the NY Art Book Fair was held at PS1 in Queens and I was there taking photos. From Thursday until Sunday, people coursed through the museum, looking attractive and lazily hunting for books. It was a lot like a comic convention except that it was in a museum that used to be a school. The other difference was that the gay erotica didn’t have to pretend to be about superheroes. If this were the nineties I might make a joke about how the people at comic cons are unattractive but it seems like comic cons have some pretty comely attendees these days. There were a ton of fashionable hunks and babes, poor ventilation and expensive objects that no one needed to survive.
Hours after I finished writing this blog article I discovered that Terence Connor who I’d hung out with at the NY Art Book Fair was killed by a hit and run driver while on his bicycle. The time I spent with him at the book fair was my last. Rest in peace, Terence.
Some old and uncool looking people were lurking around the entrance to PS1 protesting the cafeteria in the museum serving horse meat. Recently M. Wells had taken over PS1’s restaurant and they are known for serving some occasionally non-traditional but always delicious food. I personally hate horses very much and am glad that someone is working on killing them.
Pictureplane and DJ Dog Dick performed a set of awesome noise music on Saturday. They were pretty great and did something more ambitious and pretty than I’d expected.
PictureBox had a presence at the fair and was selling a rare Hairy Who comic for a mere 750 dollars.
I met these nice girls from the Netherlands and asked them to each pick up their favorite book. They couldn’t choose and each grabbed several.
I thought this looked neat. I think this guy was making funny faces because he saw me taking photos.
One room had been converted into a series of closet sized booths in rows. Each one contained something different. This one reminded me of my bathroom.
There were snacks in the closet-booth room so that the occupants never had to leave.
Artforum had a room that just contained these books with red and black squares.
This handsome and dissatisfied man was also in the Artforum room.
One thing I may not have conveyed strongly enough was how attractive and well dressed everyone there was. You’d turn a corner and get dizzy from not knowing which impossibly beautiful and interesting person you wanted to look at.
This guy just wanted to be alone.
I finally got to meet Sandy Kim who does a lot of stuff for Vice and is a teeny little adorable lady.
I ran into Pictureplane and his friend Stephanie. I learned that Pictureplane is more into comics than I thought.
I like Pictureplane’s stuff.
This weird Jingle Book lady wandered throughout the entire fair and would ask you to look at her jingle books. She was like a kid-eating character from a fairytale.
My friend Jerry snuck in his dog.
These girls liked Jerry’s dog. I liked the girls and the dog equally.
While exploring the zine tent I found the worst magazine.
I also bought the last copy of Hula Hoop Girls from this artist name Eunice who runs a company called Fantasy Camp.
Wowee Zonk had also come down from Canada. Ginette LaPalme was there selling cool handmade wooden jewelry and drawing zines.
I could probably do a whole zine made up only of photos I took of pretty girls talking on their phones.
I’m not sure what this shack was being used for but I doubt that whatever it’s purpose was could be as fun as a little glass shack in the middle of the PS1 courtyard.
In the basement someone had put a selection of books and shit on the ground and made a sign that said that these things were free or good for trade. It didn’t seem like whoever had done this had gotten the consent of PS1.
Check out this cool group of college kids. They were all super friendly.
My friends, the Boo Hooray Gallery, had their own huge section. They published a bunch of new books related to Crass and are having some cool shows coming up.
I don’t really get the fetishization of 90s rave fashion. I thought it was ugly when it was going on and I think it looks even more awful now. Look at that big blown up photo they made. She looks dumb and smug in her dumbess on top of looking blobby and sweaty and high. Maybe I’m turning into my parents but I think the woman in that photo looks awful and so do the people underneath her.
This design company or branding firm had hired a comic artist they found on Craigslist named Rick Ross to make a poster of undead famous artists eating the booshie art people at an opening. The guy at the table seemed kind of ashamed of it. He kept saying that it was disgusting. I told him that I draw similar stuff and that shut him up.
I thought this wall looked like candy.
While wandering around I found a book dealer who was selling very fancy old monograph books as well as original art from lurid Mexican comics by Dorrantes.
He also had all these porn novels about librarians which I found hilarious at a book fair.
This is Harper, the book dealer. He is a degraded and raped librarian.
By the end of Saturday I’d seen everything that the NY Art Book Fair had to offer me and the concrete walls that border the museum started to feel like a jail. I went to some shitty after parties and went to bed. I think the art book fair is pleasant but like most things that happen at PS1, I’m more impressed by the building itself than anything it houses. Walking through an old school house is more powerful and nostalgic than most things you could hang on a wall. I’ll see you folks at the New York Comic Con.
This freewheeling interview by Grass Green touches on Williamson’s early influences, his fellow underground cartoonists including Jay Lynch and Gilbert Shelton, and the trajectory of his own comics career. Continue reading →