Providence Cartoonists Unite to Publish Book

The work of about forty local cartoonists will be featured as part of the Rhode Island Independent Publishing Expo.

You know all about Rhode Island Comic Con, the convention that attracts tens of thousands of fans of Star Trek and Superman. Now you can also attend a convention that features the unique comic talents of Providence-based artists.

“Rhode Island Comic Con has the super heroes. We’re everything else,” says Cathy G. Johnson, one of the organizers of the Rhode Island Independent Publishing Expo.

The festivities kick off Friday, March 27, with a party celebrating the publication of Buddies: The 2015 Providence Comics Yearbook. Published as a joint project of the Providence Comics Consortium and Hidden Fortress Press, the book features the drawings of more than forty local illustrators, ranging from professionals to hobbyists and kids.

“That’s a lot for just in the city limits!” says Johnson, whose work is also featured. “They attempted to get every cartoonist in Providence to contribute.”

The party is also celebrating the release of two other local titles. Twisted Anthology features the work of a talented sixteen-year-old artist named Marcel Mensah. And New Folklore Anthology Vol. II, which is edited by Alison Rutsch, is also part of the celebration. It will be held from 7-9 p.m. at Ada Books, at 717 Westminster St. in Providence.

Then, more than 150 exhibitors will show their work the Expo on Saturday, March 28, and Sunday, March 29, which will be held at the Providence Public Library.

Many artists who made their books by hand or published with small presses will be there, Johnson says. You can expect everything from ‘zines to comic books, and most items are likely to cost an average of $5 to $10, Johnson says. There will also be panels ranging from creative inspiration to micropresses to social and political motivation in art.

Another nice thing about the Expo?

“Part of the draw of shows like this is you actually get to meet the artist while you’re looking at their work,” Johnson says. “A lot of these artists are really very talented.”

The Rhode Island Independent Publishing Expo will be held on Saturday, March 28, from noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday, March 29, from noon to 5 p.m. at Providence Public Library, 225 Washington St., Providence.