Since 1997, R. Sikoryak has hosted Carousel, a series of comics readings and visual performances by cartoonists and theater artists.

Past shows have been presented in New York City at Dixon Place, the Brooklyn MuseumThe Brick TheaterThe General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, Makor/Steinhard Center of 92Y, MoCCA, the New York Public LibraryParsons the New School for Design, Rubulad Home Base, SolowayThe Society of IllustratorsUnion HallUnion Pool, and NY Comic Con, as well as around the U.S. and Canada at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly, the Newark MuseumAsbury Park Comicon, the Brooklyn Book Festival, MeCAF: The Maine Comics Arts FestivalMICE: The Massachusetts Independent Comics ExpoRE/Mixed Media Festival, the San Diego Comic-Con, the Small Press Expo, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, and Montreal’s Blue Met Festival.

Artists have included Todd AlcottDonna AlmendralaJonathan AmesAmericans UK, Sarah AndersenNine AnticoAndrew Arnold, Pénélope BagieuKyle BakerRon BarrettKate BeatonGabrielle BellGregory BentonNick BertozziRuben BollingPaul BoocockJeffrey BrownMegan BrennanJon Keith BrunelleJeffrey BurandtRobbie BuschJohn CanemakerMegan Montague CashChrista CassanoChris CaterHoward ChackowiczJon ChadDomitille CollardeyLeela Corman, Christopher Darling, Eleanor DavisMike DawsonMichael DeForge, Kim Deitch, Julie DelporteBrian DewanAaron DiazLiza DonnellyMaëlle DoliveuxEric DrysdaleChris DuffyBob EcksteinTom EatonKat FajardoGlynnis Fawkes, Carolyn FigelLiana FinckJess FinkEmily FlakeAlexis Frederick-FrostKatie Fricas, Felipe GalindoJulia GfrörerPascal GirardJames GodwinMyla Goldberg, Sophie GoldsteinDale GoodsonSam Gross, Patrick Hambrecht, Lisa HanawaltCharise Mericle HarperTom HartDean HaspielJennifer HaydenGlenn HeadDanny HellmanSam HendersonAmy HerzogLizz HickeyMaria HoeyK. Thor JensenCarolita Johnson, Sabrina JonesCynthia KaplanBill KartalopoulosBen KatchorMiriam KatinKeren Katz, Kaz, J. Keen, John KerschbaumSusan KimJulie KlausnerJames Kochalka, Asterios KokkinosJohn KovaleskiTim KreiderPeter KuperMichael KuppermanAmy KurzweilSeth Kushner, Roger LangridgeMiss Lasko-Gross, The Late Bloomers, Sara LautmanM. Sweeney LawlessLeah Yael LevyJeffrey LewisJeff Lewonczyk, Ellen LindnerJason LittleTrade LoefflerLigang LuoKevin MaherGerald MarksBilly MavreasKevin McCloskeyMac McGill, John MejiasMelissa MendesPatrice MillerDyna MoeAdriano MoraesVictor Morales, Brian Musikoff, Mark Newgarden, Jeremy NguyenAnders NilsenNeil Numberman, Tao NyeuMolly Colleen O’ConnellGeorge O’ConnorNicholas OffermanJoe OllmannRoxanne PalmerJoe Pedoto, Summer PierreK. A. Polzin & Sean Chiki, John PorcellinoDave ProchMK ReedDavid ReesMichael Rex, Jason Roeder, Dave RomanCrosby & James Romberger
, Iris Rose, Flash RosenbergLaurie RosenwaldFeifei RuanJohnny RyanSergio García SánchezLaurie SandellDavid SandlinDiana SchoenbrunAriel SchragArlen Schumer, Anne Shapiro, Ryan SiasAllison SilvermanAdrian C. SinnottKatie SkellyDoug SkinnerKaren Sneider,  Nadja SpiegelmanTed StearnLeslie SteinJames SturmConnie SunWhit TaylorRaina TelgemeierMatthew ThurberJim TorokTed TravelsteadAndrea TsurumiMeghan TurbittCarol TylerMarguerite Van CookSasha VelourColleen AF Venable, Brian Michael Weaver, Lauren R. WeinsteinSteve WeismanJacqueline Preiss Weitzman, David Wells, Julia WertzShannon WheelerAdam WhittierSophia WiedemanKriota WillbergRonald WimberlyJess WorbyYao Xiao, Lior ZaltzmanZEES, and more.

Special guest voices have been provided by Scott Adsit, Sara Benincasa, Paul Boocock, Adam ConoverShae D’lyn, Ralph Hamperian, Dave Hill, Lisa Hirschfield, McKenna Kerrigan, Julie Klausner, Catherine PorterJackson Publick, Steven Rattazzi, Anne Shapiro, James Urbaniak, and Zero Boy, among many others.

Carousel has also joined forces with The Center for Cartoon StudiesNickelodeon Magazine, and various comics anthologies (including the Society of Illustrators‘ Comic and Cartoon Art AnnualLittle Nemo: Dream Another DreamHotwire, and Typhon) to produce special theme shows.  There have been collaborations on music shows with The Walking Hellos and other bands. Kids shows, co-hosted with Neil Numberman, are part of the mix, too.

The presentations are a hybrid, sometimes reminiscent of a radio show (usually with live narration, often with music and sound effects) combined with wildly creative imagery. From stick figures, to lush illustrations, to the occasional photograph, Carousel embraces all forms of visual storytelling. Some performers have also incorporated live drawing and painting, musicians, shadow puppets, video game environments, illustrated scrolls, and dance into the show. While many presentations have a sense of humor, the stories vary greatly in theme; some are autobiographical, some historical or educational, and others are philosophical or fanciful.

To get on the Carousel email list, please contact “rsikoryak(at)mac(dot)com”.


(Photos by Andrea Tsurumi and John Beaman.)