by Billy Thomas for OLY ARTS
On Saturday, June 2, 2018, comic book creators, readers, and collectors will once again gather in downtown Olympia to celebrate the Olympia Comics Festival. The annual festival celebrates and showcases the medium to bring awareness to its artistic and literary quality. This year’s festival is set to offer a variety of entertainment and excitement for anyone interested in “the ninth art.” It is family friendly, and free to the public.
This year’s schedule of events will include a cartoonists expo running most of the day with more than 50 tables featuring more than 80 exhibitors showing their work. It will also include a roundtable discussion, live entertainment inspired by bizarre comics from decades past, and local food. It will conclude with a signing and sketching event.
“We think this year’s Comics Festival will be the best one ever,” says Frank Hussey, co-owner of Danger Room, a local staple for Olympia comic book lovers, “Both of our guests represent the cutting edge of long traditions within comics.” The two guests Hussey is talking about? Award-winning Northwest artists Shannon Wheeler and Farel Dalrymple.
Shannon Wheeler is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and the artist/writer/creator of Too Much Coffee Man, a staple of alternative humor comics for over 25 years. He will discuss his project creating cartoons ridiculing the tweets of Donald Trump—as collected in his book Sh*t My President Says: The Illustrated Tweets of Donald J. Trump—as well as other work from his long career.
Farel Dalrymple is a talented artist and writer, known for his work on the Image Comics series Prophet, his contributions to Brandon Graham and Emma Rios’ anthology Island, and Marvel’s Omega The Unknown (with writer Jonathan Lethem). He will present and discuss his science fiction series of linked books including Wrenchies, It Will All Hurt, Pop Gun War, and his brand new title, Proxima Centauri.
Wheeler’s work “is razor sharp cartooning pointing out that once again the Emperor has no clothes,” says Hussey, “and Dalrymple’s is a modern take on philosophical European science fiction as seen in artists such as Moebius, Bilal, and Jodorowsky.”
Dalrymple’s first issue of Proxima Centauri will be shipping direct from the printer in order to make it in time for the festival. It will be available to Danger Room fans before any other comic book shop on the planet, the festival claims.
The festival is in 18th year and going strong. “The Olympia Comics Festival has been a labor of love for many comix lovers in this region,” Hussey recounts, “it’s been our little secret—but now we’re pulling in national artists, and we’re happy to see many more people learn about the event and enjoy the artistic fun with us. Olympia may be small, but it’s a great town for an event like this because it’s full of people who read and think about culture, people who are open-minded free thinkers—our peeps.”
Olympia Comics Festival 2018
Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St NW, Olympia WA
HOW MUCH: Free
11 am – 5:30 pm – Cartoonists Expo at Olympia Center (222 Columbia St NW)
5:30 – 8 pm – Guests Of Honor Book Signings at Danger Room (201 W 4th Ave)