A few years ago, I was at a convention in Seattle, chatting with another comics pal of mine (Joey Weiser, of Mermin fame!) and we were commiserating over how huge and impersonal conventions have gotten. He mentioned how in Savannah, for their indie comics fest FLUKE they used to just have creators hang out in a bar with their stuff, and people who wanted to see them just showed up there.
It sounded like such a casual, fun atmosphere that I wondered why we couldn't ... try to recreate that? But like, in ALL cities all around, so maybe every few months there'd be a cool local comic show in a bar that you could wander into, meet new creators, and find cool stuff. Free, open to the public, and easy to get to.
In 2014 I contacted a cool, tiny bar in Fells Point (Bad Decisions, which was amazing and sadly no longer exists) and asked if they'd be willing to open up early on a Saturday (noon instead of five) and host six tables of comics creators in their bar. It worked like gangbusters - people stopped in off the street to get a drink and see what was happening and BAM see comics! People no longer had to know about comics or plan to see them and spend a bunch and wait in line - they were just there!
We had so much fun we've kept it going ever since, stretching to 4-5 times a year, venturing to other bars in Baltimore, but mostly making our home at the great Windup Space. Our list of local exhibitors at our shows has grown, we've connected many local comics fans and creators alike, AND started up bi-monthly Drink & Draw's in order to further strengthen the community.
ANYHOO. All this blathering is to say that this amazing, indie comics community in Baltimore (especially dear friends Kata Kane and Jon Eaton, who've helped make Bmore Into Comics what it is today), came out yesterday to throw a fundraiser for my current shitty cancer state, and I couldn't be more humbled by and grateful for their love and friendship. (Not to mention Danielle Corsetto, Jamie Noguchi, Howie Noeldechen, and ALL the people who donated art to the event!)
This indie comics community took off in such a beautiful way, and I really hope it spreads far and wide. Comics creators across the world, get crackin' on starting them in your own towns! You'll meet the best, best people.
Comics forever. <3