Drawing fire: Local cartoonist brings fantasy comics to FlameCon

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She’s in the Zone!

A Bedford-Stuyvesant cartoonist will showcase her fantastical comics about lesbian witches, lost dragons, and goofy adventurers at the queer comics festival FlameCon, happening at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott on Aug. 19–20. Carey Pietsch says that adapting the popular Dungeons & Dragons podcast “The Adventure Zone,” into a graphic novel coming out in 2018 has pushed her out of her artistic comfort zone.

“I’m pretty lazy and would never want to write like, a herd of horses into a comic I’m making for myself, and if unchecked, those tendencies would end up limiting me,” said Pietsch. “Working with another writer gets me to learn to draw things I wouldn’t on my own — and it usually ends up being a really fun challenge!”

“The Adventure Zone” podcast, recorded by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, and Travis McElroy, follows a trio of “lovable dummies” as they journey through a fantasy world, and Pietsch has enjoyed working with the family team to take their adventures out of the headphones and onto the page, she said.

“I’m really, really excited about the ways that translating it into a sequential, visual medium is going to allow us to continue to develop these characters and the world,” she said. “I love how much personality shows through in the voice acting the team does already, and I’m really looking forward to building on that with characters’ body language and acting on the page.”

At FlameCon, Carey will show off some of her original art, a zine of queer fancomics set in the “Legend of Zelda” universe titled “Legend of Gay Zelda,” and many of her own mini-comic stories.

When writing and drawing her own books, Pietsch said that she focuses on creating a world that will showcase character relationships.

“I write a lot of fantasy, too. I’m a big fan of the way that kind of setting can be used to present novelty or encourage a feeling of discovery, but even more than that, I’m interested in using it as a tool to explore interpersonal relationships in new settings,” said Pietsch. “So my new comics generally come from me spending a lot of time thinking about the combination of those ideas, and tossing out a lot of less-than-stellar false starts.”

FlameCon will feature two days of panel discussions on queer nerd topics, games, and more than 200 exhibitors showing off their work. Pietsch said that she is thrilled to be able to bring her personal stories to a convention filled with like-minded fans.

“Getting to exhibit at FlameCon means the world to me! I’m so, so excited to get to be a part of a convention that’s all about queer comics and queer creators,” she said. “It’s really special to me that we get to have an entire show that’s all about celebrating and bringing together our community.”

Carey Pietsch at FlameCon at Brooklyn Bridge Marriott (333 Adams St. at Metrotech Walk Downtown, Aug. 19; noon–7:30 pm, Aug. 20; noon–5:30 pm. $20–$79.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:30 am, August 15, 2017
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