Comic Con at the Javits Center. Photo: AFC
As a counter point to New York art fairs this weekend I also visited Comic Con at the Javits Center. Talk about a totally different fan base – trophy wives with breast implants meet the Comic Con corset wearing crowd. Both are equally scary representations of their respective demographics.
Detail from the corset stand. Photo AFC.
For the most part though, I found the differences in approach to be a welcome change of pace. For example, probably my favorite aspect of comic-con represents one of the more taboo artist activities at a fair: all the comic book artists were compulsively drawing at their booths. The fine art world tends to find this tacky, and while I suspect this comes from an obvious connection to street vendor art, it’s an idea I wish we’d put behind us. Not that I think artists are lining up to draw in their dealer’s booths, but it’d be nice to know you wouldn’t be laughed out of town if you did.
The only other major contrast in the respective fair cultures that isn’t so obvious it’s not worth noting lies in the fact that the Comic Con artists man their own booths, so if you ask them what they’ve seen they’re likely to list off a number of good fast food delivery options in the neighborhood. Fine artists thankfully prove to be better resource than this as there is an unspoken understanding that your value as an artist is in part determined by your ability to spot talent within the profession. As such, ask the best artist you know what work they thought stood out at the fairs, and you’ll get the best answers.
Left: Syncopated Comics, Photo AFC Right: NYCMech’s Andy MacDonald, Photo NYCMech
Speaking of bests, my favorite booths during the day came from Brendan Burford, who writes the skillfully crafted narratives at Syncopated Comics and Andy MacDonald at NYCMech (I am particularly taken with his armored duck.) As far as deep prose explaining the work, this is about as much as you’re going to get today as I have a number of other posts sitting in the queue to attend to, however, the nice thing about comic book artists is that they tend to have exhaustive websites. Good luck keeping your websurfing hours down.