Inking out loud: Comic fest gets cartoonists out of the studio

Art market: More than 300 artists and exhibitors will come to Pratt Institute for Brooklyn’s biggest comics festival.

These cartoonists are drawing together!

Brooklyn’s biggest comic book expo will return to Clinton Hill next weekend. The 11th annual Comic Arts Brooklyn festival, at Pratt Institute on Nov. 2, will feature more than 300 cartoonists showing off their artwork, mini-comics, and graphic novels. And most importantly, said one Bushwick comics creator, the fair offers artists a chance to leave their drawing tables and meet each other.

“I love Comic Arts Brooklyn because it’s very much built as a community,” said cartoonist Abby Jame. “It’s just artists being brought together to show their work, there’s no ulterior thing going on.”

Jame, whose pastel illustrations often offer humorous takes on serious issues faced by young women, will sell her own books at the festival, including the titles “Emotional Data,” “High and Shy,” and “Lizard Daddies

The artists sold her first comics through Williamsburg’s independent comic store Desert Island, which also organizes the Comic Arts Brooklyn festival. Those initial sales, reported by store owner Gabe Fowler, helped push her to pursue art as a career.

“It gave me a bunch of confidence right away when people started noticing it and buying it,” she said. “He would tell me when people bought it and it was really exciting.”

In addition to scores of young artists showing and selling their comics, prints, art books, and rare merchandise, the 2019 edition of the Brooklyn comics fest will feature a full day of panel discussions, opening with a conversation between two of the biggest scrawlers in the sequential art field: Chris Ware, of the “Acme Novelty Library” series, and Pulitzer-winner Art Spiegelman, the creator of “Maus.”

The day after the art fair, Desert Island will also host the “CABaret Voltaire” variety show, featuring animated cartoons, comedy, and puppet shows by cartoonists. According to Jame, organizing these kinds of real-life events is one of the most important aspects of the festival, since it keeps artists from festering alone in cyberspace.

“A lot of times things are online, but they make an effort to get people in real tangible spaces with each other,” she said.

Comic Arts Brooklyn Festival at Pratt Institute’s Athletics and Recreation building [395 DeKalb Ave. between Hall Street and Classon Avenue in Clinton Hill, (718) 288–5087, www.comicartsbrooklyn.com]. Nov. 2; 11 am–7 pm. Free.

Caberet Voltaire variety show at Market Hotel (1140 Myrtle Ave. between Broadway and Ditmars Street in Bushwick). Nov. 3; 2–7 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Ben Verde at (718) 260–2525 or by e-mail at bverde@schnepsmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @verde_nyc.
Millennial pink: Bushwick artist Abby Jame will show off her images of young women at the Comic Arts Brooklyn festival on Nov. 2.
Abby Jame

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