Silicon Valley Fall Arts Preview

APE Expo Comes to San Jose

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RETURN OF THE APE: The Alternative Press Expo is coming back home—to San Jose.

The Alternative Press Expo, or APE, has been a mainstay for indie-publishers and alternative artists in the comic book industry since 1994. The convention has been under Comic-Con's control since 1995, and has been in San Francisco since 2000. What a lot of people may not know, however, is that APE started in San Jose, and was the brainchild of local businessman Dan Vado, owner of Slave Labor Graphics and the Art Boutiki. This year it's returning to San Jose, once again in Vado's hands.

"One of the reasons I started APE was to try and create more of a sense of community among artists," Vado says. "Moving it back to San Jose was natural in regards to that because it's going to be better served by the compact nature of San Jose. You can get a more festival feeling—we want to turn this thing into a party."

Vado points to last year's APE as a great example of how not to run the festival. In 2014, APE was held at Fort Mason. The event was far too spread out, he says, noting that participating hotels were dispersed across the city and, as a result, the artists weren't connecting the way he had originally envisioned.

"The idea was that people who were doing small indie stuff were getting beat up by distributors," Vado says. He started the Alternative Press Expo to combat that trend.

"San Jose is primed to be a place where APE can thrive," he says. "It always was. If you look at it from the standpoint of any pop culture event in the Bay Area, San Jose is the only place they're being held anymore. This is a real media savvy town. We could turn APE into the comics and arts equivalent of Cinequest. There's a lot of potential for this thing to grow and to become something that can become something that can both be large, while still maintaining its unique feel. I'll just have to see if I'm right."

Alternative Press Expo


San Jose Convention Center, San Jose

Ticket info TBA

Intro | Music | Stage | Visual | Film | Classical | 'Proof' | APE Expo | Flash Fiction