Sunday, June 7, 2009

MoCCA Festival, Part I

Visited the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) Festival at the 25th Street Armory in Manhattan on Saturday.

The armory was transformed into a caravanserai for pictorial merchants from all over the globe, including Romania, Japan, Israel, South Korea, Norway, Sweden, Canada and more. Every sort of purveyor was on hand at the bazaar, from DC and other sleek and classic superhero houses to DIY self-proclaimed alternative indies, from manga in wild profusion and grrl series to the Katzenjammer Kids and Where the Wild Things Are. Comix, the funnies, graphic novels, zombie-romance-biker stories, sequential was all here, along with a large, enthusiastic crowd and a line to buy tickets running out the door and down the block.

Kudos to MoCCA for hosting the event. Special plaudits for the festival guide, which had a whimsical cover by Molly Crabapple. Also in the guide: an excellent, succinct essay by Kent Worcester ("Academy Embraces Comics") in which he notes that "the number of cartoonists who have written with insight on comics history and theory is mind-boggling... [T]he last thing academics should assume is that the comics world is an isolated tribe that has no awareness of itself as an object of inquiry."

In my MoCCA Festival part II tomorrow, I will report on some individual favorites, a few choice dishes from the great feast.

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