Pekar Park Comic Book Fest

Coventry Village, Mac’s Backs Books on Coventry, Heights Libraries, and Lake Erie Ink are pleased to announce that the Pekar Park Comic Book Fest is back for 2022!

The event will take place Saturday, August 20, 12-5 p.m., with a special free screening of the blockbuster Spiderman: No Way Home at 8:30 p.m. in the PEACE Park. Bring chairs and a blanket, get take-out at your favorite Coventry restaurant, and make an evening of it!

This free festival honors the late graphic novel writer and Cleveland Heights resident Harvey Pekar with a wide array of fun, engaging activities for comics fans of all ages!

Kids of all ages can enjoy face painting, a bounce house, crafts with Heights LIbraries and Lake Erie Ink, and Gamer Haven video games for kids. And all are welcome to take in the Artful Chalk Festival, taking place 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the PEACE Park.

12:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Face Painter – Marc’s Parking Lot

12:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Create Comic Cubes with Lake Erie Ink – PEACE Park

12:00 – 4:00 p.m
Flow Artist – PEACE Park

12:00 – 5:00 p.m
Rollin’ Buckeyez Skating Rink – Marc’s Parking Lot
Bounce House – Marc’s Parking Lot
Zygote Press: Make a Foldable Poster-Zine! – PEACE Park
Origami with Art Everywhere – PEACE Park
Comic and art vendors – Pekar Park (see below for vendor list!)

1:00– 4:30 p.m.
Comic Crafts with Heights Libraries – Library Lawn

1:00 – 5:00 p.m
Video Game Tournament by GamerHaven and Exchange presents – B SIDE Lounge

1:00 – 5:00 p.m
Current Trends in Comics (details below) – Coventry Library Branch Meeting Room

Starting at 1 p.m., Mac’s Backs will once again present a special event for the more serious comics fans, Current Trends in Comics

 1:00-2:00 p.m.: Ron Hill & Political Cartoons
After creating editorial cartoons for the Chagrin Valley Times, Solon Times, Geauga Times Courier and West Life for 22 years, cartoonist Ron Hill needed to change things up. So, in January 2020, Hill brought his web comic character, BB BluesBird, out of retirement to be the “spokesbird” in his cartoon commentary pieces. Little did they know that soon we would all be in the midst of a global pandemic, and suddenly BB was navigating all the angst and uncertainty we all struggled with. Now, half-way through his third year and over 300 cartoon strips, Hill and BB are getting the hang of this “hybird” mash-up of comic strips as political cartoons. Come and learn about the creative process of this on-going experiment in local journalism, ask questions, meet the cartoonist and purchase his latest book, One Bird Two Birds Red Bird Blues Bird, as well as his previous collection: BB BluesBird and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year.

2:30-3:30 p.m.: Derf: The Creation of Kent State 

The pandemic hit just as Kent State by Derf was set to be published. Consequently the presentations have been mostly virtual. This event will be an opportunity to see Derf’s full presentation of the work and the research that went into creating what has quickly become a modern classic of graphic novel journalism. Kent State won the prestigious Eisner Award in 2021 for Best Reality Based Work and an Alex Award from the American Library Association, which honors adult books that have a special appeal to teens. Derf is also the author the Punk Rock & Trailer Parks, Trashed and My Friend Dahmer.

“Derf Backderf’s masterful Kent State does what really good, in-depth journalism should always do–breathe life into cold, hard facts–but in this case, with searing, memorable images, drawings that put us inside the skin of the protagonists. The students and the soldiers are all tragic figures in this telling, and Backderf lets us decide how to judge them. The final, violent scenes are almost Goyaesque in their brutal reality. You don’t simply put this book down and get on with your life after reading the final page–you slowly recover, shaken from the experience.”
— Bill Griffith, author of Zippy the Pinhead, Invisible Ink, and Nobody’s Fool


4:00-5:00 p.m.: Brad Ricca, author of Ten Days in a Madhouse (illustrated by Courtney Sieh) and Jake Kelly, author and illustrator of the serial comic about underground Cleveland history, Death, Destruction, Vice and Sleaze

Brad Ricca will talk about the process of creating Ten Days in a Madhouse (illustrated by Courtney Sieh), a non-fiction graphic account about journalist 19th century journalist Nellie Bly, who had herself committed to a mential asylum to report under cover. Ricca is the Edgar-nominated author of five books, including True Raiders, Olive the Lionheart, Mrs. Sherlock Holmes, and the award-winning Super Boys. His independent film Last Son won a Silver Ace Award.

Artist Jake Kelly is an author and illustrator and will be discussing his series depicting underground Cleveland history. Doomsday Map (Vol 1) is about several bombings in the 1970’s, Shadows Will Fall chronicles the links between the murders of a judge’s wife and a folksinger, In the New Era (Vol 3) is about a notorious burlesque club and Blowing Minds (Vol 4), soon to be published, is about motorcycle clubs and LSD in Cleveland. Jake is also the co-creator with John G of the serial comic Lake Erie Monster.


Comic and Art Vendors in Pekar Park

50*Fifty Comix Publishing LLC
80 Proof Comix
Boniae Fern Haught
Blue Light Resale Store
Comics Are Go
Dark Lantern Studios
Kirk’s Pencils
Known Associates Press
Lake Erie Ink
Mac’s Backs Books on Coventry
Rambler Street
Studio JS
Talley Marxx & Co.
Tucker Accessories