So, I went to the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art Festival this past weekend, as I have the previous three years. Unlike the previous three years, I was only there on Saturday, because I was really too wiped out from a host of shit that went down last week to bother with Sunday. But, anyway, this was my weekend.
First of all, it was fucking hot in New York this weekend. Usually, we don't get this kind of weather until late July or August, but Mother Nature had other ideas. (By the way, everyone talking shit about climate change can just shut the fuck up now as far as I'm concerned.) Fortunately, the Puck Building's air conditioning held out on Saturday. The room on the 7th floor was cooled only by fans, except for one part that appeared to be right under the sole A/C duct; I stood there a lot. A number of folks I talked to used the word "greenhouse," but I didn't feel it was too bad; the fans were adequate to the task at hand.
As for the atmosphere, my opinion will probably be in minority, but it was pretty much like any other good comic convention. I know folks like to draw distinctions between "mainstream" and "alternative" cons, but as Stephen Grant pointed out with reference to the comics themselves last week, that's largely a marketing thing. Beneath the demographics, most conventions are fundamentally the same: Fans, creators and publishers of comics coming together to buy, sell, look at and talk about comics. Whether it's good or not doesn't rely so much on the types of comics in question as the venue, the people in attendance, and how well it's run.
This MoCCA was a good convention. Like I said, the Puck is an adequate venue, although projections suggest that the con has officially outgrown it and will be movin' on up next year. The attendees were the usual mix; I won't say there weren't groups of fucktards who needed to realize that, as physical objects, they were taking up space other people were hoping to use for purposes of movement, nor will I say that all the exhibitors had product of merit sufficient to deserve table space, but everyone seemed genuinely exuberant about whatever it was they were there for, and that's 80% of the battle right there. The volunteers did a good job of keeping order, and they had a small snack bar where bottles of water and food were available for reasonable prices. My one complaint would be the constant hucksters shouting about how the elevators led to more stuff on the 7th floor; appreciable signage would have accomplished the same thing and been much less irritating.
As for the comics themselves, it was your usual alt-mix, so if you like that sort of thing, good then. I only bought three books from First Second: Laika, Robot Dreams, and Garage Band.
Afterwards, there was dinner, hanging out, and karaoke. Usual suspects Joe Rice and Alex Cox were in rare form; Fred Chong Rutherford brought down the house with "Celebration;" new friend and Blog Buddy Cathy Leamy did a much better job on "Wedding Bell Blues" than she thinks she did. I also made my own small contribution.
Anyway, it was a good day to nerd.