MoCCAFest 2011 Highlights

This past weekend was the 2011 MoCCAFest, my favorite comic-con of the year. Actually calling it just a comic-con isn’t totally right, it’s more like a celebration of the comics art form  done by up and coming as well as established artists and writers. My favorite part of any Con is meeting people and talking with them to hear about their books and art and the thinking behind the stories they are telling.

Zombie Watching by Kelly TierneyKelly Tierney  was the first person I chatted with. She does these great vector zombie drawings, which she turned into pillows! I totally want to do some Robot of the Week pillows after seeing these and she gave me some pillow making tips. Her zombie drawings a were so great I had to pick up her Zombie Watching field guide.




Tim feeling Stupendous as he jogs with a cat. Then I met 4 guys sharing a table and chatted a while with Allan Dorison about the wonders of using the HeadBlade to achieve the best shaved head look. I picked up his hilarious “Kick-Ass Jews!” comic and ” My First Mermaid Parade” by Chris Brown. Also, Lee French did this amazing drawing for me! I love that he drew Streaky the super cat with me in a jogging suit.


Cards!Of course I picked up tons of business cards and postcards. I loved Jannie Ho‘s Chicken Girl 10¢ off coupon/card. Sticky Comics had some hilarious single panel cartoons and they collected them on a nicely designed postcard.





The Panels!

The first panel I attended “Almost True” featured cartoonist/writers who were doing autobiographical work that was mostly true but added or subtracted some things for the sake of telling a great story and/or to protect loved ones’ identities. The styles of these books all greatly differ in style and tone, but they were all such intriguing stories I picked up all 3 of them.

Here are the titles with an idea of what each one is about:

In “The Eye of the Majestic” by Leslie Stein places she combines stories from her life with how she imagines it would be like to live in the country.

“Reunion” by Pascal Girard tells the tale of attending a high school reunion.

“Mid-Life” by Joe Ollmann is his somewhat true story of being middle aged, which I figured I could relate too in someway myself.

The next panel I attended featured the artist collective studio Pizza Island. Located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn the collective shares a workspace, but they made it pretty clear that they don’t collaborate and they focus on their individual careers. It’s so smart and cool to see this group coming to together to have a place to work and share their days. Working at home alone is probably the biggest downside to freelance work of any kind, definitely got me thinking of looking for some space to share with other artists.

The final panel I saw was about the new generation of New Yorker cartoonists, and this was probably the most entertaining. The comics are my favorite part of the New Yorker, and cartoon editor Bob Mankoff let us in on the selection process. It’s pretty daunting when you realize they get hundreds of submissions each week and select only a handful. Some of the rejections wind up on the Cartoon Caption Contest located in the back page of the the magazine. The artists featured at the panel were Drew Dernavich, Paul Noth, Zachary Kanin and Emily Flake who each showed their work in a hilarious presentation each one including letters of complaint both real and fictional.

All in all MoCCAFest was excellent once again. Until next year!

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Robot of the Week: CakeBot!

Just in time for my big 4-0, the cakebot has made me a delicious cake to celebrate. Hard to believe that I’ve been around for 40 years. I remember the Saturday morning cartoons I watched in the 70’s and the comics I read in the 80’s and how they had such an influence on my life and career. I definitely couldn’t have imagined I’d be drawing, design and creating robot art for a living. I can’t wait to see what the next 40 years has in store.

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Falling Leaves, indy comics and ‘zines in November

Ah, welcome to November! Here in the Northeast the weather has turned chilly, and the leaves are falling like crazy. My favorite part of this time of the year is hauling out the crock pot and making a lovely slow cooked meal. We made this excellent chili recipe (sans the beer for gluten-free folks) and it was rich and delicious. I’m sure we’ll be eating it all week long!

Here’s couple of great events coming up in November if you are in the NYC area.

NY Art Book Fair at PS1.

If you’ve never been to PS1 in Long Island City, Queens this event is a great way to visit the former school turned art museum and pic up some handmade books or ‘zines. The whole museum is taken over by vendors and publishers from around the world featuring unique books, comics, art and other creations. I think of it like the coolest Comic-Con ever. Check it out this weekend, November 5th-7th


If you are looking for an actual comics event, head from Queens over to Brooklyn for the King Con. I’ve never been to this con but sounds pretty good especially for hearing from Brooklyn based artists and writers. King Con is on November 4-7th. Check the King Con Site for times and panel schedules.

Happy November!

My MoCCAfest 2010 Comic Stash

MoCCAfest came a bit early this year, and it was one the best shows yet. For those of you who are unfamiliar, MoCCA is the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. Every year they hold the MoCCA Festival, a comic book/ art festival for independent comic artists, cartoonists and publishers.

Here are some of the books I picked up at this years show.

Monster Town Mini-comic Trilogy by Prana T. Naujokaitis, self published.

One of the best things about MoCCAfest are the beautiful hand made books that many of the artists create. I am usually a sucker for well designed, screen printed covers, and when the story inside lives up to the package, it’s a slam dunk. The 3 mini-comics (collected in a half slip-case) are each focused on 3 different citizens of “Monstertown.” The short stories are a quick, entertaining read that are related but aren’t sequential. Prana did a great job setting the world of Monstertown and creating individual personalities for each of the monsters. Two thumbs up!




The 120 Days of Simon by Simon Gärdenfors, published by Top Shelf

I noticed this book from afar because of the blocky typography on the cover and unusual, thick “airport novel” dimensions.  The story is based on the artist’s 120 day journey through his home country of Sweden. For 120 days he followed these self-imposed rules: he couldn’t go home to his own place and he could stay only 2 nights in any one place.

I am struck by the depth of the characters and how Simon’s experiences are causing him to make some interesting choices in his journey. Each page contains only two comic panels, so it makes for a quick read. The style of the art reminds me of the Peanuts characters, but with the main character doing drugs and having sex this book is definitely for adults only.

creating individual personalities for each of the monsters. Two thumbs up!



BodyWorld by Dash Shaw, published by Pantheon

I was totally drawn to the metallic foil, hard back cover with the sort of crude, graphic drawing and typography that I really love.

This is a collection of comic strips that originally appeared online, and now they are published in this unusual vertical format.

The vertical layout adds to the storytelling setting the stage for a world full of some unusual characters. There are also fold out maps of the story’s setting “Boney Borough” on the inside front and back cover. Great example of a big publisher adding some cool elements to make a beautiful book. I can’t wait to dig in and find out what BodyWorld is all about.

creating individual personalities for each of the monsters. Two thumbs up!



Over all there was lots of cool stuff at the festival. Even though the show is over you can visit MoCCA in Soho where they always have revolving works on exhibit as well as a ton of events and classes.