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Sunday, October 14, 2012

APE 2012: Sergio Aragones & Jim Woodring at Day 1!

10.14.2012 – This year’s APE, the Alternative Press Expo was bustling with independent and original works at the Concourse Convention Center. When you open the doors it’s not exactly a mad house as compared to SDCC 2012 but good enough to walk the aisle to check out some interesting finds.

Last year’s APE attracted some 5000 visitors to some of the finest works of art you’ll see holding court but of course for this year there’s always a first. Sergio Aragonés was present for his first appearance at APE 2012.

The first thing once you enter the convention center, you get to see his table just about ready to welcome his fans. We get to chat with Aragonés and Jim Woodring who were both welcoming.

The Hernandez Brothers, Miriam Libicki, Ben Kachor, and Eric Drooker were present too. We are very fortunate that Sergio Aragonés was able to attend, he spoke about his projects being held up since he’s recuperating from his health issues. He mentioned about his “Groo” project dubbed “Groo VS Conan” for Dark Horse Comics which will be released on a later date sometime in 2013.

Long before independent publishing became an avenue for artists to present their work, he was there in the thick of it already.

His first creation was Groo under Pacific publication until the company went out of business. Then he did Groo under Eclipse and then with Marvel publishing; 120 issues which he never missing a month or being late bringing the humor comic consistently month after month.

He signed some APE 2012 programs and the other one had a sketch of Mighty Magnor for Filipino Kartoonista Ariel Atienza who has been a big fan of Aragonés.

Sergio has the most priceless expression when he showed his appreciation that we made this far to see him.

Another artist we got to speak with is Jim Woodring a self-taught artist known for his wordless comic series depicting his character Frank who looks like a cartoon character from those old generic cartoons. Frank an anthropomorph cat whose adventures careen wildly from sweet to appalling, had a book collection released in 2004. Weathercraft a Frank story won The Stranger’s Genius Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2010. The latest Frank book was released in 2011 titles “Congress of the Animals.”

Jim is not only known for his creation of Frank but also known for his anecdotal charcoal drawings (a selection which was gathered in SEEING THINGS in 2005). He also does sculptures, vinyl figures, fabrics and gallery installations that have been made from his designs.

As talented as Jim Woodring might surprise you,he has collaborated with musician Bill Frisell that won them a United Artists Fellowship in 2006. He will have a panel with Miriam Libicki this Sunday at the Fantagraphics booth.

We’ll call him “Uncle Jim” sharing his appreciation when we came up to his table and he did sign and made some sketches for his fans. You can catch the special guests on the last day but for now they made everyone’s Saturday memorable both Sergio Aragonés and “Uncle” Jim Woodring.

Alternative Press Expo (APE) is at the Concourse Convention Center happening this weekend (October 13-14, 2012). For more live updates LIKE to become a fan on Facebook and follow on Twitter: @APExpo

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