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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

MOCCA 2009

This year it was Jessica, Alison, and myself manning the D+Q booth with signings by Seth, Adrian, Ron, and Gabrielle. We all arrived a day early and I was determined to actually do something in the city rather than just stay in the convention center. I hoped to at least see the Francis Bacon show at the Met (I wasn't sure whether I had particularly liked his work and it seemed like a good time to answer that question.) Jessica, Seth, and I hit the late Picasso show at the Gagosian Gallery with Dan Nadel. It was excellent. Better art lookers than me could stay a lot about this show but mostly I was just 1) amazed to see so much Picasso together and 2) observe the ease with which he made amazing images. After that we headed off to Printed Matter right nearby.

Jessica and Seth browse the stacks and discuss the merits of Jim Goad. We lucked out that there was a Destroy All Monsters show going on so we saw tons of amazing Jim Shaw, Mike Kelley and Gary Panter stuff. It was especially great because we had no idea the show was there. We then crammed in the Bacon show (they liked, I was less enthused) and sans-Seth Jessica and I saw some Claes Oldenburg at the Whitney. I like his food.

Later Alison joined us and we headed off the Grand Sichuan on St. Mark's to have dinner with Adrian, Ron and Gabrielle. Man, I love the food at this place. Dinner was nearly perfect except for the endless teasing I endured. ENDLESS. Now, I know how Joe Matt feels. Sniff. {Okay, I deserved it because I kept coughing because the spicy food was too hot but then I would go right back in and eat more and cough again.}

We headed off to the Sparkplug/Bodega/Secret Acres artshow in Brooklyn and were lucky enough to witness this. The sign reads "Free Bouncy Rides."

It was the first of many "New York moments" we enjoyed. Furries have broken out of the confines of the convention center hotel it would seem.

The art show was hot, crowded, filled with young people, etc. But great nonetheless. Look at those amazing murals freshly painted by a crew of Scandanavian cartoonists (how did I not know that they would be at this show?!?) Please note Austin English to the left of the frame telling yet another person that he was "the worst intern ever." {Private joke for 100 people, sorry.}

Opening time at the show. Where are the books? Where are the people? Enjoy that coffee now, Jessica, because you'll be sweating it out later.

Jason Kieffer and his must-have mini, "I love you, Gabrielle Bell" about his con-crush from TCAF. Wasn't that just last week? I wanted to film a video of Gabrielle reading the comic in front of Jason but thought better of it. I should have done it.

Brendan Burford, bright-eyed, had the newest Syncopated for sale. One of my favorite con chatters.

CCS-ers Joe Lambert, Alex Kim, and Melissa Mendes setting up their both. I think there were something like 50 of these kids at the show this weekend. Alex had his fat Xeric-funded Wall City, Joe had the same old comics he's been selling for years (C'MON, JOE!!) and future D+Q intern Melissa had my current favorite mini, Freddy. Also, Greg Means and JP Coovert in the background.

Kurt Wolfgang and Kevin Scalzo were seated in the aging-cartoonists-who-have-some-sort-of-Fantagraphics-connection section. Wait, I love these guys!! Sales of Kevin's Sweat Book climbed as temperatures soared in our dark green sweat lodge. I'm not sure if you read this on any blogs yet but it was hot in the Armory. Yes, that Armory!! The very famous place where those soldiers shot those paintings back during the Depression.

Tom Gauld, Jon Bennett, and Alvin Buenaventura stand around WAITING FOR BOOKS TO ARRIVE!

Jesse Reklaw. Never a genuine moment from this guy. Seriously. (Willow Dawson, background left.)

Jesse Moynihan, Dylan Williams, Kaz Strzepek. Jesse (Follow Me)and Kaz (The Mourning Star) had new books from Bodega. I mention this because I have read them and quite enjoyed them. Austin often refers to Bodega publisher Randy Chang as "Tom's favorite intern" although I think it's time, Austin, that you looked at him as a person.

We get it, Ron. You like peace.

Emily (Evan Dorkin's and Sara Dyer's daughter) in her now-famouser Moomin dress. I will take a picture of this dress at every con until someone pulls the camera from my hand.

Late night with Pete from Bodega and Brian Ralph. Brian says "everyone always talks about the story when reviewing comics and not the art. I don't care about the story, I just want to draw." Or something like that. Admittedly he might have been "tired."

Seth talking to his German (Edition 52) publisher, Thomas.

Head down. Ploughing through the crowd.

Flickr set here.

Somewhere, I've got a bunch of video. I'll share if there's anyhting worthwhile. Despite the MOCCA snafus, I had a great time. I haven't been to this show in a couple of years so it was great catching up with old friends like Tom Hart and Jessica Abel however briefly and spending a fun evening with Frank Santoro and Tim Kreider. I missed a ton of comics (was Uptight there?).


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