CAKE Chicago report: perhaps 5000 people attended

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It’s a little hard to find concrete reports from indie shows these days unless Secret Acres or Robyn Chapman post reports, from the social media, looks like CAKE Chicago this weekend was a successful indie show. I’ve heard mixed reports on sales in past years, but based on the “haul photos” I’ve seen, a lot of comics were purchased. I dug up a few more concrete reports:

Weekend Comics Extravaganza: Grand Comics Fest in Brooklyn

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I have to admit, if I hadn’t committed to going to SE: NYC I would totally be at the Grand Comics Fest, a small one day indie show that has a great lineup or cartoonists and some exciting comics debuts. You can see the lineup in the card above.

Weekend of Comics Extravaganza preview: CECAF– the Crouch End Cartoon Art Festival

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Things are kicking into high gear worldwide for comics shows. So much is kicking off tomorrow. Here’s a very quick look at some of them. In London’s Crouch End a 2nd year CAF is taking place, the Crouch End Cartoon Art Festival or CECAF, organized by Sean Azzopardi.

Cartoon Crossroads Columbus announces first guests, schedule, exhibitor applications open

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The new two day launch event for CXC in Columbus has been the buzz among cartoon circles for a while now and the website is now open with the initial guests: Kate Beaton, Jerry Beck, Bill Griffith, Françoice Mouly, Jeff Smith, Art Spiegelman and Craig Thompson. AND the first round of events, below. The exhibitor application form is in the above link and, well, this is surely going to be a hoedown for the comics. Oh and a new logo by Dustin Harbin, above.

Karen Green to take over CAB programming

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After a few very successful years with Paul Karasik steering the programming, Comics Arts Brooklyn has announced a new Programming Director for 2015, Columbia University’s Karen Green, whose many titles include Ancient & Medieval History Librarian, the Graphic Novels Librarian, and the Curator for Comics and Cartoons.  Green’s honors include serving on the board of […]

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 4/20/15: Making money at crowded comic arts festival

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  § There’s been some chatter over the last week or so over this public FB thread by Stephen Bissette about what he sees as exclusion of certain creators at indie comics shows. It sprang out of an older thread, and the conversation eventually includes Bill Kartalopoulos, who works with SPX and MoCCA, as well […]

To do this weekend: Linework NW in Portland, OR

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Just as a reminder, this weekend is the first big West Coast Caf of the year: LINEWORK NW which is FREE to attend in Portland’s Norse Hall. Info in the above link but here’s the skinny: Linework NW will take place on Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19, 2015, at the Norse Hall in […]

New CAF: the New South Festival 2015 in Austin

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There’s a CAF (comic arts festival) born every minute! Here’s a new one, the New South Fest in Austin. They have a tumblr and a FB page, and some art…and exhibitor applications are now open. The plan is an outdoor books and comics event to be held June 6th, 2015 at the French Legation Museum in Austin, Texas. “Our goal is to celebrate independent literature, alternative comics, small presses, and print culture. New South will be highly curated, focused, fresh, and irreverent.”

UPDATE: Oops should have dug a little more. This event seems to be run by Danithan Mejia of the Foxing Review, website under construction.

CAF update: APE and Short Run get dates; ELCAF gets a day and Lineworks NW gets guests

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Whew the comics arts festival circuit news is flowing thick and fast; we’re in the middle of application season and hearts and minds are turning to tabling. And the CAFs are answering back with news.

MoCCA fest programming will be held at the Highline Hotel

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Some details on the logistics of the new venue for this year’s MoCCA Festival have been announced. The show itself is moving to Center 548 on West 22nd Street, and programming will be held two blocks away at the Highline Hotel on 20th and 10th Avenue, a converted 1865 building that was once Clement Clarke […]

SPX table lottery opens on February 1

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The Small Press Expo, to be held this year Sept. 19-20, isn’t a fully curated show. About half the booths are grandfathered in, but the rest are open in a “lottery” that is nerve-wracking but ultimately fair. While curated shows like TCAF and CAB present a sleek line-up, it’s good to have some element of the random for one premiere CAF. REgistration is open from February 1-15 and the rest of the process is laid out in an announcement. “What to expect when you’re expecting to table.”

The Devastator/Beat Convention Exhibitor Survey is out: which cons are loved, which are hated

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Last fall, we here at The Beat teamed up with the awesome folks at The Devastator to put together a survey for convention exhibitors. With all the controversy over who is spending and what cons are con games, it seemed like time to seriously upgrade this survey. And you responded, with more than 100 people taking the survey, giving results on the top cons and CAFs that revealed average sales and average amount of satisfaction with each show.

In case you’ve never heard of them, The Devastator is a humor/comic magazine based in LA that features sharp satire and art by founders Geoffrey Golden and Amanda Meadows as well as people from The Onion, the Daily Show, Adult Swim, Marvel and more.

The result, as crunched by the Devastator’s staff, has some eye-opening statistics. You can read the entire report right here, and see some of the Devastator team’s own comments below, but here are a few of my own eye-openers:

Must read: Whit Taylor on “A Visit to CAB” and comic arts festival sustainability

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Whitney Taylor continues to be my favorite investigative comics journalist—well, maybe investigative is too strong a word, but if “talking to a lot of people and painting a picture” is the criterion, Whit is it, as her report on Comic Arts Brooklyn shows. This was a strong show but one that experienced an unexpected glitch: a lot of people thought it was a two day show and didn’t come to the exhibits on Saturday. This resulted in a smaller crowd and, for some, lower sales. On the day there was a lot of anxiety—it’s like basing your business plan on Christmas sales and then there’s a big blizzard the day of the big sale—but everyone seems to have survived intact.

And yet, is a financial model this precarious one that is “sustainable”? I predict sustainable will be THE word of 2015, as a the last few days of posts here have been exploring. Taylor talks about the model with many publishers and creators and key behind the scenes people like publishing rep Tony Shenton, and while everyone is optimistic, there is no real consensus on whether things are working, improving or just providing a false illusion of hope:

SF Comics Festival ist now in the works

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I’m not going to give updates on this every time there’s a post, but just to keep up with various developments, that indie comics show in San Francisco that a bunch of volunteers have begun exploring has some pretty ambitious plans as reported by Matt Silady. SF is currently without a major comics show, as […]

Comics Arts LA was a success it seems

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SIMPSONS creator @mattgroening4 just popped into #thinktankgallery for the @ComicArtsLA event. Only 3 HOURS LEFT! pic.twitter.com/1AjbgP7VEy — Think Tank Gallery (@ThinkTankDTLA) December 6, 2014 …or that’s what I get from the social media reports, which are brief but positive. Packed house for Comics in Animation panel with @natazilla, @lisadraws, @ryanpequin! Right now! pic.twitter.com/QvLmoDnT06 — Comic […]

CAF update: MoCCA exhibitor reg due date and LIneworks info

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Speaking of CAFS, a couple of other newsy notes for the burgeoning crop of events next year,