Tuesday, April 24, 2007


APE weekend was a blast!

The APE hall in full swing

The Bang Gang crew (LtoR): Anthony Wu, Evan, Me, Derek Yu, Hellen Jo.

First off though, it seems that a few people, including Simon from Icarus, and a user from scanlation megahub Manganews.net, are bothered that we did a small run of our scanlations and gave/traded/sold these to friends at APE. In a way, I can see this in a theoretical sense, but I think what we actually did for APE was much more mundane and non-commercial.

As mentioned in our last post, we compiled all the materials that are freely available here (or at least, will be available once we move to a new host). In addition to Evan's framed artwork, copies of our Bible comic, and a Same Hat flyer, we wanted to have a physical manifestation of our blog content for the hardcore Same Hat fans and our friends. To this end, we printed a total of 30 copies of our booklet, at a cost of about $135 to us.

Really, we would have been more than happy to give them all away to folks, but when you stay up until 5 AM paying Kinkos to duplex, copy, fold and staple booklets, then it makes sense to charge a nominal fee as a barrier-to-entry. As any con attendees know, there is always a group of fanboys, usually dudes with light sabers and jedi robes (yes, we saw a guy like that at APE07), that simply grab up any and all free stuff blindly, and we couldn't/wouldn't spend the time & money to print enough copies for that sort of consumption.

We gave away about half our tiny print run to friends and tablemates, traded some for other zines and minicomics, and then sold a few to people who dig the site. At the end, our net "profit" for this labor of love booklet came to a loss of over 100 bucks, but in the process, a bunch of people that were already interested in weirdo manga now have an offline artifact with pretty layout to check out when their internet is broken.

Me, Derek and Hellen holding down the fort

In the talks we had with the new people we met, it was extremely clear that there is a small but rabid circle of people anxious for this type of stuff to be released in English, and we'll keep doing our prosteletyzing work here. In the meantime, we recommended them to Kinokuniya for more Sensha/Aihara (in Japanese, granted), AbeBooks and Booksense for used copies of the very out-of-print Maruo titles from Creation and Blast, and to buy the three books of the discontinued Museum of Terror books and the upcoming Gyo & Uzumaki re-releases from Viz.

That said, the expo was about the chance to talk comics and zines with some rad compatriots for 2 days straight. We ended the weekend with a celebratory group dinner at an all-you-can-eat Indian place. Here are some of the pictures we snapped:

The sole cosplayers we saw at the 'alternative' expo

At the fair, we reconnected with friends like V. Vale (Publisher of Re/Search), Derek Kirk Kim (Eisner winner and nice guy supreme), Jason Shiga (mathematical rapper and Eisner winner), Mari Naomi (painter and indie cartoonist), and Ed Chavez (MangaCast blogger)

We also saw our friend and author Jason Thompson (ex-Viz editor of Pulp, Gyo, Uzumaki and Drifting Classroom)

The most unexpected person we met was cartoonist Aaron K, in town from Chicago.

The entire Bang Gang crew is huge fans of his comics, and we wondered what the hell happened after he disappeared off the internet last year. Turns out he's making music and working on a new comic, Manatee Island. He showed us the first 18 pages, and it looks to be really, really great. Somebody publish this guy!! We're hanging out later this week, and will try to talk him into letting us scans some panels for the site.

Finally, here is the haul from this year. With the Last Gasp party on Friday night (where they let APE exhibitors buy stuff right off their warehouse shelves) and the great spread at the expo, I ended up burning a HUGE hole in my wallet. Check out the goodies:

The Mourning Star by Kazimir Strzepek, strongly recommended by both Hellen & Johnny Ryan!

Garo-successor and indie manga compilation AX (アックス) issue 37.

Finally tracked down Dungeon, Zenith Volume 2 by Sfar/Trondheim!!

Met Esther Pearl Watson and Mark Todd and bought issues 4 & 5 of Unlovable, John #1 and a garbage zine.

Tom Gauld's new collection of Very Small Comics from Buenaventura

Inside Vineyland by Lauren Weinstein (my GF originally read this serialized in The Stranger)

Re/Search hardcover reprint of their long unavailable Industrial Culture Handbook!

LtoR: Hellen Jo postcard, collection of mid-90s Eighball postcards, Walken card from Brandon Bird

Tablemate Anthony Wu's new mini Brain Market, Jason Thompson's Hyperborea adaptation

Julia Wertz's Fart Party 4.5, Derek Kirk Kim's Lowbright strip collection

Jason Thompson's entire collected webcomic, The Stiff

Jason Shiga's MINDBLOWING choose your own adventure monster, Knock! Knock!

Okay, this is the weirdest thing I got-- Jason Shiga's rap album, featuring I Love My Shigacorn and 2pac Lives

APE07 exclusive, Shiga's fold-out adventure The Last Supper

The new issue of Giant Robot (thanks Michelle!!) and Jason Thompson's adaptation of Lovecraft's The White Ship

LtoR: Mari's APE mini, a mini trade, Just The Facts comp by David Collier

My GF picked up books at Last Gasp too:

We finally have our own copy of Kramers Ergot 6!

LtoR: Incredible Mark Bayer stationary, Law & Order-meets-Batman card by Brandon Bird, Witchcraft compilation of pre-code horror comics

Beautiful screenprint by Hellen

Derek Kirk Kim put together a mega-poster with dozens of characters, including

GI Joe's and the Predator (also Conan and Picard)

Tetsuo from Akira


Thanks to everyone for your comments and support. It sounds like about 25 more of you that read the site regularly would like your own booklet. I think that I'll simply drop the bucks myself and whip up those as a spring thank you present for being awesome and checking our site out over the past two years. We won't be making this available in perpetuity, but once I've gotten that run finished, I'll post and ask you all to send us an email at samehatATgmail.com.

Coming next: Online shops we endorse, Parasyte and more on Aaron K


Anonymous said...

ZOMG yer breakin tha lawz. 30 copies crosses the ethical linez! ^^'

Hey, was Brain Market cool, it looks cool. And oy vey, what was up with Jason's sideburns!? 0_0. They gotta go.

C.M.B. said...

looks like it was a blast! some of that stuff you nabbed looks really interesting.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that Hellen piece really pops! And I'm really looking forward to the possibility of getting a copy of the Same Hat archival project.

Cal said...

I stopped by your table to pick up Derek's new shit, and ended up talking to you dudes about Black Jack transgender caberet shows and Junji Ito or something. Anyway, the Same Hat collections was one of the best things I picked up at the con... and cheap!

Anonymous said...

i'm envious of that Re/Search.

Ryan said...

tina: Thanks for the support lately :) We appreciate it and respect your position on scans/etc. Oh, Brain Market was pretty short and sweet-- Our friend Anthony Wu has a lot of complete comics on his site that you should check out--- he's a really really versatile artist and storyteller :) Also, I dunno-- Jason looked kindof like an albino version of trent from Daria. I think it worked in person, but you can be the judge next time you see him :)

clint: yeah dude, i'm STILL reading through my pile-- probably almost halfway through the great stuff I picked up.

ian: cool, I'll put you on the list for the highly controversial pamphlet. As long as you are okay with supporting sedition. Oh, you should contact hellen if you want to get one-- I think she's still selling a few that are left for $10 bucks. Trust me, it's even prettier in person :)

calvin: It was really nice to meet you! I'm gonna scan an image of the Black Jack Takarazuka production. I actually just found a bunch of my old stuff from when I saw a few shows there (it's located in Takarazuka city, Tezuka's hometime and home of the Tezuka Manga Museum). Email me anytime-- would love to talk comics with you whenever :)

bryan: You should totally buy one. I've been reading it during my lunch breaks and it's pretty groundbreaking stuff (eventhough it's originally from '83). Re/Search is going through rough times as their distributor was PGW, and they've famously gone bankrupt in the past 6 months. Vale told me that they haven't received any payments for the past 3-4 months of sales... So, if you were thinking of picking it up direct via their site, now would be a good time :)

it's like--- REQUIRED READING, you know?