June 11, 2009 3 Comments
Evan Dorkin has a lengthy and IMHO balanced wrap-up of MoCCA on his blog. I basically agree with his comments (which he seems to have taken some heat for from other bloggers — big surprise).
I’ve been to every MoCCA since it started, and I treasure the show dearly. Lately, I’ve been tending to go to MoCCA (and the New York Comic-Con) more to see compatriots than buy much stuff, though there’s always a gem or two which finds its way into to my hands. This year, despite the fact that for most of it I was wheeling a napping Phoebe around the gym, er, Armory, I had the pleasure of seeing and chatting with man_size, chatterbox_dc, James Romberger, George O’Connor, Joe Infurnari, Charlie Orr, Bob Sikoryak, Isaac Eddy Littlejohn, Mark Siegel, Gary Sullivan, Greg Bennett, my old assistant Nick Sumida and my current assistant Ben Moody, David Mazzucchelli, and my benefactor, Pantheon publisher Dan Frank. I also spotted, but never got a chance to talk with, Chris Staros, Brett Warnock, Lauren Weinstein, Tom Hart, Brendan Burford, and many other folks.
That was great. However, given all that, I totally agree with Dorkin’s characterization of the show. The new locale changed the feel of MoCCA from a "classy" art show to a punk rock flea market. Which is fine, if that’s what you’re into, but I guess I’m not. On the face of it, I applaud the fact that the Armory’s new one-room layout democratizes the space and equalizes all the presenters, but I miss the way that certain publishers had pride of place in the old layout. You always knew where to find Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, and Pantheon.
Personally, I didn’t notice the heat, but I wasn’t working a table (other than sitting at the Pantheon table for an hour), and I was only there on Saturday.
There were some advantages to this new location (the bathrooms, the location of the panels, the all-in-one-room openness), but I miss the more elegant (yea, "precious") feel of the Puck Building. And I agree that the organization, with the dysfunctional badges and wristbands, long lines, etc., was a total mess. I hope they can work out all these kinks for next year, as I love MoCCA and fervently root for it to succeed.