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MoCCA 2019, Part 2

[Editor’s note: The rumored history line at :01 Books, as recounted in a footnote yesterday, is rumor no longer. Check out Brigid Alverson with the exclusive on :01’s History Comics, launching next year.]

In which we continue to talk about people working on Cool Stuff.

  • At some point we’ll talk about people who were tabling, but let’s start with some folks who were just wandering the floor, free from obligation. Rebecca Mock is doing lots of work here and there, but I was most interested to hear about her current project with Hope Larson, provisionally titled The Salt Witch.

    Think frontier magical realism where witches are needed to make agriculture work in turn-of-the-last-century Kansas and you’re on the right track. Mock expressed hope that people will like it, I told her that given her Four Points track record — where you can see her getting stronger from page to page — that I am fully prepared to love it now, a year or more before it comes out.

  • You know who you should definitely have lunch (ramen, if at all possible) with, should the opportunity present itself? Shing Yin Khor. First of all, she’s very compact so she will offer you half of a pork bun because she’s full so hey — bonus half pork bun. Second, she’s always working on something cool.

    Whether it’s a piece of installation art that she can pack up and move to where it will have the most impact or selfies with her new best friend, she’s always got something cooking. In this case, something was a beautiful minicomic of Deathcap and Friends¹ which I think you can only get if she runs into you and hands it to you, which she did. Yay, me.

  • Part of why I was glad to find Khor is that about 15 minutes earlier I’d found a mini that reminded me of her, from Elizabeth Gasse of The Society Of Chimeric Creature Studies; I think this is her, but there’s no link on the mini and she doesn’t appear in the MoCCA exhibitor list² to double-check, so I’m not certain.

    Anyway, it’s a small field guide to griffins, premised on the idea that they cross with many types of birds, and so it’s arranged like a birder book — pictures, maps of territory, descriptions of field marks, etc. It’s neat.

  • A bit down the aisle from Gasse was Ken Wong, of whom we have spoken previously. His use of origami to tell stories has gotten more elaborate, with this year’s newest offering being a retelling of Who’s On First via flexagon. Specifically, a tetraflexagon, where by flipping flaps in a particular order (its printed in the margins) the one page in your hand becomes four, then rotates back to the beginning.

    It’s a more robust (and more self-explanatory) structure than his earlier hexaflexagon comic, which comes with an instruction sheet, but which also cycles through six pages, some of which are repeated upside-down and backwards from their original appearance, but have been drawn so that they make sense in the new orientation³. We traded stories of other highly original format comics, and I was able to point him at the Möbius comic from last year’s exhibitors, Pain Pals, which he hadn’t seen before.

  • About one aisle over, I was approached by Ben Granoff, who reminded me that we’d met years ago, probably introduced by somebody in the SVA class cohort that included Meredith Gran, Ian Jones-Quartey, and Daisy Maguire. He’s working with the ArTechCollective in a program that helps people with cognitive challenges express themselves.

    Some of his artistic partners were tabling through the weekend, and he gifted me with a stack of their stories — character portfolios, superhero stories, how Back To The Future changed a life for the better. The work is heartfelt, and in some cases may be the dominant means for the creator to communicate. The image up top is by an ArTech contributor named Cynthia Soto, and damn if it’s not amazing that somebody can do work that good and also be self-taught.

You know what? That’s a pretty uplifting note (not that there were any downlifting notes) to wrap up on, so we’ll continue tomorrow. Be well until then.

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¹ Although drawing comics about funipomorphic personifications of depression means that she is weirded out about eating mushrooms in her ramen. Hey, more enoki for me.

² Evan Dahm mentioned that this year, it was apparently self-submitted so if a creator didn’t (or didn’t know to) add their details to the exhibitor page, they weren’t listed. Now I know why the exhibitor page was so sparse!

³ Ever see Gustave Verbeek’s comics with Little Lady Lovekins and Old Man Muffaroo? Like that, only also a six-way flexagon.

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