Pop-Up Comic ‘Extravaganza’

Nancy Silberkleit, co-CEO of Archie Comics, who is the organizer of the "pop-up comic extravaganza" on Sunday. Courtesy Archie Comics

It’s not quite on the scale of San Diego Comic Con or New York Comic Con, which have evolved into massive, days-long events that feature celebrity guests and draw fans in droves, but lovers of comic books and graphic novels on the South Fork finally have a “con” to call their own.

Nancy Silberkleit, co-chief executive officer of Archie Comics, who happens to be a part-time East Hampton resident, has planned a one-day “comic book extravaganza” for Sunday.

After taking her Archie Comics brand to a recent convention in White Plains, she thought, “Why not do one in East Hampton?”

“I’ve never really seen one in East Hampton,” she said, “so I decided that I would do this ‘pop-up comic extravaganza’ and see how it’s received. Hopefully, it will be an annual event.”

Ms. Silberkleit, who took over as co-C.E.O. of Archie Comics following the deaths of her husband and his business partner, was an art teacher for more than 20 years before beginning her second career. This year, Archie Comics is celebrating its 75th anniversary and will be one of the brands represented at Sunday’s event, which can’t specifically be called a comic con for copyright reasons.

“It’s a day of fun to draw families together to experience graphic literacy,” Ms. Silberkleit said. “This one has an underlying teaching moment that you can find if you’re looking for it.”

That teaching moment, she said, is an emphasis on kindness toward others, staying true to oneself, and having the self-confidence to rise above bullying and cruelty. It’s a message she promotes through a foundation she has formed called Rise Above. For Sunday’s pop-up comic extravaganza, Ms. Silberkleit said, she has asked artists, vendors, and other presenters to emphasize those themes in their work.

“The message there is never let anyone define who they want you to be,” she said. “You know who you are and you just have to have confidence and focus on your choices that you make, and get out there and get busy in your life. We should not be judgmental. We should step away from that and try to encourage people about feeling good, especially in the school environment.”

The event will run from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the field at 111 Cove Hollow Road in East Hampton. Artists, writers, and vendors, including the popular store Atomic Comics in Shirley, will assemble under a tent for the festivities.