Sunday, May 01, 2011

my second MoCCA

These are the details of my second visit to the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art's annual festival on Saturday, April 9th, which was pretty great.

As I was walking from booth to booth, I got a bunch of compliments on my shirt, which was the sweet "Algebraic!" Adventure Time shirt that I got from the Frederator Studio Store back when the first season was in production. They still post new shirts on their AT blog every now and then, so check it! Or just go there for awesome art because they're good at making that too. Aside from the sheer joy wearing cool shirts brings me, they also help me talk to people. I have a tendency to be shy and have horribly awkward, stilted conversations with people, so sharing a love of cartoons with these amazing creators of art can turn a boring conversation about how much I admire them into an exciting adventure recounting stories of shared idolatry. Like when Meredith Gran saw my shirt and started talking to me about the time Pen Ward visited her shared Brooklyn studio, Pizza Island. Talking is so great!

This image has been modified from Vera's original - I added the speech bubble.

Unfortunately for me, First Second, the graphic novel book publisher, had a few copies of Vera Brosgol's "Anya's Ghost" on display. I got excited, thinking I must have missed the release day and how lucky I was to be getting it sooner than I expected. I was practically throwing money at the guy when he grimaced apologetically and told me it wouldn't be available to buy until June. But you know what? I'm just going to wait until July when I can buy it and hopefully have her sign it in person at the San Diego Comic Con. If you're interested (and you should be), there are a few pages of the book available for previewing online here.

Now on to another book dealing with death!

Have you heard of The Machine of Death? It's a book of short stories that revolve around the idea that a machine has been created that reads a small sample of your blood and spits out a small card that accurately predicts the cause of your demise. So, fiction, basically. The interesting thing is how maddeningly vague the results can be. Someone might receive a card that says "old age" and think themselves safe, only to end up dying after an old man runs them over with a van. Anyway, my friend Steven and I had just finished reading the book and were happily surprised to see that David Malki, one of the editors, was distributing Death Prediction Cards at the TopatoCo booth. Despite reading about the oft-troubling changes many characters went through due to the burden of knowing their ultimate fate, we eagerly approached the table and took turns asking, "How do I die?" After David took a sample of our blood, by "pricking" our fingers with a red Sharpie, we learned the methods of our destruction. Steven's warned of unavoidable PERIL. Mine promised VORACIOUS ANIMALS. That card is now in a small frame on my desk at work, where I glance at it from time to time whenever I get the urge to draw cute woodland creatures.

Hahaha I'm going to die some day.

Every time I see Scott C. at a convention his table never fails to have a healthy crowd of admirers. This occasion I finally found an opportunity to have a chat with the amiable fellow and buy some of his art. Specifically, this glorious dog print. I also snatched a copy of his book, Double Fine Action Comics, Volume 1, which I find to be very amusing. It is also sitting on my desk at work, where I peruse it from time to time whenever I want to laugh at how silly it is for a baby to have two heads.

Scott's little business cards make my work Cintiq look good.

The Johnny Wander duo, Yuko Ota and Ananth Panagariya, had a nice setup and I look forward to surprising my friend with a gift of one of their CMYcat tees. I remember thinking that some of Yuko's art prints would make amazing coloring pages. Except that the pieces she actually colors look so vibrant I wouldn't want to muddle her work up with my own sloppy contributions. I would do fanart but I think because Johnny Wander is mostly autobiographical in nature that might be a little weird. Or not! Tally-ho, to the Cintiq!

Anthology Project Vol 2 - cover art by Ed Kwong.

I am so glad that The Anthology Project was there with debut copies of their new Volume 2 book. Hopefully this remains an annual tradition, especially now that Flight will end its 8-book run this summer. Sam Bradley was joined at the Anthology table this year by Joy Ang, editor and artist behind the gorgeous cover of Volume 1 and one of the short comics included therein. Also making an appearance was fellow Canadian and comic creator Katie Shanahan (KT Shy) who was extremely nice and easy to talk with. We spoke of the joys of storyboarding for kids' shows and mourned the loss of the Flight series. Katie actually has a comic in the final Flight volume that comes out this summer, so it will be a bittersweet reunion when I see her again at the San Diego Comic Con to pick up my copy.