Last weekend I did the Mocca Fest 2013. Might’ve mentioned this before, but originally I wasn’t planning to do the weekend event. Due to school and doing projects for other people, I hadn’t done any of my own stuff. In other words I didn’t have any new self-published comics of my own. Then a month before Mocca happened, someone offered me table space.
Overall I’m glad I took up on the offer. It had been over a year since I did any sort of comic book convention, so there was some rustiness. Through trial and error I discovered some facts. Also to my surprise I learned that people were still interested in my self-published comic Psycho Bunny. It’s this little zine/comic that I’ve been doing on and off for about ten years now.
What also took me by surprise was people were most interested in Psycho Bunny than my esoteric pin-up sketch book Babalon Babes. In the past, the interest in both comics/zines were sort of equal. This year, readers went more or less for Psycho Bunny, an ongoing tale about an alcoholic rabbit who dwells in urban chaos. It was also interesting because I had been thinking of dropping Psycho Bunny altogether. I’ve wondering about heading in a different direction. After all, I’ve been meaning to do this cat webcomic. Then came the Mocca show, and was proven contrary.
It also felt good to be back. Again, despite no new material of my own, there was still some interest in my work. I was trying to downgrade so I didn’t bring everything I had done within the past year/two years and a half. That would’ve been impossible to lug back and forth to the show. So this time around it was back to the basics. Besides, I kinda wanted to sell off some old material before setting forth on the new. A spring cleaning of sorts.
As for the weekend itself, the convention was packed. In the age of Nooks, Kindles and webcomics, people were still into buying indie hard copies. So in the end maybe it’s better to have a balance of everything. Perhaps readers are more interested in paper for the indie work, and digital for the more established. Time will tell.
Speaking of the more established, one of the guests of honor was none other than Ziggy the Pinhead creator Bill Griffith. Bob Fingerman was also there. Fingerman is known for various work, especially Minimum Wage and Skinheads In Love comic series. I was a huge fan of the one off comic book he did with Lydia Lunch. Too bad my copy is not only tattered, but it seems to be m.i.a. Here’s a link: http://mediachrist.blogspot.com/2011/09/lydia-lunch-bloodsucker-comic.html?zx=a37d470fcdbcac3a
One of the original Punk rock cartoonists was also there, John Holmstrom. Alas, I didn’t go meet neither Fingerman or Holmstrom. There was my own table to tend to, and not a lot of room to move around if you wanted to leave your space for a bit. Holmstrom was there promoting his new book The Best of Punk Magazine.
The vibe was completely different at Mocca since merging with The Society of Illustrators. For starters, the fest was a lot more organized. I remember Mocca when it used to be at the Puck building, but the fest outgrew that venue a long time ago. For now Mocca still calls The 69th Regiment Armory its annual home.
Now I don’t know if it was me, but the crowd itself seemed to be a bit more conservative…? Not sure how to put it quite in words. Again, maybe it’s a sign of the times. Who knows. With Mocca there were always parents bringing their children, but this year there seemed to be more families there. I could be wrong but that was just my observation. Again, I think it’s a reflection of what’s been happening in New York City itself, as it slowly develops into a more suburban mindset. Much to my chagrin.
The highlight of the event was when someone asked me for a quick commission. I’ve grown to love these sort of commissions because it presents a challenge. It’s a combination of executing a replica of a someone else’s character, but throwing in your own interpretation as well. So this guy asks for a sketch of this comic book character called Beauty Blaze. I hadn’t heard of Beauty Blaze until that show. She’s a DC character from Legion of Superheroes. Initially I wasn’t too thrilled with the results due to nervousness, but he was. Here’s a link to the sketch:
Maybe I’ll do another post about Mocca Fest 2013. I’m still processing the event somewhat. In the meantime, here’s some photos courtesy of Paul Curtis, one of the publishers who complied the book on cartoonist Luisa Felix.
To be continued…?
Photos by Paul Curtis, who was nice enough to let me use his pics for this blog post.