Indie artists converge in town on Mission Creek Saturday


Public Space One — Saturday, April 8 at 11 a.m.

No, it doesn’t stand for “cash rules everything around me“. Over 50 independent vendors will congregate for the day-long, bazaar-like Iowa City Expo for Comics and Real Eclectic Alternative Media (ICE CREAM) on Saturday, April 8, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m, at Public Space One, 120 N Dubuque St.

Still, it might behoove any interested parties to have some cash in hand. Midwest-based artists will table their wares all day. Though comics and zines are the driving force, expect all manifestations of visually driven art on display, from the cosmos to the personal — and the parallel universes in between.

Violet Austerlitz
Violet Austerlitz, who featured in Colorblind Comics last summer, returns to ICE CREAM this year. — illustration by Violet Austerlitz

“There will be a wide range of styles and genres among the different artist,” said Dave Dugan, the one who pulled the strings together to launch the first ICE CREAM last year. “Some are doing sci fi/fantasy- type stuff, others do auto bio; there are silkscreened books/book art type stuff, politics, zines, comics on handmade paper, t-shirts.” Publishers such as Spit and a Half and 2dcloud, will be selling books.

From 12-2 p.m. Public Space One’s kitchen will open up for $2 walking tacos as well as ethically sourced, TexMex chili (vegetarian option available) with an assorted topping bar. The event is coordinated closely with the Iowa City Press Coop, the bookmaking and printmaking division of Public Space One, who have concocted a print-based cookbook to sell on Saturday.

ICE CREAM is part of the Mission Creek Festival’s free community day, sponsored in part by Little Village.

Now in its second year, ICE CREAM has expanded to include two floors of the Wesleyan Center, Public Space One’s home. Vendors signed up during an open registration period in January, with almost all the original 30 vendors coming back this year. 15 artists from Illinois, Indiana, Minneapolis, Missouri and Wisconsin will join Iowa-based vendors.

The inaugural ICE CREAM came about when Dugan approached the architect of Mission Creek Festival, Andre Perry. Dugan wanted something to pair the annual small press fair that takes place at The Mill with Chicago’s annual CAKE (Chicago Alternative Comics Expo).

ICE CREAM is part of Mission Creek Festival’s “Community Day”, a day focused on showcasing artists of all disciplines close to home, which is co-sponsored by Little Village Magazine.

by Paul Osgerby

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