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MoCCA 2019, Part 3

Still talking about people doing interesting work, but no Editor’s note today. Sorry?

  • There’s nobody I look forward to seeing once a year like George O’Connor — his Olympians series from :01 Books is a delight of ever-expanding complexity, and we always have a good talk about the more obscure corners of Greek myth. So one more book, with Hestia stepping out of the limelight³ to narrate the story of Dionysus.

    After that, he’ll be busy on his contribution to the World Citizen Comics line, but then he’s allowed for the possibility of looking at the Norse deities, and that should be fun — Loki’s an even bigger jerk than Hermes, and his book was a riot, dick jokes and all. We also discussed the possibility of taking a run at the Egyptian pantheon, but they lack definitive (or at least surviving) accounts, and those that we do have would be tough to adapt to a middle grade book¹.

    His love of the material (and talking with anybody of any age) is infectious. He knows his stuff better than anybody I’ve ever met (like how when Hephaistos caught his wife Aprhodite and brother Ares in flagrante, the original texts state that Apollo and Hermes decided to bust his chops, offering up that they’d gladly be caught in such a compromising position) and always offers up a story I’d never heard before (like how the founder of Athens sprung from the leg of Athena … after Hephaistos, in a creeper moment, got shall we say too excited in her direction²).

    There may be more stories that are thematically linked instead of focused on a single character, as well. And I was pleased to point him in the direction of Meg Hunt at table B124, who was selling bandannas that were screenprinted with mythical beasties; the one with the minotaur practically tells the whole story, which McCloud would tell us makes it a comic.

  • Speaking of the B aisle, I saw some of the most beautiful paper art I’ve ever seen at the table of Mäelle Doliveaux of Beehive Books — shadowboxed works of cut paper, one-offs made as special tier rewards for a Kickstarter. Follow this link and scroll down, and see what can be accomplished with patience and a sharp enough blade4 to cut paper very cleanly.
  • Falynn Koch’s done a couple of Science Comics (on the topics of plagues and bats) and will be one of the early contributors to the new History Comics line, but I was glad to talk to her about her Maker Comic (on the topic of baking). Mostly we talking about how all of the recipes mentioned in the story are given in the back, except for the chocolate chip cookies. Just use the one on the bag is the advice given in character, and there’s a reason.

    That recipe on the bag — any bag, from any maker of chocolate chips — has been refined in the crucible of a million home cooks, perfected until they show off those chips as much as is humanly possible. More than anybody else, Koch opined, the chocolate chip people want you to succeed with that recipe, so that you’ll love the cookies and want to make more and buy more chips. I’m not saying that she got into my head with that bit of wisdom, but I will say that less than 10 hours after we talked, I had a fresh chocolate chip cookie in my hand, and that required navigating the rest of MoCCA, getting home, and doing a grocery run.

  • Every year at MoCCA, I see people I’ve never seen before. Some are showing their influences plainly, a table of stickers of popular characters, no indication yet of what stories they have to tell, what characters they would breathe life into. Some are starting to see how to construct those stories, how to make characters that aren’t Naruto with the serial numbers filed off. Each year I see some that are very good, and each year I see about 0.75 of a creator that’s scary good, one that you’ll want to keep your eye on for the future, because they are going somewhere.

    This year, I met her within 10 minutes of the floor opening on Saturday. I made my way to the far back wall to escape the crush of people entering, and at the shared booth for students of Moore College Of Art & Design in Philadelphia, I met Dylan B Caleho. Her senior thesis comic, Don’t Linger In Dark Corners, caught my eye from ten feet away. It’s a damn strong cover, designed to stand out against background noise, and a story that perfectly paces to a cliffhanger, one that demands a full story treatment.

    Fortunately, she’ll get the chance; after graduation, Caleho will be taking a job with a comics press, working the production end of things. It’ll only help her understand how to build comics better, and hopefully she’ll get the chance to show what she can do on a longform treatment of Don’t Linger before long. I mean, she’s going to be showing up on radars sooner or later; my bet is on sooner.

    Just one thing: follow her at the Twitter link above, or her Instagram. There’s a Tumblr that comes up if you search for her that appears to have been taken over by Vietnamese spammers, so don’t go to unless it’s via the Wayback Machine up to or including 2 Feb 2019, unless you’re in the market for Hanoi-made polo shirts.

Spam of the day:

I had visited your store last week, and I saw a very nice pants i wanne buy. But I have a question, today I wanted to order it, but can not find the pants anymore in your store. it looks like the first picture on this site[redacted]

Oh, yes, I’m entirely going to click a link to see what pants you want to buy when I don’t sell pants, or even voluntarily wear them. That’s a great idea.

¹ There’s a lotta semen in those Egyptian myths.

² Yeah, okay, lotta semen in the Greek myths, too. But relatively large numbers of non-semen-based stories to tell, compared to the folk of the Nile.

³ All the records of her that survive speak of modest Hestia, and there’s little about her that does survive. O’Connor considers that intentional — the goddess of the hearth, the one that keeps you warm and safe and isn’t interested in knocking shit down or raping your daughters or killing everything that moves? No need to tell stories about her to paper over the flaws and motivate you to worship, everybody knows them all and loves her.

4 In this case, a blade made of photons; she used a laser cutter for this.

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