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The Best Named Rooms In Comics Programming

Okay, I know it’s not because of the folks at the Society of Illustrators behind MoCCA Fest; it’s because of the history of that corner of New York that the Ink48 hotel has meeting rooms named Garamond and Helvetica. Y’see, the hotel is in a corner of the city where newspapers and other print operations were once plentiful; the building itself was once as print house. So what better place to hold the MoCCA program tracks, a block and a half from the Metropolitan West event space where the show floor will be hopping.

As in past years, the programming at MoCCA is simple: two rooms, programs run with adequate intervals to get back and forth, seven events per day. This year, my eye lingered on:

Cartooning For Peace, 12:00pm, Helvetica
About 15 blocks from UN headquarters, with Liza Donnelly, Ann Telnaes and other editorial cartoonists, and a paired exhibit on the show floor.

Keith Knight: Red, White, Black And Blue, 1:30pm, Garamond
Keith Knight has been one of the most direct and unmistakable voices in cartooning forever now; he’ll be presenting his slideshow/lecture, Red, White, Black And Blue: Why America Keeps Punching Itself In The Face When It Comes To Race.

The Personal And The Political, 3:00pm, Helvetica
Mike Dawson, Sarah Glidden, and James Sturm join Jonathan Gray of the John Jay College-City University Of New York to talk about how much “political” has seeped into everyday life, at least for those that had the gift of ignoring politics on a daily basis in the Before Times.

Professional Development 101: Art Directors’ Roundtable, 4:30pm, Garamond
Look, there’s a bunch of great artists with strong, singular visions out there. Why do some keep getting hired and others languish? I’m not an art director, but I’ll be being professional and easy to work with¹ are right at the top of the list. Find out if I’m right with ADs Emma Allen (The New Yorker), Matt Lubchansky (The Nib), Will Varner (formerly Buzzfeed), and Alexandra Zsigmond (formerly The New York Times). This one is co-presented with the continuing education folks at SVA.

Narratives Of Motherhood, 1:30pm, Helvetica
Oh man, how great would Lucy Knisley be on this panel? Okay, the topic is motherhood, not pregnancy — give her a couple of years, I bet the next book could support a great discussion. But I’ll bet you that it’ll also be a great discussion from Emily Flake, Sacha Mardou, and Lauren Weinstein, with MUTHA Magazine editor and Publishers Weekly graphic novels review editor Meg Lemke.

Comics And The Teaching Artist, 3:00pm, Helvetica
It takes a lot to master a craft; it takes even more to figure out how to master a craft and convey that knowledge to others. Just remembering what you didn’t know once upon a time, to put yourself in the shoes of students that similarly don’t know (and don’t know what they don’t know) is a challenge. How the learnin’ sausage gets made will be discussed by comics scholar Tahneer Oksman (Marymount Manhattan College), Ivan Brunetti (Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice and Comics: Easy as ABC!), Sequential Arts Workshop founder Tom Hart, and Center For Cartoon Studies founder James Sturm.

Professional Development 102: Artists’ Roundtable, 4:30pm, Garamond
The second half o SVA’s continuing ed offerings looks at things from the perspective of artists, and what it takes to maintain a career. Josh Bayer, Fran Meneses, Julia Rothman, and Andrea Tsurumi in conversation with artist and art director Kristen Radtke.

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¹ Alternately, being a hack contrarian shitlord seems to work for Michael Ramirez and Ben Garrison.

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