News / Winnipeg

New Winnipeg comic festival celebrates creators in the Prairies

New this year, the Prairie Comics Festival is a free to attend one-day festival celebrating the best in original comics creation in the prairies.

The festival is free to attend.

Handout

The festival is free to attend.

A new one-day comic festival celebrating the art and literacy of the medium will feature a juried selection of 30 prairie-based creators at the Millennium Library this weekend.

Organizer of the Prairie Comic Festival Hope Nicholson, said it’s “for fans who want to be able to access content by creators in the prairies,” who she believes are “overlooked” compared to peers elsewhere like Vancouver and Toronto.

“Also it’s for the artists themselves to get together, talk to eachother, learn about new methods, socialize and network,” she said.

The selection of those artists and creators was done by Nicholson and a small jury, and focussed on finding original work characteristic of the Prairie comic scene, which she said isn’t like the mainstream comic world people are seeing hit the silver screen en-masse.

“I’m seeing a rise in young adult and academic audience comics here,” Nicholson said.

For one of the exhibitors, Autumn Crossman-Serb, the event bridges a gap she feels larger comic expos and other art festivals fail to address.

“I’ve wished for something like this for a long time,” said the writer and artist who creates fantasy and fairy-tale comics. “The convention scene is generally geared more towards superhero comics… this new Prairie Comics Festival is going to make it easier for people like me to get together.”

Another exhibitor, Winnipeg artist Nyco Rudolph, said the event is a “perfect springboard.”

He’s been illustrating professionally for about eight years, but is just finishing up work on his first comic project recently.

“For someone like me getting his feet wet in this world, just looking to network and meet other local creatives and see some of the talent around here, this is great,” he said.

Nicholson said the biggest thing is “these are comics and stories you won’t be able to find in many stores” and creators who aren’t big-time, necessarily, but are “your neighbours and friends.”

The festival will feature a market where those artists and other writers, craft-makers and publishers can interact with fans, promote and sell their material—from print comics and graphic novels, to zines and cartoons.

It will also stage several panels on subjects like educational comics, zines and anthologies, and webcomics 101.

The first ever Prairie Comics Festival is free to attend Saturday July 30 at the Millennium Library from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will be followed by a mixer at the Elephant and Castle on St Mary Avenue at 7 p.m. 

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