I attended the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art's MoCCA Festival today. It took a lot of effort for me to go. First, because I wanted to make sure I had at least completed my comics for the week, since this will be a crazy, busy, why-don't-I-look-at-the-calendar-after-I-write-in-it kind of week. Second, because I wrote down the address of the museum, rather than the address of the festival, so I managed to walk 40 blocks out of my way trying to find it.
But it was all good. I had left myself plenty of time, so in spite of my detour, I still arrived before the doors opened and I got my cardio workout for the day. Maybe for the next three days. I'll let you know if I can stand up tomorrow.
I have never been to a comics convention before. I know. Shocker. I've been to a sci-fi/fantasy writers' con, but never a comics con. I'm not sure why. Maybe I'm intimidated by people wandering around in superhero costumes. Or paying money to see people selling things. One of my cousins was going to be at a booth there, so I figured if nothing else, I could go to say hello. He self-publishes his comics. (Parental warning: This site contains strong language.) As it turned out, I attended a workshop about coming up with stories and a panel discussion on the future of comics. Both were interesting and well worth the admission price. I felt guilty not bringing Marina along, but she probably wouldn't have enjoyed the 40 block detour. The ideas I gleaned from the workshop should help with my occasional bouts of writer's block. The panel discussion has simply given me ideas. We'll see what comes of that (she said mysteriously, waggling her eyebrows.)
Aside from seeing my cousin, I also ran into a cartoonist I know from blogging, Ryan Sias. Ryan writes Silent Kimbly, a pun comic. He has some really cute board books out, too. You can look at them at his site. And, homeschooling mom that I am, I scanned many tables for homeschool worthy comics and graphic novels. One of my best finds was Ken Wong. I was drawn (ha!) to his table by the Pandora's Box comic. Pandora's Box is a retelling of the Greek myth folded up into a box. Each side of the box is a cartoon panel which moves you around the box until you reach Pandora, about to open the box. Open and unfold it to get the rest of the story, as well as directions for refolding. He also had an origami comic explaining the concept of Schrodinger's Cat which is folded as a schoolyard "fortune-teller." If that only made sense to me, it's also known as a cootie catcher in the series "Arthur." If that still doesn't make sense, I'll take a picture of it.
I found many sellers of graphic novels based on classics, especially Shakespeare, but also reprints of the Classic Comics and a series based on the story of Gilgamesh. History-themed comics could also be found at many tables. There was a collection of Action Philosophers that I wanted so badly I went to the bank for more money. Hardly anyone took plastic at this event. (At this time I will point out that I have not read the entire Action Philosophers yet, so please review for child-appropriateness.)
In the end, I did not buy as many comics as I would have liked. I still had a 16 block walk back to the train and a heavily laden bag to shlep. Next time, I'll make sure I have a teenager with me.