I’ll never look at stuffed animals the same way again.
Me: I’m going to APE tomorrow. I hope there are some funny costumes.
Friend: Will there be furries?
Friend: You know, people who dress up like big, cuddly animals and have sex with each other. They have big, furry orgies.
Me: Um. [Laughing.] What in the name of smelly Tootsie Rolls are you talking about?
[Sketchy] Friend: Oh, you don’t know? Forget it… it’s just something I heard about. Yeah.
It turns out there is a furry fandom movement, that has a hilariously deviant sexual faction that has gotten shout-outs on MTV, in Vanity Fair, and on (duh) CSI.
Two words: Furry porn. Heh.
The results of a survey of furry fans indicate that a full 2% of furries are interested in having sex with actual animals, while less than 1% are interested in sex with stuffed animals. Huh! Expose yourself and your inner teddy bear to other surprising aspects of this cuddly / kinky way of life at the furry wiki.
So, no, no furries at APE this year. But! Still plenty of oddballs and talented independents to keep things interesting.
And I did manage to see Art Spiegelman. He participated in this afternoon’s Graphic Novels Now panel:
- Art Spiegelman: Highlighted work: Maus. Currently working on Meta-Maus, “the DVD extras” follow-up to Maus. It’ll contain rough sketches, jots from his notebook, research notes, and interview notes. He’s currently reading Rudolphe Topferr’s comics from the 1830s.
- Kevin Huizenga: Curses. Currently working on Ganges #2.
- Gene Yang: American Born Chinese. Currently reading Kevin’s Curses and Dark Horse’s Lulu books.
- Bryan Lee O’Malley: Scott Pilgrim (optioned by Universal, with Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) attached to direct).
- Hope Larson: Gray Horses. Currently working on Chiggers.
Creating a graphic novel takes a long time.
Bryan: “The first Scott Pilgrim book took three months, but I’ll never, ever be able to do that again.”
Art: “When I did Maus, it was born out of dream to see what it would be like to have a comic book that needed a bookmark.”
Gene: “When you decide to write a graphic novel, it’s like you’re deciding to become a priest for five years.”
Keep your day job.
Gene: “We’re into art because we don’t like money.”[Laughing.] Gene finally broke even two years ago, and now makes enough to pay for art supplies. Gene and comic book independents Tien Pham and Brianna Miller all teach at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, CA. Tien and Brianna both manage to find ways to incorporate their work into their classroom lessons. You have to admire that kind of shady industriousness!
Kevin: “Don’t quit your day job.” “Find a job that allows you to work on your comics. Office jobs are good.” “Landscaping is not good, because you get tired.” Kevin endorses working for a museum because they’re so un-demanding.
Art: Recommends a job as a night watchman. “All you have to do is be there.”
Want to be an independent comic book artist / writer / publisher? Give up on a social life.
Hope: “[Husband Bryan Lee O’Malley and I] have lots of cats!”
Kevin: “Well, it’s more of a personal problem than a comics problem.”
Gene: “If I thought about it, I’d get depressed.”
Art: “A lot of my social life consists of talking on the phone while I’m inking.”
Not a lot of costumes at APE–that’s ComicCon’s thing–but still plenty to see.
Gene Yang pontificates.
Bryan Lee O’Malley signs a copy of Scott Pilgrim Vol 1 for me.
The only comic book convention with a fully-stocked cash bar.
Would you buy cookies from them?
Complete with fake British accents. Really.
Would the superhero character who doesn’t belong at APE please stand up?
Wrong convention, buddy.
Can you name all of these? Note the shout-out to the best film of 1986, Big Trouble in Little China.
The launch of Top Shelf Production’s Super F*ckers. Why do I care? I don’t. But, look! It’s called Super F*ckers!
One of the favored breeding grounds of the geeky, goth, hipstered, pony-tailed, and/or tattooed.
More of the same.
Today’s personal highlights included getting autograph-cum-illustrations from Bryan Lee O’Malley and Art Speigelman, and discovering the work of an artist named Jerrell Conner at his booth near the back corner of the main convention floor. His artwork and dog-eared sample copy of Revelations struck quite a few passer-by, including a rep from a better-known comics distributor. Some artists slip from into “muddled and obscure” when they try to go “dark and moody”, but Jerrell’s work is genuinely mysterious and… well, cool! Very striking stuff. Keep an eye out for his next release, which should be any year now…
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