Last year, some Bay Area artists began discussing the idea for an alternative to the overcrowded and rudderless San Diego Comic-Con International. They discussed their ideas on a Facebook page called Creator-Con, and threw around suggestions for what they wanted to see in a counter-festival: a dealers room filled with comics and artist-created products that they’d actually want to buy, in-depth classes and how-tos, and a casual and relaxed environment for catching up with old friends and making new ones. Most importantly, they wanted a place that celebrated creating art instead of the Comic-Con’s shift towards consumerism and its many tentacles including Hollywood, fandom and cosplay.
The idea found plenty of grassroots support, and lead to a new event called TR!CKSTER which will debut throughout the week of Comic-Con (July 19-24, 2011) literally across the street from the San Diego Convention Center. Here’s the map:
And here’s the place – the San Diego Wine and Culinary Center:
To understand the philosophy behind the event and the reason for its name, I’d suggest starting here. The lofty and admirable ambitions of TR!CKSTER–spearheaded by creators Scott Morse and Ted Mathot–include promoting a stronger bond between creator and audience, while eliminating barriers like convention booths and tables so that everyone can interact and learn from one another.
The three main components of the festival are:
* Symposia, a series of intensive workshops revolving around the theme of storytelling, with the participation of Mike Mignola, Mike Allred, Steve Niles, Bernie Wrightson, Skottie Young, Jim Mahfood, Scott Morse, Ted Mathot, Derek Thompson, Greg Rucka, Craig Yoe, and others to be announced soon.
* A huge retail area where creators will be selling their wares and doing signings throughout the day. (Unlike Comic-Con, there is no admission fee. The Symposia events cost money, but everything else is FREE.)
* A coffee and cocktail bar, drawing areas with live models, a gallery space, live musical performances and DJs, and film screenings. (Note: Cartoon Brew is a proud sponsor of the inaugural edition and we’re planning some animation screenings. More details to come.)