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
As March roles around in 2013 it’s a time of lots and lots of action and adventure on all my favorite pop-culture fronts.
I don’t get to enjoy all of them, being conflicts, financial issues, whatever, but they’re there for the taking.
For the video game lover you have PAXEast which is quickly followed by the Game Developer’s Conference/Independent Games Festival and there’s also E3 (yet that is an industry only event).
For the wrestling fan, the weekend of April 5-7 is big for anyone willing to travel to NYC/NJ for some super craziness. It’s not just Wrestlemania weekend. That show brings with it a sold out Ring of Honor PPV and TV taping the next day, the Hall of Fame at Madison Square Garden, after parties to the Hall of Fame such as Shenanigans and MVP at Caroline’s and then there’s Wrestlecon at Meadowlands Colliseum where Chikara, Shimmer, Dragongate, Evolve, etc. are all together along with tons of legends and even Hulk Hogan to throw the best alternative to WWE ever. Although crazy rich people find a way to do everything!
I didn’t make it to PAX or GDC, I will not be at any of the wrestling stuff. I’ll be focusing on another major love of mine, comics. A lot of comics shows are going on as well.
This Saturday is the Asbury Comic Con, equally is Wondercon. The weekend after is both FLUKE and MoCCAFest. I’ll be at Asbury and volunteering at MoCCA so the bulk of this article will be focusing on those, BUT before we get to them, some quick things.
The big deal at PAX and GDC for me were DoubleFine’s first official reveal of BROKEN AGE, the game that has been in development as DFA/REDS from their big Kickstarter project which I am a major backer. I’ll probably write a ton about it eventually, but for now? Here’s the official trailer revealed to the “world” at GDC Awards and uploaded to Youtube directly after.
If I could go to Wrestlecon I’d be all over that Chikara part of it. I really want to see who Mike Quackenbush brings as his mystery partner against Shard & Jigsaw. The ROH show when SCUM should basically decimate a bunch of ROH guys should be fun too, but I can’t go… I made commitments and I’m excited for them.
If you make it out to FLUKE make a point of checking out whatever Kyle Starks has going on at his table, I’m sure whatever it is will be freaking awesome.
So coming this Saturday is the Asbury ComicCon. I have missed it when it started as just a small gathering at a bowling alley. That always sounded quite awesome, but I just never made it out there. Now it’s moved to the convention center, but is still trying to keep the just a comics con feel in a place like the boardwalk of Asbury. There’s a couple of highlights at the show and some of them share an appearance at next weekend’s MoCCaFest as well.
At Asbury there’s the official book release party/debut of the collected DEADHORSE.
As well the only east coast appearance of Box Brown for now that I know of, as he’ll be at SPOKE next weekend. Oh wait, Toronto is the East Coast.
Bryan G. Brown and Dre Grigoropol will be debuting their comic Blueberry Boy of Asbury Park, approriately relaying some experiences from last years Asbury ComicCon!
Asbury also has some amazing panels. In particular Brian O’Halloran (best known to most as Dante Hicks from the Clerks films will be sitting with Mike and Ming of Comic Book Men. Also, John Holmstrom will have a discussion with Asbury Comiccon co-promoter Cliff Galbraith. Both these panels make the entire show worth it. Yet the fact that Danny Fingeroth also has sit down sessions with Al Jaffe and Bob Camp in talk with Craig Yoe just add to it as well. Throw in a ton of creators who actually will not be appearing at any other convention anytime soon and you have what is an awesome pre-Easter (if you do Easter) event.
Head over to the Asbury Comic Con website (the link is in the words or click on that banner to your right) and get your tickets now and enjoy your Saturday, March 30, 2013, in New Jersey… of all places).
As said prior the weekend of April 6-7th, 2013 I’ll be at MoCCaFest 2013. I attempted to find out all the major debuts and such by hunting through Twitter and Google Blog search and didn’t find tons of info, but what I did shall be below. MoCCa is amazing show. This will be my 11th year attending including the one year I almost didn’t go, but went anyways. Crazy to even think that. Here’s some highlights I could find.
Peter Kuper will debuting and signing a limited edition version of his new book.
Matt Miner who recently had the successful Kickstarter campaign for his comic LIBERATOR will be around with exclusives.
The following video has gotten some praise and heads up from individuals involved in it and now I share it officially on my website.
I’m betting some might be curious of the musical loop I invented for this. Well, I personally titled it “The OK GO Show Around The World Raises the Banner!” Hopefully no one ever feels that I should get punished since I’m not making any money off this thing.
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.
At this year’s (2012) MoCCA Fest on top of the books I got and the footage I shot (coming very soon) I also came up with a fun sketchbook concept of an Exquisite Corpse. I knew a concept like this meant I’d probably end up with way less sketches than I’ve usually gotten in the past, by handing out up to three different sketchbooks during a convention and picking them up at different points. I spent some time putting together the final works into a sort of readable collage which you can see below. As Lars says at the end, Enjoy!
The 10th Annual MoCCA Fest is coming up this coming weekend April 28-29th, located for the fourth year at the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue between 25th and 26th Street on the island of Manhattan in New York City. I have attended the fair since 2002, and actually before that when it became a conception when the 2011 Small Press Expo in Maryland was canceled.
Every year it has provided me with a great chance to catch up with friends, discover new comics, hear amazing stories, get awesome original sketches, and feel like a part of history as through its panels it preserves the history of comics just as the museum does, while creating a new history by embracing the next line of comics through the fair which features many times students, independent comics artists who expand the pantheon and artists from around the world including Norway, France and this year as you’ll see below a cadre from Australia. By being located in a central location not far from Madison Square Park and tons of awesome restaurants and with exhibitors who sell as many prints, t-shirts, pins, stickers, and even plushes as they do comics, there’s actually something for everyone!
For this year’s fest I’ve decided to do a pre-fest look at things that have been announced as debuting or being specially promoted for the event. That list is quite long, but I’ve chosen a selection that I feel gives you a good guide of NOT MISS items while divulging in the very large and expansive show, which includes excellent panels as well.
One of the most exciting things has to be what is being called Caravan of Comics. 12 artists from Australia will be traveling across America hitting various conventions and shops. Their first convention will MoCCA Fest. Among the talented group are David Blumenstein, who will bringing the two collections of his comic Showman? The Adventures of Brett Braddock, Pat Grant debuting the American edition of his comic BLUE through Top Shelf, Matt Taylor will be on hand with his comic Lars the Last Viking Goes to the End of The World, Jen Breach should have two comics with her, one drawn by Doug Holgate called Clementine Hetherington and the other drawn by Jase Harper called Humans Are The Weirdest. They’ll be lots of more, but those are some highlights.
The female collective of Coffee Spoon Comics will have a new collection available and I’m sure as many copies they have left of their individual minis as well. The collection will be a music issue and this great short is one of the stories.
Nate Bear does a lot of stuff including mini comics, but one of the cool things he has is this new I Scream Truck print that I’m sure will be at MoCCA Fest. Do not miss this table, his work is great.Anthony Pugh, the artist aka LogikOne will have a self-published book on hand. As a long time fan of his works I’m excited by this.
Juan Nunez will have the first issue of his mini-series Cabeza available.
Trip City which features work from Dean Haspiel, Jennifer Hayden, Dan Goldman, Seth Kushner, Nick Abadzis and many more will be offering the Trip City Visitor’s Guide.
Pat Lewis is going to have an anthology of comic stories about television called Our Broadcast Day. This should be worth it for the “Mad Men” story by Alex Robinson on its own.
Fantagraphics are bringing a cadre of books in limited supplies as debuts, many of them not officially coming out to stores for months!
All this doesn’t mention many folks who I am excited to see who haven’t announced what they’ll have at the fest, sometimes bringing complete surprises or not wanting to a reveal and then have something go wrong. Do yourself a favor and check out the list of of exhibitors.
On top of the exhibit/merchandise/fest room there’s also the panels which are always exciting. You see the whole schedule at the MoccAFest site, but here’s a few selections of interest. SATURDAY
either in ROOM A or B (check the schedule for updates and during the convention)2:15 P.M. Gary Panter receives the Klein Award, presentation by Bill Kartalopoulos
3:15 P.M. Comics creator Hans Rickheit in conversation with
4:15 P.M. “Harvey Pekar’s Final Projects”: Jeff Newelt (editor of The Pekar Project) and artists Joseph Remnant (Cleveland) , Rick Parker, Sean Pryor, Dean Haspiel (The Quitter) and JT Waldman (Not The Israel My Parents Promised Me) celebrate the life and work of comics pioneer Harvey Pekar with his widow, writer Joyce Brabner.
11:15 P.M. Rick Parker Drawing Workshop. Rick is an incredible teacher and can teach something new and interesting to people with no experience to total masters of the craft.
5:15 P.M. Animation! Every year the show’s ending panel is cartoons from folks also involved in comics. This year the two main features are Devin Clark of Ugly Americans and Aaron Augenblick, whose studios has worked on Super Jail, Ugly Americans, Wonder Showzen and some awesome shorts.