Hello, is it comic book journalism you're looking for?
My name's Nicholas and I am VICE's Comics Expert or Comics Editor depending on who you ask. I do what is usually a weekly column for VICE with news and reviews pertaining to comics, print, illustration, and anything worthwhile that involves paper. This week my column is devoted to the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Fest which was held in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on November 10. Please enjoy my photos of the event and reviews of things I was given at the show.
The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Fest is held yearly in a church on North 8th Street in Williamsburg. It occupies a gymnasium with a stage in it like you might have had in your school and a basement room with a green cement floor. Both rooms are bathed in ugly fluorescent light, which is why everyone in my photos might look a little sickly.
This is Tara Mcpherson with her husband, baby, and neat paper puppets that they got.
While I was at BCAGF I got to meet two of the three members of Team Society League. (One of them is now working for Adventure Time.) They let me peruse their sketchbooks, which were full of jam comics about little orange people. Although BCAGF is far from a nerd fest I figured I'd share this comic with you. I think these guys are making some of the funniest comics in comics.
Here's an original painting by Jane Mai, who has a new comic out from Koyama. I know a lot of artists who are Asian girls who make art about Asian girls. Sometimes it seems fetishistic, sometimes it feels ironic. I can't completely tell with this one. Maybe I'm over-thinking it.
Lala Albert doesn't like me to photograph her face so she held up her giant zine as a mask.
This is my friendly enemy, Avi Spivak, holding up the latest issue of his zine, Human Being Lawnmower. There was a comic that was obviously making fun of me in the first issue and there's a different one making fun of me by someone else in this one! It's all fine now though. Oscar Wilde said that the only thing worse than having comics made about you is not having comics made about you.
Avi was also selling some great comics that he didn't make like this one called Las Professionales about a lady who is a professional butt flautist.
I'm always amazed and amused by early impressions of rock and roll youth culture from the 60s. All of the comics I've seen from around the time of Beatlemania seem to only focus on their girly hair, the fact that they said "Yeah yeah yeah!" and that girls screamed when they saw them. I like that in Millie the Model's world rock singers yell out "Yugga yugga yugga!"
Alfred E. Neuman gave me a beer! What a cool guy!
This is another piece from Avi's table. I'm not really sure why he was selling this or most of the treasures he had on display.
I'll teach you to be naked, ma'am! How dare you show pubic hair on the cover of a magazine! Bang bang bang!
Bummer: The Ultimate Rock and Roll Trip.
Sam Henderson was wearing his name tag right on his chest. Look at this man, this comics genius.
Then the BCAGF banner fell down. Watching comic bookers try to get it restuck to the wall of the church rec room was like seeing the raising of the flag over Iwo Jima.
Jordan Crane was there selling prints. I've been trying to get this guy to do a comic for VICE for years now. This guy's a comics great.
Here's Chris Ware doing his best Popeye impression while signing a poster he designed for the festival. He recently released some fancy new books so keep a look out.
Domitille Collardey was present selling various crafty things and showing off her new French graphic novel. She's so great and it's a shame about the horrible skin disease that is turning her gray.
This is Heather Benjamin who is one of my favorite new illustrators. She told me that my review of her Sad Sex book had increased orders, which made me feel pretty great. You should check out her work if you aren't easily upset.
This is Hellen Jo and Derek Wong, two of my favorite guys. Hellen did one great comic called Jin and Jan and then made a lot of illustrations, but I haven't seen a lot of new stuff from her lately. She is pretty great though.
Here are some pretty Finnish comics.
When I first saw these kids I was like, "Wow, these kids look wacky," and then I remembered that I dressed almost exactly like this when I was younger.
One of the highlights of BCAGF for me was when this girl approached me and asked if I was Nick Gazin. She told me that she'd heard someone outside mention I was here and then came inside hoping to find me. She said very nice things about this column and my illustrations. I told her I was surprised that I had teenage girl fans and she said that I have a pretty wide following. It's hard for me to gauge if that's true, but it was very nice. Hi, Nathalie.
Dan Nadel showed off this book he's distributing called Captain Goodvibes. It's $95 and worth it.
This is one of the leaders of comics culture, C.F., admiring an expensive bottle of beer with his art on it.
Here are some copies of Jonny Negron's book with his custom drawn dust jackets.
Eventually everyone packed up their shit and left. Most headed to a party at Cartoon House, a giant flophouse where cartoonists live.
The party was a sweaty, crowded mess. Charles Burns, Chris Ware, and Art Spiegelman were all standing around talking which was kind of nuts. It's a giant space considering it's a private apartment, and being inside Cartoon House feels like being in a movie set in an impossible location. BCAGF was great this year and I look forward to next year's festival.
Expect reviews of the things I got at BCAGF in my next comics column.
Previously - Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-In #75