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The Winnipeg festival celebrating independent comics

Winnipeggers came together this weekend to support and celebrate independent comics, zines and graphic novels created by artists based in the Prairie provinces and beyond.

It was all part of the Prairie Comics Festival – an annual two-day event that features a marketplace, panel and workshop programming. The festival gives attendees the opportunity to discover local, creator-owned comics and art, and also gives a platform for creators to get the word out about their work.

The event began in 2016 in a single room at the Millennium Library and has expanded over the years.

This year’s festival took place at the West End Cultural Centre and featured 42 vendors.

“We used to just be a one-day festival and we were just an artist market,” said Samantha Beiko, artistic director of the Prairie Comics Festival.

“Then we added programming, so we have panels where we have industry professionals come and talk about all kinds of topics.”

Beiko said the Prairie Comics Festival is different from Winnipeg Comiccon, and that those who attend the festival are looking for something beyond the mainstream comics.

“Everyone behind the table owns the intellectual property of everything they are selling you,” she said.

“They have written and created all of these fantastic art pieces and comics themselves.”

Beiko added the festival gives people a chance to discover something new and find things they can’t just buy in a store.

“A lot of these folks are self-publishing their work and not only in book format, but maybe in zines or stickers or buttons,” she said.

“So you’re able to support them in a variety of ways with a variety of different ephemera.” Top Stories

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