Comic Convention Round Up MoCCA Fest

first_imgIt’s Spring and convention season is in full swing! Starting around Emerald City Comic Con in March and winding down after New York Comic Con in October, the convention season can get pretty unwieldy. This past weekend alone saw no less than half a dozen conventions including C2E2, Garden State Comic Fest, Dallas Fan Expo, and Silicon Valley Comic Con. I happened to be at MoCCA Fest last weekend, the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival, which stands out from what many might consider standard convention fare.MoCCA Fest has been a New York indie comics staple for over 15 years. A few years ago, the museum’s assets and the festival were acquired by The Society of Illustrators, located in the upper east side of Manhattan. The festival itself has changed venues, but has settled in at the Metropolitan West for the past three years. They’ve had incredible special guests recently including Becky Cloonan, Alison Bechdel, Howard Cruse, Fiona Staples, Rebecca Sugar, and Gene Ha. This year there special guests included multi Eisner Award winning writer of the March trilogy, Andrew Aydin and multi Eisner Award winner Mike Mignola, famous for creating Hellboy.The festival packs the two floor venue with the over 7,000 attendees that attend, as well as having panels and workshops off site at Ink48 about a street block away. One of the first things a frequent con attendee may notice is that this is not a cosplaying show. That’s not a knock on cosplayers at all; it’s just a show that tends to attract them. I didn’t see a single cosplay at the show myself. You won’t find that much of a trace of Marvel or DC either. Not just that they don’t have booths there, but people aren’t usually coming to MoCCA Fest for that. They’re coming for the indie scene. The most mainstream publisher you’ll see at the show is IDW. And that’s not to say these artists are amateurs. I think we often see people in or around the comics scene conflate being a part of the indie scene with not having broken in to the industry. Many of the people at this show who are exhibiting are there to promote their indie comics, illustrations and prints without having much or any interest in Marvel or DC. Being interested in one aspect of comics over the other isn’t inherently good or bad; comics is a big community with room for lots of goals and interests.Creators you’d see at MoCCA Fest include Chris Brimacombe, an indie creator and SVA alum who illustrates the comic Nap Boy written by Hargis Bullen through Pronto Comics, a local small press comics publisher, Madeline Zuluaga who’s a comics and a children’s book illustrator, German artist Anna Haifisch whose latest book, Von Spatz, recently came out through Drawn & Quarterly, Belgium cartoonist and editor Max de Radigues who has an English translation of his book, Weegee: Serial Photographer, coming out through Conundrum Press, and so many more. What truly makes a show like MoCCA Fest unique is that it perfectly blends local artists with rare appearances by a plethora of international talent.MoCCA Fest may have passed, but con season is just revving up! This weekend in New York we have more shows like Big Apple Con which is closer to what you would expect at a comic convention. If you’re in the Denver area and a show like MoCCA Fest is right up your alley, you can check out Dink featuring Howard Cruse, Andrea Shockling, Jeff Lemire, and so many more great independent artists. And keep a lookout for all the different cons, big and small, going on this season! Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img

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