Archive for April, 2010

MoCCA 2010 Report!

Monday, April 12th, 2010

This year’s MoCCA Fest was a lot more relaxing and fun, and most importantly, a lot cooler. None of us were boiled to a crisp like last year, and I think that was good for all of us, buyers and vendors alike. I saw a lot of people, so sorry if I seemed a little out of it. It was a little hard to keep up with everyone and who knows who/who does what (I’m sure much much harder for those famous types who get tons of fans coming to their table all the time!). People should wear their art on themselves (actually this does work for me – when I do a Glass Urchin doodle on my badge, I feel people “recognize” me a lot easier).

Anyway NERD Comics kicked off this MoCCA, like last time, with Hope Larson’s Drink & Draw like a Lady event in Chelsea(ish) on Friday. It was cool and, like MoCCA itself, improved from last year! We had ample lighting (maybe too much lighting?), and it wasn’t red. We weren’t in a loud and crowded bar (but a loud and crowded book store). And there wasn’t a singles mixer happening at the same location! So no guys snuck in this time! :P At DDLL, I met some other cool people to chat with and some other artists! We met Kelly Thompson who does CBR’s “She Has No Head!” column. She said she didn’t have time to get business cards, so she instead draw all her business cards… Besides that not making much sense, I got a cute little Lucy Van Pelt illustrated card from her :) . We also met Tara O’Connor who had cute little business cards and cool looking comics I must check out. Diana Mallery (links?!?) gave me a very neat comic called Singularity, which was awesome, especially for having been made the day before. Jenn (and we later met more of Jenn’s cool friends at the table) of Run Lil’ Jared gave me a new comic called Mimolette Bakery (that had beautiful colored pencil art!). It was very adorable… I just love the cake decorating business in that Ace of Cakes fangirl style, so I think a comic set in a bakery would be just awesome! The Soda Pop Comics people gave us a very cute mini minis, mine was about a lonely astronaut. Lastly, Bree and I gave Hope Larson one of Bree’s Self Aware Totes filled with some minis as thanks for putting on DDLL again this year!

Then on Saturday came MoCCA! The room was cool and it started on time… Totally different from last year! And speaking of which, our table was actually very well set up and neat for once! We consolidated and pooled our books together and got it much better organized! Plus Bree had made a quite large NERD tablecloth which made us stand out even more. At our table was the usual Bree n’ me, but we were also joined by Claire and, eventually, Foley. Claire had a great little mini called “The Last Artist on Earth,” which I can’t believe was a 24-hour comic because it was so well put together! I highly recommend it! Claire's miniOur neighbors were the famous Chris Yates and R. Stevens! We also met Gary briefly as he manned the table for them. And we were at the end of the aisle, but luckily not at an end cap (those are always annoying spots to be in). On Saturday I didn’t do much buying, but I mostly browsed and scoped out the many many cool artwork and books available at the con. There’s really so much at MoCCA to see! I especially oogled over Christiann and her sister’s stuff, especially the hilarious tshirts! It’s hard to believe it’s their first show, as they’re both so talented! We attempted to go to the after party but it was a crowded room in a nonsensically frat bar-ish place, so we left.

On Sunday I bought most of my goods. I picked up Hope Larson’s latest book, Mercury which is, so far, excellent, I love Hope’s flowy art style. I also had brought Flight 4 (my favorite of the Flight books) with me and got Raina Telegmeir, Dave Roman, and Scott C to sign it! Thanks for obliging everyone! While I was at the Double Fine table, I pestered Scott C (he’s a very friendly guy!), gave him a mini, and bought a beautiful print that I’m saving for the new apartment. I also picked up some nice prints in a trade with our friends at the Tapir Tooth table… Then I traded with Miriam Gibson for a hilarious mini from her Centaur-A-Day blog! Continuing trading a few tables down, I traded my mini for Neil Brideau’s Trugglemat mini. It was well put together, and I love that heavily crosshatched inky look! Thanks! I also traded with Alisa Harris for an adorable mini called Counter Attack! She tells me she’s working on an upcoming webcomic that sounds very exciting called Cooking up Comics. It’s a vegetarian webcomic and, being a vegetarian myself, am really looking forward to this one! While I was in that area, I also checked out Megan Baehr’s amazing dolls. They’re pricey but so detailed and very gorgeous. One day, one day! Heading Alisa Harris' Cooking up Comicsback to my table I picked up David McGuire’s beautiful first Gastrophobia book, The 12 Labours of Gastrophobia. He drew a cute black widow spider inside! At the same table, I traded Tina Pratt for her latest issue of The Paul Reveres and bought 1 & 2 so I can force my friends to read it. I also picked up Willie’s bandana, which is stylish and totally matched my outfit that day. Lastly I traded for a comic by Max Ink called Blink FYI IDK. We also drew his own characters in his sketchbook! That’s a good idea…

Oh man was MoCCA gigantic, amazing, and tiring. Sort of like this news post (*hands fall off*)! I probably missed some people, but I’m down and out for now. Please be sure to look for your favorite NERDs at our next con on May 15th-16th…
Wild Pig Con!
See you at the next con!

Edit:The aforementioned Kelly Thompson who we met at DDLL mentioned me on her DDLL write up here! Thanks Kelly!!!

Hacked

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

You guys are assholes. I’m talking to you, hackers. Why you would want to hack a small group of (mostly) innocent comics, I have no idea. But you almost made me miss a goddamn update day, and for that you will… well I’m not sure. How * does * one get back at a hacker? In any case I will steadfastly stick to comicking as long as it annoys you Mr.Hacker.

Anyway, much apologies for the lateness. I took a vacation day today (it was fun but also stressful…), and I was away from my computer all day until now (clock says 11:56… phew!). I actually had this set to update at the usual 8 o’clock-ish time, but alas… the site was hacked and when it was restored, my Thursday comic upload had disappeared, as well as comments for the Hedge comic from yesterday (feel free to repost how awesome it was in the comments again!!!! ;P). Thanks for sticking with me folks!

Artists I Admire – Jeff Smith

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Like any modern comicker, there are a lot of artists I’ve admired and followed throughout my life. I’d like to take a little bit of time to thank those artists that have inspired me and continue to do so every day. I hope I’ll be able to update this from time to time and be a little bit informative as well.

One of my earlier influences, and probably one that a lot of comic artists can relate to, is Jeff Smith who wrote and drew the amazing and now classic adventure graphic novel, Bone. He also went on to do other great comic and non-comic work such as Shazam!, RASL, and Little Mouse. Like most people my age (and hopefully lots of new generations thanks to the full color reprints!), we’ll probably always hold his first great work, Bone, close to our hearts.

I could gush on and on about Jeff Smith’s amazing ability of inking, his great contributions to the world of comics, or his uncanny ability to meld comedy and drama in the most unlikely of packages… But that’s all been done before. We all know Jeff Smith is a wonderful storyteller, and time and time again has shown us dynamic and unique characters with amazing range of expression and depth. Like many other fans out there, I look forward to each new RASL adventure, and any new hint of projects soon to come.

Where Jeff Smith really inspired me was his sheer willpower. Back when I was first introduced to Smith through that fateful Disney Adventures issue back in 1994, I had a vague inkling of the comics industry as an unstoppable terror of brute force. Comics I loved, like Uncanny X-Men, had artists and authors who were so far away from anything I could do or think of myself, that I felt far removed from ever entertaining the thought of doing them myself. With Jeff Smith in his self-published book that he wrote and drew himself, my ten-year-old-self saw someone I could relate to. Here was someone who believed in his own story, who created and guided his ow characters, and who put it all together in one beautiful comic book. I was surprised and instantly hooked. I would go to our local comic store monthly (even though back then Bone came out once every other month), and I would ask about the new issues of Bone. Something about that rarity, the unsteadiness of Smith’s publishing schedule, the “underground” feel of his comic brought me closer to him. I rejoiced upon each new issue brought into my hands and despaired when he went on hiatuses, of which it seemed there might be no return. It was like an emotional whirlwind for my younger self, but Smith didn’t fail to disappoint even as he began finishing the series when I was nearing my twenties.

Now of course, we couldn’t imagine Bone having finished any other way. The BoneGrandma Ben, one of my favorite Bone characters (isn't it hard to choose?) one volume edition is a gorgeous work and a true storytelling masterpiece, but on one aspect I feel it fails a little. Smith’s ten long years of hard work goes almost unnoticed under its pages, which flow from one to another with the same ease as Smith’s own pen. Of course, this is just as well! It makes for a greater story, and Jeff Smith has shown all of us how to make a story really great. But I’d like to thank that other side of Smith as well, the side that struggled with the story and pages and labored under the publishing deadlines. The Smith who set up tiny tables manned by himself at cons who had that drive that only a self-publisher could. Thank you for teaching me that comics don’t only take talent, artistry, and a good narrative, but also that comics take patience, drive, and endurance.

I hope one day I can thank Jeff Smith in person for all the inspiration he’s given me and countless others… For now I’ll have to settle with sending him a letter and my first book, which I have him (among others) to thank for. I also made him this fanart – an ode to two of my favorite comic artists ever:
A dedication to two great comic storytelling geniuses!  I hope Jeff Smith likes Herge for this fanart/parody