I started out being involved in MoCCA at a very early stage. The founder, Laurence Klien, brought me in to help promote and spread the gospel of MoCCA before there was such an organization.
Then, around 1998, he started the MoCCA Arts Festival – very modest of course – but very quickly it caught on as one of the coolest comic events of the year. And what made it so cool was the fact that was only for independent cartoonists and small press. So, you won't see DC or Marvel or any of the large Hollywood studios there.
I was in attendance when it began in the Puck building. It was a wonderful, fancy space, but had no air conditioning. I was in line to enter about five years ago when one of the cartoonists had heat stroke and had to be hurried to the hospital. I believe it was then that they moved to the 25th and Lexington Armory – a much funkier and cheaper area, but I believe much more appropriate for the small press and flavor of the event.
This year, I shared a booth with my Rizzoli Book, “Independently Animated: Bill Plympton” co-author David Levy. I brought two cases of books to put on my table to see how they'd sell. Well, much to my surprise, we almost sold out! It was the biggest seller of my table – and at $40 a pop!
We had a lot of cool visitors to the table, Charles Burns, New Yorker cartoonists, Sam Grass, Rob Mankoff, Sydney Harris, Felipe Galinda, also noted children's book author and animator Mo Willems. The event was capped off by a special animation screening. I showed “Guard Dog Global Jam”, and an excerpt from my new feature, “Cheatin'”. Signe Baumane also showed some of her new animation, “Rocks in my Pockets”.
I want to thank everyone at MoCCA, especially Ellen Abramowitz.
If I were you, I'd make reservations now for next year's event. It's where you seen the coolest and most cutting edge of comics and cartoons.