As I continue to work through and edit my few hours of footage shot at MoCCA Fest 2012 into a comprehensive, but entertaining and enjoyable not longer than 25 minute mini-document I felt I would proceed with a written look at my experience by properly cataloging and talking about the many comics and stuff I purchased, perused or was interesting in purchasing till that thing called limited funds hit its eventual wall.
If you are really just waiting for the video edition I give you a special gift as a reader of Pop-Culture Spectrum. This link and the following embedding will bring you to a hidden version of the entire 9 minute set done by Daniel Johnston as part of the After-Party on Saturday night.
STUFF I WAS ABLE TO BUY
Uncanny Very Near Mint #1 & Very Near Mint Vol. 2: I first got introduced to Justin Petersen’s Very Near Mint in 2011 at the very short time I was there. After reading it I was ready for Volume two and now a year later I finally have it. The closest thing I can compare the book to is CLERKS. Well, more accurately CLERKS: The Cartoon. On a day when two comic shop owners don’t get their weekly shipping, a new shop opens across the street and everything goes to hell and that’s just the beginning. Funny, action packed, awesome characters, friendship, love, betrayal, conspiracy, all rolled up in a nice package. Now I can’t wait for Volume three! The Uncanny extra one-shot added some great history and character development which made the VNM universe even larger and real than thought before, so a definite must have.
Space Box #1 and The Taco Way of Finding Happiness: These two minis are byNate Bear who also does awesome designs for shirts, stickers, prints and more. His art style is one that I find myself immediately attracted to. Slightly sloppy, super cute. Taco Way is done like a self-help book from a dog while Space Box is a full on short comedy piece.
Win Some, Lose: Not much to say about this one because of the circumstances. I actually almost felt pressured to by this, as I was caught distracted while making a purchase at the table next to this guy’s and it was his friends who forced it on me and I wasn’t in the mood to be rude (tip to Simon if he ever does any other conventions, don’t let this happen). Simon Reinhardnt‘s art definitely needs some work, but I will say that the writing on this while a little cliched was actually a good preamble that could lead a larger more expanded version of the same work if redone with much stronger art and a longer stretch on the beats.
Showman? The Bret Braddock Adventures Vol 1 & 2: David Blumenstein’s collections of his awesome webcomic were actually on a checklist of things I knew I wanted to purchase at the show and the books (as well as the writer/artist himself) delivered in every way possible. The second volume actually goes beyond what the comic online is up to… as there are about 20 strips to go on the web. Seriously hilarious, I’m really curious to see what David comes up with after!
Our Broadcast Day-Comics About Television Shows: Pat Lewis “curated” this awesome little collection of hilarious stories, including his awesome Sesame Street meets L&O parody. This little book deserves to be bigger but if delivers hilarity of seven brands with Alex Robinson‘s imagining of Mad Men in the 70′s and the dearly departed Dylan Williams with artist David King‘s side story from Leave it to Beaver “taking the cake” of the collection. The cover is a little deceptive with it’s Angela Lansbury, Jaleel White and Ellen Degeneres images, so if those comics exist anywhere, I hope they see print one day. If not, an Our Broadcast Day Issue 2 needs to happen.
So Buttons #4: Jonathan Bayliss is a really good writer and he’s been fortunate enough to have most of it drawn by T.J. Kirsch, David Beyer Jr., Tim Ogline and more . In the newest collection though the ante gets upped as he has a story drawn by the one and only Fred Hembeck and work from Noah Van Sciver. He had a special preview book of the next issue as well with an awesome Tom Sciolli cover. His work is all slice of life and personal, but very funny and very good.
Lars the Last Viking Goes To The End of the World: Another Caravan of Comics book that I planned picking up without a doubt. Matt Taylor‘s work is very evocative with powerful blacks that just make the book look like woodblock paintings. I also love that as exciting and action packed is being a Viking tale, it’s also really funny.
BLUE: This is the one majorly distributed book I got as Top Shelf is handling it, but I chose to get it direct from its creator Pat Grant at the Caravan of Comics. Based in the history of Australian surfing comics it features stunning double page spreads. One of my favorite comics people, New Zealand’s Dylan Horrock’s even wrote the mini intro which adds definite coolness.
Trip City Visitor’s Guide 2012: The first print publication from the web collective puts some excellent prose from the likes of Dean Haspiel, Christopher Miskiewicz and Jefferey Burandt into print along with illustrations and art from Jen Ferguson, Eric Skillman, Jennifer Hayden and more. It’s an excellent primer for the site, and a great little tome as well. Digital may be the future, but print will/should not ever die.
Rat Bastard – Small Does #1: Over 10 years ago, Cliff put out the first Rat Bastard comic. The six issues that exist have long been amongst a favorite in my collection, always easily accesible for re-reading. When Cliff came back at last year’s MoCCA I was saddened that RB was at the time only planned for a webcomic, so I am more than super ecstatic that he has survived very rough health problems and come back in full swing, even helping to put together an original convention in Asbury Park, NJ the weekend of May 12th.
The MidKnight Marauder: I’ve been waiting to see what mural/graffiti/canvas artist LogikOne would do with a full fledged superhero comic for awhile now. His graffiti work always had that dynamic and he created visions that spoke of a larger universe. Finally, Anthony Pugh (Logik’s true name) has put together that comic and it is intense and hard hitting as I expected.
The Potter’s Pet: Written and illustrated by the current team on the Adventure Time comics series, Shelli Paroline and Braden D. Lamb, this is a simple parable with great art work and humor. I’ve enjoyed Shelli and Braden’s work through the three excellent Star Wars anthologies they were in, as well as Shelli’s work on various BOOM KIDS! Titles.
The Face Skull: Pat Dorian’s humor reminds me highly of Ivan Brunetti. Dark, sadistic, off the cuff, but very real and powerful. He uses a Spectre-esque parody to deliver completely surreal images that are gruesome and hilarious. Pat uses the “host” of Face Skull to make great quips on life’s foibles, but mostly on the idiocy that exists in corporate illustration work. It makes for fine comic booking.
Blindspot #1 & #2: I’m not sure how I ever missed the first issue of Joseph Remnant‘s short stories collection book, but reading the work you can easily see that on top of the just published Harvey Pekar’s CLEVELAND which he illustrated, Joseph is an amazing story teller himself. He has that knack of just funny, interesting realistic writing that one can see in many of his fellow colleagues and constituents,. The closest comparison I can think of for a layman that might create an image would be Daniel Clowes’ Eightball as it created two films the public might now best.
CELLS 1 & 2: One of my last purchases of the weekend, I was glad my eyes pulled me into the amazing covers by Nate Wooters. These books are cute and yet at the same time gorgeous. One of the really cool things is his illustrated outro page. Instead of just having a page of text, he draws it out as a comics page and it really works and adds something special. I also like how he polls his readers to choose an element for the story since he has way too many to use and they’re all good.
Hurt Heart Voice Box figure byNoah Xifr: The best way to explain this thing is to just show it:
I’m kind of a toy fiend, especially one of a kind or super limited type of toys, plushes, etc. but I have to be careful as they get super expensive
Gastrophobia Volume 2-Amazon Attacked!: I would’ve definitely purchased this at MoCCA if I hadn’t pre-ordered through David McGuire’s Kickstarter which guaranteed me a copy if for some reason I
couldn’t make the show and also got me a really cool button. Gastro is an excellent strip and one that I highly support and look forward to further volumes as they come out.
All together this year’s MoCCA Fest had really showed the event finding its perfecting footing inside the 69th Armory with a great room with plenty room and plenty to explore and if one has pockets deep the ability to walk away with some amazing works and if their pockets were less deep they got an assortment of adventures, a few free comics here or there, and amazing panels and even art workshops and they helped out a great organization like the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art.
The video presentation shall arrive sooner than later and still be timely for all the comics it promotes. As well as all the panel sessions which were timeless instead of announcements of upcoming projects that needed to be out to the public in a set time.
The convention as stated in the opening is a celebration about the history, present and future of comic art and a must go event. Make sure to visit the museum when you’re in New York, check out all the comics I linked here and come to the show next year.
The following are projects I would love to pledge to for rewards and to see the projects happen. In some cases the projects are at 100% and that just means I wish I had hundreds of thousands of dollars just to be on board, in others they’re struggling or at the half way point and so they need your help as much as mine. All of them are stuff I really think is awesome and wish I was full of disposable income.
Cooking In Heel-A Memoir Cookbook: I absolutely love cook books which are more than just a collection of recipes and this one seems to be just that. Combining some Southern style seafood with pulling up the memories of being black, transgendered and I believe a lesbian in New York City and the troubles of that and that is one amazing read or at least it sounds like one.
Fairy Quest-Outlaws: Paul Jenkins isn’t one of my favorite writers, but he has written lots of stuff I’ve enjoyed. Mostly his Werewolf by Night, his issues of the Tecknophage series with Al Davidson and some of his issues of Spider-Man. In terms of Humberto Ramos, I actually never really loved the guy. He can be awesome of some stuff, the vampire series he created himself was awesome. So you’d be wondering why I’m into this book… well it looks awesome and sounds awesome. It reminds of TELLOS in ways and that book is one of my favorite things ever.
A WALL: I checked out Lila Roo’s prevoious art projects and I was really impressed. She has a great visual eye and this project could be awesome. She’s also beautiful and makes beautiful stuff.
NEKRO: This strategy adventure game has some amazing graphics and a conceptually good story. I don’t tend to get attracted to RTS or warfare games, but the premise behind this one with the artistic design really has my eyes open.
Dr. McNinja’s Radical Adventures: I love simple reflex platforming games, combining that mechanic with an original story featuring Christopher Hasting’s Dr.McNinja for mobile platforms is just awesomness and Chris agrees and he’s only marginally part of the project other than giving permission.
Mystery Pets Art Book by Diana X. Sprinkle: I’ve loved Diana’s comics for a long time. True Hue has been a steadfast favorite forever. I of course never got to see the first book she did here cause the internet is too huge, but this larger follow-up looks awesome as all let out.
Wish Pictures: I don’t talk online anymore, least at all webcam… but this could totally make me get back into it. Every conversation to be in a different room? Also this type of technology getting going could lead to it’s inspiration, Star Trek: TNG’s holodeck to becoming a reality.
Rob Schamberger paints professional wrestling’s Heavyweight Champions of the world: I’m curious to see how much he can really tackle here if he succeeds. He’s got Punk, Harley Race, Ric Flair… but will he really go all the way with this? He’s going to have to a Great Khali, and as comments noted, a David Arquette, not to mention a Tyler Black, a Sid Vicious, a Yokozuna, a Vader and when it comes to guys like Big Show and Kevin Nash… will he do Diesel and The Giant or consider those as one painting reflecting them as a whole?
Jane Jensen’s Pinkerton Road: The first official gamne has now been announced for Jane Jensen’s production company, that would be Moebius, but they’re still far from getting the financial backing to making that dream a reality. Jane Jensen is an incredible writer and I believe with no one and nothing holding her back in the publishing area she can do something amazing in this influx of the rebirth of old school gaming as a main stream concept with periphery engines instead of everyone using Wintermute and AGS (even though those games are awesome including everything by Wadjeteye) and having games be American made instead of ports and localizations from Spain and Germany. I want this to happen and so do you. Telltale Games are awesome, but there needs to be more big guys are the market!
Xombie-Death Warmed Over: After sitting in development hell, James Farr has finally got XOMBIE back to do with as he pleases. Unfortunately that means the big movie isn’t happening, but he can now focus on getting a second season of the cartoon finally out there to the adoring public with your help. I was much more into the comic series that was birthed from the Xombie cartoon, but this fact remains… awesome.
Giant Donuts-NYC shop: I’ll never be able to eat a donut shop, unless they go for Gluten free or something. Or if I just have one donut a year, but the charm of their pitch video and the idea behind the shop just makes me excited. Worth checking out.
Ace Kilroy: I can’t believe I’m just discovering this awesome webcomic now. You can see the thing yourself at Acekilroy.com, but this collected edition sounds awesome. A little hefty in price but that has to be because of the Kickstarter feeds and just making it available in the format they want with having their full colors being printed in color and such, which has to be expensive at a lower print run. Good stuff.
Road Trip with Bibi the African Grey Parrot: Hilarious pitch video. This could turn into an awesome webseries. I’d be curious to see where the bird ends up and how it reacts to new things and if she can really learn new phrases and words. Bibi hates New Jersey, it stink. Bibi want La Brea, tar…tar… don’t belong. I don’t know.
The Car: This almost finished short looks pretty cool. I’m curious to just follow it.
Franklin, The Ladies Cat: Now this is some serious fun right here. This cat looks great and the voice is hilarious. I could see Franklin easily on Comedy Central or Adult Swim.
Plastic Galaxy-A Documentary About Star War Toys: I still have a ton of my Kenner’s. The pitch video on this is actually weak, but the premise is really good. I hope they speak more to the actually Kenner folks on this then the collectors, because I really don’t need to hear from more collector’s and fans, but stories from the folks at Kenner who basically created toys from production sketches for a live action that hadn’t even been cast yet like Bobba Fett would be amazing.
Eryn Woods West Coast Summer Tour 2012: This Kickstarter is more a case of discovering a musical talent in Eryn Woods that I was not privy to before this. The tour is all west coast and I can’t see myself getting out to Cali anytime soon without a bigger deal involved, but for those out in Cali and the West coat, worth checking out and those not, just check out her music. She’s also absolutely stunning which is just a bonus.
The Many Worlds of Mr.Diddlewit: There many good children’s series up on Kickstarter, but this one in particular caught my eye so here I offer it for your information to check out.
I’ve always felt it necessary to look back on what people who had an impact on my pop-culture history and in some cases my real life. In the past I’ve written these obits with the most marginal of information, but I’ve always broken it down by categories. Frequently there would be people I’ve missed people or even complete categories as my heart and soul weakens as I organize this work. This is the first time this type of writing is showing up on Pop-Culture Spectrum. It will appear in approximately five parts and then a final collection post of linking for those who don’t go backward in blog reading. In each category it is broken down alphabetically and the age of the person and their cause is in parentheses after. Each category will have its own specialties. This first section will have some select images by the creators that show what they are known for or in the least what I appreciated them for.
COMICS and ARTISTS
Mick Anglo (95-natural causes): Best known as the creator of Marvelman, Mick Anglo took an impossible situation and found a way to make it work creating the cement for building blocks that would not be turned into gold many years later by Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman. It is wonderful that starting in 2010, Marvel began to reprint the Mick Anglo books which even featured some new artwork from him, he truly got to have his comeuppance before leaving the mortal coil.
Eduardo Barreto (57-undisclosed health): Excellent comics and comic strip artist, he made a mark as an artist on Teen Titans in the 80′s after George Perez. He was a mainstay at DC, with runs on Superman and Batman titles, one shots, special, annuals. He was a go to magic genius. He was also a popular comic strip artist, drawing a strip I’m personally unfamiliar with, but supposedly was very popular. I just know during a time when I was a hardcore avid, read almost everything comic reader in the 80′s, Barreto was a hard to ignore artist. Here’s a longer quality tribute.
Gene Colan (84-various health complications): An amazing illustrator, Gene Colan has at one time drawn almost every major character in Marvel and DC. His best known runs were on Daredevil, his adaptation and reinterpretation of Dracula with Marv Wolfman in Tomb Of. His work for DC on Batman, Wonder Woman and Teen Titans should not be missed, as well as Night Force, which is/was just pure awesomeness. Knowing Gene Colan was the artist on a book, at least guaranteed that visually the ride would be worth the admission price.
Bill Keane(89-congestive heart failure): Creator and artist one of the most successfully parodied strips ever, Family Circus, Bill Keane created a bit of Americana. I’m not sure when Jeff “Jeffy” Keane took over, but I don’t think it was that long ago. I can tell you the following. I had a best friend named “Not Me” growing up and while I didn’t have any siblings, Family Circus sure made me want to. I must say that unfortunately as much as I loved Family Circus, when I think of it I can only think of the amazing parodies done though. It was such a perfect, innocent, well drawn strip it was made for parody and that proved it’s high quality… only really good stuff creates funny parody.
F. Solano Lopez (83, cerebral hemorrhage): A notable comics career, he is best known to me for his erotic series Young Witches and Sexy Symphonies, which feature some of the best art I’ve ever seen, sexually or regular. A true talent who would’ve been awesome if he worked on something like X-Men or Titans.
Dwayne McDuffie (49, during emergency heart surgery): One of truly the greatest under appreciated comic book and animation writers. He equally was a genius editor and supervising producer. When Milestone was first announced and was just starting up I got to meet Dwayne, as well as Chris Cross, Denys Cowans and others. Dwayne was someone who contributed much to many things that I have loved including his first series for Marvel Comics, DAMAGE CONTROL and issues 33-35 of “Firestorm: The Nuclear Man” featuring Jason Rausch. On top of that he spearheaded much of Justice League Unlimited and was in charge of Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, as well as writing and producing the DC Original Animations Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, All-Star Superman and Justice League: Doom. Doom would be Dwayne’s swan song, but also looks like it’ll the best DC Original yet. He had much more to give the world of comics and animation before his untimely demise though and I can only imagine what we are missing out on.
Jerry Robinson (89- natural causes): There is not enough evidence in any direction to say if Jerry Robinson is one of the most inventive creators ever or if he was just an able artist who worked alongside Bill Finger and Bob Kane in helping turned Batman from simple crime fighter and socialite bent on revenge Bruce Wayne into the very fleshed out interesting character with an incredible rogues gallery and supporting cast he has today, either way he stands as one of the most important figures in comics history.
Joe Simon (98- natural causes after short illness): One of the most important comics writers in history, he most famously co-created Captain America with Jack Kirby. With Kirby he also created the original Sandman, Newsboy Legion, the Archie Heroes The Shield and The Fly. Joe Simon also created two of the most incredible cult comic book characters in history in Brother Power, the Geek and PREZ. It is almost amazing to think a writer with such creativity and conception to develop characters and stories of this ilk will not be remembered as fondly as he deserves to be. He was a living, breathing institution and legend and and I hope in years, decades, centuries to come, he is recognized as such. Many luminaries based this year, some young, some old, but Joe Simon deserves to be up there with the best of them.
D.K. Sweet (77- Natural causes): Longtime cover illustrator for lots of notable sci-fiction/fantasy books. Most famously he was the cover artist for Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and Piers Anthony’s XANTH, but he also did covers for many a random sorcerer tale, pirate legend, dragon myth, space adventure, ufos in medieval times, random aliens and the like. He had a deft and beautiful painting skill which would easily attract you to the book long before even reading its description.
Tom Wilson, Sr (80- pneumonia related): The creator of the cartoon Ziggy, which since 1987 has actually been the work of his son Tom Wilson. During Senior’s 16 year contribution, he was also at American Greetings where he spearheaded the group collectives that created Strawberry Shortcake. I didn’t get to actually see much of Senior’s Ziggy work, but I’m a fan of Tom Wilson, Jr.
In 2006, Dean Trippe did what all of us comic fans do occasionally, armchair editing. It’s much like armchair booking for wrestling. I had decided to really go the armchair route though. In armchair booking for wrestling you don’t just throw together matches, you tend to also come up with new angles and gimmicks as well. I decided what if I took that approach to armchair editing. I stuck to MARVEL and DC like Trippe did, but I’ created a whole new universe for both companies using their established characters. The biggest thing to remember with Armchairing is that you can/try to ignore everything that is currently going on or is being set-up to go in a totally new and different direction that will still be possible and make sense to fans.
Now with DC about to do their own super reboot in September which almost resembles this entire idea and Marvel in kind of a strange state of existence with their titles, I’ve decided it’s time to try and do this again for shit & giggles.
My rules in 2006 were seven core titles for each company, but to be as progressive as possible. I may be less progressive now with current interests, but I’ll keep the core 7, ignoring things such as MAX,, Ultimate Comics and such. I’ve noticed that DC Comics is actually doing a super reboot as well, so my energies will be focused to just MARVEL. Still 50 titles is too many, 7 sounds just about right. The 50 new DC titles do have some gems in the rough though. I hope you enjoy.
The Mighty Avengers by Roger Landrige and Chris Samnee. The team that brought you The Mighty Thor bring it all back to the square one, but with a faster pace bringing in the full onslaught of all Avengers incarnations together for a book much like DC’s CURRENT version of JSA.
X-Men by Peter David and Clayton Henry. Peter will bring his overarching, but brilliant pierced drama work of X-Factor to the more popular and well known mutants of film fame with one of the most under utilized artists in comics.
Spider-Man by Paul Tobin and Ronan Cliquet. The writer of the Marvel Adventures version of Spidey understands the character and has created a version better than any. While his current Matteo Lolli is fantastic, Cliquet has a dynamics needed for one of the premier titles of the universe.
Strange Tales by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Kev Walker. The entirety of Marvel’s supernatural forces get explored on a regular basis from the man that brought us a great miniseries about just this and the current artist of Thunderbolts.
Mysteries of the Future by Dan Slott and Paul Pelletier. Years ago Dan Slott described to me a great Marvel future exploring paths set up in his Great Lakes Avengers books. It’s time those ideas saw fruition and who better than an artist who can tackle humor, action and space with precision.
Cosmic by Keith Giffen, Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning and Marco Rudy. The men who made Nova, Silver Surfer and more into the best things ever combine their writing efforts with another amazing, but underutilized current DC artist to bring the best the Beyond can bring.
Fantastic Family by Jonathan Hickman and Jimmy Cheung. Hickman has proven himself with these characters and should be given the chance to reimagine them from scratch with an A-list artist who is also bar none one of the best in the biz and the World’s Greatest Comics Magazine deserves such.