At this year’s MoCCaFest I did something completely different than any year prior and chose to volunteer. After years of being an attendee and coming as Press, I felt under the new leadership of the Society of Illustrators and with my dedication to the Festival continuing it only right to finally give back. I should’ve done so much sooner than this while the festival was still under the watch of Ellen Abromowitz who by circumstance is now a member of my family for shortening a much more complicated explanation, but it was not to be.
Getting the festival up and ready to go on the day before was quite the adventure. In record time we set up tables, chairs, and the new additions to the Festival which I believe went over very well in signage, table clothes, a dedicated Audio/Visual system and a cafeteria with sandwiches and drinks. Meeting my fellow volunteers was actually really cool and it made the weekend much more fun to have fellow comics fans and appreciators there to discuss stuff with and to make sure the convention flowed well.
I stayed pretty late on that setup day not because I didn’t want to go home, but mostly because I didn’t want to go home. There were other places and things I could do, but I was so invested in seeing the show come together and impressed by how amazing it all did that I stuck around a lot longer than I planned but with no regrets. I ended up going home, taking a nap and then heading out again to make it to Bunnycutlet Gallery where they had an amazing new group show. It was really great seeing these pieces and then afterwards talking to Chris McCulloch and others outside, especially talking to Chris about Brock Samson’s appearance in Poker Night 2 from Telltale Games.
On the first day of MoCCaFest I made sure to get there early, but not too early. I knew that I wanted enough time to explore booths, greet friends, get acquainted and procure sketches and books. I did all that and more. I had figured a great theme for my sketch books and actually brought along three books for it. I requested your favorite cartoon character growing up and all together over the next two days I procured about 20 awesome sketches that are mindblowing. I also bought a lot of comics. Way more than I ever expected. Square is both your friend AND your enemy. “Oh you take credit card? Okay” is just the most evil happy thing ever. Suffice it to say I ended up getting a lot of great stuff. In prior years I used to do a haul list, and I may just do that again this year. I probably will. Oh, you know I will even all these weeks after.
Volunteering for the show was really a great experience. I was on aisle duty so if someone needed anything it was my job to do it and I was definitely used and appreciated. I covered booths, kept the area clean and at the end of the day made sure garbage was collected and everyone felt their wares were safe for the next day. My payment on day one was an excellent dinner. While I expected the party to be more of a situation for people to really meet and enjoy each other’s company it was basically eat and then catch up with a few folks here or there, which I definitely did do.
The next day was pretty much the same thing. The only difference being I hurt myself, so while I planned on helping with breakdown, I had to bail out. Instead I made sure to double my efforts in making sure everyone was happy, comfortable and more and did it all day instead of just during my shift, almost as if I automatically went into retail mode even though I wasn’t working, but only volunteering. On the second day I got to explore a lot more too and enjoy the museum aspect brought in by SOI and really feel what they brought to the whole of MoCCaFest. At the end of the festival as everyone packed up, broke down, said their goodbyes, the volunteers got an amazing assortment of books to choose from to take home as “payment” from a variety of publishers and individual creators who appreciated everyone’s hard work.
I expect the future of the show, however it goes down to be quite amazing.
As a side note, after MoCCaFest was all done I went all the way out to Barclay’s Center to catch Green Day as a last minute addition free surprise to an already amazing evening.
THE HAUL (All items free & paid for)
RELISH Tanzania Travelogue by Lucy Knisley
The Chapel Chronicles by Emma T. Caps
B + F Book One by Gregory Benton
The Face Skull #2 and Savage Brute by Pat Dorian
Welcome to Oddville by Jay Stephens
Fantastic Life by Kevin Mutch
Anima by Tatiana Goldberg
Beyond the Canopy by Jonathan Griffiths
The Raw Edge by Devin Clark
Frankie’s Busy Day and Frankie Comics by Rachel Dukes
KSW by Peter Schmidt
Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger
52 Weeks Project by Greg Ruth
Centifolia Vol I & II by Stuart Immonen
HellaDead Rude Dog Iron-On Patch by KC Green
Sam & Lilah by Jim Dougan and Hyeondo Park
The Misfortune Cookie by Mindy Indy
Good Riddance (galley) by Cynthia Copeland
‘The Wolfmen & Fall of the Wolfmen by Dave West and Andy Bloor
Whatever Happened to The World of Tomorrow? By Brian Fies
The Downsized by Matt Howarth
Cross Country by MK Reed
FOXING Anthology #1
Remake, Remake Special, Remake 3Xtra by Lamar Abrams
H.C. Andersen Junior: The Magical Hat by J. Rybka and Thierry Capezzone
A collection of comics by Neil Brideau
Who Wants Meat? And Bear Brains Vol.2 by Nate Bear
You Are Always On My Mind by Kat Roberts
Borb by Jason Little
Runner Runner Anthology
The Black Well by Jamie Tanner
COPRA Compendium, #4 & #5 by Michel Fiffe