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April 4, 2014


Festivals Extra: It's MoCCA Time, And These Are The First Few Books I'd Track Down On The Show Floor

I haven't done a systematic look at all the debuts at the MoCCA Festival this weekend, but there are enough books on my mind that I thought I could get a post out of it. It's good that there are debuts; a New York show in the Springtime should have its fair share of books making the scene. I also stress that with a show like MoCCA, one of the great, great pleasures is walking the entire show and looking very closely at what people you've never heard of have to offer. I know, for instance, that last year some of my friends were delighted to acquaint themselves with the work of Keren Katz. So keep your eyes open.

Here's what's penetrated into my consciousness in terms of books I'd track down.

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1. Something From Frédéric Coché
Fremok is in the argument for world's most important comics publisher, and they will almost certainly have an outstanding number of works available at the show. I think of Coché whose books I see available from Bries, but it's my understanding he'll be at the show with these folks. If I'm wrong, track down this cartoonist and this publisher separately.

There is actually a pretty great European presence at this show. Joost Swarte, Marion Fayolle and Brecht Vandenbroucke were all announced with the show. Swarte is one of the great cartoonists, and hasn't been to the US in support of his Fantagraphics book, which is really, really good. I enjoyed Vandenbroucke's book with D+Q -- it's very accessible, a lot of fun. Fayolle's In Pieces was a 2013 Nobrow release. And they're all participating in programming.

The Swedish Comics Association is another occasional exhibitor that will be here. There's also the Israeli artist Nimrod Reshef, and the Finnish cartoonist Ville Ranta (programming only, I think). That's a hell of a show all by itself.

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2. Mike Dawson Made A Mini-Comic Of His Recent TCJ Comics
I really liked these, and have enjoyed Dawson's diary comics over the last couple of years generally. So I was happy to hear a rumor he made a mini-comics version. I would track it down.

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3. The New Edie Fake
I'm sort of fascinated by comics that explore a space or series of spaces, real or imagined or re-imagined, rather a standard narrative. It's my understanding that describes Edie Fake's Memory Palaces fill that bill. That's a very interesting artist and Chicago is a place that has been the focus of Tony Fitzpatrick's astounding work in this area.

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4. Meghan Turbitt's #foodporn
Turbitt is a cartoonist and I believe teacher of comics local to New York; I picked up her minis at last year's show and they made me laugh. What I've seen of this series of comics makes me think this one will be funny, too.

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5. Various Issues Of Copra Including This New One, By Michel Fiffe
I would run over and buy this new one first thing because I bet it's going to sell out. I don't always like comics based on other comics, particularly superhero ones, either broadly or specifically, but these are attractive objects and the comics themselves are well-executed and fun. You'll someday regret not owning as many of these as possible.

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6. Operation Margarine, by Katie Skelly
Chris Pitzer of AdHouse Books is one of comics' good guys, and this year he's publishing a bunch of new -- to him, and to many of us -- cartoonists. The first major release in that line-up is Katie Skelly's Operation Margarine, which looks interesting in this review by Sarah Horrocks.

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7. Petty Theft, by Pascal Girad
I'm kind of locked in to getting most of bigger-publisher books from established channels when I buy them as opposed to picking them up at shows, but it would be really hard to resist picking up a super-advance copy of the new Pascal Girard from the nice people at D&Q.

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8. Ed Vs. Yummy Fur, by Brian Evenson
Stand-alone books of criticism! I'm very excited by Uncivilized Books doing a series of stand-alone critical works, and it's hard to imagine a better launch subject or writer than the one presented here.

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There will certainly be a ton of worthy books available, debuts and near-debuts and last year's books that were little seen and favored regulars. I didn't even get to Nobrow, and they'll have one of the finer tables at the show, with beautiful works both main-line and kids-line like this one. I think Joe McCulloch mentioned a giant Cowboy Henk collection in passing, which would be amazing. Top Shelf is there. Fantagraphics is there. Koyama Press is there; I've liked the Jesse Jacobs (not sure that's there, but still) and the Michael DeForge books I've read from them, and you should, too. So many. You know how it goes.

Hell, if I could just walk in and buy Adrian Tomine's postcards book, I would consider that a good day. I would use them as postcards, too! It's not right not to!

The point is, as much as these are what made an impression on me enough for a 20-minute post, I could easily put together another list just as if not more impressive -- some of these same artists have other debuts at this show! Hopefully, though, this will get you started, or encourage you to come out and attend.

Comics is a scene and events like MoCCA can be a social gathering, and the programming is really, really good with Bill Kartalopoulos on board. But the heart of any show is the books on hand, and I hope you'll consider buying a few either this weekend or in the days to come.

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posted 2:05 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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