For its 10th anniversary edition, MoCCA Fest may not be in its original location or time of year—through 2008 it was held at the Puck Building and until last year it was always in June—but its spirit of comics and community remains. The crowd was a healthy mix of creators and fans, big names and unknowns, distinguished publishers and self-publishers, young (sometimes very young) and old (not that old).
I arrived at the Armory at 11:10am on Saturday to discover a long line that wrapped around the block. Not unusual for MoCCA, especially so close to the opening time of 11, except that the doors weren’t even open yet, and wouldn’t open for another 10–20 minutes. Moreover, many exhibitors were still entering the building. I later spoke to an exhibitor who said that it was unclear on when and where the exhibitors were supposed to show up, so hopefully that’s a line of communication that can be improved in the future.
After the Sequential Non-fiction panel on Saturday was a panel titled, “Building a Book, From Start to Finish.” Panelists were Ben Katchor, Stephen DeStefano, and Lauren Redniss. We didn’t stick around for the whole panel, but Redniss talked up her recent graphic biography, Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout. She mentions doing research for the book that included visiting nuclear sites (including, I believe, Three Mile Island) and attending a conference on nuclear power, where she received phone calls from the company (FirstEnergy) that owned the sites she visited.
Walking around the floor revealed a wide variety of styles and people, with some interesting booths.
Comic creators were everywhere—not just hiding behind their booths.
Since its founding, one of the intents of the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art was to build a permanent museum. Though no official announcement has been made, there was a mention in a press release from February of “a 10 Year Anniversary Celebration that will include the unveiling of future plans for a permanent, state-of-the-art facility.” Those plans became more tangible to the public when early renderings were on display at the show:
Hopefully we’ll hear more about these plans soon. As for MoCCA Fest, they’ll be back at the Armory next year.