Best bets for indie comic inspiration at APE

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Learn about the watercolor way to comic inspiration with Jamaica Dyer at APE (Sat/13).
ILLUSTRATION BY JAMAICA DYER

We cried wet, hot, nerdy tears when Wonder Con moved south to Anaheim this year -- but then wiped them away with the hem of our Bat Girl and Wonder Woman-printed flouncy skirt when we remembered that the Alternative Press Expo (APE) was, as ever, on its way to the Concourse Exhibition Center.

The alt-comic gathering descends with a swish of self-published zinery Sat/13 and Sun/14, and with it, passels of adorable, print-oriented babes who read. (We hear our favorite drag illustrator, the UK's Rosa Middleton, is even around on the town, check her, and her glitterized versions of reality out.) With no furthur ado, here is a list of highlights to look out for among the speakers and on the expo floor. 

Queer cartoonist panel

One of our favorite parts of APE -- besides the chance to hobnob with the best and brightest DIY, indie comic book fans -- is the surplus of panels the explore the expansion of the comic universe. This year, with the closet shattering of the Green Lantern fresh in our minds, we're excited to see what this starry panel of queer comic artists have to share. Have a seat and listen to moderator Justin Hall (of Glamazonia fame), Tara Madison Avery, Tony Breed, Dylan Edwards, Steve MacIsaac, and Leia Weathington reflect on four decades of out and proud panels.

Sat/13, 2:45pm

Watercoloring comics demo

Feel free to learn more than just watercolor techniques from San Francisco artiste Jamaica Dyer. In 2008, Weird Fishes, her graphic novel about bunny boys and a young woman who sees ducks who talk became a Internet hit, garnering a deal with a publishing house that helped give it a life outside of computer screens (that means they printed it.) Today, she'll be showing off her brush skills, surely an inspiration to draw things just the way you like them.

Sat/13, 3pm

Comic Creator Connection

This is where the magic happens. Do you have a fab idea for a magic carpet tale through the ruined car factories of Detroit? Perhaps a super-sleuth sloth who looks for danger in the depths of the rainforest? Maybe you just want to draw the crap out of one of the above? APE provides this space specifically so that indie comic makers can find each other, in the hopes of spawning future collabs and extending the genre into the future. RSVP to assure yourself of a spot.

Sat/13, 4-6pm; Sun/14, 3-5pm

The Hernandez brothers

Few siblings have created a world as vast, complex, and racy as Jaime, Gilbert, and Mario Hernandez of Love and Rockets fame. The three's graphic novel saga of Latino punks, queers, and troubled souls will discuss what it's like to play God with your two brothers, and, probably, what it takes to work together for over 30 years without brandishing a sharp Bic at the others' throats.

Sat/13, 5:45

"Bay Area Comics: Past, Present, and Future"

But enough about you, let's talk about us. At this gathering of Bay comic greats (Thien Pham, illustrator of Sumo, Gene Luen Yang's fab Level Up, and other amazing odes to the Asian American experience; Andrew Farago, curator of the Cartoon Art Museum; and Jason Shiga, who penned Empire State, an epic ode to cross-country geekery), our terrific comic legacy will be discussed -- and harebrained ideas put forth about where exactly we are headed in the new millenium.

Sun/14, 4:45pm

Alternative Press Expo

Sat/13, 11am-7pm; Sun/14, 11am-6pm, $10 one day pass/$15 two day pass

Concourse Exhibition Center

635 Eighth St., SF

www.comic-con.org/ape

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