Friday, October 1, 2021

"Flee" and New York Comic-Con 2021

As the Oscar race is starting, I just watched one of this year's contenders in the Animated Feature category, it's called "Flee".

The film tells the story of an Afghan refugee fleeing the Soviet Union/Taliban rulers of his country.  This guy (he's anonymous for fear of reprisals) attempts to escape to Sweden with his family.  But there are numerous hardships and dangers that keep him from reaching freedom.

The director met the refugee in Denmark, and when he learned of the man's travails, he decided to make a documentary of his journey - but since there was no existing footage, he decided to use animation to tell the story.

I found the story very heart-wrenching and fearful, but unfortunately, the animation was quite crude.  Now, most people who aren't animators probably won't mind.  But to me, the simplistic drawings lacked the sophistication and subtlety of a well-made film.  However, I believe the film will do well at the Oscars, because of the power-packed, emotional story.

This coming weekend, October 7-10, I'll be appearing at the New York Comic-Con at the Javits Center.  Last year the live convention was cancelled, and the virtual replacement was a big bust - and I really missed it so much!  Not only is it a great supplemental source of income for me, but also a great place to meet my fans and fellow cartoonists - plus I love seeing all the new art and books.  

Also, this is my first real public appearance ANYWHERE since the start of the COVID pandemic - I've basically been studio-bound for over a year, I haven't flown anywhere or appeared at any festivals, except virtually by Zoom.  So I can't wait, my office manager signed us up for a table back in June, when we didn't even know for sure if NYCC would be happening - if you remember, the Javits Center was a giant vaccination clinic at that time.  I'm so glad that things are getting better in NYC, and I wish other cities and states around the country would take a look at the progress we've made here and realize that they can have the same success, too, by encouraging more people to get vaccinated.

So, if you're in the New York City area, and you're already vaxxed, there are still tickets available for some of the days - I think Saturday's probably sold out.  But please drop by my table (D-13) in Artist Alley at the Javits Center and say "Hello" or "Welcome back".  I think there's still a ban on hugs and high-fives, but it would be GREAT to see you!  You can check out all my new stuff, plus original hand-drawn art from "Your Face", "How to Kiss", and some of the couch gags I animated for "The Simpsons".  

Artist Alley at NYCC during the before-times

I will also offer caricatures for sale - you can see what you would look like as a Plymptoon! - and I will give anyone and everyone a quick sketch on a postcard for FREE!  So tell your friends and I'll see you there at Comic-Con!  WOO-HOO!


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