The Brooklyn Book Festival is one of the cultural highlights of fall in NYC and this year — surprise! — it’s gone online! But that just means that you can watch its insightful and relevant programming from wherever you are.

Events kicked off today and run through the week.  But tonight is a highlight for comics fans: A new edition of R. Sikoryak’s Carousel, a comics slideshow series that has been enlightening readers and viewers for years. And tonight is top notch!

Carousel: Comics Performances
An online event of the 2020 Brooklyn Book Festival

Readings of graphic novels and comics, with images, presented by:

Glynnis Fawkes (Charlotte Bronte Before Jane Eyre)
Shary Flenniken (Trots and Bonnie)
Mikki Kendall (Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists)
Sophie Yanow (The Contradictions)
Hosted by R. Sikoryak (Constitution Illustrated)

Watch online:
Monday, September 28, 2020 at 8:00pm EDT 

Glynnis Fawkes is the author of Charlotte Bronte Before Jane Eyre and Persephone’s Garden, both out in 2019.  She teaches at the Center for Cartoon Studies and her work has appeared in The New Yorker. Twitter and Instagram: @glynnisfawkes

Shary Flenniken is a Seattle-based cartoonist, editor, and screenwriter currently living in Seattle, Washington – best known for incorporating elements of feminism and gender politics in her Trots and Bonnie comic in National Lampoon Magazine.

Mikki Kendall is the author of AMAZONS, ABOLITIONISTS, AND ACTIVISTS (illustrated by A. D’Amico), and of HOOD FEMINISM. Her essays can be found at TIME, the New York Times, The Guardian, the Washington Post; recent media appearances include BBC, NPR, the Daily Show, PBS, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and Showtime.  Website:

Sophie Yanow is the Eisner Award-winning cartoonist of The ContradictionsWhat is a Glacier?, and War of Streets and Houses. Her comics have appeared in The New Yorker, The Guardian, Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Nib.

R. Sikoryak’s new book is Constitution Illustrated, published by Drawn & Quarterly.  His other books include The Unquotable Trump, Terms and Conditions, and Masterpiece Comics.

More info on Carousel:

As usual, there is a lot of excellent comics/graphic novels focused programming during the festival, highlighted here for your convenience. You’ll need to register via Zoom but we all know how that works by now, right? Participants include Joe Sacco, Gene Luen Yang, Leslie Stein, Bianca Xunise and many more. Good stuff!

1:00pm EST
October 4, 2020

Worlds within Worlds: When Fantasy Gets Real

What do you draw on — literally — to put an imaginary world with real stakes on the graphic novel page? Carey Pietsch discusses pulling readers into the D&D world of the #1 New York Times best-selling Adventure Zone series; Isabel Greenberg’s Glass Town reveals how the Brontë children co-created a fictional world out of bereavement; Bishakh Som builds fantastic architecture from real lives in Spellbound and Apsara Engine; and Julia Gfrörer’s protagonist pulls a new life from a haunted mirror in Vision. Moderated by writer/artist Camilla Zhang.

2:00pm EST
October 4, 2020

Makers of the Road: Writing Hidden History

What are the histories we don’t hear? A jazz legend shines brightly during a dark time in his career; a mother tells moving stories of China’s Cultural Revolution to her daughter; and, in a master comics journalist’s latest epic, the Dene Nation of Canada’s sprawling Northwest Territories grapples with the economic reward and devastating cultural costs of development. Joe Sacco (Paying the Land), Dave Chisholm (Chasin’ the Bird: Charlie Parker in California), and Emei Burell (We Served the People) discuss bringing unseen or undertold history to light.

4:00pm EST
October 4, 2020
Comics / Non-Fiction

Stand Up, Speak Out, Make Comics

From humor to horror, from journalism to first-person POV, these authors explore connections between uprisings of the past and speaking out loud in the present day. Travel from the protests against war and incarceration in the 1970s with Jared Reinmuth (Big Black: Stand at Attica) and Derf Backderf (Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio) to present-day combat with everyday systemic aggressions visited on race and disability with A. Andrews (A Quick & Easy Guide to Sex and Disability) and Bianca Xunise (Be Gay Do Comics, Six Chix). Moderated by Matt Lubchansky, editor of The Nib.

10:00pm EST
October 4, 2020
Comics / Non-Fiction

Putting the I in Graphic: Drawing the Self

Writing down memories is an intimate act; drawing the remembered times is even more so, whether they’re yours or of those around you. Join these authors on the journey. Tyler Feder‘s Dancing at the Pity Party follows her journey dealing with her mother’s diagnosis and eventual death of cancer, while Mike Hawthorne’s Happiness Will Follow recalls growing up with a single mother and a Santeria curse, and Yao Xiao’s Everything Is Beautiful And I’m Not Afraid, collecting her semiautobiographical comic Baopu, brings home a queer emigrant’s search for identity and connection. Moderated by Women Write About Comics editor-in-chief Nola Pfau.

Leslie Stein and Adrian Tomine in conversation


7:00pm EST

October 5, 2020

Comics / Non-Fiction

Leslie Stein‘s graphic memoir I Know You Rider takes place over the 12 month period surrounding an abortion, tackling the complex subject of reproductive choice —and choice more generally — candidly and philosophically. Adrian Tomine’s The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist is a comedic memoir about fandom, fame, and other embarrassments from the life of the New York Times bestselling author of Killing and Dying. Journalist and editor Nicole Rudick speaks to Stein and Tomine about their comics.

And one for Kids Day on October 3:

Drawing Our Stories

5:00pm EST
October 3, 2020
Fiction / Non-Fiction / YA

What are our stories? As we grow up and figure out our place in the world, we find them — or create them. The pieces that make them up encompass queerness, racism, family history, politics, sexism, activism, and sports in this discussion with Mike Curato (Flamer), Kiku Hughes (Displacement), and Gene Luen Yang (Dragon Hoops). Moderated by New York Times Book Review editor MJ Franklin.


Festival programming includes a line-up of literary luminaries from Colson Whitehead to Joyce Carol Oates and many more, so check out all the programming.