COVID has forced many comic book stores to take their businesses out of the store, especially at the start of the pandemic. Although scary, it was successful, clear and simple. Being outside has proven to be conducive to more engagement with readers and curious parties as to what’s going on just outside the store they always walked past, but probably never took the time. to actually surrender. Street fairs sealed the deal on this one and proved that people would support these types of events if the opportunity arose.
Anyone Comics and event organizer John jennison are preparing to give people another of these opportunities with their fast approach Brooklyn Pride Comic Show scheduled for Sunday June 13e, 2021 at the store location, 1216 Union Street, Brooklyn NY, 11225. The event will run from noon to 5 pm.
The show will feature some of the city’s most talented queer comic book creators, including: Sam johns (Punch), Isaac goodhart (Under the Moon: A Catwoman Story), Greg Anderson Elysee (Is’nana: the were-spider), among many others.
Too, Doable guys will organize a drawing session from nature at OFC branch, just around the corner from Any Comics from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Also at the Branch OFC, a drag geek party will be organized called Ball (not) masked, featuring burlesque, hoops and artistic creation. Tickets for both events can be purchased in advance.
The Beat reached out to John jennison via email to discuss the event and what happened in the organization under less stringent COVID restrictions.
RICARDO SERRANO: As COVID starts to become more manageable thanks to vaccinations and decreases in cases, how did you feel when you had a bigger event with more guests than what would have been allowed a few months earlier? ?
JEAN JENNISON: We were excited to do something for an artist we love! Even with the easing of COVID restrictions, we wanted to make sure we created a comfortable event for artists and anyone who wants to visit. Doing it on the streets like we did for Free Comic Book Day at everyone’s house seemed like a no-brainer. Hopefully, the time has come!
It will be really nice to see people in person and have face to face interactions. Having said that, we always ask people to wear masks when interacting with the provider because you never know how comfortable a person is. As someone whose immune system is weakened by cancer treatments, I always find comfort in a mask even though I have been vaccinated.
SERRANO: How did you find out who would present their work for this comic book festival? Was it a competitive or more relaxed process?
JENNISON: With the restrictions lifted so quickly and the desire to feature as many artists as possible, we reached out to many great artists. There were so many who jumped on it right away and many who still weren’t comfortable or just simply unable to make this date. It was really a ‘we are going to have a fair in 4 weeks! Let’s see who wants to go out and play!
These are the events that I love! They are fresh, fast and fun! I have artists contacting me every day and the goal was to make the artist local to Brooklyn, but we have a few other areas of New York that I think are going to get people excited!
There are artists that I know and have worked with throughout my time with Geeks OUT, like Sam johns who wrote a story for the anthology I edited and now works for DC and has some pretty exciting projects coming up! Or Rey arzeno of Rage Gear Studios that makes amazing comic book and pop culture prints that everyone would love to have on their wall. We also have guests who weren’t able to come for the entire event but are planning on doing table visits throughout the day, so be on the lookout for those names.
Then there are people who just came to Any Comics and sold their books to the store I was introduced to and did a wonderful job that didn’t always have the showcase that they should be among. the other books in the store just because of the volume of the inventory. These are the books I can’t wait to see and feature guests too!
I think people are going to be surprised by the level of work of all these creators.
SERRANO: In your opinion, what distinguishes this type of event from the larger convention events?
JENNISON: I don’t like to think of this event as a convention. It’s a street fair, DIY, punk almost 90’s take over! We set up tables and let the artists use them so they can take advantage of the store’s visibility and our own social media presence so they can get their stuff out. All because we love comics and we want the people who make them succeed and thrive.
Conventions are bigger, flashier, and have a lot of programming. While we added some programming, a cartoon from life with the awesome folks at Doable Guys and a (UN) Masked Ball, an evening of drag and burlesque hosted by drag sensation. Fried petra, what we really wanted to focus this event on as artists and artist sales. We can save things like signs and cosplay for the bigger queer inconvenience. That doesn’t mean I don’t want you to show off in Batwoman Cosplay! I’ll be the first to have my picture taken with you! But for the first year of the BPCBF, it’s about interacting with artists who have been thirsty to reconnect with their community for 16 months, but also to immerse themselves in this type of event in the safest possible way.
Below is a selection of promotional material for the Brooklyn Pride Comic Book Fair so you can get a feel for what this event plans to bring.