SPACE ALIENS, BAD MOTHERS AND GUNS!™ (SABMG!) was super excited to attend FANFAIRE NYC 2019. Only, in it’s second year, the event had quite the turn out. This 2-day event, held February 16th-17th was a success as it was a well organized production. What set this Pop Culture Art Festival apart from other “conventions” were three things: many participants were alums of Art & Design High School (the venue for this event), the programs were much more educational and provided a mentoring atmosphere; which leads to the third thing which may have a lot to do with the second reason; the event was created by the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of the high school. Not only was the program filled with common convention ideals, but it offered workshops on building artist careers along with the ins-and-outs of an industry that is beyond booming thanks in part to both Marvel and DC franchise reboots and you the cosplayers, artists and exhibitors.
One particular panel that stood out was the panel discussion, Pitch to Screen - and the Process In Between with Chrissy Fellmeth and J.J. Sedelmaier. Chrissy has an impressive resume working with animation production houses such as Titmouse and Flying Bark productions. You may also recognize J.J.’s animations on Saturday Night Live’s Saturday TV Funhouse Series. Of course you would! Both were very insightful about the business of animation to include discussing topics on creating a pitch bible to present to networks and production houses (this question was asked and they were very honest about how helpful pitch bibles are, but not necessary), they discussed contracts - not signing away your rights (or your life!), marketing around anime, entering film festivals along with other helpful tools to help those that are ready or even thinking about going for IT!
This was a very informative opportunity and probably the highlight of all the panels when it came to the business of career animation.
Speaking of all the panels, the two day listed program was full with exciting opportunities of personal growth to include:
Comics as a career
Portfolio reviews - with Neal Adams being one of the reviewers
Workshop on what goes into a winning book cover
Freelancing as an artist
Diversity in Entertainment
While some events overlapped, there was definitely something available for all those in attendance. Kodansha PresentS: Alita Battle Angel anyone???
The PTA, students and facilitators of Fanfaire NYC was not messing around when they put together their line up. This is one of those opportunities that everyone and anyone that is interested in a career in animation, comics, and brand building should participate. Just so you know, “The PTA created Fanfaire in its mission to provide funding for high-quality art programs and prepare students for academic success and careers as professional commercial artists. This platform will allow students of an art-centric high school access to the best of the global entertainment and technology industries that have relatable content with their futures in mind.” They did not fall short of this goal at all!
Moving on, there were plenty of people in creative cosplay, illustrators displaying and selling original works, as well as invigorated fans. We ran into a few familiar faces making their rounds on the convention circuit. @legendofdaywalker was there along with @latinnerdcosplayer in cosplay. We also stopped by @rallybart exhibit (we first met at Wintercon 2018) who is always impressing us with the clean lines in his art work. We also were fortunate enough to meet some truly amazing up and coming talent. Keep an eye out for them in our upcoming magazine features. There was the buzz of Neil Adams and the anticipated Kodansha Presents: Alita Battle Angel flick (which we are super excited about) that were both exciting, but we tend to shy away from the pop of the pop-culture and find the hidden treasures of each event we attend. For this event, it was the underlying career based education and growth, unlike we’ve experienced at another convention.
We cannot say enough how excited we are about Fanfaire NYC and it’s direction. While some Cons are just run of the mill with the same type of offerings (not that we don’t also find those attributes extremely exciting), though smaller and modest, Fanfaire NYC stands out. This is one that you should go to, if you want to develop “who” your art is, and where it is going. The organizers are truly putting talent and growth first.
SABMG! will definitely be returning to next year’s event as it is truly one of those that can’t be missed. The opportunities for growth is beyond words and imagination.
Sonise and Ayesha at Fanfaire NYC 2019