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