In today’s podcast I share my experience last weekend as a first time exhibitor at the 2010 APE Alternative Press Expo in the city by the bay San Francisco California.
Raul Aguirre Jr. APE Greenhorn.
I’m kind of new to the scene, and have only been exhibiting for a little over a year, but with the help of my wife the lovely and vivacious Hortencia and the support of my friends Jim Lujan, Kevin Cross, Javier Hernandez, Grasiela Rodriguez, Jose Cabrera, Bernyce Talley, and Michael Aushenker, it was more fun than work!
Let me start off by saying the APE was an absolute blast! I got to meet dozens of fellow Indy Comic and cartoon creators and got to check out some of the most unique and kick ass creations I’ve ever seen. The entire vibe of the event was of pure creativity. It was electric man! You could feel the creative energy throughout the exhibit hall!
Here we have the Project Unit 83, Man vs. Art, Ghettomation, and Laserbeamsgo booth babes!
I made an interesting observation. I noticed that when Kevin, Jim, and I goofed off, this bevy of babes consisting of my wife Hortencia, Jim’s wife Leanne, Kevin’s wife Laura, and Grasiela worked the tables our sales shot up mysteriously. I’m thinking that perhaps using hotties might be good for marketing. Hmmmm.
I went from table to table, introduced myself, and gave my elevator pitch and back story to almost half of the exhibitors at the Expo. It was great! They were all very nice and more than happy to tell me about their work! I guess you could call it networking right? I prefer to call it making new friends and expanding the Man vs. Art universe. I was pleasantly surprised to find that quite a few of the creators had heard of me and Man vs. Art! It was great! So thanks to some legwork, coupled with some suave charm, and genuine curiosity, the pool of potential Man vs. Art guests got a whole lot bigger.
One of the characters I came across was Erich Origen creator of the comic book Unemployed man!
Then I had the pleasure of talking to Erich’s little boy Truman the Pirate! He was going around helping his Dad promote the book! Check the podcast for the mini interview I did with this awesome little mini Minion! He does shtick folks!
I was like, “Hey, we’re all independent creators here, we all love making comics and cartoons right? Since nobody is helping us, we should help each other!” Every single person I spoke to grinned from ear to ear and totally agreed with me on that!
What can I say? Other than I do it for all you Minions out there. Because the Man vs. Art Minions deserve nothing but the best!
And Speaking of Minions…
I even had a few Minions come up to the Man vs. Art table to say “Hi.” and purchase some swag! That was really cool! Despite it being my first time at the APE I wound up doing well. Much better than I thought actually. I managed to cover my costs! Hey, in this sad sack economy, I consider breaking even a triumph!
Personally for me, the highlight of the event was when I finally got to meet Ghettomation Podcast co-host, fellow artist, and cartoon addicionado Kevin Cross!
This marked the first time in the history of the universe that all three knuckleheads from the Ghettomation podcast were in the same room! For Jim Lujan, Kevin Cross, and myself, it was a gushed chonie moment!
Kevin is originally from San Francisco and brought his entourage of Punker artists and buddies as well as his lovely wife Laura along to the Expo!
After hours we tore it up and partied at a kick ass dive bar called Dirty Thieves! Rest assured we all drank responsibly. No one spilled a drop.
Man vs. Art Travel tip numero uno!
Here is a nickel’s worth of my two cents when it comes to partying when you travel. Party where the locals party! Screw the touristy places. If you really want to experience a new place for real-real and not for play-play, go to where the locals eat, drink, and are merry. The prices, quality, and fun factor are guaranteed to be aces! Trust me on this one kiddos.
Everyone knows that yours truly is a taco snob, right? I’ve mentioned L.A’s King Taco so many times they should be paying me. Bar none, King Taco is the best Taco in L.A. Well thanks to Kevin, I got to sample the FINEST tacos in San Francisco at a little hole in the wall taco shack called “El Farolito” or Little Lighthouse. Caramba! This is genuine Mexican food! Not a single Fajita within miles to offend the eye. The authenticity and taste of the tacos at El Farolito gave King Taco a run for it’s money. Almost as good, but not quite. That being said, El Farolito’s garden of taco delight made it to my top 3 taco joints list which I am about to share with you for the first time.
But first some pictures of starving artists after eating.
The Man vs. Art Pantheon of Taco Awesomeness.
3. El Farolito in San Francisco California.
2. King Taco in East Los Angeles. Numero Uno in the USA.
1. Tacos El Caminero in Mexico City. The tacos are served with melted Oaxaca cheese. Mexico’s version of Monterrey Jack! OMG is right! Deliciously decadent!
Post APE Adventure.
Before heading back to L.A. the lovely and vivacious Hortencia and I decided to take in a little more of San Francisco’s splendor. We managed to tick off three more of those “places you have to see before you die” from our list.
First up, The Legendary Lombard Street. The crookedest, steepest and most beautiful street there is. I mean whoa! Look at all the flowers!
Then we got up close and personal with the one of the most popular Super Hero movie, cartoon, and comic book disaster locations in the world. I’m not talking about Sam Rami’s writing room. I’m talking about the majestic Golden Gate Bridge! We found the dead hooker dump site from the Dirty Harry movies! I truly believe that the Golden Gate Bridge is the perfect combination of engineering and aesthetics!
Our last stop was at the San Francisco City College where we got to see Diego Rivera’s Pan American Unity mural that he was commissioned to paint back in the early 1940’s. At that time The USA was fearful of Mexico, Central, and South America siding with the Fascist Nazis! That’s why Walt Disney made those goodwill trips around Latin America and produced Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros! North America really worked hard at sucking up to its’ neighbors to the south!
So Diego came in and painted this Gorgeous and Epic mural showing the deeply cultured Latin American indigenous peoples joining forces with the USA’s Industrial Might. The stone and wood tradition from the South met in the middle with the modern steel and innovation of the North. Together the Americas could unite to stop fascism. Truly a remarkable work of art.
In fact one section of Diego’s mural in which he depicted his wife the Lovely and Vivacious Frida Kahlo inspired me to paint the centerpiece to the Dia De Los Muertos Altar that Hortencia and I created for the 2008 Hollywood Forever Cemetary Day of the Dead Celebration.
Phew! What a weekend!
What’s this? Another event? Oh yes!
Join us for the 2010 Dia De Los Muertos El Monte Celebration!
Animated Promo courtesy of Grasiela Rodriguez!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
at El Monte Valley Mall
3754 Santa Anita Ave El Monte, CA, 91731
This is a free event at El Monte’s Valley Mall. There will be Entertainment by local folklorico dancers, Azteca musicians, and more!
Plus there will be Day of the Dead Arts & Crafts, Apparel, Ofrendas (altars) display, and Man vs. Art’s very own Raul Aguirre Jr. all in celebration of the Day of the Dead. This event is presented by the Nuvein Foundation in collaboration with the City of El Monte Cultural Commission, the Downtown El Monte Business Association, and the El Monte-Chamber of Commerce.
See you there!
For more info check out Nuvein!
So until next time dearest Minions! Keep those pencils sharp and keep those sketchbooks flipping!