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Notes on MoCCA Art Festival 2006
posted June 12, 2006


* I went on Sunday. On Saturday I saw an adult man fall off of a horse, which made it a pretty good Saturday.

* Attendance seemed hideously light to me. Like "When's the show going to start?" light. The pictures I'm seeing of Saturday, which by all accounts was a better day in terms of attendance, also looked lighter than usual to me.

* One rumor going around the hall was that the Festival was not listed in various NYC newspapers' arts calendars, or at least not everywhere it could have been. (Feel free to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) This would partly explain a smaller crowd.

* There was a lot of sympathy expressed for Jack Jackson in the wake of his passing, with most people stressing how nice and smart the late cartoonist was. Three different people used the phrase "punched in the gut" to describe the news.

* It was a gossipy show, including talk of recent news stories well-covered here and a couple of mainstream comics lateral moves. Another item making the "Hey, did you hear--?" rounds was Mike Dean taking over full reins at The Comics Journal, with the magazine dropping news from its print form, half of an expected two-pronged announcement.

* One of my favorite sights was Kim Deitch and Art Spiegelman squatting down on the floor, looking at I think books Deitch was pulling from his bag. They looked like two little kids making trades.

* There may be nothing more pathetic than watching people cut in line at a Southwest Airlines gate.

* Most surprising exhibitor (to me): Ed Pinsent.

* Fact That Likely Only Interests Me: the Jim Hanley's Universe store across the street from the Empire State Building has 11 copies of the Eric Wald comic Girls, Greed, Guns and Gore.

* I'd never been to JHU before, and it was pretty great. I bought some quality, late-period Kirby/Lee Fantastic Fours for $5-8. I also found out I'm two behind on Cromartie High School.

* Instead of the sweatfest of past years, it was very nice and cool all weekend.

* The Best MoCCA Volunteer Ever Award goes to the guy I tried to browbeat into letting me in a side door instead of the proper registration door who slapped me down in hilarious fashion: "Yeah, you go tell them I gave you a hard time." Ouch! MoCCA 1, Spurgeon 0.

* You know, if they had pushed it back a couple of weeks, the new Scott Pilgrim book might have ruled the show.

image* Comics Blog Nation made a strong showing. From memory I saw again or got to meet for the first time Neilalien, Sean T. Collins, Ed Cunard, Heidi MacDonald, Chris Butcher, Derik A Badman and Egon. Dan Nadel having a new blog is good news as well.

* Jesse Fuchs, the Al Columbia of writers about comics, made an appearance.

* That a lot of people had book deals or declared book deals were imminent wasn't a news story; it's the new baseline reality. I mean, I don't know anyone who was running around saying, "Jeepers, it's incredible how many book deals there are out there."

* If all the new Denis Kitchen/John Lind comics-specialty agency does is help get Drew Weing and Eleanor Davis over, than I am happy to name them "company of the year." The Weing/Davis books at the agency/packaging service sold out.

* It was a great thrill to meet the writer and critic Don Phelps. Mr. Phelps said he very much enjoyed Dan Nadel's presentation.

* Speaking of Nadel, I heard a lot of people expressing great admiration for Art Out of Time, but usually it came with something like "And when I get home I'm so going to order it on-line where it's cheaper."