The 2008 Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival take place this weekend. Barring any unforeseen calamities, I plan to be there Saturday, God willing and the creek don’t rise. In preparation for my travels and as an aid to others planning/hoping to attend, I thought I’d take a stab at a quick, little guide to the weekend’s proceedings.
Are we ready? Then let’s begin:
Five books I’d buy immediately on my first walk-through:
Skyscrapers of the Midwest by Josh Cutter (AdHouse)
Magic Whistle Vol. 11 by Sam Henderson (Alternative Comics)
Mourning Star Vol. 2 by Kazimir Strzepek (Bodega)
Red Colored Elegy by Seiichi Hayashi (Drawn and Quarterly)
Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko by Blake Bell (Fantagraphics)
Five other books I’d probably purchase on my second run through:
Five panels I would make an effort to attend:
12:15-1:15 p.m. Saturday: David Hajdu on The Great Comic Book Scare – Hadju’s The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How it Changed America, has become one of the most talked about books of the year and I’m eager to hear Hajdu expound on it and perhaps address some of the criticisms its received.
3:45-4:45 p.m. Saturday: Spotlight on Frank Santoro – Frank is one of the most interesting and articulate comics critics I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Plus, he draws like nobody’s business.
5:00 – 6:00 pm Saturday: Dan Nadel in conversation with CF — If you missed this chat at last year’s SPX, here’s your chance to play catch-up.
1:20-2:20 p.m. Sunday: Chip Kidd on the Secret History of Batman in Japan — I’m eagerly anticipating Kidd’s Bat-Manga! book, so this should serve as a nice preview.
3:40-4:40 p.m. Sunday: Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: A Workshop — You heard it here first: Matt Madden and Jessica Abel’s “how-to” tome will be the definitive comics textbook in the years to come.
Three artists I would definitely want to say hello to and have sign my books:
Lynda Barry – A cartoonist who’s definitely been out of the spotlight for far too long. I hope her latest book, What It Is, sells like hotcakes this weekend.
Jason — The Norweigan artist will be making a rare U.S. appearance at the show. I’ve gone on at length several times about my love for his work, so suffice it to say I’m excited for the opportunity to say hello in person.
Mo Willems – My kids and I are suckers for just about anything Willems does.
Buenaventurea Press — Alvin Buenaventura always has a cool preview of an upcoming book squirreled away behind his table. Perhaps this year it will be the new Kramers!
PictureBox – Dan Nadel and company always have cool surprise gems on hand. No doubt there will be a swell new Cold Heat mini or two on hand. Plus, if your budget for the show exceeds $100, there’s always that new Gary Panter book.
Bries — One of the main reasons I always come to MoCCa. Bries is always chock full of great European books, many of which are either in English or wordless.
Toon Books — Francoise Mouly should be releasing the fall line-up of her young ages series any day now. Hopefully she’ll have copies for sale at the show.
Sparkplug Books — Dylan Williams and company make some fine comics.
After-events I’d attend if I didn’t have to get back on the train home
The Indie Spinner Rack folks are having a party at Bar M-15 Saturday night.
Actually, there’s quite a number of comic-related events taking place this week. The Daily Cross Hatch has a nice round-up if you’re curious. Of special note is Post Bang, a Friday symposium featuring Gary Panter, Hope Larson and Art Spiegelman, among others.
Other things to do
– In addition to Bries, there’s usually at least one other exhibitor offering European fare. Last year, there was a large Scandinavian contingent. I don’t think there will be any group that large visiting, but it never hurts to look around.
– I belive the Met’s exhibit on superhero costumes is still on display.
– There are a good many excellent comic shops in the five borough area, including this one, this one, this one and this one.
– Good heavens folks, it’s New York City, one of the focal points of the globe. Dine in one of the many splediferous restaurants. Go see a show. Visit a museum. If you’re there for 24 hours and can’t find anything to do outside of the convention, you’re not trying hard enough.