On September 11 through 17, the Brooklyn Book Festival (BKBF) returns for its 12th year as the largest, free literary event in New York City. Hailed by Brokelyn as "Bonnaroo for Brooklyn bookworms and Lollapalooza for lit-lovers," the festival continues to champion graphic novel creators and programming from around the globe.
This year the lineup of comics-focused panels, signings, workshops, children’s day programming, and official Bookend events is more robust and exciting than ever. With comics heavyweights such as Gene Luen Yang, Gabrielle Bell, and Seymour Chwast in attendance, BKBF has programming for each and every fan, from young adult enthusiasts to sci-fi and fantasy-buffs, and even fans of goth culture.
The festival will continue its commitment to supporting inclusion and diversity in its programming, highlighting graphic narratives and creators that focus on issues of identity and social justice, women’s rights, the LGBTQ community, and the refugee crisis, such as Gabby Rivera, Thi Bui, and Tony Medina. In addition to U.S. based comics creators, there is also a wonderful lineup of international comics authors this year, including Ricardo Liniers Siri, Alex Alice, and Pénélope Bagieu.
The festival is also thrilled to announce that this year’s official poster was created by comics legend Adrian Tomine with Rodrigo Corral. Tomine's stunning art features attendees of the festival exploring booths at the iconic Borough Hall location.
All authors are available for interview, and books are available for review or feature.
Below are just a few of the events putting comics, graphic novels and graphic arts center stage at the Brooklyn Book Festival. For the full schedule, be sure to visit www.brooklynbookfestival.org.
BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL BOOKENDS
Comics Carousel at Union Hall / Monday, September 11 at 8 p.m.
Gene Luen Yang at the Chatham Square Library / Friday, September 15at 6:30 p.m.
Mama Takes the Mic—Magic and Madness from Storytellers at MUTHA and Hip Mama Magazine at powerHouse Arena / Friday, September 15 at 7 p.m.
Bushwick Book Club Presents The Meat Cake Bible by Dame Darcy at Barbès / Sunday, September 17 at 7 p.m.
SEPTEMBER 16: CHILDREN'S DAY
Reading Without Walls: Gene Luen Yang (Secret Coders), the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, joins Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming), Rita Williams Garcia (Clayton Byrd Goes Underground), and Ellen Oh (Spirit Hunters)—in a discussion about opening readers' eyes to new ideas and experiences.
Growing Pains: author Victoria Jamieson (All's Faire in Middle School) and Sharon Draper (Stella by Starlight) join Holly McGhee (Matylda, Bright and Tender) to discuss the hurdles and humiliations of growing up. Moderated by Lisa Graff.
A special international picturebook program feature includes Toon Books' Liniers!
Join Maira Kalman at the Picture Book stage
This year's illustrator smack-down includes comics authors Liniers, George O'Connor, Gregg Schigiel and more.
Join Chris Raschka reading The Doorman's Repose and leading a workshop.
SEPTEMBER 17: BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL DAY
Shapeshifters: Novelist Write Comics! More and more comics writers also create acclaimed novels and short stories. What does it take to shape-shift between these publishing cultures? With Victor LaValle (Destroyer), Gabby Rivera (America) and Ben Percy (Green Arrow), moderated by Alitha E. Martinez (World of Wakanda).
Paint it Black: Goth Culture and Comics: As 1980s-1990s nostalgia surges, the dark visuals of the goth culture of that era are thriving and inspiring contemporary comics artists. With Dame Darcy (Meat Cake), and new voices Julia Gfrörer (Laid Waste) and Jane Mai (So Pretty / Very Rotten), moderated by Nicole J. Georges (Fetch).
Mothers and Other Monster Myths: This panel is for anyone who has a complicated relationship with their mother—so basically, everyone. With Gabrielle Bell (Everything is Flammable), Thi Bui (The Best We Could Do), and Julia Alekseyeva (Soviet Daughter), moderated by Ariel Gore (We Were Witches).
I'm Gonna Live Forever: Fame and Its Discontents: Comics is uniquely tackling the complex roots of celebrity, the absurdities of internet culture, and all the branching paths to fame, in the digital age. With Jonathan Coulton (Solid State) and acclaimed cartoonists R. Sikoryak (Terms and Conditions) and Pénélope Bagieu (California Dreamin’), moderated by Jonathan Gray.
How Artists Think: Design legend Seymour Chwast (At War with War), internationally recognized cartoonist Liniers (Macanudo), and rising star, Brooklyn-based creator Leslie Stein (Present) undertake a sure-to-be-lively conversation. They’ll explore how their artistic lives and careers have been shaped by influences, opportunities, and the times they’ve lived in. A look into the minds of artists who have shaped graphic design, illustration, and comic-strip storytelling into their own distinct points of view. Moderated by Karen Green, Columbia University Libraries.
Adulting: What Comes After Coming of Age?: Social media makes fun of #Adulting, but the graphic novels on this panel are a mix of memoir and autobiographical fiction that probe the seemingly endless process of finding oneself. With: Iasmin Omar Ata (Mi(s)handra), Nicole J. Georges (Fetch) and Kristen Radtke (Imagine Wanting Only This). Moderated by Mira Jacob (The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing).
Adventure Awaits: With moderator Gregg Schigiel (PIX: Too Super for School), authors Mark Siegel (5 Worlds Book 1: The Sand Warrior), Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Star Wars: Jedi Academy), and Amy Chu (Ana and the Cosmic Race) reveal the secrets to writing and illustrating stories in which heroes rise, villains fall, and destinies are fulfilled.
See It to Believe It: Comics fans, check out hot-off-the-press graphic novels by international creators! With bestselling French star Alex Alice (Castle in the Stars), and award-winners Jessica Abel (Trish Trash) and Tony Medina (I Am Alfonso Jones). Moderated by Cassandra Pelham (Scholastic Graphix).