Easter Sunday at The KGB Bar, New York, NY

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Curator Tom Hart referred to it as something of a ramshackle version of R. Sikoryak’s Carousel—a New York indie comics institution of sorts. It’s a fairly apt description, but over the past few years, the Hart-curated Easter Sunday Comix Reading at the KGB Bar has lovingly stumbled into become a tradition in its own right, a gathering for the unreligious, the non-Christian, and the otherwise holiday orphaned members of the New York sequential art community.

The Hutch Owen artist has seemingly begun to take a certain amount of pride in the unpredictability of the show’s form, which last November, at the Thanksgiving version of the reading, produced Matthew Thurber’s now-infamous scroll reading of 1-800-Mice, a fantastic, if not especially environmentally-sound take on the show’s traditional slideshow format.

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KGB Bar Comix Reading 11/30/08

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It was standing room only on Sunday night—or kneeling, rather, as audience members contorted bodies around the projector’s beam cutting through the center of the room. The consensus, it seems, amongst nearly everyone packed into KGB Bar on Manhattan’s East 4th st. was that the bi-annual comics event had finally outgrown its old home amongst the strangely homey décor of Soviet-era Russian memorabilia lining the walls.

Over the years the event has become one of the best-loved in the New York indie comics scene, hosted by Tom Hart twice-yearly—on Easter Sunday and the Sunday following Thanksgiving, the latter of which happily boasts the tagline, ‘Come digest that tryptophan with comix!’

Despite said poultry-induced sluggishness, widespread jetlag, the stormy weather, and the innate desire to spend the bulk  of the weekend on the business end of a treadmill, the turnout seems to perpetual increase, year after year, thanks in no small part to the consistently stellar lineup of comics artists reading their work alongside panels projected large on a bedsheet pulled taut along the front wall of the bar.

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The Daily Cross Hatch Presents: Comic Book Club 11/18/08

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hartglidhersh

Hey all, I’ve extremely excited to announce that we’ve been tapped by our pals at the People’s Improv Theater to curate Comic Book Club. Next Tuesday I’ll be joining the show’s hosts, Alex, Pete and Justin, alongside Cross Hatch favorites Tom Hart, Sarah Glidden, and John Kerschbaum.

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While You Were Out: Dispatches from Beyond SDCC 2008

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Chalk it up to the sophomore jinx, but the Second Annual Astoria Comic Con isn’t going quite so well as I had hoped. Sure there will be naysayers who insist that it has something to do with the fact that once again I stubbornly insisted on holding it the same weekend as the San Diego Comic Con. And then there’s the fact that I didn’t advertise or really mention it to anybody. And, of course, nitpickers will likely point out that I held the thing in my tiny backyard in Astoria, Queens.

Honestly, though, I think the whole thing is just a matter of building proper buzz, and that sort of thing takes at least three years of unsuccessful backyard conventions to build. Maybe next year J. Scott Campbell will return my phone calls…

We’ve still got another day-and-a-half to turn this whole thing around. And believe me, once word gets out about those discount-priced hugs, attendees will be fleeing the San Diego convention center like rats from a sinking Watchmen sneak previewing ship. At least it didn’t rain this year–yet…

In the meantime, we put out the word to some of our cartoonist pals and asked them why the hell they weren’t at SDCC either, this weekend. Check out responses from Jeff Smith, Evan Dorkin, Renee French, Tony Millionaire, Tom Hart, and many, many more, after the jump.

Bonus: almost certainly the most adorable picture in the history of The Hatch.
–BH

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