At Mama’s Boy last week, I picked up the Flagpole to find an awesome Joey Weiser drawn cover and corresponding full page ad inside. The ad was for Fluke 2015, a comics festival taking place that Saturday at the 40 Watt. Comics? Cake? The chance to go to the 40 Watt during the day and perhaps drink a Bloody Mary while I was there?! This sounded like my cup of tea.
On Saturday, I arrived at the 40 Watt, paid the $2 admission, recieved my free souvenir comic and button and headed into the land of magic and nerdery. This year’s free comic comes with stories by Joey Weiser, Max Clotfelter, Rich Tommaso, Scott Stripling, Lee Gatlin, Patrick Dean, Sammy Herring, Michele Chidester, Justin Colussy Estes, and cover art by Judson Culver. My favorite has to be Lee Gatlin’s “Proposed Bulldog Statue Makeovers for Fluke 2016.” Also, his Krang halloween costumes is still one of the funniest strips I’ve seen.
The first table I stopped at was Eleanor Davis’. I just recently finished reading her story collection, How to Be Happy, and was very excited by the prospect of meeting her. Her book, published by fantagraphics, uses a mix of water colors and pen and ink to tell the stories of people from all walks of life searching for one thing--happiness. Equal parts whimsy and depth, How to Be Happy is not to be missed. At Fluke, I picked up 12 Dancing Princesses. This adorably small 3.5 x 5” book contains the full text of three Brothers Grimm Stories (“The 12 Dancing Princesses, “Iron Hans,” and “The Poor Miller’s Son and his Cat”) accompanied by beautiful black and white illustrations by Davis. As a fan of folk literature and fairy tales, I was all over it. This book is really sweet and would be a great way to introduce someone to an amazing illustrator.
Joey Weiser was there selling his beloved Mermin books. Guys, this series is seriously adorable. Kids LOVE them. I’ve taken my copy to school a couple of times and my lower schoolers and middle schoolers are like are entertained by the charming story of an aquatic kid beginning his life on dry land. I got to go to a signing of his at Avid and it was so much fun to see how excited the kids were for his new book. They immediately sat down in the middle of the store to start reading. Actually, that was one of my favorite things about Fluke too. Its always so great to see kids excited about art and reading. Yay books!
Andrew Pungot is a cartoonist and sequential art student at SCAD. His story Girlfriend is very hilarious, as is the caricature he drew of me. I had a lot of fun talking to Andrew while he drew me and getting to see some of his process as an artist. A lesson you should learn sooner than later--there are two groups of people in this world you can not be offended by, young children and caricature artists.
Top Shop Comics was there selling several of their books. One in particular that jumped out at me was Strong Female Protagonist. Written by Brennan Lee Mulligan and drawn by Molly Osterag, this web comic tells the story of a young middle class girl and retired superhero. Oh my goodness, it is relatable in the most wonderful way possible. Please, join me in obsessively checking their site every Tuesday and Friday for updates.
Cleonique Hilsaca is originally from Honduras but lives and studies in Savannah. I bought the two most adorable stickers from her and can not wait to figure out what to do with them. If you know me, you know I can not resist adorable freckles and LOOK AT THAT SWEET FACE. Her bumblebee art was used in a poster submission for Family and Friends and is has the most beautiful golden summer vibe.
SCAD Student Sage Coffey made this scene girl Sailor Moon print and it is awesome. End of story.
Erin Gladstone’s table was adorable, colorful, and I was immediately drawn in. Her rude fox prints are the sweetest, most adorable, most blatantly rude things I’ve ever seen. And I love them so much because of it. I was so excited to see Liz Lemon’s scowling badger face among the bowl of buttons she was selling that I had to have, and Erin ended up giving it to me. I don’t want to cross a line, but bonding over Liz Lemon at a comics and art fair has BFF meet cute written all over it. I was so excited, I pinned the button right to my shirt. I subsequently went with my sister to a frat party and really felt like Liz was silently judging everyone from my shirt. Talk about great day.
Maggie Venable, a sequential art student at SCAD, made this awesome Myazaki sketchbook that I literally cannot stop staring at. Everytime I look at it I find new amazing details.
W. VongWigglebottom's Visual Haikus are the definition of short and sweet, literally the poetry lovers dream. Plus she writes the awesome web comic Catch and Flow. So much wonderful.
At some point while I was walking around a child behind a table shouted a hello in my direction. “Hello,” I responded “How are you?” “I’m really good, I’m just sitting here with these comics.” He then delves into the comics on the table and what they are about. One is written by his father, Justin Colussy Estes, one by his sister, and one by him. He tells me his is about one tribe of gorillas trying to overthrow another and his sister’s is about “Prince Charming and he’s a jerk. Nobody likes him. There’s revenge. It’s happily ever after.” Not being able to resist the cuteness I bought his and his sisters and was so excited they were the first I read when I got home. Fingers crossed for McStickville Part Two.
So, in a nutshell that was my first Fluke experience. It was an amazing celebration of local talent and an awesome way to spend a Saturday. I’ll definitely be back next year.