Frequently Asked Questions

Hey, did you say we can come to the jams?


Yes, as a matter of fact, I did. The NYC Comic Jam has been going strong for nearly nine years and has always had an open door policy when it comes to contributors. We believe every new contributor changes the jams for the better. All we ask is you respect other’s work and don’t be a dick.


Why do you guys hold this thing in a bar?


There are two main reasons why we hold the jams in a bar.


1. Cartoonists— almost by definition — are a solitary lot. Lone wolves. We use beer like bait, to lure the wild cartoonist in and lull them into an unsuspecting sense of belonging, then…. Whammo! Or, y’know, people like beer.


2. It keeps kids out. I don’t want to censor anyone (myself included) because someone brought their impressionable 8-year-old to the comic jam.


What do I need to come to the jam?


Mostly just yourself, but there are some basics: pencils and pens, paper and erasers and maybe a couple of bucks for beers (Demsey’s charges standard New York City bar prices, so about 7-8 bucks a pint).


How do your jams work?


Way back when we started out, we used the same style that the then Montreal Jams were doing, which is Artist A draws a panel and passes the book to Artist B who passes it to Artist C, and so on and so on. There isn’t much in the way of rules or formality beyond most people don’t like to work on a story they had worked on recently. We try out new things from time to time, longer format jams, Dave McKenna has a book called Deus Ex McKenna, in which he ends a series of jammed together 3 panel strips and exquisite corpse style illustrations. You can really do whatever you want, join in, or just hang out, it’s really up to you.


Why are so many of the jams perverted?


Many people who come to the jams are big kids (obviously, they sit around drawing comic books for cris’sakes) and kids love dick and fart jokes. Interestingly, looking back through 20th century comics artists, whenever they get together to work on projects they almost always go straight into the gutter. Early comic jams in Zap! comics turned to dick jokes within three panels.


That said, the content of the jams is up to the people on hand, if you think the jams could be better, come on out and change them. History (and comics) is made by those who show up.


Who owns the rights to my art at the jams and what becomes of the originals?


The comics made at the jams become the public domain. We don’t make books to sell of them, we don’t charge money for the site, it’s all a public service.


Depending on whose book you may have drawn in, what happens to them is up to the respective owner. I bring 2-4 books each month myself, if you draw in one of mine there’s a pretty good chance the pages will get scanned and put on the site. My books end up in a box in my apartment in Hoboken.


Will everything end up on the website?


No. First, I don’t have the time to track down and scan everything, and second, let’s face it, some of them just blow. Selection of which jams end up on the site is really up to me, but if you suggest one in particular, I’ll happily oblige.