by Carter Glace
Comics are a unique art form that provides an interesting opportunity for creator and fan interaction. The comic convention is almost nonexistent in other fields (you don’t see filmmakers sitting in booths selling DVDs after all), and serves as one of the most exciting features of the community. And in November, Comic Arts Brooklyn was another edition to the time honored tradition.
The five day event feature book signings, screenings and galleries throughout the week, but reached it’s peak on the weekend, with over 100 artists, writers and producers coming together for signings and sales. The sheer amount of content was staggering, only matched by the sheer amount of fans pouring in throughout the day. Courtney Menard, who worked at the event, was incredibly happy with the turn out. “We have a lot of big names this year, so a lot of people are coming in and asking where they can find specific artists. But we’ve also gotten a lot of people coming off the street, which I feel is what we want, a lot of new eyes on material they haven’t seen before.” Said line up was headlined by Daniel Clowes, the artist and writer behind Ghost World, who also made the cover for this year’s event.
The headline events as a whole were an impressive collection, with Sunday featuring six panels on the wide spectrum of comic art, a discussion with Dan Clowes on his comic and film work, and a sort of performance art piece with sequential live drawings. The artists and writers are obviously the heart of the event, the creative men and women who push themselves day and night then sit seven hours meeting with their fans. Katie Skelly—the creator of visually delightful Operation Margarine— said the chance to put faces often faceless fan base is a big pull. “When your 200 blocks away working on stuff, you have no idea what your audience looks like or what they enjoy,” so meeting them is a huge opportunity. Similar sentiments came from Tucker Stone—a publisher who was promoting a wide rang of artists—who saw this as one of the best ways for the “niche” audience to engage with their favorite artists, with the biggest reward being “meeting the people who love these books and buy these books”. He also saw it as a great way to introduce his artists to a whole new audience as well, as did Katie.
Both also briefly discussed the great work of Dessert Island, the store which puts on this event, who have strive to put on an broad range of talent (both mentioned the application process involved with entering). And that diversity was definitely on display. From childrens books to kinky sexual art to punk rock styles to minimalist sketches, the strange and varied world of comic art was certainly on display. The result is something utterly unique and vibrant in the heart of Brooklyn, New York, which countless comic fans got to enjoy.
Carter Glace is a Highlighter Staff Columnist. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.