Tuesday, June 9, 2009

MoCCA postgame, part II

I forgot to mention the best part of MoCCA: new comics! I've really appreciated it when other blogs have given shout-outs to EGG, so now that I've had a chance to actually read a decent chunk of my purchases, I thought I'd throw a few highlights out there to the interwebs. In no particular order:

For the most part, I tried to avoid the bigger books, which I can always get in a bookstore later, in favor of smaller stuff you can only find at MoCCA, but I couldn't resist Scott C.'s Double Fine Action Comics. Very cool to see the webcomic collected into an actual book... I'll admit I tend to get a little burned out on webcomics after about 100 installments or so (call me a luddite if you must), but I'm psyched to get to pick up this bizarre and hilarious strip where I left off.

I was also excited to pick up a new mini from Matt Weigle, Monsters & Condiments, which is totally fun, even if it's a bit slight in comparison to his previous The Four Husbands, Ayaje's Wives, or Seven More Days of Not Getting Eaten, which are three of my favorite comics, mini- or otherwise. Discovering cartoonists like him is why I've loved all the previous MoCCA shows--I can't recommend his stuff highly enough.

Another MoCCA favorite, Jamie Tanner, didn't have anything new to me this year, but his excellent collection The Aviary is well worth checking out nonetheless!

And rounding out my list of perennial MoCCA favorites is Tom Gauld's new book, The Gigantic Robot. I'll admit I was a little disappointed by the somewhat conventional format--Gauld does such great stuff with formats in his Three Very Small Comics series, that I would almost rather have seen this book at full on Many Splendid Sundays size, or something along those lines, but never mind that, because, as always, his drawing is exquisite, and the story is as good as ever.

Thien Pham is a new name to me, but his Sumo is really good, with an Andi Watson kind of feel... I wish I'd gotten around to reading this on Saturday night, because I should have gone back to their table on Sunday to pick up more of the many great-looking books there!

One especially pleasant surprise was Undertow by Ellen Lindner. It's a nicely drawn look at life in Coney Island in the 1950s, without relying on hackneyed cliches of that time period. (No one goes to any "sock hops" or anything.) If I hadn't bought it directly from young Ms. Lindner, I would have assumed she must be in her mid-70s, she does such a good job of evoking a real sense of place. (Now that I type that, it seems like a really strange thing to say, but I honestly mean it as a compliment.)

Tomaz Kaczynski's TransAlaska and TransAtlantis are beautifully illustrated and nicely designed, but I could have used some numbering or some clue that they're not just related books but actually a serialized story--now I'm kicking myself for missing the middle piece, TransSiberia.

Another cool discovery was Victor Kerlow's Gutter--just beautifully, beautifully drawn. Victor spent some time hanging out at our table, and it was great to meet him--hi, Victor!

Speaking of our table, it goes without saying that Connor Willumsen's Real Bad and The Middle are as fantastic as you'd expect.

*Phew* That's about all I have energy for at the moment. And that's without even mentioning the minis by Zander and Kevin Cannon, the latest installment of Spike's Templar Arizona, Ulf K's Ex Libris, JP Coovert's Adrift, Thomas Hall & Daniel Bradford's R13, Rick Spears & Chuck BB's Black Metal (which I'm obviously behind the curve on!), or the GREAT new Top Shelf book, Second Thoughts by Niklas Asker... I wasn't able to get a copy of David Mazzucchelli's new book before it sold out, but I'm DEFINITELY looking forward to that, too.

Anyway, long story short: MoCCA, as usual, restores my faith in comics.

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