Brooklyn is still a powerful draw for artists!
Pete’s Mini Zine Festival embraces zines composed of prose, poetry, and pictures. Here are four visual artists at the fest who use the borough as their subject.
This Bushwickian examines the quirks and humor of living in the rapidly gentrifying nabe in his comic “Stranger Than Bushwick.” For outsiders it is a looking glass into the exciting and mundane reality of living in this bustling nabe. For instance, one comic chronicles all the items that might be disrupted by a clumsy patron in a crowded Bushwick restaurant, including a plate of dollar oysters, a meticulously composed Instagram photo, and Jason Schwartzman. For Nguyen, Bushwick offer no shortage of inspiration.
“I thought I would run out of ideas and maybe do two or three, but it became a monster — every week something comes up,” he said.
Who is that frothing the milk at your regular coffee spot? An artist with a day job? Or a man possessed by a ghostly detective? The comic “Tales of The Night Watchman” by Dave Kelly chronicles the paranormal adventures of a spiritual sleuth who inhabits a Brooklyn barista. In the latest issue, available at Pete’s Mini Zine Fest, the Night Watchman combats a villainous psychic café customer who is passing fake bills and using mind control on a fellow barista. The artist says that the fest offers a chance to reach out to a new audience.
“We see people at Pete’s that we never see at other comic book fairs, maybe because it’s not just comics — it’s got its own little scene,” Kelly said.
At the Fest, Jowy Romano will debut the fourth issue of “SubCulture,” a printed compilation of subway art he has found traveling to and fro on the city’s mass transit system — mostly on the J train during his commute from Bushwick to the distant island of Manhattan. Romano focuses on humorous alterations, art, and graffiti, posting it on his Subway Art Blog and then compiling it into zines.
“Ninety percent of what I find is on my commute,” he said. “I post it on the blog as soon as I find it and then I categorize it, sometimes pull it together for a book.”
Last but definitely not least is this newspaper’s own arts editor and bartoonist, who has visited nearly every bar in the borough while creating his increasingly-rare (and thus more valuable) cartoon reviews. He will sell collections of the “Bar Scrawl” strips collected into seven zines — for Bushwick, Greenpoint, North Williamsburg, South and East Williamsburg, Carroll Gardens, Fort Greene, and Park Slope — at the fest. When reached for comment, the ever-humble Roundy just said what we were all thinking.
“All my work is genius, and you should definitely buy it,” he said.
“Pete’s Mini Zine Fest,” at Pete’s Candy Store [709 Lorimer St. between Richardson and Frost streets in Williamsburg, (718) 302–3770, www.petes