The Pekar Park Comic Book Fest returns to Coventry Village in Cleveland Heights on Saturday, July 14, from noon until 5 p.m. Now in its fourth year, the free outdoor festival honors the late comic writer and Cleveland Heights resident Harvey Pekar by spotlighting local independent comic book writers, illustrators, and comic book retailers (including Cleveland Heights very own Derf!), and offering workshops for adults and kid-friendly activities all afternoon. The day will culminate in a showing of the Pekar bio film American Splendor.
Pekar Park will feature comic vendors Comics Are Go, Imaginary Worlds, Mac’s Backs Books on Coventry; publishers Outlandish Press and Vagabond Comics; and artists Ted Sikora, Ashley Ribbletts, Keith Allen, Kate Atherton, Lindsey Bryan, Jed Collins, Michelle and Miguel Hernandez, Clare Kolat, Craig Lindsley, McKenzie Merriman, Chloe Niclas, Noelle Richards, Nathan Ward, and Tim Switalski.
Panel discussions will take place throughout the afternoon at the Heights Libraries Coventry Branch, and at noon there will be a special film preview screening:
12 p.m. – Street Car City and Comix
A film essay by Cleveland Heights resident Brad Masi. This excerpt will show graphic re-enactments of early 1900s Cleveland drawn by Gary Dumm and JT Waldman and footage of Harvey Pekar as he interacts with friends and goes about his hum-drum life in this streetcar suburb.
1 p.m. – The Art of Comix and Graphic Novels
Terri Libenson and Angela Oster will discuss the art of illustrating comix and graphic novels.
2 p.m. – Publishing Comix and Zines
Bryn Adams, Miguel Hernandez, Melissa O’Grady and Kyle Osborne will discuss publishing in a panel moderated by Derf.
3 p.m. – What to Read Next? Reader’s Advisory for New and Favorite
Graphic Novels and Comix
Kate Atherton, Tyler Federico, John G., Joshua Harlan and Leslie Nichol
4 p.m. – Screening of American Splendor (2003, 1 hr 40 min)
An original mix of fiction and reality illuminates the life of comic book hero everyman Harvey Pekar.
Activities for kids and families will take place outside in front of the Library, and will include superhero crafts and comic making with Lake Erie Ink (12-5 p.m.), airbrush tattoos (12:30 – 2:30 p.m.), balloon sculptures by Dr. Strange (2:30 – 4:30 p.m.), and more.
This year’s partners and sponsors include Coventry Village SID, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, Mac’s Backs Books on Coventry, Heights Libraries, Lake Erie Ink, and Blick Art Materials.
Pekar Park and the Coventry Branch of Heights Libraries are located at the corners of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Blvd.
In case of rain, the event will be moved to the Grog Shop/B-side.