RIPE is a young show, only in its second year, but it’s off to a good start. I saw a lot of fresh faces and fresh work. I’ve been going to comic conventions with this same cluster of cartoonists for fifteen years, so it’s refreshing to see an abundance of work I don’t recognize. (It’s also overwhelming.)
In general, this show felt intense: densely packed, young, hip, technicolored, and very queer friendly. There were plenty of locals in attendance, and the community here seems pretty close knit. But there was a healthy portion of out-of-towners on the exhibitor list too. In the room I was tabling, I didn’t even have to turn my head to spot half a dozen cartoonists I recognized from Brooklyn. A group from New Orleans also made the trip, and a gaggle of CCSers from Vermont.
It was a bit slow on Saturday, but by the end of Sunday I had covered my table, which was a small victory. I sat on a micro-publishing panel moderated by Whit Taylor, along with Matt Moses of Hic and Hoc, Dave Kelly of So What? and Virginia Paine of Sparkplug. We covered a lot of ground without getting derailed, so I call it a success. Dave Kelly talked about the need for publishers to work together to grow distribution systems, and it’s something I’ve been dwelling one. Sometimes DIY can go too far–we don’t have to do everything ourselves. This year, I’d like to build relationships with other micro-publishers to meet some common goals.
Here is a just small sampling of the tables I visited at RIPE.