Comic-Con International Hands APE Back to Founder

In Other Conventions by Kerry Dixon2 Comments

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Comic-Con International will be down to only hosting two conventions a year after this weekend. Thanks to Bleeding Press, we now know that CCI has decided to hand back APE — the Alternative Press Expo — to the man who funded the convention in 1994, Dan Vado.

Bleeding Cool discovered that in the program for this year’s event, a notice about the changing of hands was posted:

The 22nd Alternative Press Expo in 2015 will return to Dan Vado and his team at SLG Publishing.

With this transfer, Dan will once again be at the helm of what we feel is the best alternative comics show on the convention circuit. Dan continued to run the event for the first few years after Comic-Con took over and has continued to be supportive of the show as a longtime exhibitor and by bringing in guests to APE at his own expense. Since then he has also delved into producing other creative events including an annual charity zombie walk in San Jose (Zombie-O-Rama) and launching an all-ages music and art venue (TheArt Boutiki). That is in addition to his almost 30 years of comics publishing with SLG.

It has been Comic-Con International’s pleasure and honor to be the stewards of APE, and while we may be a little sad to see it go, that sadness is assuaged by excitement, as we know Dan is perhaps the only person who loves this event more than we do.

If WonderCon Anaheim is the step-sister to San Diego Comic-Con, APE has always been a bit of the red-headed step-child to both conventions. The Alternative Press Expo, which is taking place this weekend in San Francisco, aims to promote the very best of alternative and small press comics, in much the same way that San Diego Comic-Con started out in 1970. However, unlike that convention which has seen its attendance size boom to over 130,000 every year, APE hosts just over 6,000 attendees and badges are even free to anyone who attended SDCC.

There’s no word on why Comic-Con International has decided to hand the convention back, but according to Bleeding Cool, Vado is happy to have it back. The convention could move back to his home town of San Jose, where it originated, or it could stay in San Francisco.

Are you sad to see APE move out from the Comic-Con International umbrella? Let us know in the comments.