Press Gang at BCGF
OOPS! You might have seen this post go live without any text in it! That’s because I set up a placeholder post and meant to get back to actually, you know - writing it sometime before Thanksgiving. Like all (my) good plans, something went horribly wrong and I forgot.
ANYHOW, Jason, Julia and I went up to the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Fest at the beginning of the month, and boy howdy did we have a good time. This was my third year at BCGF, and PRESS GANG‘s second (we’d just celebrated our first year of existence one week earlier at Short Run in Seattle!). As usual, it was insanely crowded and overflowing with mind-meltingly good comics and art.
Jason was debuting a new newspaper, SKYFACE SENSRMAP, by Brenna Murphy and I was debuting the new full color SECRET VOICE v2#1. I’ll have ordering info for SVv2#1 up real soon, but for now I’ll post a couple shots of me as a proud poppa:
Oh look, how cute! It’s my first new book in forever. Response to the book was very gratifying. More on that later, but there’s more pics over here.
It’s always a great thing to get to go to NYC and soak up some hustle and bustle, since while Portland is one of my all time favorite cities, it’s got a pretty sleepy vibe.
I imagine BCGF is also a great place to do some shopping for comics, if you’re not an exhibitor. I wouldn’t know, because it’s SO FUCKING CROWDED and hectic that I was only able to get away from the table about once or twice, so I literally only bought two things: Michel Fiffe’s COPRA and Ian Anderson’s THREE STORIES. Not for lack of trying, it’s just the way it worked out. There’s no time or space to talk to people you want to see or to browse for things you think you might want. It’s just that crazy.
BCGF is clearly experiencing some growing pains, and may have finally outgrown it’s venue? It’s one of the best shows in North America, without a doubt, but I’d personally like to see a second day added. It might alleviate some of the crush of the one day show, and extend potential sales for traveling exhibitors. Obviously, the church that houses BCGF negates the possibility of Sunday being that day, but a Friday lead in day might be worth looking at. In any case, we had a great time, as well as great sales as per usual with this show. Because of the fast pace of the show floor, a lot of the interactions tend to be pretty quick, but I managed to chat briefly with some favorite faces: Tom Spurgeon, Tucker Stone,Tony Shenton, Leah Wishnia, Robin McConnell, Jordan Crane and Lamar Abrams all stopped by the table briefly. I waved “hi” to Gary Panter as he surfed past through the crowd. On my brief foray away from the table I saw Annie Koyama, met “Tumblr’s own” Jane Mai, high-fived Fiffe, and perused the Hic & Hoc table before I had to get back to the booth. I’m probably forgetting someone or several someones.
After the show wrapped up and before the always legendary afterparty, I managed to sneak away for dinner at a local dumpling house with old friend Nick Abadzis (and new friend Tom Motley). Getting to talk with Nick is the highlight of any convention we manage to make that happen at. I’ve been a fan of his since I was a teenager reading Hugo Tate in Deadline, but we have been pals for about 10 years or more since he came over for his first SPX. He and T Edward Bak and I ended up bar-hopping around Bethesda and somehow survived to tell the tale. I don’t know, I’m getting all misty just thinking about it – that guy is aces in my book.
Then it was off to the After Party at Cartoon House, where show organizer Bill K (among others) hangs his hat. It was pretty insane. Good times, I barely remember you. One good thing is that because the show was earlier this year, all the smokers smoking in the room didn’t pitch a fit when the windows were opened so that everyone else could breathe, like last time. Jason has some photos from that night up on his Facebook, I’m not sure if everyone can see those. There was a friendly but competitive wrestling match, detailed here by “Chuckles” Connor from the Closed Caption crew. I put in some solid hours at the party, but I didn’t quite rock as hard as those guys or SG pal Chris Cilla, all of whom passed out in various nooks and crannies of the show. I eventually made it back to where I was sleeping, and spent the next day at my cousin’s house in a hung over fugue state.
On Monday, I managed to make it over to Bergen Street comics for the first time. It’s a well laid-out store, and the people I talked to were super friendly and helpful. Peeked through the windows of a closed Desert Island and vowed to make it there next year, and met up with Jason, Julia & Rikki for a Kinokunia trip before meeting up with eternal badass Randy Chang for our now-traditional post-con steak dinner. It was really good to have a quiet moment to catch up with Randy removed from the whirlwind of the rest of the weekend. That’s another solid bro. Afterwards, I slumped back to Williamsburg and my comfy bed for an 8am flight.
Overall, a very fun and engaging show as usual, and I’m looking forward to next year, even if I hope there might be some changes made to deal with the crowding. Thanks to Dan, Bill, & Gabe for a fun weekend full of comics! See you next time. xoxoxo