This past Saturday was the first time in many years I didn’t have an exhibitor table at MoCCA Art Fest 2014. It didn’t really bother me. Although I had done illustrations for others’ books, perhaps it was time for a break.
Other than the sight of some indie comic distributor I confronted last year, this year’s MoCCA was pretty good. The exhibitors were mostly all new. Ever since MoCCA merged with Society of Illustrators, some improvements were made.
I arrived on time for the best part of the whole MoCCA event. The Robert Williams Q&A panel. In the audience was none other than J. G. Thirlwell. For those not familiar with Thirlwell, he’s man otherwise known as Foetus, aka Clint Ruin. His band had constant name changes such as Scraping Foetus Off A Wheel throughout the ’80s and ’90s until he settled on just Foetus. He had other side projects as well, like the underground ‘supergroup’ The Immaculate Consumptive featuring himself, Lydia Lunch, Marc Almond and Nick Cave. Only a few shows took place before that project dissolved. Other than bootlegs of the gigs themselves, no recordings exist. (I’ve briefly blogged about The Immaculate Consumptive on a previous post.)
Why I’m discussing Foetus other than his attendance at the panel is due to this. When I was 16 years old, someone gave me a promo poster of Wiseblood, another of Thirlwell’s side projects. (Saw Wiseblood live at The Ritz in NYC, 1987) Besides being a fan of Wiseblood, the artwork was done by none other than the artist himself, Robert Williams. So at age 16, I had no idea than 20 years later I would be witnessing a Q&A panel of an artist who had done cover work for a musician who would also be in the same room. Kinda cool when you think about it.
Of course, looking back on it, listening to bands like Wiseblood in my youth probably contributed to my misanthropy later on in my adult years.
After the curator Carlo McCormick was finished interviewing Williams, questions from the crowd was encouraged. I had wanted to ask about the artwork he had done for The Flesh Volcano:Slut, again featuring Marc Almond and Foetus. Yes, I had that on vinyl during my late teens. In the end I decided against asking questions regarding album artwork. Instead I was kicking myself for not being better prepared, otherwise I would’ve brought my CD reissue for Williams to sign.
As for Robert Williams himself, he was sharing various stories about himself. Some of his reflections discussed his art school years, working with underground comics such as Zap Comix, and creating Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine.
After the panel, I mostly walked around checking out various tables. Cats seemed to be a popular theme this year. Ben brought me comic as part of my birthday present.
The biggest surprise was walking by, and seeing an anthology for sale that I had contributed to maybe like two years ago.
The artist and writer, Joey Volume was one of the anthology contributors, and this was the first time I had met anyone in person related to this book. We traded copies of each other’s comics. Below is his own title, “Meat And Sleaze.”
I only attended MoCCA 2014 for one day. Hopefully I’ll have an exhibitor table next year with all new material.