Thursday, April 16, 2015

MoCCA Fest 2015 review

MoCCA is still one of my favorite conventions and I was excited to see how a new venue and a new book debut would effect sales. Luckily there was near constant foot traffic on every floor of Center 548 this weekend. Alison Wilgus and I were towards the back of the 4th floor and my sales were only slightly less than last year when we were along one of the main thoroughfares along an outer wall in the armory.

While heading over to the new venue to set up on Friday afternoon, I bumped into Megan Brennan and Rel (School of World, Pencil Pup) at Penn Station and hijacked their cab. We rode up to the 4th floor in the amazing and kind of creepy freight elevator.(It got stuck between floors on my way to the table on Saturday.)

Center 548 was a gorgeous light-filled space for MoCCA. Sadly I heard rumors that the building will not be available next year due to it becoming yet another high priced apartment building. The consensus seemed to be that Center 548 as the venue for MoCCA Fest was a nice change of pace. Everyone I spoke to seemed to enjoy the airy, well lit space despite the narrow stairs and distance from public transportation. It reminded many of us of the Puck Building days of the festival minus the 100 degree temperatures.

What a brilliant idea to paint the event schedule and map right on the wall on the way to the stairs of the venue.

The Drink & Draw Like a Lady party on Friday night was a wonderful success! Here is Clare DeZutti who designed the stickers we had for people who donated and also drew this cool chalk welcome sign.

Following two photos courtesy of Lisa Aurigemma. You can see more of her photos on her Vermilion Ink Flickr.

Possibly the classiest photo of my table mate Alison Wilgus and I.

I didn't take many MoCCA photos, but that means that I was too busy catching up with animation and comics friends and meeting new people! Here are Alison and Drew Brockington who I sat next to at Locust Moon Festival in Philly last fall. They both do comics about cats and space!

The highlight of my weekend was meeting Tomm Moore and his wife Liselott who run the animation studio Cartoon Saloon (Song of the Sea, The Secret of Kells) based in Kilkenny, Ireland. This was their first MoCCA and it sounded as though they sold out of everything they brought including art prints, original paintings and art books of The Secret of Kells. My awesome husband bought us a print of Pangur Ban to add to the wall of cat art.

I also got to chat a lot with my Irish cartoonist friend Cliodhna Ztoical and compare European comics festivals with those in the US. I met lots of new readers, spoke with several librarians, critics and editors along with tons of other awesome friends, creators and fans.

One of the drawings I did in a copy of The Collected Counter Attack! over the weekend. I met a bunch more cat lovers and some friends from Twitter which is always fun.

There was access to the roof with some tables and chairs set up, so my husband and I ran up there to check it out. It was rather windy on Saturday but the views were great.

Lisa got this photo of me on Sunday as she describes, making the same face as my character on my banner. Best!

I didn't get a chance to walk around the festival on Saturday, so I ran around on Sunday before I went to my table and caught up with a few more people. I didn't have much of a spending budget this year but couldn't leave such a great festival empty handed.

Aside from the long haul from Penn Station and weekend MTA construction messing up the C,E train, I had a fantastic weekend at the new MoCCA space. Taking the High Line on Saturday evening and Sunday morning was a nice alternative way to get to the venue. Everyone seemed in good spirits all weekend, the weather was agreeable and it finally felt like spring in New York. Thanks to everyone who came out to say hi and support what I do.

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