BY JEN VAUGHNTorsten gave a fantastic review of things to do this weekend but I’ll focus on two fun events for the Maine and Washington people, who desperately should enjoy themselves while the sun is still out!

East Coast gets MeCAF! One of the best small press cons that is kid-focused. Plenty of adult comics are sold (believe me) but signage on the table lets parents with lots of disposable income know which books are great for their 6 year old, 12 year old and 15 year old kiddos. Today the Portland Public Library hosted a ton of events including yet another Cartoon Carousel led by funny man himself, R. Sikorayak.

Tomorrow, Sunday May 20th is the actual con with plenty of panels and events geared towards comic publishing and small humans.

10:30 AM- Kids Workshop: From Concept to Comic
Learn how an idea in your head becomes a comic on a page. John Green (co-creator of Teen Boat! and illustrator for Phineas and Ferb), Colleen AF Venable (author of Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye and designer for First Second Books), and Zack Giallongo (Broxo) will take you on a collaborative journey through the process of creating characters and stories for comics.

Noon: Join Raina Telgemeier, winner of the Maine Student Book Award, for a fun visual talk about her book, SMILE, and what exactly it means to be a graphic novelist! Raina will do some live drawing and give away some prizes, too!

1:00 PM- The Center for Cartoon Studies One Sheet Workshop

2:00 PM-Monster Alert!  Junior Cartoonists Needed!
The Fizzmont Institute of Rad Science is looking for young, excited cartoonists that can draw ferocious monsters and deadly dwellers of the deep!  Our famed scientist, Leo Geo, has gone missing on his experiment to the center of the earth, and we need help drawing the monsters that might have taken him!  Join Jon Chad, from the Center for Cartoon Studies, as he leads a monster drawing session and an interactive reading from his new book, Leo Geo.

3:00 PM- Web Comics Panel with Sophie GoldsteinKate Leth and others.

4:00 PM- How to Publish your Comics and the Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing
with Mort Todd, Susan and Everett Soares.

So get your butts in the car and head up to Portland, Maine for comics and of course, the infamous Duckfat restaurant or unparalleled fresh sushi. If you miss MeCAF, be sure to stop by Casablanca Comics downtown to find work by the same cartoonists. Owner and MeCAF sponser, Rick Lowell is gracious enough to sell the small press comics not sold at MeCAF if said cartoonists are smart enough to remember to stop by!

Meanwhile on the West Coast, tonight at 7pm PST is the Geek Girl Con Art Auction at Ltd. Art Gallery in downtown Seattle. The gallery features pop culture appropriations of all kinds and now boasts donated works by artists like mosaicist (is that how you say that?) Gretchen Fuller and cute, kooky kawaii art by Kraken Studios. All proceeds will go to the GeekGirl Con this August, which is unfortunately the same weekend fun Portland Zine Symposium (thanks to Dark Horse’s Rachel Edidin for reminding me). Visit the gallery for some fun times, good art in support of geeky women everywhere!

Artist Gretchen Fuller poses with some of her work. Gotta get that Wonder Woman and Rubix Cube!

Confirmed geek AND nerd, Jen Vaughn is afraid the rising number of comic cons, geek meets, board game tournaments and knit-a-longs will soon all happen on the same weekend!