Monday, June 8, 2009

My MoCCA 2009

Oh, man, it's been a while since I last posted.

But screw all that noise, cause I'm back with a report on my adventures at MoCCA 2009!

The show was hosted at the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan this year instead of the Puck Building as it had been in the past. It was easy to find and after a coffee at Penn Station and a quick stop at the doggie park in Madison Square Park, my girlfriend and I arrived at 11:15 because doors were supposed to open at 11. But there was some sort of mix-up and we had to stand in a line that wrapped the entire block! We stayed in the sun until we got in at 12:15! Blah.

But while in line, we were joined by our great friends Sean T. Collins and Kiel Phegley! Kiel made the trip in from Chicago specifically for the show, too. We got inside and they only charged us $5 instead of $10 because of the wait. Which was nice.

The inside of the armory has this MASSIVE arc-ceiling arena that reminded me of the kinds of civic centers made out of wood I grew up with in Oklahoma where 4H shows and rodeos took place. Imagine the court the team played on in Hoosiers. You get it.


Bazookas in display cases and mosaics of old American military battles were spread across the venue and it was fun randomly spotting men in Army fatigues slowly creeping through the crowd with bewildered looks on their faces as they came out of their offices to check out the show. Otherwise, it was comics comics COMICS! MoCCA has always been the show that reminded me most why I love comics and this year was the same. And despite the complete LACK of air conditioning or any semblance of a breeze inside the building, I happily hunted down new books and additions to my Watchmen sketchbook. I'd been saving for a LONG while to spend like I could. So, here's what I got:



  • The MoCCA program - sports a beautiful cover by Molly Crabapple. And I didn't open it once.
  • I finally found a copy of Jin & Jam #1 from Hellen Jo! I love the way she draws people like they're etched.
  • Calvin & Hellen's Bogus Journey Instruction Booklet - Hellen also had copies of this mini that reads like one of those old booklets that came with Nintendo games where the weapons and enemies and stuff are all outlined with illustrations. Only this is for their new game (which they had on playable display at their table!).
  • And I grabbed two of her postcards with her art on them because I am in love with them.
At the Buenaventura booth I snagged (also pictured above):
  • Rumbling Chapter Two - the second part of the story Kevin Huizenga started in Or Else #5. I hope a #6 comes out...
  • Mistakes We Made - new mini from Lisa Hanawalt that ends with a pretty BRAVE sketch if that is, indeed, her that she is sketching.
  • It's Sexy When People Know Your Name - Little random sketchbook/humorous anecdotes collection from Lisa.

  • Snake Pit 2008 - I can't believe I didn't know this was coming out! I've been reading this diary comic as a mini for about 5 years. It's great to see it still coming out in book form. It's even better to see it when I didn't expect it!
  • The nice ladies at the Microcosm booth where I bought Snake Pit gave me a sticker and their 2009 Publishing catalogue filled with neat stuff I now want. Dammit.
  • Ten Thousand Things To Do #2 and #3 - Jesse Reklaw's diary comic keeps surprising me with its quality. I've never read his dream comics, but this stuff is GREAT.
  • Pixu II - The second and final installment of the horror book by Becky Cloonan, Vasilis Lolos, Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon. yes yes YES! Dark Horse is collecting this self-published book sometime soon (I saw a proof copy on Becky's table) but since I bought issue #1, I figured I'd get issue #2 instead of the upcoming hardcover.
  • Featherweight - a wordless little story about a snowman in danger from Jamil Mani who was there as part of the Swedish collective of artists at the show. It's pretty and I felt great buying a book from a guy who flew so far for people like me to see it.
  • Phase 7 #14 - European roadtrip issue! Creator Alec Longstreth's beard has become epic, by the way.

One of my great pleasures at these shows is picking up what's new from the people who have graduated from CCS. This year, they were all clustered together for the most part against the back wall. So I grabbed:
  • Prune Hands - It's the newest book from Mario van Buren, the man who brought you Girls Don't Poop. Mario's stories in The Marsh and a recent CCS anthology book were both pretty emotionally shocking/stunning and Girls Don't Poop was clever, so I'm psyched to read this and see where it goes. And dig that baby blue cover!
  • Simple Routines #10 and #11 - Two new diary comics from JP Coovert! Once JP started knocking out minis with non-autobio stories, I thought the diary was gonna go away. I'm glad to see it's still kicking. And both these covers are thrilling in their simplicity.
  • A Fall A Part - JP's story about his experience with his mother's cancer. From the creativity of the book's construction to the touching moments within the story itself, this is exciting to read as a fan of JP's because his work is just getting better and better.
  • CCS Guide - Written and drawn by both Alex Longstreth and JP Coovert, this brochure is a fun read about the virtues of the school they both attended (Alec as a fellow; JP as a graduate) and it's in a nice family alongside this bad boy.
  • Sundays Three - The newest edition of the CCS anthology is actually three tiny books bound together by a band instead of the over-sized gargantua the group did the past 2 years. It's screen-printed heaven with stellar work from everybody involved.
  • Snake Oil #3 - Chuck McBuck does another issue filled with oddness and surreal, delicate lines. I picked the black cover.
  • Food/Fall - Joe Lambert does another colorful cornucopia comic filled with fun. Please go check out his site.

  • My girlfriend, Sam, bought some great stickers from Tara McPherson including a little vampire one for me.
  • Crooked Teeth #4 - I accidentally discovered Nate Doyle while browsing the mini section of Jim Hanley's Universe in Manhattan one week. I nabbed issues #2 and #3 of this series that looks like a chunky cartoon version of Paul Pope and Nate Powell. I dunno why this guy doesn't have a full-length book from Oni or some other company. And when I asked if he had any issues of issue #1, he smiled and said, "No...issue #1 wasn't very good." I respect a self-evaluating dude.
  • Crooked Teeth #4 print - When I complimented Nate on the screen-printing job done on the cover to Crooked Teeth #4, he said he had trouble the first go-round and the white didn't line up like he wanted. So he brought along the printed mis-haps and handed them out. It'll make a cool framed piece of art.
  • Paul #1 - another new mini from Nate Doyle.
  • Papercutter #9 and #10 - I love this little anthology! Greg Means, the editor of the book, described it to a friend of mine who asked him what it was as, "A book I put out filled with creators I like to read so that other people can read them, too."
  • Bird Hurdler - Another anthology I grabbed from Greg Means that was FREE (!) and published by Tugboat Press, Spark Plug Comics and Teenage Dinosaur. Filled with great artists like Farel Dalrymple, Theo Ellsworth, some lady I've never heard of named Lisa Rosalie Elsenberg but whose art I now love, and many others. And this thing is FREE in an effort to spread the word about comics. Man...

  • The Mighty Skullboy Army #11: Skullboy's Nemesis Mod Dog - The newest from the mighty talented and clever Jacob Chabot!
  • And Don't Forget the Droids / Only What You Take With You - Two new Star Wars fanbook anthologies from the people who brought you the cutey-puhtootie Harvest Is When I need You The Most! I had no idea these were out!
  • The Mourning Star vol. 2 - ANOTHER book I had no idea was out. Alec Longstreth told me while I was at his table. Guh! The cover is so gorgeous! I can't wait to read this.
  • Cooking with Food - This is the first book I bought at the show. It stars the creator Evan Palmer cooking cute foods with cute faces. And they don't want to be cooked.
  • The Ashen Cat - Another book from Evan Palmer, this one, though, features more experimental graphic story-telling techniques than Cooking With Food and stars a cat on an adventure. Again, Nate Powell-esque.
  • Kingwood Himself - This is the second book I bought. Creator Reynold Kissing introduces a weird world explored by a curious little girl.
And that's it as far as my bought items. Next it's my Watchmen Sketchbook additions!

SETH does Golden Age Nite Owl!

The first one I got was from the very talented (very dapper) creator Seth. Sam and I were doing our first walk of the floor when I spotted him at the Drawn & Quarterly table signing for only one fan. So I jumped right in line, asked him if he was doings sketches, and got this beauty from him. Usually it takes me hours before I gather the courage to ask for a sketch. Something about Seth made me comfortable jumping right in before I'd even made a single purchase. He actually wanted to do one of the Golden Age characters, so after flipping through my copy of the trade I bring for reference, I found the group shot of the Minutemen before The Comedian attacks Silk Spectre. He was polite and very friendly and talked about the virtues of moving to Canada (I'd mentioned I thought about moving there). He said something along the lines of "I sometimes think I want more in a place where I live, but then I realize where I am is all I'll need and I change my mind." I think that's actually pretty perfect coming from him.

Fun tidbit: Seth said he hadn't seen the movie and hasn't read the book since it came out in single issue comic form back in the '80s!

JACOB CHABOT does present Nite Owl!

I'm a big fan of Chabot's work and I see him at a lot of shows, so when I spotted him sitting at MoCCA, I decided to finally ask him if he could sketch for me. What I got back is probably the most dynamic piece anyone's done for me! And look at Nite Owl's belly! Chabot's another guy whose lack of mainstream work baffles me. And he's nice as crap to boot!

Fun tidbit: Chabot drew the wraparound story for the Marvel Assistant-Sized Spectacular miniseries that came out this year and featured my buddy Alejandro Arbona, who I happened to see at MoCCA this year!

TOM GAULD does Rorschach!!!

HOLY BUTT CRACKS! Tom Gauld isn't an artist I could never catch. He was at MoCCA a couple years ago while, say, Seth hasn't been to America in FOUR YEARS. Even still, he was at the top of my list of artists to tap for a sketch this year...and I got him! I'd even gone over to the Buenaventura line where he was signing and JUST missed his time slot. They said he'd be back shortly, so later in the day, I stopped by to see if he was around and there he was! He even seemed excited when I brought up the sketchbook! We chatted for a bit about his trip to the states and he seemed happy despite both of us melting in the severe heat of the show near hour six.

Fun tidbit: Gauld is now the third cutest man in comics as far as I'm concerned.

Scott C. does a whole damn scene!!!

Here's another dude I didn't know was gonna be at the show! Scott C. has become one of my favorite creators thanks to his hilarious work in Hickee and his numerous gallery showings that feature pop culture-centric paintings. He was SUPER-nice when I asked him if I could get a sketch, and he was the creator I gabbed with the most at the show. And the piece he churned out is one of my favorites so far! I'm glad he included the pebis. I can't get over how nice and happy to talk he was!

Fun tidbit: Scott C. did a David Bowie piece recently and Sean loves Bowie and Sean made me a Bowie mix album last week and I put it on my iPhone and I used the Bowie image Scott C. made as the "cover image" in my phone when the mix album plays. So I showed Scott and he was excited!

After we left the show, we grabbed dinner across the street at the vegetarian Indian place where Kiel had the largest single piece of food I've ever seen in my life.

He ate the whole thing.

And then we headed to the CBLDF karaoke party.

Kiel searches for a song.

And then we searched for a bar after hitting the ATM.

money money money

Before we called it quits and headed home.

And that's that. There was plenty I couldn't pick up or forgot to get like Asterios Polyp, The Gigantic Robot (I thought it was a minicomic and not a $20 book, so I ran out of money by the time I got there), this Jim Rugg Afrodisiac book I found at the AdHouse table randomly (I meant to ask about it, but there was a line and I forgot to go back!), the new Syncopated Comics (I don't own any of these at all!!), Awesome 2: Awesomer, Woman King, Doing Time, Rocket Superb, Flashlight (I picked it up and meant to go back, but forgot!), Remake, Johnny Hiro vol. 1, Far Arden, a whole slew of books I'd never seen before from Lucy Knisley, and Love is a Peculiar Type of Thing.

I also missed out on meeting up with Jon Adams and Dustin Harbin (were you there this year, man?). I almost met Nathan Stapley, but he walked away. Sigh.

I want to say it was great to run into so many friends at the show like Darren, Heather, Adam, Aubrey, Pornsak, Sal, Joe, Laura, Paul, Rick, and anybody else I forgot.

And as I always feel the day after MoCCA every year, I can't wait for the next one. :)


RM said...

Great to see you, too!

- Rick

Sam said...

I was really excited for MOCCA as well, and while I wasn't disappointed with the exhibitors and products available, the atmosphere killed the day for me. The thing is, unlike Rickey, I have no idea what I'm looking for when I go to these things. The fun for me is browsing and discovering and just enjoying myself. However, the new location was balls hot with no ventilation. It was a nice day outside, but when you cram hundreds of people into a big room with no air flow or air conditioning, it just gets gross and muggy and all you can do is think about getting the hell out. I'm just bummed because I know I would've have a lot more fun and found more awesome stuff if it had been more comfortable.

Granted it wasn't a total loss. I got some cool stuff and got to see friends, but next year they really need to get that shit under control.

Anonymous said...

That's a great Seth sketch of Nite Owl #1!!


Matthew J. Brady said...

Dustin Harbin wasn't there, or I would have tried to see him. Also, the Afrodisiac book was a preview/proof; it's not coming out until the fall, I think.

Rickey said...

Sam- I'm sorry you were so uncomfortable. I felt terrible!

Rebecca- Thanks!

Matthew- Thanks for the info on Dustin and Afrodisiac! Hope you got some great loot, too!

Jesse T. said...

AAAAAAAHHHHHHH Rickey! I'm going to have to read this post in piecemeal fashion ... so much to take in!

Jesse T. said...

Rickey, how's the "Cooking With Food" comic? Allison really wants a copy ... she loves cute food.

Rickey said...

Jesse, that comic is every bit as funny and cute as I thought it would be! Want me to keep an eye out for a copy for her?

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