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Insane in the frame - Brooklyn Paper

Insane in the frame

Graphic novels: Lyra Hill’s performative comic reading series “Brain Frame” brings to life the bizarre wolrd of underground comic books for audiences.
Photo courtesy of Lyra Hill

Just because they’re picture books don’t mean you can’t read them out loud.

Bizarre underground comic books are finally getting the readings they deserve in a performance series coming to Williamsburg.

“Anything goes,” said Chicago-based event creator Lyra Hill, who is bringing the show “Brain Frame” to Brooklyn for the first time.

“Somebody turned their comic into an exercise routine once. We’ve had people do shadow puppets and lectures. It’s definitely not what you’d expect.”

The shows are also not as simple to set up as the typical book reading.

An archivist and projectionist, Hill, frequently puts her technical knowledge to work for the show, splicing images together and using multiple projectors to create awesome effects on stage.

“I make comics and films,” said Hill, who used both of those skills in a recent display using three analog slide projectors, each in a different color, that combined to form every panel. “Suffice to say, it was very complicated, and I couldn’t have done if I didn’t have a technical background in film.”

Bringing the show and all its bells and whistles to Brooklyn was bound to happen. Hill said she’s is a big zine fan, and befriended the folks at Public Assembly when they hosted last year’s Zine Fest, and according to Hill, it didn’t take too much effort to sell them on the show.

“I knew the organizers and was able to convince them I knew what I was doing,” she said. “It was easy, they were into it.”

Hill usually hosts the show, but this time, she will present her own comic, “Go Down,” which is anything but your typical hero yarn.

“It’s about a girl who buys a magic crystal and meets her boyfriend in a field,” she said.

Then the story lives up to its title, and hallucination ensues.

Brain Frame at Public Assembly [N. Sixth St. between Kent and Wythe avenues in Williamsburg, (718) 384–4586, publicassemblynyc.com] April 21, 7 pm, free.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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