Set up by Desert Island comic shop and PictureBox, the first Brooklyn Comics and Graphic Festival was held in the basement of a church in Williamsburg on Saturday only. I've always heard about comic shows back in the day being held in church basements, so I was glad I finally got to experience one. Generally, between my group of friends, we've all been looking forward to a new alternative comics show located in NYC to give MoCCA a run for its money. Don't get me wrong, MoCCA's been a highlight each year for me, but two shows are better than one, and any natural competition scared up by the presence of a second show should only provide increased entertainment for the show-goers. Besides, it's fucking New York City - there's room.
The weather wasn't the best this weekend. When it wasn't raining, it was slushing or snowing. But that didn't keep the crowd away from the FREEEEE admission and the small room - which the church quaintly decorated with orange and gold foil streamers and dangling accouterments which reminded us all we were still in a church basement - was constantly packed to, "Whoops, excuse me" capacity. Check out the pictures Sam snapped around 3 in the afternoon:
(The above is the view from the front facing the special signing stage set up in the back. To the left of the stage was an Asian hotdog stand)
(The view of the always-crowded far left aisle. We all love the PictureBox short-boxes and Frank Santoro's contagious excitement - you shoulda seen him pitch two kids on Shang Chi issues!)
We knocked the show out in about an hour because we'd seen a lot of the exhibitors at previous shows this year like SPX and MoCCA, but there was still PLENTY of stuff to find and buy that we'd never seen before. And the smallness of the show wasn't a problem at all. It kept table prices low so a lot of great people could afford to come out and it made the whole experience feel a lot more intimate than your average show. Here's what I picked up:
- NEW MINI DASH SHAW MADE - Packed with drawings of people partying to the max, this new mini was free from Shaw, who I said hello to for the first time since I spoke to him back when I worked at Wizard.
- ESCHEW #1 - Secret Acres was selling this razor sharp mini from Robert Sergel for cheap! And it was the story inside titled "Thirteen Bad Experiences Involving Water that clinched the sale.
- SNAKE OIL #5: wOLF - Chuck McBuck's fifth issue was at the show! Great cover and I can't wait to read the insides.
- TALES FROM GREENFUZZ #2 - I got issue #3 at SPX this year and I'm still dizzy from the hilariously creative designs and colors inside. Want to see a 2-page spread where French Fry people and a hotdog seize a town of food people? Of course you do. Buy this book.
- FREE SHIT #16 - Charles Burns tossed me this little mini of random portraits.
- LOSE #1 - It's got a glossy cover and pages, it looks like it'll be ongoing, it's by a guy I don't think I've ever heard of and it's filled with cute little designs that remind me of vinyl toys. Check out creator Michael DeForge here RIGHT AWAY.
- SMOKE SIGNAL #3 - A free comics paper Desert Island puts together. Garbielle Bell! Anders Nilsen! Chester Brown! And loads of others at the low price of nada.
- EPOXY #1 - I love John Pham (the cover to Sublife #1 is my desktop at work and it should be yours, too) and had no idea this book existed until I read Jog write about having picked it up at a PictureBox table at some show in the past year. Luckily for me, PictureBox had another copy at their table during THIS show, and I finally got it. Now I need to get issue #2...
- PROGRAM GUIDE - Sporting a big image from Charles Burns that I'm certain I saw somewhere else before, the program guide was just a single newspaper print with elements on the front and back. The back had the map of the floor and a list of exhibitors. I passed on purchasing the gigantic poster featuring the Burns art, which you can see here.
- WHAT HAD HAPPENED WAS... - I'd never heard of Domitille Collardey, but her ink and brush style has this fierce sort of delicateness I couldn't pass up. The 4-page color section is the real winner here as her watercolor skills are on full, warming display. She also puts the book in an envelope when you buy it, which was fun.