June 22, 2007
10 Things I’d Do At MoCCA Festival
I'm not going to the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art's Summer Festival
tomorrow and Sunday at the world-famous Puck Building
in New York, one of the finest showcases for small press, independent, alternative and arts comics in North America. But if I were to go, this is what I would try to do.
1. I'd walk around the room at least once and look at every table.
It's a small enough show you can still do that, and it's a great way to take a snapshot of this aspect of the art form. Plus there are tons of bargains and forgotten goodies to be seen if you bend over and look.
2. I'd remember to go upstairs.
There are some people exhibiting upstairs. I'm sure they'll put some heavy hitters up there to draw people to the second floor -- MoCCA's the best show in terms of spacing out its big attractions -- but still I could see forgetting this if I didn't make a point of it. Like many multiple-time attendees, I'm not sure I could draw you a map as to where the stairs are in that place.
3. I'd go see the Kim Deitch and Alison Bechdel panels.
Those sound like the two most worth trudging over to the MoCCA offices to see. Hopefully, they're compensating for the geographic distance by setting up a way to record those panels for posterity's sake.
4. I'd drink like a dumbass until 4 AM thinking the bars closed at 1 AM and then show up hammered for my panel the next morning.
Wait, that's from 2003's list.
5. I'd look at the new comics
There's so much stuff coming out, I can't imagine buying anything just to get it a couple of days early. And thankfully, the day of my Chicago Con road trips solely to buy regularly-distributed comics because I never saw 90 percent of them anywhere else are long over. I'd probably look at some stuff, and maybe buy a book or two from friends for whom my con purchase would mean a greater amount getting into their pockets than my later store purchase, but in most cases I'd continue to buy through regular channels.
6. I'd buy all homemade stuff.
The great thing to me about the overwhelming commercial aspects of North American shows is that there are sometimes very creative ways in which people seek to fulfill this function. In other words, I can buy comics at the comics shop; at an art show I look at art, and original pages, and other one-of-a-kind material, like the special Arf!
book pictured here.
7. I'd go from one place to another by foot, but only once.
If the weather gets halfway tolerable, there's nothing like a long walk in New York. I wouldn't do this with a lot of stuff to carry. Maybe a morning walk over to the Puck Building.
8. I'd go do something New Yorky.
I like going to see plays when I'm in New York. There are no writers with plays up in whom I'm interested. Actor-wise I'm sort of intrigued by the Frank Langella half of Frost/Nixon
and the Christopher Plummer half of Inherit the Wind
. I also like eating out in the kinds of places my town of 8000 doesn't offer and all the various big-name museums. And sports. And shopping. There's nothing I dislike, actually, about the city that would crop up during a short visit. New York!
9. I'd attend every party I could.
Except for the occasional impromptu get-together, the parties during MoCCA weekend are very egalitarian invite-wise, so I'd try to hit as many such gatherings as possible. Although I'm always afraid I'm going to get drunk at a Top Shelf party and wake up to find that Chris Staros has sold me 11,000 Max Estes books.
10. I'd have a long, nerdy discussion about some ridiculous piece of comics ephemera outside on the sidewalk.
Hey, you have your idea of fun, and I have mine. It's like the midnight bull sessions at university except this time the role of hall nerd is being played by everyone. Last year I got to meet the great Donald Phelps just by lounging out on the stoop like one of the Lords of Flatbush. You can't beat it.
posted 3:06 am PST
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