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MoCCA 2005 Wrap-up
Although I was only able to spend Saturday, and missed all of the
excellent panel discussions, I nevertheless managed to have
an excellent time and spend way too much money at this year's MoCCA Arts
Festival. Here are the highlights as I saw them:
That's about it. It was a great show, and next week watch out for
"five mini-comics creators to watch out for."
- The Pantheon
table had a dozen or so finished pages from Chris Ware's
upcoming book on display, and let me tell you, it's going to be
incredible! Similar to Acme Novelty Library #7 and
15, the Tales of Tomorrow and Rusty Brown strips are back in full
color. I'm told that the final book will be 108 pages,
with a band of paper wrapped around the hardcover that will contain a
strip with six different endings (how many people are
gonna buy six hardcovers?). It should be available this fall,
although no guarantees.
- Another great looking preview book at the Pantheon table was
Joann Sfar's The Rabbi's Cat. This gorgeous full
color, hardcover graphic novel should be available in August, and
though I'm not familiar with any of the artist's previous
work, she keeps pretty good company as Pantheon has positioned
themselves as one of the best high-end publishers in the
- Pantheon's lovely marketing dept. also mentioned that they will
be offering a high end, hardcover collection of Jessica
Abel's classic La
Perdida, re-enforcing their
commitment to women creators.
- Fantagraphics had
advance copies of Mome, the eagerly awaited
anthology series available, that, according to series co-editor Eric
Reynolds, were air shipped from Malaysia just in time
for MoCCA. I've read about a third of the entries so far, and the
book is indeed impressive. I'll have a complete review of
it hopefully sometime next week.
- Bries, the Belgian publisher whose English language work is
sorely underrated and under distributed, had an impressive
table with every work available, including the excellent Louis
Armstrong, the adaptation of the jazz great's
autobiography, Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans, by Phillip
Paquet. For fans of Paquet's work (in my opinion, one of
the greatest artists working in comics today), I learned that he is
planning to translate his newest book, Yume, into
English sometime early next year.
- After an almost 2 year hiatus, Bries has completely revamped their website. It's
well worth a look (and you can order yourself a copy of Louis
- Roger Langridge, creator of the brilliant Fred the Clown,
was on-hand and had a wonderful selection of
mini-comics old and new. In one of the more surreal moments, I stood
alongside Roger at the Fantagraphics booth as he
purchased five copies of his own book, in order to sell them at his
- Art Spiegelman walked right by me, brushing my arm, and in true
character, was dangling an unlit cigarette in his right
hand, anxious to get outdoors to light up, but was almost
instantaneously mobbed by creators eager to bask in the glow of his
- Alexa Kitchen, daughter of well known indie publisher Denis Kitchen , was
billed as the youngest cartoonist in the world at age 7, and was
pretty cute sitting at her table sketching away, oblivious
to the hordes or middle aged fans shuffling past her.
- Living on the east coast, I had never heard of San
Francisco-based mini-comics distributor, Global Hobo. But their
selection of gorgeously designed mini-comics, many with
striking, silk-screened cardstock covers, was one of the best
surprises of the show. Their table was frequently mobbed and
there were far too many comics that looked intriguing for me to afford
them all. If you're looking for something new and
original, check these guys out.
- There were a lot more women buying comics than you might expect
from visiting your average comic book store on a
Wednesday night. My first instinct was that these women must be
shadowing their boyfriends/husbands, enduring hours of inane
comic-speak, with little or no interest, but as the show progressed, I
came to realize this was not the case in general.
This trend bodes extremely well for the future of comics.
- There was a definite, undeniable buzz of excitement, camaraderie
and creative energy at the show, but, as noted by
artist Greg Ruth , not a
single Klingon was spotted in the room.
-- Marc Sobel