Sunday, June 12, 2005

MoCCA Fest '05: Nerds Without Air Conditioning

Yesterday was my trip downtown to the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art's annual festival, essentially an indy comic convention (the other two big ones being APE in San Francisco and SPX in, of all places, Bethseda, Maryland). Held in the historic Puck Building, the show featured three full rooms of alternative, independent, and otherwise homemade comics from creators all over the country. What a mainstream, superhero geek like me was doing there, God only knows.

Got there at about 12:30 thanks to an embarrassing train error on my part. My first stop was at the table of fellow CBR-er and all around nice fella Brandon Hanvey. Brandon and his lovely wife Nicole were both in attendance, hocking his "The Little Things" collections, "Geek Pride" T-shirts, his two graphic novellas about the fictional band "The Stereos," and a preview of his next project. I bought a T-shirt, and got a button, some bumper stickers, and the 2004 "Little Things" Collection thrown in because, as I mentioned above, Brandon was a nice fella.

I then geeked out totally when I found out Jeff Smith was signing and sketching up front. Understand that Bone is probably the only indy comic I've ever followed with any regularity, that I love it like a woman, and that I am a complete nerd. After perusing the color edition of Bone Vol. 1 (and flirting with a nice volunteer whose name-tag said "Rebecca"), I waited in line for about thirty minutes before seeing the man himself. I ponied up $25 for a sketch of Thorn, which is now hanging on the side of my computer cabinet. Its size prohibits scanning, but it totally rocks, and I am more complete as a human being now.

The rest of the day was going over the floor repeatedly, occasionally in the company of Lena and Ed Cunard. The former expressed a great deal of mock displeasure at the Superman T-shirt I was wearing for the purpose of irritating people without senses of humor. There was much good-natured ribbing throughout the day that was not in any way laced with hints of sexual tension. Ran into Alex, late of Comics Should Be Good and now of Listen To Us, We're Right, who's apparently opening up his own comic shop in Park Slope. Innnnnnteresting. Got lots of free stuff, talked for a while with "Owly" creator Andy Runton, and bought an ashcan off of fellow "Writing Comics and Graphci Novels" alumnus Andrew Marzan. The book is "Alien Son X;" keep an eye out for it. Another highlight: Passing by and recognizing Noted Professional Heidi MacDonald, who I may or may not have given me a dirty look for my shirt.

At around 4-ish, and in the middle of a summer shower, I headed across the street to an Irish pub with Ed and some of his friends and fellow bloggers: Kevin, James, Ryan, Ryan's girlfriend Samantha, and Rachel, who is not a blogger but does work for a Large Comic Company. I actually drank alcohol (one Smirnoff Ice; I know, I'm a woman), and we had fun discussing incompetent police, Identity Crisis, people we didn't like, blogging, and other such things. Just as Brandon, Nicole, and several others showed up, we took off (Ed had to drive back to PA for a bachelor party); I walked with Ed and James for a while before hitting a diner at Washington Square and going home. Subway reading was a pair of volumes of an interesting little superhero project called "Sentinels;" possibly more on that later.

As a bonus to you, the readers, two fun quotes from the day:

Lena: "I am such a cartoon whore."

Kevin: "If I see Ben Afflec walking down the street, he's getting cock-punched for three reasons."


Ed Cunard said...

I should have stayed with you and James--my night pretty much went to hell from there.

But it was good seeing you, however brief it was!

Lena said...

I love my cartoons!

Brandon said...

Thanks for the nice words, Michael. I hope you wear your shirt with Pride.