~BROOKLYN COMICS & GRAPHICS FESTIVAL
(poster illustration: CHARLES BURNS)
the first ever BROOKLYN COMICS AND GRAPHICS FESTIVAL took place this past SAT DEC 5, 2009, 11am-7pm – at OUR LADY OF CONSOLATION CHURCH – 184 METROPOLITAN AVE – in WILLIAMSBURG.
presented by PICTUREBOX and DESERT ISLAND, with over 50 exhibitors and a full schedule of panel discussions and book signings, admission was free.
check out: BROOKLYN COMICS & GRAPHICS FESTIVAL for details . . .
. . . so, if you were in New York City – this weekend – this was the only game in town. and it was fun, despite the fact that the organizers DAN NADEL of PICTUREBOX and GABRIEL FOWLER of DESERT ISLAND seemed a little frazzled, and I guess understandably so. one can only guess at what kind of drama and mini-struggles went on behind the scenes – these comic books guys are some serious dudes . . . don’t ever mistake ‘comics’ – as in comedians !! with comics as in small mostly soft bound books !! it’s a whole world apart. if not a whole other planet. Gabriel Fowler in particular – does much better in the quiet calm of his Desert Island, than he does in the midst of a teeming Williamsburg church basement on a stormy night !!
The crowd was mostly male, and seemed to be comprised of pretty serious comics aficionados. but nobody was really laughing, except maybe GARY PANTER – who seemed to be in the best mood – of anybody !!
and Frankie Santoro !! who had had a good day – as in, “raked it in” – selling classic ‘collector’ comics, and let’s leave it at that. my gut feeling was that not many of the youngest exhibitors manged to cover their minimal participation table costs.
($150 for artists, $200 for publishers). the new SMOKE SIGNAL #3 – made its debut at the fest – but appeared to be somewhat of a dud – except for the front cover. just joking, guys !! – its great. esp the front cover by ANDERS NILSEN !!
also loved the center spread by DASH SHAW !!
It was the very first day of real snow, preceded by a very heavy windy cold rain – so they weren’t sure if this brought out the huge, mostly robust guy crowd – or if they were lucky !! conversely: that it was bad weather – which might have discouraged the less die-hard of the breed from slogging through the cold wet misery outside – cause they didn’t have any crowd control plans . . . and it was crowded. super crowded. all day from the get-go.
for me, it was way more fun to be at, esp since it was the first time they ever did this – than running around at any played-out art fair in Miami, mostly because of the (genuine) talent – that popped up, with such startling & graphic !!
appeal. put it this way, if forced to pick between Vito Schnabel parading around the one-trick pony, not to mention, visually challenged Bruce Almighty ‘nerds’ (the New York Times word for them, not mine !!) – in thrift shop polo shirts – no less.
then, yes. I considered myself damn lucky, even in a New York City snowstorm, as opposed to that Florida hotel pool heat – to see CHARLES BURNS in person !! signing books, a gracious GARY PANTER offering a brief chat, an intense DAVID SANDLIN unraveling his 27 ft. long foot self-produced artist book. not to mention RON REGE Jr – who can actually be made to crack a smile – and, meeting the very influential and under-rated (in the rat world !! I mean art world) MAT BRINKMAN – for the first time – I consider just that – a super special moment. and to cap it off – to actually have had, a somewhat grumpy DAN NADEL hand me over a comp copy, the very first time ever, after almost a decade of covering his adventures !! of explicit JAPANESE MANGA !! – yo, give me New York City – even a tiny church basement, in Brooklyn no less – over Miami Basel – any day.
you have to give GABRIEL FOWLER credit for producing this great silkscreen over-size poster for the event.
the one and only CHARLES BURNS provided the intense black and white imagery – and even DAN NADEL – had a hand in it. he designed the text lay-out. nice job all around. it goes for $30 – if all you had was $30 – this is where you’d put it. beautiful job. one of the best posters of that quality – I’ve ever seen.
CHARLES BURNS !!
CHARLES BURNS inscribing his book – ‘BLACK HOLE’ – in white !! for some lucky fan.
GABRIELLE BELL – ‘CECIL AND JORDAN IN NEW YORK STORIES’.
Mr. Panter teaches at SVA.
he was signing the top of his hard cover boxed book.
well, actually most of these guys will draw some little doodle for ya, as well as sign the book.
he also teaches at SVA.
DAVID SANDLIN – ‘SLUMBURBIA !!
this is a self-produced book that incorporates silk screen prints into one long 27 ft contiguous banner – that opens up in a series of Japanese art book-like gestures – is the best way I can explain it. Mr. Sandlin produces the silkscreens, and assembles the over-size books in his silkscreen shop at SVA. The prints are in an edition of 40 each – of which 15 sets were assembled into the hard cover ‘portfolio’ type book. The books go for $6,000.
hey, if all you had was $6,000 – you’d most def – go for this !! I wouldn’t hesitate for a momento !!
DAVID SANDLIN – how the prints begin to appear in the book.
we finally get to meet MAT BRINKMAN !!
we’ve been a big fan of his – since forever !!
he is one comic artist who has been able, like MATT LEINES – to cross the unspoken divide between fine art and cartoon art – and his work – does pop up in art shows here in NYC, and in L.A., and elsewhere.
MAT BRINKMAN – I think that is his logo ??!!
MAT BRINKMAN – no doubt about it – great stuff.
DAN NADEL of PICTUREBOX and a co-organizer/founder of the event.
GABRIEL FOWLER of DESERT ISLAND – the other co-organizer/founder of the fest.
but, seriously dude – you bit the dust with me. maybe there is a reason – you’re marooned on a desert island.
moving on – JAMES McSHANE.
NOAH LYON – looking good.
with array of his small, politically charged and seriously funny dude – self-published books !!
NOAH LYON. his latest – LOL !!
a collaboration with MATT LEINES !! what a wicked & funny combo – or what !!
the awesome RON REGE Jr !!
RON REGE Jr. – ‘AGAINST PAIN’ !!
RON REGE Jr. – these are – DRAWN AND QUARTERLY – publications.
RON REGE Jr.
inside a RON REGE Jr. book – !!
Uninhabitable Mansions !!
CHRIS DIKEN, ROBBIE GUERTIN and SARA JONES – of Uninhabitable Mansions.
‘TWO WOUNDS’ – by CHRIS DIKEN
ROBBIE GUERTIN’s strangest little book – ever.
a glimpse behind the scenes.
SAM GASKIN and KEN DAHL – at the SECRET ACRES table.
a good natured SAM GASKIN – cracked a grin – when asked if it was a self portrait !!
a serious KEN DAHL.
and KEN DAHL’S – intense ?!! – is that the right word – flight of dark imagination.
SAM GASKIN – a church basement burstin’ full of talent – or what !!
MOLLY COLLEEN O’CONNELL and CHRIS DAY of CLOSED CAPTION COMICS – outta Philly !!
VICTOR KERLOW contributed to this collection.
exhibited his ‘PANRAY’.
BECCA KACANDA – she did that wonderful abstract color paisley design – on the back cover of SMOKE SIGNAL #2.
but otherwise, the comic world evidently is pretty much – a man’s world.
PAKITO BOCINO of LA DERNIER CRI – outta PARIS, FRANCE.
DERNIER CRI currently have a show up at – CINDERS – its up through DEC 19, 2009.
check it out: CINDERS !!
PAKITO BOCINO. LA DERNIER CRI – a legendary crew out of FRANCE.
JOSEPH LAMBERT, SEAN FORD and ALEX KIM.
‘OILY SKIN’ by SEAN FORD.
illustration by JACK TURNBULL.
JACK TURNBULL – also responsible for this wicked piece !!
CYRUS LUBIN aka FAMOUS CLASS, also in the band BOOGIE BOARDER. and MAURA in the Brooklyn band, DARLINGS.
and last, but not least, hometown fav – FRANK SANTORO – who made out like a bandit selling rare collector comics !!
FRANK SANTORO with his own book.
he is also one of the few comic artists who can cross the line into “fine art”.
yo, that’s it, folks !!
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH