Justin Hall, who has also worked on Henry + Glenn in the past.

I suppose the last two books I took a picture of sort of balance each other out?! I’ve got Smut Peddler, a yearly anthology of “sex-positive erotic comics. By women, for everyone.” It’s got works from webcomic faves like C. Spike Trotman (also the editor), Jess Fink, and Kate Leth. It’s available, for a limited time, through Iron Circus Comics.

On the less pornographic side, I got a beautiful little book by Yumi Sakugawa called Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One With the Universe. It’s gorgeous and meditative and has some really lovely advice like “take your inner demons on regular tea and cake dates.” It just came out from Adams Media, and is well worth checking out.

And that’s all I’ve got time to write about today; I’m off to bounce around San Francisco.