My first time at the MoCCA (Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art) Festival was a success, as far as my little To-Do list was concerned. The list was mostly comprised of a small handful of names of comic artists whom I admire and wanted to meet. Only I couldn't find that sneaky Johnny Wander duo. They didn't have a booth and were just wandering (ha!) the floor like the rest of us normals. I thought it would be easy to spot them, what with the extensively smaller venue (in comparison to the San Diego Comic Con, that is) but no such luck.
Several different artists/vendors recognized the shirt I was wearing, the Oh My God Puppies tee from the webcomic Octopus Pie, and each of them lamented the fact that artist Meredith Gran was at home in Oregon with her new puppy, Heidi. "She thinks it has separation anxiety," lamented one gentleman in an unconvinced manner, who then proceeded to show me a picture from his iPhone of said insecure quadruped. And then he took a picture of me in the shirt. I think mostly because I was rockin' it with a kickass blue scarf and who doesn't want a picture of this (this being me)?
This was the first thing I spent money on and, as it turned out, I was the first person in the U.S. to purchase a copy. Firsts everywhere! And let me just say, this is perhaps the best-looking/feeling book I own, based solely on its outer appearance. The hardcover material is soft to the touch, due to the ever-so-slight vertical ridges (so delicate!) and impressed elegant gold foil lettering. The cover illustration by Joy Ang is reminiscent of James Jean's work a bit (especially the moody blue-green tones), which I love. Oh boy, I sound crazy. I sound like I'm in love with the cover of a book. Well so what, America? Maybe I am. Maybe you should just arrest me already.
She was the main reason I attended. Kate lives in Canada, but that shouldn't stop you from reading her hilarious webcomic, Hark! A Vagrant. JK, you guys, Canada's all right by me. Kate is one of my all-time favorite comic artists, so I brought my copy of Never Learn Anything From History with me and got her to sign it. In classic Hark! fashion, she also drew Abraham Lincoln lookin' sharp and sayin' "all the sweetest history" - how cool is that?!
Aaron's artistic style has really blossomed in the last year or so and I sometimes find myself staring at a certain panel for minutes on end like I'm trying to absorb some of his talent through the computer screen. Some of the topics and concepts go over my head a bit (all the science!), but Aaron is a really amazing, down to earth guy and I didn't feel the need to wikipedia at all during our chat. (That's right, Wikipedia, you've just been verb-ed!) We discussed how awesome it is being from the South, the unfortunate case of Meredith Gran's dog, and other similarly amusing things while he sketched for me on the inside cover of his new sketchbook.