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Equal Parts Exhilarating And Traumatizing

That was :01 Books executive editor Callista Brill on working with … well, I’ll tell you some day. It was pretty damn hilarious at the time.

The time being the 2018 MoCCA Festival, where many things happened. I’m going to discuss them in no particular order, as befits my state of mind when overwhelmed by many, many excellent comics.

  • Thing: There were multiple schools boothing on the floor, but this is the first year I recall see a high school program. You can tell that they don’t really know what stories they want to tell yet, since it was mostly tracings of Yuri On Ice or Scott Pilgrim, but you can also sense the potential. Some of them will be good.

    Some are out of high school and finding their voices — a young lady named Tara Sunil Thomas had small clay figures in terraria, and they reminded me so much of some of Andy Bell’s work that I mentioned it to her. She hadn’t heard of him, but loved his stuff when we Googled it. Making connections is where it’s at.

  • Thing: That photo up top is an idea so brilliant that I’m surprised I’ve never seen it done before — a Moebius comic, a continuous infinite story told by Pain Pals¹. There was also a second amazing physical comic, a sort of folded-paper fortune teller, except this ones was a continuously-rotatable torus (similar to this but not quite) that was a comic of a food chain — small water critters (rotate inside out) eaten by fish (rotate) eaten by bear (rotate) dying and decomposing and running back into water. I was beautiful, delicate, and I saw it and then never could find it again on the floor. If you know what I’m talking about, please point me in the correct direction.
  • Thing: Speaking of unusual presentations, that’s one of the forms that gets recognized in the MoCCA Awards; the jury this year included Ananth Hirsh, and we talked about the immense pool of submissions that he had to consider carefully. He linked the winners of the four awards categories (Single Image, Short Form, Long Form, Special Format) in his twitterfeed today, which also serves as a primer of neat work from neat creators.
  • Thing: It’s amazing the connections that exist in cartooning. I made a point of seeking out Alisa Harris, who after my preview list was published I discovered would be attending Comics Camp this year. Turns out that she went to school with Raina Telgemeier and is friends with Rebecca Mock who in turn was one of my cabinmates at Camp last year. Small damn world.

    While wandering by to talk to Mock about the postcards at her booth², I ran into her, Hirsh, Kazu Kibuishi (who was wandering the floor for a few hours), Amy Kim Kibuishi (whom I’d never met before), and Ayo (who we congratulated for being hated by all the right non-entities in comics).

    It was also at this time that I discovered that at one point at Camp, while asleep, Kibuishi dislodged a spider that was apparently descending towards my face, knocking it to the floor, where Mock stepped on it. I had no idea! I’m not especially arachnophobic, but now I owe Mock a spider-stepping.

And that brings us back around to the first point and connections again. There’s much more to tell, but we’ll tell it in the coming days.

Spam of the day:

Brain Zone Date

You’re trying to get me to give you money for the privilege of traveling to a quote-conference-unquote about the blockchain that is unironically describing as quote-celebrity keynote speakers-unquote John McAfee (onetime computing pioneer gone batshit paranoid conspiracy theorist) and Frank Abagnale (onetime federal prisoner famed for his widespread forgery and con games, upon whom the movie Catch Me If You Can was based).

On second thought, Abagnale is probably the perfect face for this event. Hint: if you can’t decide who the sucker is….

¹ The question remains as to how one is meant to display/keep such a thing. Darryl Ayo suggested hanging it from the ceiling and I’m not sure there’s a better solution.

² She supplied pre-stamped postcards, pens, a place to write, and issues of political interest; showgoers wrote out messages to elected officials & Mock mailed ’em en masse because civic engagement is to be encouraged.

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