INKING OUT LOUD
Comic fest gets cartoonists out of the studio
COURIER L 40 IFE, OCT. 25-31, 2019
By Kevin Duggan Have you seen these
celebrities? Or anyone
who looks like them?
A Coney Island theater
company seeks look-alikes of
four 1950s Hollywood actors for
its zany upcoming rock opera
about a jukebox that comes to
life. Funhouse Philosophers
will hold an open casting
call this Sunday, Oct. 27, for
actors and singers that bear a
resemblance to famous figures
Jayne Mansfield, Sidney Poitier,
Audrey Hepburn, or Jackie
Coogan (as he appeared just
prior to his role as Uncle Fester
in “The Addams Family”) to
star in the show “Bloody Brains
in a Juke Box” in the spring,
according to the show’s writer.
“If you look like any of those
characters, and you don’t know
what you’re going to dress up as
for Halloween, why not dress
up as them and use it as an
opportunity to be part of the
opera?” asked Dick Zigun.
Each of the characters die
by the second act of the threehour
show — but their brains
are preserved inside a Wurlitzer
Jukebox, which then achieves
consciousness, flies around,
sings, and brings the dead back
to life in a dystopia 150 years in
the future, according to Zigun.
“The play is about, on a
very cerebral level, advances
in modern science yet to come,
about human consciousness
existing outside the body,” he
Zigun conceived of the story
four decades ago while working
at a California film studio,
but only recently decided to
stage it, after gaining name
recognition as the founder of
the annual Mermaid Parade and
the Sideshow in the People’s
“I had to figure out how to
do it and get older and wiser,”
The show was originally
scheduled to run this fall, but
Zigun and his co-creators have
rescheduled to March of 2020
to give them time to cast these
four vital roles. The unofficial
mayor of Coney Island hopes that
aspiring talent will give it a go.
“If you’re a young New
Yorker aspiring to be a singer
or in the theater, Coney Island
USA obviously isn’t Broadway,
but you can do worse than be
cast in the lead role for the rock
opera,” he said.
“Bloody Brains in a Juke
Box” casting call at Coney Island
USA 1208 Surf Ave., at W. 12th
Street in Coney Island, (718)
com. Oct. 27, 1–5 pm. Free.
By Bill Roundy He’s got a new Hope!
The winner of the first
season of “Top Chef” is
now serving Mediterranean dishes
at a new spot in Williamsburg.
Harold Dieterle is the consulting
chef at Ten Hope, an intimate
restaurant and cocktail spot
located, appropriately, at 10 Hope
Street, which opened last week.
The cooking competition winner
said that he worked with the
restaurant owner to design dishes
fit for a party.
“The food was a collaboration
between owner Bill Zafiros and I,”
said Dieterle. “We wanted a menu
of dishes that were fun, delicious
and designed to be celebrated with
beer, wine, and cocktails.”
That menu includes many
sharable dishes with Greek,
Italian, and Moroccan flavores,
including lamb ribs with cumin;
spice-roasted heirloom carrots
served with squid-ink ricotta, and
smashed avocado with feta cheese,
along with entrees and an original
The eatery features several
couches and soft chairs arranged
around coffee tables, along with
traditional two-top tables and a
10-seat bar. During good weather,
an expansive, ivy-lined patio will
more than double the available
The owner said that he wants
diners to feel like they are eating
in their own living room.
“My wife loves Art Deco and
the Danish design principle of
‘hygge.’ In our home everyone
feels comfortable,” said Zafiros.
“I gave these ideas to our designer
Safwat Riad and he made them
a reality. We wanted to connote
feelings of warmth, happiness, and
hope and believe our customers
will recognize this and enjoy the
experience when they set foot into
Zafiros also plans to host a live
music series on Tuesday nights.
Ten Hope (10 Hope St. between
Roebling and Havemeyer streets
in Williamsburg, www.tenhopebk.
com). Tue–Fri, 5 pm–1 am, Sat–
Sun, noon–1 am.
TBy Ben Verde hese cartoonists are drawing
comic book expo will return to
Clinton Hill next weekend. The
11th annual Comic Arts Brooklyn
festival, at Pratt Institute on
Nov. 2, will feature more than
300 cartoonists showing off their
artwork, mini-comics, and graphic
novels. And most importantly, said
one Bushwick comics creator, the
fair offers artists a chance to leave
their drawing tables and meet each
“I love Comic Arts Brooklyn
because it’s very much built as
a community,” said cartoonist
Abby Jame. “It’s just artists being
brought together to show their
work, there’s no ulterior thing
Jame, whose pastel illustrations
often offer humorous takes on
serious issues faced by young
women, will sell her own books
at the festival, including the titles
“Emotional Data,” “High and
Shy,” and “Lizard Daddies.”
The artists sold her first
comics through Williamsburg’s
independent comic store Desert
Island, which also organizes the
Comic Arts Brooklyn festival.
Those initial sales, reported by
store owner Gabe Fowler, helped
push her to pursue art as a career.
“It gave me a bunch of
confidence right away when people
started noticing it and buying it,”
she said. “He would tell me when
people bought it and it was really
In addition to scores of young
artists showing and selling
their comics, prints, art books,
and rare merchandise, the 2019
edition of the Brooklyn comics
fest will feature a full day of
panel discussions, opening with a
conversation between two of the
biggest scrawlers in the sequential
art field: Chris Ware, of the “Acme
Novelty Library” series, and
Pulitzer-winner Art Spiegelman,
the creator of “Maus.”
The day after the art fair, Desert
Island will also host the “CABaret
Voltaire” variety show, featuring
animated cartoons, comedy, and
puppet shows by cartoonists.
According to Jame, organizing
these kinds of real-life events is
one of the most important aspects
of the festival, since it keeps artists
from festering alone in cyberspace.
“A lot of times things are
online, but they make an effort to
get people in real tangible spaces
with each other,” she said.
Comic Arts Brooklyn Festival
at Pratt Institute’s Athletics
and Recreation building 395
DeKalb Ave. between Hall Street
and Classon Avenue in Clinton
Hill, (718) 288–5087, www.
comicartsbrooklyn.com. Nov. 2; 11
am–7 pm. Free.
Caberet Voltaire variety show
at Market Hotel (1140 Myrtle Ave.
between Broadway and Ditmars
Street in Bushwick). Nov. 3; 2–7
Theater company seeks
1950s film star lookalikes
Art market: More than 300 artists and
exhibitors will come to Pratt Institute
for Brooklyn’s biggest comics festival.
Millennial pink: Bushwick artist Abby
Jame will show off her images of young
women at the Comic Arts Brooklyn
festival on Nov. 2. Abby Jame
Winner’s dinner: Harold Dieterle, who
won the first season of the cooking
competition show “Top Chef,” designed
the menu for Ten Hope in Williamsburg.
Jayne says: Do you have the necessary assets to play 1950s actress Jayne
Mansfield? Then try out for a new rock opera in Coney Island on Oct. 27!
Holiday girl: The Funhouse
Philosphers theater company is
looking for someone to play 1950sera
Audrey Hepburn in its bizarre
upcoming rock musical.
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