Posts Tagged ‘MoCCA’

MoCCA report


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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MoCCA 2010. Not a bad time.

A low key festival. Good times, good times. No, seriously. It was a good show. Hat’s off to MoCCA for smoothing out the wrinkles from last year.

I had a full table of, ahem, curated comic book back issues for sale. Part of my ongoing “education project” in the comics community. Trying to steer the youth in the right direction. I just can’t stand idly by and not extol the virtues of a Frank Thorne comic or a Pat Boyette comic when a youngster peruses the Master’s Box that I lovingly assembled. I go into my glib salesman routine and “sell” them on the idea of looking at comics in a different way. MoCCA, the festival, may be about small press comics but my whole shtick is about history. And tradition. And selling comics, and making money, sure, but also about small press roots in newsstand and direct market comics, in fandom. So I assemble a ton of comics that are sorted through and re-presented as mini artist monographs. My own Art Out of Time.

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MoCCA 2010 pt.1


Monday, April 12, 2010

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Hey everyone. By the time I get around to scanning all the great minis, zines and comics I got at this year’s MoCCA, it’ll be next week. So I thought I’d just write something super fast to check in.

All in all it was a quiet show. Not a bad turnout but pretty uneven. I had one of the most crowded tables at the thing, so who’s complaining, right? I just mean it looked like there weren’t a ton of people there. But then again the venue is gee-fucking-normous.

PictureBox had a good show, though, I think. And my table of comic book back issues was picked clean. We were always pretty busy and the vibe was mellow. I liked that it wasn’t 100 degrees inside or outside, but it just didn’t feel like MoCCA, which I always associate with summer. Still, who’s complaining? There were more cute girls wearing summery dresses there than ever.

The highlight of the show for me was catching a glimpse of Jaime Hernandez drawing a sketch for someone late on Sunday. Is it legal for someone to be as good as Jaime is and to be such a nice, cool guy? Sometimes you gotta pinch yourself and wake up from dreaming. Standing transfixed before the master while he conjured faces of his characters out of thin air was something I won’t soon forget.

Stay tuned for full report. Plus we’ll take a look at how Peggy Burns gets what she wants whenever she wants it.

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PictureBox and Santoro Forcibly Occupy MoCCA


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

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Painting by Doug Johnson for Judas Priest. Approximates the vibe of the PictureBox booth.

This year Frank and I will be at MoCCA in full force (NYC, April 10-11, Booth A19-20A).

I will have all things PictureBox, including the debut of our Charles Willeford book, as well as Thurber’s new 1-800 MICE 4. There will also be the usual extra special items from everyone from Neal Adams to Anya Davidson. Yes, you read that correctly. Ask nicely and I’ll show you the original pages for Real Deal that will be for sale for the first time. Frank will have a fantastic selection of back issues for sale. Calling in from “the basement”, Santoro had this to say:

I now have a “Master’s Box”: Kirby, Mazzucchelli, Steranko, Brown (Chester), Barks, McCarthy, and, uh, Ditko! Plus other, lesser known masters like Ogden Whitney and Pete Morisi. You need Slash Maraud? I got yer Slash Maraud! You needa da Cold Heat? I gotchooda Cold Heat! A new comic book costs at least 3 bux these days. I will have whole boxes of great stuff for 3 bux and under. Plus a “quarter box” – meaning each comic is only 25 cents! That’s right, True Believers, you thought it couldn’t happen in NYC but it’s happening. Finally some good, cheap comics for sale in the Big Apple!

I’ll be debuting my own Art in Time: Unknown Comic Book Adventures 1940-1980 at the Abrams booth at 1 pm on Saturday with a signing by yours truly.

Avant men Frank and Dash will be on a panel on Saturday at 12:45, moderated by Bill K. They’ll be discussing color and line and form. Go get your learn on.

Peter Blegvad will be at the PictureBox booth on Sunday, 4/11, from 1 pm to 3 pm signing books. Don’t miss this rare opportunity.

            That’s it! See you soon!

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            Oh, Archie


            Monday, January 11, 2010

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            Following up on Dan’s post on the MoCCA Archie show from last week, I wanted to draw your attention to two related links.

            First, Tom Spurgeon agrees with Dan, and today does a nice job of clearly presenting the issue. (Incidentally, he also put up a post collecting all of his 2009/10 “Holiday Interviews” with critics, including contributions from four of your favorite Comics Comics bloggers.)

            Second, Bob Heer (whose Kirby and Ditko blogs I’ve enjoyed for years, without realizing until today that he is Jeet’s brother!) has written a long post tackling a related ethical issue: whether or not the artists who created so many recently republished classic comics are being paid royalties.

            At the risk of being accused of putting my head in the sand, I’d say that’s kind of important. What would Siderman do?

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            Remembering Archie


            Thursday, January 7, 2010

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            Art by Harry Lucey

            About six weeks ago I strolled over to MoCCA here in New York to see The Art of Archie Comics, an exhibition devoted to “one of the oldest and most beloved family-friendly brands in the comic book industry.” There are some fine Harry Lucey pages. Gorgeous Dan DeCarlo examples. But something is missing on the walls: art credits. There are no attributions to be found except on a rather confusing handout available by request at the desk. What little information there is about the material on display is written in a kind of corporate press-release speak, filled with misinformation (or outright untruths, like the notion that John Goldwater was the sole creator of Archie) and nicely omitting (a) the notoriously shabby way the company treated its artists (artists who still don’t receive credit in the various reprints) and (b) the rather “interesting” fact that the company has retained all, or most, of its original art.

            To me, this is dark, sad stuff. Archie Comics has a great artistic legacy—one worth examining. But it’s been over two decades since the Kirby v. Marvel fight, and over a decade since the nasty business over Dan DeCarlo came to light. We all understand (or should) the financial and moral issues at play and I’m not going to reprise them here. In the case of DeCarlo, a man who made Archie millions of dollars was fired in his twilight years and denied any share in the characters he created. It’s somewhat grotesque to use his work to “celebrate” the company without even acknowledging the issues at play. Was DeCarlo’s family invited to contribute to or comment on the show? Were any of the deceased artists’ families asked?

            I was reluctant to even write this piece, since, in some ways, it’s barely worth addressing. Obviously the Archie show is not intended as history in any intellectually serious way, but it’s hosted and organized by MoCCA, which is, in fact, the only “museum” of comics on the East Coast. I happily curated a show at MoCCA and support its mission in the abstract. The medium needs institutional support. But it needs to be serious support. This startling lack of scholarship and disregard for the moral rights of artists was, I imagine and hope, unconscious and not malicious—I doubt anyone at MoCCA even knew about or researched the situation. But that’s not much of an excuse.

            I wrote to MoCCA with questions about all of the above issue, but aside from an invitation to come to the museum and chat, which I couldn’t fit into my schedule, I wasn’t able to get a response via email or phone.

            Situations like this are complicated. MoCCA is cash-strapped and I would imagine (well, I hope) that MoCCA received some kind of donation for hosting the show. Museums are hardly temples of virtue and must work with corporate sponsors to survive. The problem here, though, is that the museum is actually furthering a historically and morally dubious agenda. But look, what am I going to do about it? As a publisher, I plan to exhibit at the MoCCA Festival because it’s part of my business, despite, in some ways, my reluctance to support the program anymore. So I don’t exactly have much moral ground.

            Giving MoCCA the benefit of the doubt, I’ll assume The Art of Archie Comics is part of a steep learning curve, and that the museum and its board will, in the future, look more closely at the issues at play around historical work and try a bit harder to remember men like Dan DeCarlo.

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            Mazzucchelli MoCCA Audio Evidence


            Sunday, July 19, 2009

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            I do believe Mazzucchelli won this round! But I shall have my revenge. Some day. Anyhow, here is the audio recording of our conversation. A good time was had by all. Thanks to MoCCA for asking us to do this and for putting on a great night. Click below to stream.

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            Mazzucchelli vs. Nadel!


            Wednesday, July 15, 2009

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            Please join the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art – MoCCA for
            David Mazzucchelli and Dan Nadel in Conversation
            Thursday, July 16, 7 P.M.
            at MoCCA, 594 Broadway (between Houston and Prince), suite 401, New York, NY 10012

            Mazzucchelli and Nadel will discuss Mazzucchelli’s work, and the exhibition, Sounds and Pauses. Mazzucchelli will sign copies of Asterios Polyp and other books after the conversation.

            That’s the official word. Come watch us duke it out!

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            Gary ‘n’ Frank ‘n’ Ray at MoCCA


            Tuesday, June 9, 2009

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            If you couldn’t make it to MoCCA, or missed Frank’s panel with Gary Panter and Raymond Sohn for any other reason, here’s an audio recording of the proceedings. (Thanks, Ray!)

            Also, Squally Showers has put together an excellent visual companion to the talk.

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            PictureBox at MoCCA


            Wednesday, June 3, 2009

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            MoCCA Madness

            PictureBox will be at the MoCCA Festival this weekend, June 6-7, 11 am- 6 pm.

            69th Regiment Armory
            68 Lexington Avenue, between 25th and 26th Streets

            PictureBox has booths 301, 339, 338

            So, without further ado:

            New from PictureBox for MoCCA!

            Mat Brinkman: MULTIFORCE
            Yes, you read that correctly — the entire saga at full size. 22 pages of comics genius. Sneak attack.

            Ed Nukey Nukes and Jocko Levent Brainiac: PEE DOG 2: THE CAPTAIN’S FINAL LOG
            A 60 page opus d’filth from 1986 co-created by an artist we publish whose name rhymes with Shmary Kanter. Just 500 made.

            Lane Milburn and Frank Santoro: COLD HEAT SPECIAL #9
            Not a season goes by without a slice of such goodness.

            Devin Flynn and Gary Panter: DEVIN AND GARY GO OUTSIDE SPECIAL EDITION
            Hand-collages unique objects. Just 100 made!

            Raw Dog: REAL DEAL BACK ISSUES
            First printings how available!

            Lauren Weinstein: TWO GHOST STORIES zine

            And new work from Matthew Thurber, Anya Davidson, Taylor McKimens, and others!


            Festival Signing Schedule

            Special Event: Frank Santoro and Gary Panter in conversation at 3:45 on Sunday in the programming room.


            11 am-12 pm: Frank Santoro
            12 pm -2 pm: Lauren Weinstein and Frank Santoro
            2-3 pm: Matthew Thurber
            3:00 pm-5 pm: Lauren Weinstein
            5 pm – 6 pm: Frank Santoro


            11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Lauren Weinstein
            12:30 pm -1:30 pm: Frank Santoro
            1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m: Gary Panter and Devin Flynn
            4 pm – 6 pm: Lauren Weinstein

            See you soon!

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            Real Deal: The Real Story


            Wednesday, May 27, 2009

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            By my own (and some popular) demand I interviewed Lawrence Hubbard aka Rawdog, the artist behind the mysterious Real Deal Magazine, a six-issue masterpiece of comics that began in 1989. One of the rare contemporary African-American created and published comics, Real Deal depicts L.A. underworld life with visceral, bone-dry humor and gross out violence rendered in Hubbard’s uniquely gnarly line. Anyhow, I was also happy to discover that Hubbard still has some back issues of Real Deal, so PictureBox will be representing with the original printings of issues 1 and 3-6 at MoCCA and, shortly, online at Prices at the festival will be $10 for issue 1 and $6 each for the rest.

            How did Real Deal begin? Where and when?

            Back in the early nineties I was working at California Federal Savings (now defunct) in the IT department (because of family and money problems I have always had to have jobs outside of my art). Anyway I was hanging out in the sub-basement of the building where my buddy HP Mc Elwee worked in the record storage dept, anyway we were just shootin the shit when he showed me these crude stick figure pictures of these characters GC, Ace Brogham, Slick Willy and Pork
            Butt, GC’s old lady. Anyway the shit was so funny we laughed like hell for hours, and I thought it was so funny that I said “Hey man you know I draw!” so I took the characters and fleshed them out and made them more realistic. Anyway it was so damn funny to everybody we showed it to that we decided we wanted to publish it. At first we sent out samples to the usual suspects, Marvel, DC, Mad and got clowned by all as usual, Marvel actually sent us a personally written letter, but said sorry we can’t use it. Anyway we said “fuck it” and decided to publish it ourselves, the first issue came out in 1989, and we did comic shows and stuff like that, but because of lack of money, distribution problems (Damn I wish the internet was like it is now back then!!) it didn’t quite work. Anyway we managed to get 6 issues out, but HP McElwee died of a stroke and heart attack at the age of 43. Anyway, one thing that keeps me going in this is the fans!

            You mentioned that people you showed the work to would laugh like hell … so did you go into Real Deal with the idea of making your own Mad? A humorous comic for adults?

            In a way, a sort of satire from “The Hood” for adults, and one thing that was different in Real Deal was that the characters are older guys whose youth was in the ’70s and they just kind of stayed there (kind of reminds me of a story a guy I used to work with named Ben told me. He said he left Iowa in 1974 for California, when he went back in the early ’90s for a visit, he said a lot of the guys he knew still had the same cars) while most books about this sort of thing would have been about some young hip hoppers. The ’70s is when we came up, Blaxploitation, Disco, double knit rags, pimp mobiles, Funky Music, Soul Power, Can you dig it Baby?? And the main thing was we didn’t see anything else like it.

            Where did the characters come from? HP’s own life experiences? His observations?

            What’s funny about that is the characters are from both of our lives, we had been friends for years before he came up with it, and it was a culmination of people we had known in both of our lives, convicts, hustlers, drug addicts, crack hoes, car thieves, murderers etc. People we used to talk about. HP’s brother was a car thief, he had been to jail so many times he didn’t seem to mind it.

            Do you think of Real Deal as being specific to L. A. and L. A. culture?

            Yes most definitely, this is where I grew up, this is where I live, if you look at the backgrounds in my art, you can tell it’s L.A.

            What were you main influences in comics and art? Were you a part of a large scene?

            My main influences were Marvel and DC comics and especially Mad Magazine, I loved the work of Mort Drucker and Angelo Torres, George Woodbridge. Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, E. Simms Campbell, Doug Wildey and a host of others. There is a downtown scene here in Los Angeles, artist lofts parties etc, there was a printmaker called Rollo, I can’t remember his last name that used to do posters for alternative bands, he did a print of some of my work. unfortunately I have been stuck most of the time doing jobs that have nothing to do with comics.

            How did you and HP divide the labor? Did he write scripts?

            HP originally wrote all the scripts, and I would add my input and I would show him the pages as I was drawing them. Since he passed away I have been following his formula, and amazingly enough it’s not that hard to write a Real Deal story. You take a simple everyday situation: Going to the store, the car wash, buying some food, you have a confrontation, nobody backs down! And next all hell breaks loose!! And the main thing is none of the characters give a shit about the consequences.

            What else do you do for work? Do you publish your work elsewhere?

            I’m not publishing anywhere else right now, but soon I plan on doing a big push for Real Deal to put it where it belongs, Right now I work in the IT industry as a Production Control Analyst.

            [UPDATE: 5/29/09]

            In response to some of the questions in the comments section, I asked Lawrence about some specific L.A. influences, to which he responded:

            You know I didn’t know Gary Panter or Raymond Pettibon by name but when I looked them up I immediately recognized their art; they are very good. I think I developed my style from all the cartoonists I named in my interview. One who I always admired was Doug Wildey of Jonny Quest fame, when I used to watch those episodes on TV when they were new, I always admired his attention to realism, I try to bring that to my art. Even though my characters have cartoon faces which fits the style of what I’m doing, I try to make the bodies, hands, backgrounds etc as real and on perspective as possible. I’ve always admired cartoonist who could draw in a goofy cartoon style and then change up and do realistic illustrations, you would look at it and say, “Is this the same guy?”

            That’s it for now…

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