Saturday, November 3, 2012

Saturday Afternoon in Park Slope: King Con III at the Brooklyn Lyceum

Lots of people are suffering badly in the aftermath of the devastation that was Hurricane Sandy, and like others in the area who were relatively unscathed, we've been doing stuff for relief efforts (and will not be posting any pics of the terrible damage we saw). King Con III, the third annual two-day Brooklyn comic book convention featuring panels, appearances by artists and writers, tables filled with terrific books and other artworks, screenings and different forms of entertainment, decided to soldier on today and tomorrow at the Brooklyn Lyceum on a reduced basis.
Thankfully, the historic old building, formerly Public Bath #7, survived the superstorm in good shape, although slightly damaged. The $7 admission fee was waived in favor of a suggested donation, or pay-what-you-can, to go to the unofficial Lyceum restoration fund.
All the panels were canceled and will be rescheduled quarterly between now and King Con IV in 2013. Like a number of the panelists from out of town or devastated areas nearby, some of the artists too could of course not make it.
But the screenings of animated movies like the 1993 Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Heavy Metal (1981), as well as Max Fleischer shorts, were still going on as scheduled, as were kids' events and performances by the Puppet People (Legend of Sleepy Hollow) and juggler extraordinaire Will Shaw.
We paid our donation and went downstairs to see the artists and writers and publishers who managed to make it, and we took advantage of the relatively sparse crowds to talk with some of what King Con III's publicity called "the next generation of Comic Artists in a show dedicated to the underdog artists (aren't they all?)." Actually, there were some familiar older faces, too.
But we saw some terrific work by younger artists/writers like Victor Ochoa's Toxicity; Raphael Moran's Dream Reavers; First Law of Mad Science by Mike Isenberg & Oliver Mertz and drawn by Daniel Lapham; The Wonder City, by Justin Rivers and illustrated by Courtney Zell; Erich Fletschinger's comic, Brooklyn; Mindy Indy's The Misfortune Cookie; Emilio Velez Jr.'s kids' comic The Dodgeball Teens; and Erin Kavanaugh's Necromancer: A Boy and His...uh...Dog.
Also impressive was work like Hyper Toast by Justin DeCarlo; the amazing book one of The Secret Adventures of Houdini by Todd Hunt and Sean Von Gorman; Nate Bear's very funny Bear Brains; the unique designs of Bradford Johansen and Pirates of Brooklyn; and Ken Wong's work with Origami Comics, particularly the remarkable Schrodinger's Cat.
Some artists/writers do wonderful work with web comics, like Tom Eaton's The Bug Zapper; Joe and Keith Anthony-Brown's fine The Crime Machine; and Mark Delboy's audaciously brilliant Fanciest Lumps.
Also around King Con III were some folks whose work we were happily familiar with, like Bill Roundy, who does the beloved cartoon guide to local drinking spots, Bar Scrawl; Ian Randal Strock, whose Fantastic Books, publishes new and reprinted classics of speculative fiction; and Carren Strock, author of the new mystery In the Shadow of the Wonder Wheel, whose other books include the memoir Married Women who Love Women and A Writer's Journey: What to Know Before, During, and After Writing a Book.
As usual in a dark venue, our old dumb phone's ancient camera takes pretty horrible pics, but that's all we've got for now. We are grateful we got to take a post-superstorm disaster break for a couple of hours to get to King Comic III. Thanks to the artists and writers and the people who put the event together and kept it going despite Hurricane Sandy's devastation.
Thanks also to the great Brooklyn Lyceum. We bought a great Floyd Bennett Field T-shirt on our way out to remind us of our roots.

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