THIS is not your father’s MoCCA. It was better than last year but not all the way there. If it were, we’d be telling you about all the cool stuff we found at MoCCA. There was cool stuff, sure, and we spent too much money (thank you, Lisa Hanawalt for having such beautiful original art). We picked up Eschew 2, got our copies of Bodyworld signed and grabbed all the new stuff at Dongery, too – but we did not find anything at the show.
Simply put, MoCCA is too fucking expensive, for the exhibitors and the fans. We may be publishers, but the point of the show for us, as people who love comics, is to discover new comics. Are there still Minty Lewises, Jamie Tanners or even a Justin DeCarlo or two at MoCCA? Yes, but they sure as hell aren’t there in the same numbers, and if they’re around at all, they’re ganged up to cover the table costs. There’s just no way to make your money back as a cartoonist with a mini. And, no, MoCCA, the exposure isn’t worth it if you need that money – and most cartoonists do need every penny they have.
Attendance was clearly down this year, but we made much more money than we did last year. The people coming to the show at the Armory are coming there to buy comics (and we love you for it), but not to discover comics like the walk-ins of the old Puck Building. If you’re going to limit the audience to the hardcore by the Armory move, then, for the love of Benji, expand the show. It shouldn’t be strictly about D&Q, Fanta, Secret Acres and the publishers above and in-between. Nor should it be for people with their character platform multi-media crap and huge banners in comic sans fonts and Photoshop gradients, hoping Disney’ll notice and not giving a shit how much money they lose.
MoCCA ought to take a page from the new guy, BCGF. Let people in free, or cheap at least. Consider who gets table space. Have a sliding scale. Pantheon can pay $500 a table, no problem, but make a section for the little guys. And not the crappy little guys, either. Invite folks. Turn some others down. Make it an arts festival proper.
So. If you’re making minis and they are good, send them to us. We will probably agree that they are good and maybe we can sell them on our site and put them on our MoCCA 2011 table. And, maybe next year, if you’re around, we can get you a little table time at our place. If we can’t discover you at the show, maybe we can give other people a chance to do so and maybe it’ll be a little more fun, a little more MoCCA, for everyone.
We’re deeply grateful to all the people who came to our table. We’re very proud of Curio Cabinet and all of you who picked it up at the show have probably figured out why by now. We couldn’t help but beam at the all the folks who came by to congratulate our man Ken Dahl on his Eisner nom for Monsters. You can’t imagine how much encouragement we take from folks telling us that they like our books. This is a new thing for Secret Acres, to have actual fans of the house. It’s enough to keep us publishing and keep us coming back for more. We can whine, yes, but an even better MoCCA depends less on the museum folks and more on all of us behind the tables and walking the aisles.
Leon and Barry
@dankois Eagle or Golden Eagle.
- Wednesday Oct 15 - 4:20pm
RT @PhantomOakland: Indie artists James Kochalka and Theo Ellsworth-Thought Cloud Factory both have stories in the new Sponge Bob... http:/…
- Thursday Oct 9 - 6:50pm
It's that time of year again! The Best American Comics 2014 edition is out there and there are plenty of folks, like the Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon and the Stranger's Paul Constant calling this book the best of the series so far. It's the first time out for new series editor, Bill Kartalopoulos, and it has a new format of sorts, devised by edition editor, Scott McCloud, of Understanding Comics and Zot fame. McCloud groups the main selections, making a map of the current comics landscape. Broader than previous installments, it includes specific instructions to read the entire book, rather than browse through it - and you should do just that. Our very own Theo Ellsworth's the Understanding Monster Book One is included in the section titled EVEN STRANGER ADVENTURES (of course), and there are FOUR Secret Acres artists in the BAC Notable Comics section: Eamon Espey's Songs of the Abyss, Edie Fake's story from Monster Vol. 1, Robert Sergel's Eschew 3 and Sar Shahar's Sequential Vacation 2. Not bad, huh? We've got Bill K's blog post below, but you'll want to sit and read this one cover to cover. Thanks, Bill and Scott for all your hard work and congratulations on putting a great anthology together!
And Theo Ellsworth's the Understanding Monster Book Two has its very first ever review, from RE:Views Media's Max Szyc! It's a rare thing that a review makes us laugh out loud, or LOL, as the kids say. If you've read the first book of the Understanding Monster, you'll understand that reading doesn't begin to describe the experience of this story. The logic of this world, like most psychedelics, takes a minute to kick in. Like Max says, "A few more pages and then I think my mind may have reached some sort of subconscious arrangement with the material, meaning I think I 'got it'. Perhaps the book is so futuristic that it actually has the psychic power to make me think I’m understanding it." Cue us giggling. It is a long, strange trip indeed for toy mouse-bodied Izadore and his consciousness, but the sheer force of Theo's art will move you along with him. You may even start to identify with him. You can thank Max for capturing these feelings so well by reading his review. Thanks, Max!
We survived yet another Small Press Expo. This is no mean feat. Between the thousand deep gang of exhibitors and the crush of so many attendees, it's a wonder we're still standing. Credit Corrinne Mucha for pulling us through. In the absence of Theo Ellsworth (DNP - Fatherhood), Mike Dawson (DNP - Bachelor Party) and Brendan Leach (DNP - Get well soon!), Corinne sketched out everybody's books. We mean everybody's. Even Sean Ford's books. And Sean was there. Secret Acres made bank, yes, but we hardly got to see anybody, or so it felt. This might explain how we escaped the con crud which is laying so many folks out after SPX. This year's show was really all about the Breeders, meaning the band, not folks making babies. Corinne, you see, had not heard of the Breeders. We can see not having heard of, say, U2. But the BREEDERS? COME ON. Also, fair warning, we don't dare dish on our SPX 2014 Celebrity Comics Mule, Tucker Stone. In fact, we're terrified of what he must be saying about us right now. Check out the blog, and you can also get some details on this Sunday's event, the Brooklyn Book Festival! It's going to be a star-studded affair at the Secret Acres-Koyama Press megatable...
OKAY. Summer's over and we're heading back to school, or at least back to our Scuttlebutt blog. It's been a while and a half, but we've been busy, sitting by the pool, giggling, eating watermelon. Included in this post is a rundown of our trip to RIPE, our first ever internet kerfuffle, SPX news and switcheroos, and one rather ridiculous Secret Acres baby boom. Boy, oh, boy are we looking forward to SPX. We know we promised you the second volume of Theo Ellsworth's the Understanding Monster. The good news is that the book WILL be at the show and it will be beautifully sketched and signed. The bad news is that Theo is skipping out - but he'll be coming out to Comics Art Brooklyn to officially debut his new book. He has a a good reason (note the mention of a baby boom above). We do, however, have Sean Ford, Eamon Espey and Corinne Mucha coming to comics camp with us and they will armed with new minis, prints and even little paintings. Our guest comics mule for the road trip will be Tucker Stone, so we'lll have plenty of gossip to dish when we get back. You get yourself to SPX! See you this weekend...