Pop-Up Comic Book Show a Rare Outlet Here for Fans and Artists

Three artists were hard at work drawing custom pieces on Sunday. From left, Ed Watson of Brooklyn, Alex Rivera of the Bronx, and Chris Duckett of Queens. Christine Sampson photos

Sunday's Pop-Up Comic Extravaganza in East Hampton attracted artists, writers, and vendors from Springs all the way up to Maine and drew hundreds of fans of comic book culture, fantasy arts, anime, and other kinds of pop culture -- not just from the East End but from all over Long Island, too.

"We haven't had an event like this out here yet," said Anna Rafferty, who will be going into 10th grade at East Hampton High School in September. "You can wear a 'fandom' shirt and hope someone says, 'Cool shirt,' but here you know it's going to happen and you're going to have a great connection."

Anna, who dressed in cosplay -- a term that refers to "costumed play" -- as the character Daenerys Targaryen from the book and TV series "Game of Thrones," was accompanied by her friend Gianna Gregorio, who dressed as Negan from "The Walking Dead."

"This is a fantastic exposition of geek culture on Long Island," Gianna said. "Long Island is so isolated from everywhere else that to have geek culture together here is really refreshing."

Hunter Reynolds, who will be a senior at East Hampton High School in September and works at the Karyn Mannix Studio of Art here, was one of about a dozen artists displaying portfolios and drawing custom artwork commissions for fans. "I love interacting with other artists and being part of the community," she said.

Other artists featuring their work Sunday included Paris Cullins, who has freelanced for Marvel Comics, D.C. Comics, and the Walt Disney Company, and Chris Duckett of Queens, who draws for Bronx Heroes, a comic book publisher. Julie Averbach, a high school student from Short Hills, N.J., showcased "Adventures From My World," a self-published comic book for children who have siblings with special needs. She created it as part of a Girl Scout Gold Award project.

Nancy Silberkleit, co-chief executive officer of the Archie Comics brand, who organized the event, was so happy with it that she said she foresees "many more extravaganzas in the future for East Hampton."

Patrick O'Connor of Shinnecock Hills, a comic book vendor who was one of the organizers of the Hamptons Comic Book Show in 2014 and 2015, said such a show addresses a need on the East End, since the nearest comic book shop is Atomic Comics in Shirley.

"When I told Nancy that our show had gotten canceled this year, I was so thrilled that she stepped up and put this wonderful event together," Mr. O'Connor said. "If you can't do the store, you have the shows, and with these shows you can fill the gaps for the kids and meet the artists also."

Luke Schk of Selden, left, and Mo Johnson of Port Jefferson, right, dressed as the character Kirito from the manga series "Sword Art Online" and Harley Quinn from the series "Suicide Squad."
Julie Averbach, a high school student from Short Hills, N.J., created a comic book called "Adventures From My World" to support children who have special-needs siblings. Julie created the self-published comic book as a Girl Scout Gold Award project and donates the proceeds to children's hospitals.
Paris Cullins has freelanced as an artist for Marvel Comics, D.C. Comics, the Walt Disney Company, and more. He was a featured artist on Sunday at the Pop-Up Comic Extravaganza in East Hampton.
Deyo Trowbridge, right, from East Hampton, admired the artwork of Derwin Roberson, left, a comic book artist from the Bronx.
Michelle Witchipoo is a New York City-based artist who created the comic book "Psycho Bunny," chronicling "the misadventures of an unemployed drunk rabbit living among urban chaos."
Nancy Silberkleit, left, the co-C.E.O. of the Archie Comics brand and the founder of the Rise Above Foundation, found a fan in 13-year-old Alan Vashovsky, a summer resident of East Hampton.
Mac Herrmann, left, is the owner of Atomic Comics in Shirley. Atomic Comics is the closest comic book store to the South Fork. Mr. Herrmann's girlfriend, Brianna Carpenter, right, helped man the table on Sunday.
From left, Bryan Gonzalez, Gianna Gregorio, Jonathan Simons, and Anna Rafferty, who are East Hampton High School students, volunteered on Sunday at the Pop-Up Comic Extravaganza to sell raffle tickets to support the Rise Above Foundation, which uses graphic arts as a tool to prevent bullying and spread messages of kindness among youth. Gianna was dressed as the character Negan from the series "The Walking Dead" and Anna as Daenerys Targaryen from "Game of Thrones."
Abigail Loos, 16, from East Hampton, designed her cosplay outfit based on a fictional character she created herself, "Luyin," who goes on adventures with her older brother and her dog to protect their land from danger.