Saturday, April 26, 2014

Party for creative people guest appearance (follow up)

Photos from the "Party for Creative People" guest appearance!

I put up originals and prints of my comics pages, and had samples for people to browse.

Above: jam comics from the event.

Crossing planes on the return flight.

I think the event went well. The first part was socializing and drawing jam comics, and then I gave a talk about myself (how I started as a bio major in college, and ended up making films and working on film sets, and then moved back to Boston, worked at MIT, and taught myself how to make comics. And then a segway into American indie comics and comics festivals in New England).

The audience was a mix of people from Japan and people of various nationalities who were living in or around Tokyo. People seemed quite interested in the comics festivals, and we had a general discussion about that. I mentioned some similarities and differences between shows I have been to in the US and the one show I have been to in Japan -- ie about how the Japanese mincomics are very slick looking, while the American indie comics are more craft-y or may have educational/activist feel to them.
Some examples of festival photos I showed include MoCCA and the Cambridge River Festival (one of my favorite shows).


A woman from the audience mentioned that the photos of the US shows looked like there was breathing space and that there would be a lot more interaction between sellers and audience. (I mentioned that people have hawked to customers by offering free cookies). What she heard about the Japanese fests was that there were a ton more people, and people were sort of crushed and penguin-walked through the isles trying to move around, nevermind trying to interact with sellers. "The festivals are just mental, says my friend!" (As a note, I didn't recall Comitia being that packed when I walked around briefly, but Comitia is not the largest festival either.)

At one point, an audience member suggested to me, "Well, can you organize a small comics festival here in Japan? I think that's a niche that needs to be filled, a smaller comic fest outdoors or in another setting that's relaxed, and where sellers can interact with the general public. And also, we need people giving out cookies and muffins with comics, like in those photos you showed. That part definitely needs to be brought to Japan."

Since I am finishing work in August, I am not sure about this plan, but it is an interesting idea.

I may post more photos later!

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