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Drawing Fire

Carey Pietsch is among the draws at this weekend’s Flame Con. | ANANTH HIRSCH

BY JULIANNE CUBA | Among the draws at this year’s queer comics festival Flame Con, happening at the Bro

oklyn Bridge Marriott August 19 to 20, is a Bedford-Stuyvesant cartoonist who will showcase her fantastical comics about lesbian witches, lost dragons, and goofy adventurers.

Carey Pietsch said that the adaptation of the popular Dungeons & Dragons podcast “The Adventure Zone” –– on which she is working with “Zone” creators Justin, Travis, Griffin, and Clint McElroy for release next year –– has pushed her out of her artistic comfort zone.

“I’m pretty lazy and would never want to write like a herd of horses into a comic I’m making for myself, and if unchecked those tendencies would end up limiting me,” said Pietsch. “Working with another writer gets me to learn to draw things I wouldn’t on my own — and it usually ends up being a really fun challenge!”

On eve of “Adventure Zone” release, Carey Pietsch shows off her work at Flame Con

Carey Pietsch is working on the adaptation of the Dungeons & Dragons podcast “The Adventure Zone” into a graphic novel, coming out in 2018. | THEADVENTUREZONECOMIC.COM

“The Adventure Zone” follows a trio of “lovable dummies” as they journey through a fantasy world, and Pietsch enjoys the chance to take their adventures out of the headphones and onto the page.

“I’m really, really excited about the ways that translating it into a sequential, visual medium is going to allow us to continue to develop these characters and the world,” she said. “I love how much personality shows through in the voice acting the team does already, and I’m really looking forward to building on that with characters’ body language and acting on the page.”

At Flame Con, Carey will show off some of her original art, a ‘zine of queer fancomics set in the “Legend of Zelda” universe titled “Legend of Gay Zelda,” and many of her own mini-comic stories.

When writing and drawing her own books, Pietsch said that she focuses on creating a world that showcases her characters’ relationships.

“I write a lot of fantasy, too. I’m a big fan of the way that kind of setting can be used to present novelty or encourage a feeling of discovery, but even more than that, I’m interested in using it as a tool to explore interpersonal relationships in new settings,” Pietsch explained. “So my new comics generally come from me spending a lot of time thinking about the combination of those ideas and tossing out a lot of less-than-stellar false starts.”

Flame Con will feature two days of panel discussions on queer nerd topics, games, and more than 200 exhibitors presenting their work. Pietsch said that she is thrilled to be able to bring her personal stories to a convention filled with like-minded fans.

“Getting to exhibit at Flame Con means the world to me!,” she said. “I’m so, so excited to get to be a part of a convention that’s all about queer comics and queer creators. It’s really special to me that we get to have an entire show that’s all about celebrating and bringing together our community.”


FLAME CON | Brooklyn Bridge Marriott, 333 Adams St. at Myrtle Ave. | Aug. 19, noon–7:30 p.m.; Aug. 20, noon–5:30 pm. | $20–$79 at flamecon.org

Carey Pietsch’s sweet stories of lesbian witches, injured dragons, and magic cats will be on sale at Flame Con August 19-20. | CAREY PIETSCH

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