Besides showcasing New York indie comics, last weekend’s Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art comics show also helped circulate a much-repeated rumor about Comics Arts Brooklyn, another indie comics show scheduled for November. According to CAB organizer Gabe Fowler, who is also owner of Brooklyn’s Desert Island Comics shop, CAB may take this year off.
Contacted by PW, Fowler, said he’s considering not organizing a show this year. But he added that he hasn’t made an official announcement yet.
Launched in 2013, CAB has been a very successful independent comics show and its absence would be of some significance to publishers. The show is held at the Mt. Carmel church in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and programming is at the nearby Wythe Hotel. Enthusiastic crowds and sell-outs have been the norm every year.
Unlike MoCCA, where exhibiting is open to anyone who pays for a table, CAB is invitation-only; just being there is usually seen as an achievement. Readers and exhibitors who spoke to PW about CAB’s potential absence noted that they would miss it as a showcase for new books and creators. The programming, which has featured influential figures including Art Spiegelman, Paul Auster, Jillian Tamaki and Raymond Pettibon, is also a highlight.
“CAB is/was a great comics festival,” Fantagraphics director of publicity and promotions Jacq Cohen told PW, citing the appearance of Daniel Clowes, author of the graphic novel Patience, in 2015 as an example. “We sold every Clowes book we brought, plus Clowes's talk the day after the fest was packed.”
“CAB was always a great show for Koyama Press,” said publisher Annie Koyama. “There are more shows starting up each year now, so as a small publisher you have to really pick and choose which ones you can attend.”
While it would be missed on the schedule for 2016, publishers were philosophical about the need to take some time off. “If the show is a good one and the sales potential is there, taking a year off is not a big deal,” said Koyama.