14 February 2016

[comics] Fanaticon 2016, or, What If You Held A Small Teen-run Comics Fest And Quite A Few People Came?

As I promised earlier this week, Fanaticon, the teen-run comic festival being staged at the East Portland Community Center, happened, and also, as promised, we were there. We have some pictures, and here they are.

The multipurpose room at the EPCC was impressively filled with a number of vendors and the whole thing ran rather smoothly and enjoyable. Not only were there first-class things to buy, but there were a great deal of new people to meet as well as some old friends to say 'hi' to.

Among the vendors who were there was, along this wall, starting from the farthest, Dylan Canfield, Caitlin Like, and Mikah Berkoff. All produce great work. Dylan does sharp indie stuff, Caitlin does a elegant romantic Steampunk story called Mistress of the Machine, and Dylan contributes 1/3rd of the great local crowdfunded graphic magazine Combine.

Above, the women of WabiSabiPDX posed for us.  They specialize in adorable SF- and geeky-accountrements, and also PDX … I now have a Timbers logo pin done by them, because #RCTID, man. Many delightful trinkets there.

From left, Barry Deutsch, Jaymz Bernard
Barry Deutsch and Jaymz Bernard also posed for us. Barry's graphic novel series Hereville is one of the things that rule my world, and Jaymz is the talented creator who is one of the other thirds of  Combine and more. Following Barry's link will take you to his Amptoons homepage, and Jaymz's will take you to her Facebook presence, where more can be found thereon.

While there wasn't any cosplaying per se, there was some inspired costume choices, and some people who know how to dress to impress. These two participants weren't a pair, but when they posed together, they worked together on an artistic level:

Puttin' on the Ritz, Fanaticon Style.

… and not only does this young lady have a sense for style, she rocks the hoop-skirt.

Jake Richmond and Jaymz Bernard
The teens who had the enterprise to create this microcon are students in the Cartooning class led every quarter by Jake Richmond, he of Modest Medusa, who we've met in this blog before, and those same students decided the time was ripe to put on a show, in the old-school style. I'm liking Jake because he represents a certain encouragement to the beginner from the pro that we don't see so much in the world in general but which I come upon quite often amongst the comic creator community. So, far much of the stuff Jake instigates turns out nifty.

He was selling Modest stuff, some books, including the most recent publication, anthologizing his three Modest 24 Hour comics. They're really sweet and great comedy.

Also appearing, in effigy, the Knight of Chains in adorable hat style.
Nothing personal, but much preferable to the Knight of Chains in person.

These two sellers, whose names I did not get, had really cool crafty head circlets that were kind of, from my point of view, the unexpected hit of the con. They sold very well and adorned the head of more than one con-goer.

Three of the con staff, who were selling a compilation of EPCC class work, but I loved this arrangement because the names of the trio read Kate, Nate, and Josie, which scans mightily well. Something that didn't escape my notice was that the staff had a large young female representation, which, given the trends as I see them, can't be anything but a good thing.

Christine "Kiki" Knopp
We purchased some of the work of Kiki, a/k/a Christine Knopp, an illustrator who does some really fun, whimsical animal illustration, heavy on the cats, and some of the cutest foxes I know of (stickers of which adorn some of my own sketchbooks). She's got some impressively deep professional experience, is just plain a nice, affable person to talk to, and also does private art lessons. Her FB presence is https://www.facebook.com/kikidoodle.art/, and you can find her other neato stuff from there.

This last picture is an unexpected treat … the purple-shirted fellow in the center is Pharoah Bolding, who's work, They Call Me Black Fist, an unafraid mashup of rockabilly, fighting manga, bad 70s kung-fu movies, classic comics, and satire, which I stumbled on at Spritely Bean and tipped on my own Facebook presence some time ago (I had thought I had reviewed it, but just figured out I hadn't, which is a think I must redress and will do so soon). They Call Me Black Fist is as funny as hell, and Pharoah Bolding has a real-life sense-of-humor that is every bit as audacious.

One photo I didn't get was of Huynh Pool and the Spritely Bean's table, where good basic coffee, Thai tea, and Boba tea were all available, and made everything go smoothly.

The best cons tend to run so smoothly you don't notice anything else but the fun you're having and the people you're mingling with. It was all good and the kids did a tremendous job. 

We give it many many thumbs up. We'll have to borrow some, because we only have so many, but sacrifices must be made.

We hope they do it again next year.

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