Dan Nadel, co-organizer of the recent BCGF, wraps things up at Comics Comics — it was a very successful day, and in response to my musings over how much money changed hands, indications are that it was a very successful show for exhibitors, as this picture graphic shows.
Nadel also comments directly on my own Kirby-to-Panter analogy:
That is true, but it’s also true that Kirby exerts a huge influence over many of the cartoonists in that room, as does Chaykin, Simonson, and many other “mainstream” (increasingly non-mainstream, really) artists. I guess what I’m saying is that Jack Kirby is our Jack Kirby. After all, one of the busiest tables was Frank Santoro’s back issue bins, in which he highlights such gems as Larry Hama’s brilliant G.I. Joe # 21 (my own “book of the show”) and selections by Michael Golden, Trevor Von Eeden, Carl Barks, Steranko, Kevin Nowlan, et al. Frank’s careful selection is a kind of mini history of comics unto itself. And to me, that’s the crux of it: This generation is looking far and wide for inspiration and finding it in unlikely places. That may be partly why the crowd seemed so jolly and generous: It was a limited selection, but anyone curious enough to come could find something to their liking without having to wade through too much “other stuff”.
The comment section is split between those who want to keep a “fringe” element, and those who think it would be cool to add a Gene Colan or Michael Golden.
As for my own thoughts, I think staying very focused is the key to success for a “micro show” like this. It would be fantastic to see some of comics’ older craftsmen and women integrated into the more art/literary-focused shows of today — one thinks of the great Tatsumi’s obvious joy at his American tour — but it has to be handled very carefully.
Daryl Ayo also has an excellent writeup of the show:
The thing about Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival is that there were no exhibitors who were bad. Everybody was pretty darn good and I do mean everyone. I will say it again: every single table at that show was worth stopping at and examining. That’s because unlike other comic shows, this show was (1) small and (2) curated. The show’s organizers chose which cartoonists and publishers would have tables and the result was a highly focused exhibition of refined taste. While there are a number of people who may not like the ultra-indie, screenprint, punk-derived comics world that this show represents, I think it would be difficult to deny that they did a great job of representing this corner of our world. Having it happen in North Brooklyn brings the point even further home.
ALSO, IMPORTANT: Austin English has launched a fundraiser to get seed money for his own publishing effort, Sweetheart Books, which will publish works by Mollie Goldstrom and Nate Doyle. Results of a fundraising party here and how you can donate here.