B(r)ook(lyn) Fest

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNqlSDhsFbo&w=350&h=300]

This Sunday is the Brooklyn Book Festival, and with all the great events going on, I always find it useful to narrow my options down somehow…  So for your convenience, here are all the comics-related events I could find (plus one surprise opera-themed event!).

(Un)fortunately, looking at comic events doesn’t limit it too much this year!  I went last year, and I think the 2 comics events I went to were the only ones, so this is a much expanded roster of events, on a wide range of themes; nice to see the diversity of the medium on display…

If Sunday isn’t enough for you, David Prudhomme, who’s launching a new book at the Festival, will also be the guest of honor on Monday’s NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium.

Comics events after the cut, and here’s a map of participating venues to help you plan; happy booking!

Red is for Comics, Blue is for the sole Opera event…


11:00 A.M. History, Myth, Fable: Comics that Play with Old and New Forms.  Audrey Niffenegger’Raven Girl is a dark illustrated fairy tale.Frank Santoro‘s Pompeii is a romantic comedy of errors set in the doomed ancient city. Anders Nilsen‘s Rage of Poseidon is satire that makes myths modern day. These titles push form as well as story, playing with how art and text interact and how the structure of a book makes its statement. Moderated by Nick Sousanis.

1:00 P.M. Mundane/Profane/Profound: What We Draw About When We Draw Comics. Gag cartoonists and graphic novelists talk about the weird, wonderful, and sometimes shocking choices they make in their craft. Ben Katchor (Hand-Drying in America) offers urban fables where daily details lead to socio/political revelations. Lisa Hanawalt‘s sexy/snarky one-pagers in My Dirty Dumb Eyes hinge on the vulnerability of showing it all. Miriam Katin‘s thoughtful, witty memoir Letting it Go explores profound loss and forgiveness in the context of teeth whitening and stomach troubles. Ulli Lust‘s punk travelogue This is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life lays bare body and soul. Moderated by Anne Ishii.

3:00 P.M. The Real: Comics Nonfiction. Three artists represent the diverse spectrum of topics taken on by nonfiction comics-Ed Piskor‘s Hip-Hop Family Tree offers an encyclopedic comics history of the formative years of hip hop; Lucy Knisley‘s Relish: My Life in the Kitchen is a loving memoir of growing up gourmet and Tom Kaczynski‘s Trans-Terra: Towards a Cartoon Philosophy is a mutant memoir that melds comics, politics, and philosophy. Moderated by Prof. Jonathan W. Gray.

5:00 P.M. Art on the Mind: Comics and EducationFrançoise Mouly (Toon Books) in conversation with National Book Award finalist Gene Yang (Boxers & Saints), R. Kikuo Johnson (The Shark King) and Prof. Barbara Tversky of Teachers College. In this era of high-stakes testing, comics aren’t just a refreshing change of pace for students-they take on deep subjects and teach multimodal literacy, offering educators, librarians, and parents a new way to approach learning.


12:00 P.M. The World (According to Cartoonists): Border Crossing Comics. Adrian Tomine (Optic Nerve #13), Rutu Modan (The Property),Dash Shaw (New School), and David Prudhomme (Rebetiko) all explore characters crossing borders -national and personal, real and imagined. Discover how these award-winning cartoonists translate the world through art and story. Moderated by Kent Worcester.

2:00 P.M. The Future: Big New Books in Comics Sci-Fi.  Award-winners Jeff Smith (RASL), Paul Pope (One-Trick Rip-Off) and Faith Erin Hicks(Last of Us) discuss their new books – representing some of the best, genre-bending sci-fi comics today- from RASL’s epic, mystical noir to Hicks’ edgy charm, and Pope’s lush, captivating style. Moderated by Calvin Reid.

4:00 P.M.  Art Spiegelman and Jules Feiffer in Conversation: Pulitzer-Prize winning graphic novelist Art Spiegelman‘s newest release, Co-Mix, is a career retrospective that covers his work from Raw to Maus to the New Yorker (and Garbage Pail Kids in between). Joined by Jules Feiffer (Out of Line: The Art of Jules Feiffer), also a Pulitzer winner, they discuss their long careers in comics art and future plans for their work. Featuring screen projection. Moderated by Benjamen Walker.


12:00 P.M. On Truth (and Lies) in Beauty: Theater critic Hilton Als(White Girls) and philosopher Alexander Nehamas (Only a Promise of Happiness) join philosopher Simon Critchley (Stay, Illusion: The Hamlet Doctrine) to explore the notion of beauty as defined in the bold new opera Anna Nicole. Co-Presented by BAM and the Onassis Cultural Center NY.

3:00 P.M. The Faces of Brooklyn: New York’s coolest borough is home to hipsters, people who dislike hipsters and literary stars—among them, Brooklyn enthusiasts Pete Hamill (The Christmas Kid), Adelle Waldman(The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.) and Adrian Tomine (New York Drawings). These powerhouses plant uniquely different characters in a nostalgic Brooklyn, a contemporary Brooklyn and a colorful Brooklyn that jumps off the page. Moderated by Penina Roth.


2:00 P.M. Kitchens, Kith and Kin:A Food Memoir Mash-up.  Eat your heart out, Food-o-verse, as we dish with three spicy culinary raconteurs – Baohaus bad boy Eddie Huang (Fresh off the Boat: A Memoir) finds the sweet spot where Taiwanese street food, revelry and identity co-mingle;Anya Von Bremzen (Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing) reaches back into her family’s past to capture the anxiety, idealism, soul and sustenance of Soviet life; and cartoonist Lucy Knisley (Relish: My Life in the Kitchen) entwines witty vignettes with illustrations of the essential recipes that make it all worthwhile.   Moderated by Elizabeth Thacker Jones.

YOUTH STOOP (Borough Hall Plaza/Columbus Park) 

11:00 A.M. Comics Quick Draw! Three cartoonists face off in this fast-paced battle of the sharpies. Drawing from audience suggestions, the award-winning and reader-adored Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Platypus Police Squad: the Frog who Croaked), Eisner Award-winner Raina Telgemeier (Drama), and Printz Award and National Book Award-winner, Gene Yang(Boxers & Saints) will battle with pen and pad. And, everybody wins; finished art will be gifted to some of the lucky young people in attendance. Moderated by Calvin Reid.

WORKSHOPS (Borough Hall Conference Room – 1st Floor)

2:00 P.M. You Can Do A Comic BookBarbara Slate, illustrator and writer for over 300 comic books and graphic novels, will teach students how to create a character bible, develop a plotline, and make a layout pop. Bring your sketchbook and pencils. Ages 8 – 10.

3:00 P.M. Instant Comic Book: Robyn Chapman, the author of Drawing Comics Lab, demonstrates three ways to make a book out of a single sheet of paper! A few simple folds and a cut or two will result in an instant comic book. Each participant will create a comic using the “foldy” method. All materials will be provided. Age 12 and up.

Looks like Lucy Knisley, Gene Yang, & Adrian Tomine are the big winners, each on two panels (Knisley & Yang crossing over onto not-exclusively-comics panels, even!).


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