Comic Arts Brooklyn (CAB) will be held on Pratt’s Brooklyn campus this coming Saturday, November 11th. The festival will feature a rockstar lineup of guests including illustrator and cartoonist Chris Ware, graphic novelist Emil Ferris, and comic strip artist and author Jules Feiffer. CAB was first organized a decade ago by the comic and zine shop Desert Island in Williamsburg, and since then it has been one of the largest comic fairs in Brooklyn. This year’s show will feature a sales floor with hundreds of independent artists and publishers designed to attract and entertain a wide range of artists and comic book enthusiasts from all over.
After years of trying to organize a convention on Pratt grounds, ComD professors Mark Newgarden, Tom LaPadula, and Floyd Hughes collaborated with Gabe Fowler, the owner of Desert Island, to bring CAB to Pratt in the ARC’s massive interior, a more formal setting than their usual venue. The organizers have invited twice as many participants as in the past. The relocation is an exciting one, as it brings the diversity of comics to the Pratt student body which already has a grand tradition of both mainstream and alternative/indie comic creators. Several of Pratt’s own alumni, such as Nicole Rifkin (The New Yorker, Bloomberg, Medium), V. Kenneth Marion (DC’s Trinity) , Ron Wimberly (Image, Vertigo, Nike, Mishka), and Dan Bandit (Walt Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network), will be answering questions on a panel, speaking about success in the mainstream and creator-owned world of comics . Floyd Hughes, who has taught Pratt courses on the graphic novel for more than 20 years, says that CAB is an amazing chance to learn and appreciate comics. “Comics are a great form of individual expression, giving the opportunity to tell stories that range from idiosyncratic to epic, all performed with pen and paper, yet as powerful and meaningful as a multi-million dollar movie. Perhaps even more so.”
Free and open to the public, CAB will feature a diverse group of attractions including a playable video arcade installation, live-painters, and an adults-only animation installment by Cartuna. In the ARC gym area, a large sales floor will be spread out where attendees can purchase prints, books, zines, and meet their favorite artists. Across campus in Memorial Hall, seven large panels will feature esteemed guests Chris Ware, Emil Ferris, and Jules Feiffer, who will be speaking on a panel of Pratt’s most acclaimed cartoonist alumni. They will discuss their own influential careers in comics, moderated by alumnus cartoonist and graphic novelist Paul Karasik.
CAB remains a festival honoring the rich history of comics from all over. This year it will also provide Pratt students a chance to explore sequential art as a career and to see how graduates have made their way into the field. This year’s CAB is an opportunity to buy a book, and to experience everything the world of comics has to offer.
Illustration by Shelby Adams