Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Photos: Bergen Street's Free Comic Book Day and Act-i-Vate Party

Did everyone have a happy Free Comic Book Day? I did! Being Brooklynites, Degan and I picked up our freebies at Bergen Street Comics and Rocketship bright and early on Saturday. But come the evening, I headed back to Bergen Street for their Act-i-Vate party and presentation.

I'm a fan of the Act-i-Vate Comix Collective from back when I produced a segment on the site for a now defunct web series. For those not familiar with Act-i-Vate, the short version is they're a group of working artists who produce professional-grade serialized comics for free online. The presentation at Bergen Street showcased examples of the great work being done for the site, and I was surprised to see how much more sleek and functional the interface has gotten since I last checked in.

The presentation also included an announcement of the Act-i-Vate Primer, a hardback collection of new comics by Act-i-Vators, available exclusively in print (well, at least until two years go by, at which point they'll be put online. These guys just can't stop themselves from giving their work away!). Considering the Act-i-Vate stable includes such indie luminaries as Dean Haspiel, Roger Landridge and Dan Goldman, I imagine this collection will get a lot of attention when it hits the shelves this fall.

More pictures after the jump...

Bergen Street always has some great original art up on the walls. For the Act-i-Vate party, they hung up original inks, pencils and prints of the Act-i-Vators work.

Graphic novels by the Act-i-Vators were laid out on the center table. I ended up buying 08, illustrated by Dan Goldman, who is responsible for my favorite Act-i-Vate comic, the insane and extremely NSFW Kelly.

Everyone likes balloons.

A slide from the presentation of some of the pre-launch teaser material.

So if after all this, you're thinking about going to check out the site, here are few notes from the presentation about some of the comics on Act-i-Vate, if you need a place to start:

"Nauseating, in a good way."
Ultra Boy: "Grusome, macabre, and fun."
Underwire: "It's for chicks!"
Fut Miso: The mini-comic at the bottom of this page was described as "The best thing on the site".
The End is Here: "I started with a daily strip about penguins way before all those movies came out." Described as the saddest comic ever. I just read it, and yeah, it goes from cute to soul-crushingly bleak in about one page. Hardcore anti-war sentiment.
Pecan Sandy: "It's Nick's reaction to Drawn & Quarterly."

Fun Fact:

Warren Ellis paid the $25 activation fee for the original Act-i-Vate domain name. "The Act-i-Vators could only come up with nineteen."

For yet more FCBD and Act-i-Vate party photos, check out our Flickr.

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