Art Sale with Legendary Comic Artist John Stanisci
Spider-Man, Batman, Judge Dredd, Star Wars, and all your favorite comic characters are coming to town! Forest Hills’-own John Stanisci, acclaimed for his work with Marvel and DC Comics, will be available for a meetup and an art sale fundraiser at a family-friendly event.
Residents among fans will have a unique opportunity to see a “superhero” personality in action on Saturday, July 22 from 3 PM to 8 PM at La Boulangerie at 109-01 72nd Road. Stanisci is regarded as New York Times’ best-selling comic book artist, and is also featured in this columnist’s book, “Legendary Locals of Forest Hills and Rego Park.”
“I will sell a wide range of full color prints, as well as original handmade drawings for the fundraiser. I will have all your favorite characters from Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and more, and yes, there may even be a Mandalorian with Grogu available,” said Stanisci.
Proceeds will benefit the creation of a Forest Hills and Rego Park architectural and cultural history mural featuring treasured buildings on sign panels. It will be destined for an unmaintained brick wall of The Bagel Spot at 101-01 Queens Boulevard near Federoff Triangle, and designed by nationally commissioned muralist Gigi Chen in collaboration with this columnist.
The event at La Boulangerie is unique, since it will signify how artists, volunteers, and residents are consolidating to help celebrate community history in a creative manner. In January 2017, this columnist collaborated with Stanisici at La Boulangerie, the setting for one of three fundraisers, where his comic art print sales contributed to the creation of the “Tribute To Ascan Avenue & Forest Hills Gardens” mural. It tends to be nicknamed the “Mount Rushmore of Forest Hills” at the Ascan Avenue LIRR underpass. Reminiscing a success story, Stanisci said, “I am always so proud whenever I pass the mural on my way to King Wok, my favorite Chinese food place in Forest Hills.”
François Danielo, who is the co-owner of La Boulangerie with Nadia DeJesus, said, “We feel great and proud to add our little stone to Forest Hills heritage. Every time Nadia and I pass the mural, we think about what it brings to our neighborhood. It feels good to know that we helped make it happen. Historic preservation and murals help Forest Hills remain a neighborhood with its own personality.”
Since La Boulangerie opened around the time of Bastille Day in 2011, it has boosted community character and feels like “Forest Hills, France,” with its diverse menu. A patron’s palate may be enticed by croissants à café au lait, eclairs, chausson aux pommes, artisan breads, brioche, quiche, salade niçoise, or a signature French entrée, bœuf bourguignon. “La Boulangerie’s decor, with our baked and cooked items, lends itself to cultural events. This is a warm and welcoming place,” said Danielo.
He continued, “John Stanisci is a classic in the Marvel world, who brings Batman to another level. I hope the fundraiser will be a successful endeavor, where many comic prints are sold, such that it will fully fund the mural project.”
Stanisci is not only an artist, but a humanitarian. Through his exceptional talents, he helped fund a number of commendable causes. He explained, “I had the great fortune of being asked to attend many different fundraising events with my art. It is always such a pleasure to help raise funds for so many worthy causes. Just this year alone, I raised funds for St. Jude’s Hospital, The National Police Defense Foundation, and Habitat for Humanity, among others.”
In anticipation of fundraising to create an architectural history mural, Stanisci said, “I’m always happy to support Michael in all his very worthy attempts to beautify Forest Hills. It is a great neighborhood, and we are very lucky to have residents like Michael, working so hard to maintain its beauty and history.”
Stanisci feels that historic preservation, commemoration, and the beautification of a small business property and the community in general is significant. “Maintaining a neighborhood like Forest Hills has always been important. However, since Covid, many residents are well aware just how hard our community was hit. Many stores and businesses closed, so creating a new project like this, which is an effort to create a new work of art and honor our history, is more necessary than ever.”
As an artist and resident, he feels that engaging with multi-generational residents that span diverse cultures is an asset. “It is truly what has made our community and Queens, one of the most culturally diverse places in the nation, and I am proud to live in a community with such a wide range of people.” Danielo added, “A true neighborhood is made of people of multiple ages. In our business throughout the years, we have seen babies born and grow, as adults aged. They have become part of La Boulangerie’s story.”
Stanisci inspires his fans through various mediums. He is presently working for DC Comics on the Milestone series, “Icon Vs. Hardware” with graphic novelist Denys Cowan, who he calls very famous and super talented. Additionally, he is pursuing a cover for “Superman: Lost.” “I am writing my first sci-fi novel, and also writing and drawing my new graphic novel, ‘Gladiatrix,’” he said. Announcements will be posted on Instagram and Twitter @johnstanisci and on Facebook. Additionally, he is a comic muralist.
Reflecting upon his earlier achievements, he feels honored for a diverse career in the comics world and in the New York theater scene as an actor. Highlights include “Batman Beyond: Hush Beyond,” which was named #1 on The New York Times bestseller list for graphic novels, and “Superman: Red and Blue,” which was nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Anthology 2022. In May, Stanisci appeared at Comic Con at Forest Hills High School.
As for theater, he said, “I was proud to make my Broadway debut in the stage play ‘Irena’s Vow,’ co-starring with four-time Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh. I’m also proud of my two-man stage play, ‘Lieutenants Upon the Earth,’ which I will be staging this fall.” Additional information can be found at www.luteplay.com.
Residents have been fortunate to be Stanisci’s student at Belle Arti Center for the Arts in Forest Hills, where he taught comic illustration. Numerous community members felt like a student nightly at the onset of the pandemic, when he generously provided free classes through Facebook Live, providing relief and inspiration to the public, and especially for people who were home-bound. Stanisci awakened the dormant artist within his audience.
When asked where he sees himself in a decade, he replied, “I will probably be working on my 28th fundraiser with Michael Perlman!”
He feels grateful for La Boulangerie and its authenticity. “I love it! For many years, it was my absolute favorite spot to write my stage plays. The bread is cooked fresh every night, and they have the best cappuccino in town. Nadia and François have always been kind and supportive to me, and La Boulangerie is truly a must for any resident of Forest Hills.”
The public can RSVP or share Stanisci’s comic art sale and fundraising event by visiting: https://www.facebook.com/events/960925485235595 To learn more about Stanisci’s pursuits or to make a request, visit www.johnstanisci.com
To learn more about La Boulangerie’s mission and menu, visit www.labfranc.com