This weekend, while everyone else was at Heroescon, I checked out the Grand Comics Festival at Brooklyn’s Bird River Studios on Saturday. It was a pleasant sunny day, the show was free, and the vibe was super mellow. As I approached the door I had a buzz coming from inside—always a good sign—and people were popping in and out the whole time I was there. I’ve often thought that MoCCA and the late Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival, even though small shows, were still so big that you didn’t have time to really see all the exhibitors, and a small local show could be viable.
The Grand Comics Festival seemed to prove that although I’m not sure it really needed to be a two-day show. (I haven’t heard any reports from Sunday.) Pat Dorian organized and curated the show and it was a tight selection of fairly well-known local cartoonists. I had a lot of the books on display but had time to check out the wares of a lot of people that I don’t normally have and I picked up a few new books, too.
The venue was just the right size, there was natural sunlight, and because it was free people kept popping in and checking things out.
Other local cartoonists and comics personalities stopped by—I saw Sara Varon, Dean Haspiel, Greg Benton and so on schmoozing while I was there, and I suspect that went on all weekend.
I didn’t get a chance to talk to Dorian about his plans for the show, but it seemed to be a success. Of course, a lot of people were lamenting the loss of the BCGF, but word on the street is that one of that show’s organizers, Gabe Fowler, is planning to put on a replacement event, so look for more on that front.
After checking out the show I popped around the corner to a deli that makes a mean prosciutto and provolone sandwich with olives and ultra thin sliced onions, and sat in the park and ate it. I would call the day a complete triumph.
I took the opportunity to take some “file photos” of the locals.
Jonathan Bayliss of So Buttons
Cartoonist and frequent Beat commenter Daryl Ayo Brathwaite
I was very happy to finally meet Na Liu and Andres Vera Martinez, creators of the much lauded graphic novel Little White Duck: A Childhood in China . Martinez has a variety of graphic novels projects in the works.
Chandler Moses was representing Hic and Hoc.
Kriota Willberg and R. Sikoryak. Kriota had two new comics, including Pictorial Anatomy of the Cute which peeled back the skin on famed cute meme photos. What is the word for when kawaii meets horror?
Like the word balloon says, Andrea Tsurumi. I got a copy of her delightful “Suddenly an Octopus…” one of several octopus themed comics at the show.
Box Brown of Retrofit Comics.
The Beat’s own Dre Grigoropol. I picked up an issue of Dee’s Dream, which about a young woman fronting a band and the hijinks that ensue. In that issue, there was a lot of puking, but it was charming nonetheless.
That’s Blaise Larmee on the left (missed the name of his tablemate.). I’m a big fan of his tumblr.
Last Train to Old Town’s Kenan Rubinstein
Jen Tong who has some of the most gorgeous silk screened prints and comics at every show I see her at.
C.M. Butzner—we chatted about his risograph machine—C.M. is one of the lucky folks who got one on ebay for cheap.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.