TO DO TODAY: Brooklyn Book Festival.


This Sunday, September 13, is the 2009 Brooklyn Book Festival, and this year they have a whole catalog of comics panels, hosted at the Brooklyn Borough Hall at 209 Joralemon Street.  The entire event is outside with some panels in the Hall, The St. Francis Auditorium and looks like its going to have some great authors speaking about their work.  Some authors of note include Jonathan Ames, Jonathan Lethem, Russell Banks, Paul Auster, David Cross, Pete Hamill, Emily Gould, Keith Gessen, Francine Prose, Jonathan Safran Foer, DJ Spooky, Danny Fingeroth, Molly Crabapple, Dennis O’Neil and a metric ton more.

In terms of comics, it was announced a while back that New York Comic Con was partnering with the festival and below is the schedule.


10:00 a.m. Comics Get Syncopated:  Memoir, History, Biography and Reportage in Comics Today. Brendan Burford (editor, Syncopated: An Anthology of Nonfiction Picto-Essays), comics editor at King Features Syndicate, moderates panel with other Syncopated contributors Sarah Glidden, Victor Kerlow and Alex Holden to discuss how the comic format has opened new doors in nonfiction storytelling. Syncopated collects memoirs, profiles and reports from comics creators in a graphic novel format.

11:00 a.m. Fact vs. Fiction in Action-Adventure Comics. Comics artists and writers Matt Loux, Fred van Lente, Chris Giarruso, and Kevin Pyle discuss how they are inspired by real events, scientific research and even math and physics to come up with action-packed adventure stories. They give a behind-the-scenes look at the process of creating comics. For kids of all ages. Moderated by Alex Simmons.

12:00 p.m. Sci Fi and Fantasy in NYC. Is there anything hotter than sci-fi and fantasy right now? We don’t think so. Join authors S.C. Butler, Peter Brett, Brian Slattery, Anton Strout and Dave Roman as they discuss all that is paranormal in NYC.

1:00 p.m. Marvel Writers. How do they do it? Some of Marvel’s hottest writers talk about their work on your favorite comics. Moderated by Jim McCann.

2:00 p.m. Spotlight on Tom DeFalco, Phil Jimenez and Dennis O’Neil. Veteran artists Tom DeFalco, Phil Jimenez, Scott Hanna and Dennis O’Neil gather to speak about their common influences, current projects and the trends that are shaping the future. Moderated by Danny Fingeroth.

3:00 The ACT-I-VATE Renaissance. There is a comic book renaissance happening in Gowanus, Brooklyn, and members from both DEEP6 and XOXOs Studios, featuring Dean Haspiel, Mike Cavallaro, Tim Hamilton, Joe Infurnari, Simon Fraser, Molly Crabapple and Mike Dawson (among others) will discuss the genesis of ACT-I-VATE, their premier webcomix collective, and sneak-peek their upcoming print anthology, THE ACT-I-VATE PRIMER. Moderated by Jeff Newelt, who will also announce two new members to ACT-I-VATE.

4:00 p.m. Hip Hop Hearts Anime. A conversation on the cross-pollination of urban culture in Japan and hip hop into popular anime. Our group of anime fanatics, hip hop artists, activists and social entrepreneurs will come together based on their love for anime culture to discuss the good, the bad and the ugly of this cultural exchange and how it will stay with our youth in the years to come.

5:00 p.m. Toon Books “Benny and Penny” Readers Theater for Children. See one of the Toon Books come alive with a performance by Geoffrey Hayes and Leigh Stein. Pirates and princesses, sweet mice and monsters next door in a staged reading of the Toon “Benny and Penny” books, author Geoffrey Hayes and actress Leigh Stein bring comics to life! For kids of all ages.

The website does not mention where these panels will be but I imagine the program will tell you at the venue.

I’ll probably make it to the ACT-I-VATE panel and probably the Marvel writers one.  As for the other panels I would love to try to make Jonathan Lethem’s panel with Mary Gaitskill at 5pm, but probably won’t be sticking around that long.  If you haven’t read Lethem’s re-imagination of the classic Steve Gerber book Omega the Unknown, you’re missing out on what was probably one of the most original and strange Marvel books put out in years.  Also at 5pm,  I’m really disappointed to be missing is the Happy Ending Reading with the constantly entertaining Jonathan Ames, Arrested Development’s David Cross (I’ll be getting his new book, I Drink For  A Reason) with music by Jonathan Coulton.  DJ Spooky talks about his book Sound Unbound at 4pm.  His book was one of the best reads all year, it also had a truly rockin’ soundtrack to go along with it.

In the end I’ll make it to the 10am John Updike/David Foster Wallace panel. (That’s if I can get my girlfriend up, whose idea it was to get up early and make it to that panel. I was seeing it as a tall order last night, but, yet, here I am typing away, while someone’s asleep).  At 3pm one of my home town hero authors, Russell Banks speaks with Paul Auster and Francise Prose.  And then I’ll hit the Marvel writers panel and have a tough choice between the Banks panel and the Act-i-vate panel so if you’re around hit me up on Twitter.

Otherwise, have a great rest of the weekend!

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