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January 15, 2009


So What's Up With The MoCCA Festival?

Over the last week I've received from several of you complaints/concerns about the 2009 edition of the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art Festival, scheduled for June 6-7, 2009. I may not have received all the complaints that are out there, but I heard enough of them I thought it worth tracking down what's going on through the site and also by speaking to the museum's director since September, Karl Erickson. Here's everything I know and what I found out.

image* The show is still on, was never for one second in doubt, and according to Erickson the museum is moving full speed ahead on it with a high measure of enthusiasm. They look forward to seeing everyone in June.

* The web site has been, according to their own admission, behind the times -- a reflection of some sluggishness in their preparation overall. The 2008 page was up even this morning, I think, but is down now -- that's the one you get to on a google search, so that may have been the source of some confusion. There is a general coming soon page that you get to through the front page of the site that mentions the show. Erickson says the site is in the process of being updated with all due haste.

* Some of the old e-mail indicators have resulted in people sending e-mail to an address or addresses that are defunct, I believe primarily former festival co-organizer Derrick Kennelty-Cohen's. This has definitely been confusing for some people. Erickson asks that anyone wishing to contact the museum about the festival use the general contact e-mail address for the foreseeable future. It's

* On the subject of applications. Erickson told CR the museum is currently getting applications into the hands of those with museum memberships. They will then move to those without museum memberships that have exhibited in the past. They will then make sure the applications get into the hands of the general public. They hope to have all of this done by the end of this month.

* Despite some discussion in-house about dropping the practice, the museum will continue to assist certain exhibitors with getting their boxes to the site by giving them the option of sending them to the museum and having the museum take them over for a fee. This is important because the show has a few exhibitor that bring in several cartoonists that offer too much material to walk it in themselves.

* The museum remains excited about the new space. A lot of what CR heard in terms of complaints about the new space was doubt regarding whether or not the neighborhood would be as amenable as the former one. I figured that way lies madness: there would obviously be boosters for both neighborhood, I'm not equipped to resolve any claims anyone might make on one location's behalf, and different people have different needs when it comes to where a show is located. I did ask Erickson about one complaint that I got from two people, the perception that this place might be more difficult to access for all of the cartoonists and fans coming over from Brooklyn; Erickson countered that this simply wasn't true.
 
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