Five Points Festival celebrated its inaugural year with an impressive show. The festival took over the Lower East Side’s Pier 36 and wasted no space, filling it wall-to-wall with toy designers, crafters, writers, comic book artists, and more. Just outside of the festival were a grouping of food trucks and a beer garden which kept people full and happy between booth browsing. Below you will find our specific highlights from the show.
Food & Drink
You can read more about the food and drink offerings in a previous article here, but it deserves to be mentioned again. Given the festival’s somewhat isolated location, food on site was a must and it was nice to see the showrunners chose to support local food trucks instead of hiring a bigger catering company to peddle hotdogs and pretzels inside the building. The prices were reasonable, the portions commendable, and the beer cold.
Hands down one of our favorites booths at the show was P!Q. It had a wonderful spot right near the entrance to the festival and welcomed in curious con-goers with nomwals, exclusive prints, and custom figurines from Zard Apuya only available at their booth.
The mix of exclusives and non-exclusives brought in collectors and casual shoppers alike, ensuring that everyone went home happy. Creator Michael Banks from Sugar Fueled manned the booth, giving fans the creator-contact Five Points Festival excelled at.
Perhaps it’s better to call it “creators” alley, since there was a great mix of writers and artists. I was extremely impressed by everyone representing the world of comics. Five Points Festival was definitely more of a “toy” festival than comic convention, but winding my way through the aisles toward the back end of the venue reminded me of a more traditional convention.
Along the way I had the chance to pick up a copy of the Love is Love anthology and met Tee Franklin who has a story in it. She was at the festival promoting her new comic Bingo Love, which is available for pre-order.
We also had the pleasure of meeting Jerome Walford, writer and artist of the series Nowhere Man available through Forward Comix. I was so impressed with his work that I picked up a copy of his novel and have plans to grab the first volume of Nowhere Man. Finally, we wandered by David Gallagher and Steve Ellis‘ booth and checked out the work they have done on The Only Living Boy. There was so much talent at Five Points Festival and so little time to dig into it all.
While my knowledge of toys does not really extend outside the realm of Funko collecting, I did my best to brush elbows with talented designer toy makers and was in awe of the work that they do. Whether they use fabric, resin, or clay, every artist brought something unique to their creation. I was particularly amazed by the creatures that were created, birthed from the artist’s imagination, and brought to life in figurine form.
One-Eyed Girl, headed by Kasey Tararu definitely caught our eye as we were scanning through the booths. She puts a slightly silly spin on creatures we all know and love, creating wildly detailed pieces of art. Erin Rosenzweig of All Nighter Productions wow’ed festival goers with her terrifying yet adorable creatures such as pondlings, baby basilisks, and posable Licen Yali. From the artist’s brain to the final product, each and every toy creator brought a rich depth to Five Points Festival.
The After Party
For most conventions and festivals, after parties usually end up too crowded or too exclusive. Five Points Festival somehow ensured that neither of those things would be the case. Tickets were only $20 beforehand or $30 at the door. Tickets guaranteed free bowling and entertainment provided by creators. There was a DJ dropping awesome beats while two artists went to war on the stage to create art pieces live and in person. Drinks were flowing, food was available for purchase, and everyone seemed to have a great time.
After what appeared to be a successful first year, we are definitely hoping that Five Points Festival gets another chance to rock the Lower East Side and celebrate creators from all over the world. It was a unique festival, different from a typical comic book convention, and its focus on creators was commendable. Kudos to the show runners for a great final product – we’re keeping our eyes out for Five Points Festival 2018.