I am currently considering attending the Brooklyn Book Festival as media and barring that just another consumer. As I look over the schedule of readings and panels I am excited and mesmerized by the amount of “comics” artists are involved in regular talks with “traditional” writers. While it was apparent at this year’s Book Expo America that the graphic novel is becoming more and more accepted amongst the regular reader, it overjoys me to see that this fact is continuing at a consumer level with an event such as the festival.
While there are many panels dedicated simply to graphic novels and comics, which I will overview in a moment here, I am excited to see that Adrian Tomine will be on a panel about NY writers. Also notable, Nick Bertozzi will be on a panel about re-imagining history with two award winning young adult authors. Sarah Glidden will be on stage with Casey Scieszka and Steven Weinberg discussing Epic Adventures; while Casey and Steven’s book To Timbuktu has illustrations, it is not a graphic novel like Glidden’s How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less. Anders Nilson sits on a panel called Notes From The Underground with prose novelists Susan Choi and Jonathan Dee.
Let me focus now on those comics panels, as well as a few ones that are of particular interest to me. I expect overlap to exist, as is par for the course for conventions, expos and festivals. In the case of description I shall be “borrowing” directly from the Festival page when needed.
Keep in mind the Brooklyn Book Festival is SEPTEMBER 18, 2011 in Downtown Brooklyn, New York City.
Starting at 11:00 P.M.
Borough Hall Plaza/Columbus Park
Comics Quick-Draw!: Three comic artists face off in this fast-paced contest. Drawing (literally!) from audience suggestions, NYT best-selling and ALA-notable book author/illustrator Raina Telgemeier (Smile), best-selling author/illustrator Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy), and rising star author/illustrator Laura Lee Gulledge (Page by Paige) 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, editor of Publishers Weekly Comics World.
at 1:00 P.M.
ST. FRANCIS SCREENING ROOM
180 Remsen Street
Funny Ha-Ha-Comedy in Comics: Join and laugh with four artists of comics that are surreal, political, and hilarious: Eisner-nominated and cult-favorite Michael Kupperman (Mark Twain’s Autobiography: 1910-2010); Harvey, Glyph, and Inkpot Award-winning Keith Knight (The Knight Life: Chivalry Ain’t Dead); web-comics phenomenon Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant); and newcomer Jennifer Hayden (Underwire). Moderated by Heidi MacDonald of The Beat and Publishers Weekly Comics World.
In the same building, but in the ST. FRANCIS AUDITORIUM and a
Ticket Required Event at
Comics Writ Large and Small: Three of the most exciting artists working in the comics medium today—who work on canvases both epic and poetic—will discuss their craft and the artistry of long and short form graphic stories. Harvey, Ignatz, and Eisner-award winner Craig Thompson’s much-anticipated Habibi is a 672-page quest of spiritualism and love. Ignatz winner Anders Nilsen’s 658-page Big Questions weaves together surreal tales the artist released as shorter works over many years, and Harvey award-winner Adrian Tomine’s Optic Nerve series, with #12 newly released, typifies the concision of his storytelling—also loved by many in New Yorker covers and strips that offer a thousand words in a few quiet frames. Moderated by Meg Lemke.
Back in the Screening Room at
Drawing a Life: How do you draw someone else’s memories? Eisner-nominated Dean Haspiel (Cuba: My Revolution) illustrated the memoir of revolutionary turned refugee Inverna Lockpez. Pulitzer nominee Lauren Redniss (Radioactive: A Tale of Love and Fallout) blends research and imagination in a haunting portrait of Marie Curie and rising star artist GB Tran (Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey) turns to his own family’s history to portray a war-torn, transnational generation. Moderated by Hillary Chute, author of Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics.
My one major conflict is at 3:00 P.M.
ST. ANN AND THE HOLY TRINITY CHURCH (157 Montague Street)
Brooklyn Book Festival Presents – Gumshoes: Award winning authors Eoin Colfer (Plugged) and Walter Mosley (When the Thrill Is Gone). Moderated by David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times.
I missed the opportunity to meet Eoin at Book Expo America as the line was incredibly long and I’d of missed three other opportunities that were happening during the time I was on that line. So unfortunately I left the line and then of course read PLUGGED which quickly became one my favorite books of 2011. Sitting with the legendary Walter Mosely they should have a spirited conversation.
Other Panels of interest/note from PCS’ perspective:
BROOKLYN HISTORICAL SOCIETY MAIN HALL
128 Pierrepont Street
Politics and Poetry: Poets Timothy Donnelly (The Cloud Corporation), Nick Flynn (The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands), Thomas Sayers Ellis (Skin, Inc: Identity Repair Poems) and Evie Shockley (The New Black) explore poetry’s capacity for social change role and the role of poetry in public life. Moderated by Camille Rankine of Cave Canem Foundation.
ST. FRANCIS SCREENING ROOM
180 Remsen Street
Moving Pictures. From B Movies to the Art House, film is possibly the most powerful broadcast medium of the past century—taking us on flights of fancy as often as it brings us face-to-face with the more unpleasant nature of the contemporary world. J. Hoberman (Army of Phantoms), Jason Zinoman (Shock Value), and Roberta Seret (World Affairs in Foreign Films) discuss the role of movies in understanding our world and ourselves. Moderated by film critic and Light Industry founder, Ed Halter.
Of course on top of panels there is the Festival itself which has signings, previews, and booths galore. The outdoor setting of Columbus Park/Borough Hall makes for a truly entertaining event. While I have not been capable to go every year, I always desire to, knowing it is truly one of the best events New York has for readers and book lovers.