Sometime last year, the wonderful Society of Illustrators purchased the floundering MoCCA (Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art). This is a good thing, because MoCCA always had problems keeping afloat financially, and the Society of Illustrators has deeper pockets and the expertise needed to run a museum (they've been doing it for over 100 years).
So, this year they were the backers of the MoCCA Arts Fest (April 5-6), and they really did a fantastic job. First of all, it was superbly organized. They had a ton of motivated and eager interns, who were always asking me how I was doing, and if I needed anything.
at the MoCCA Arts Festival
Secondly, they had a real star-studded cast of great artists doing signings, like Art Spiegelman, Joost Swarte (look him up on the net) and the great Robert Williams. Mr. Williams is one of my favorite painters - besides publishing the great magazine "Juxtapose", he single-handedly brought back representational painting.
One of the things I hate about most modern art is the fact that it's
usually so obscure and intellectual that my brain has a hard time
getting involved. However, Mr. Williams' paintings tell stories with
humor. They're like the pulp comics from the 1950's, the graphics just
suck you into their plots and characters - I love them!
Bill's table at MoCCA Arts Festival
And finally, one of the coolest things about the MoCCA Art Fest was hanging from the ceiling of the historic Lexington Ave. Armory - a giant Macy's Thanksgiving Day balloon of Charlie Brown. And he was looking right down on my table as I drew sketches for the fans! It was like Charles Schulz ("Sparky") was judging every drawing I was creating - talk about pressure!
I want to thank everyone at the Society of Illustrators, especially Annelle Miller, for doing such a fantastic job - I give the MoCCA Arts Festival an A+!
And if you're around next year, you should definitely attend, and bring all of your friends. I'll see you there!