• Rock! Shock! Pop! At Five Points Fest - New York City, NY May 20th & 21st 2017

    The first, of what will hopefully be a recurring Five Points Festival kicked off yesterday at Pier 36 on the Lower East Side riverfront of New York City. The two day festival, curated by Clutter Magazine and presented Midtown Comics, “is a collision of toys, comics, and counterculture.” Unlike a regular comic or toy convention, Five Points focuses the more artisanal aspect of the toy and comic industry. As such, most of the attendees had a connection to indy or small press comics (though there were a few mainstreamers around too) and to the ‘designer toy’ industry.

    Not only did this smaller scaled convention give fans a chance to interact with toy creators, artists, writers but it also gave them a chance to look for some exclusives, get items signed by comic and toy professionals, check out some amazing original art on display and peruse back issue vendors. On top of that, the outdoor area of the convention featured a half dozen food trucks and a selection of craft beers available for attendees over twenty-one. Hey, convention going is a thirsty business, we should all be so lucky if other conventions start to follow Five Points’ lead here (my only complaint about this? There needed to be more seating – convention going is also hard on the feet!).

    So without further ado, a selection of photographs and some commentary about the event. First up? A quick look around after entering shows that, yep, there are comic dealers here. Print dealers and toy vendors and other people just selling other interesting pop culture and counter culture art related ‘stuff.’

    Along the back wall of artist’s alley was where Matt Miner was set up. The author of the upcoming GWAR: Orgasmageddon comic coming out next month from Dynamite Entertainment was on hand signing limited edition ashcan editions as well as other books he’s written over the years. Accompanying him at the con? None other than GWAR’s own Sexecutioner and, appearing in public for the first time ever, new female GWAR member Estrogina!

    Speaking of craft beer, Lagunitas had a booth setup where they were holding a sketch contest…

    …while this guy was selling ‘quick and crappy prints’ (that didn’t look crappy at all and were actually pretty cool). Ben Templesmith was also kicking around, signing for and chatting with fans of his typically creepy but no less awesome work.

    From there, it was time to stroll through the toy displays. These were definitely a heavier focus in some ways than the comics were, at least it seemed like that for some reason even if the space was divided up fairly evenly. All sorts of neat stuff to check out here.

    Gotta love this Michael Jackson sculpt…

    …and the Playboy bunny as you’ve never seen her before!

    Lots of kaiju inspired pieces on display throughout the hall…

    …and various monster related pieces too.

    There were even some interesting inflatables in the hall.

    Clutter had artist signings going on most of the day (as did Midtown Comics), and Tokidoki’s Simone Legno was on hand for a while talking to fans and signing and sketching.

    Horrible Adorables are rad and cute.

    Not surprisingly, New York City’s own Toy Tokyo had a pretty sizeable booth set up with plenty of exclusives and oddball items up for grabs.

    Moving right along, a big Bruce Lee toy is a good problem to have…

    …and who wouldn’t want a Vaughn Bode ‘kick in da ballz’ statue or a Bode Babe vinyl to call their own?

    I’m not sure what this was – it was a giant helmet of some sort, but it was terrifying and awesome and probably very heavy and not meant to be worn – but still super rad to see.

    More quirky, oddball toys and vendors selling all manner of goodies like toys and prints.

    But yeah, beer and food – also an important part of the show. The weather more or less cooperated. It rained lightly for a brief time but overall the overcast day was just fine for hanging out outside a bit.

    Bringing it all to a close? COMICS! Lots of them. And some original artwork and artist alley shots too

    All in all, hitting up Five Points was time well spent. It was a different sort of convention, busy but not overwhelmingly so with reasonable and manageable lines tended to be helpful staff. The overall vibe of the show as relaxed and fun, you didn’t leave feeling completely burnt out like you do at the bigger shows like NYCC. Hopefully this does well enough that we get another installment next year. Until then, keep up to date on all things Five Points by checking out their website here.