Announced this week, the inaugural Comic Arts Los Angeles festival is a go. Similar to events like the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) and Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE), Comic Arts LA aims to promote community and appreciation for comics, graphic novels, and the like by allowing readers to interact with creators. The free event scheduled for December 6, 2014 at the Think Tank Gallery in downtown Los Angeles hopes to provide space for about 70 exhibitors, roughly 100 artists when taking into account collaborators or groups.
According to event organizers Jen Wang, Angie Wang, Iris Jong and Jake Mumm, “we realized that Los Angeles was one of the few major metropolitan centers that didn’t have a dedicated comics art festival. Given how vibrant the Los Angeles comics/illustration/animation community is, we felt that our city deserved a comics fest of its own! Among the four of us, we thought we had the required skills and abilities to pull off a thing like CALA, so we decided to make it happen.”
Although Los Angeles has a great zine scene supported by festivals such as L.A. Zine Fest and Eastside Zine Market, but there hasn’t been an attempt at this kind of festival in a while. Based on the success of this year’s event, the group hopes to make it an annual affair.
And artists are starting to respond to the call. Becky Dreistadt & Frank Gibson, creators of Tiny Kitten Teeth, who also work on Bee & Puppycat, wasted no time applying.
Applied for @ComicArtsLA on my iPod while on an elliptical machine. This is how excited we are!
— Frank & Becky (@beckyandfrank) August 4, 2014
And that’s really good news for the Comic Arts LA organizers. “One of the primary aims of CALA is to create a space for folks in Los Angeles to appreciate, learn about, and engage with comics art. We think offering a free event is the best way to ensure that everyone who has an interest can enjoy this community event.”