Thursday, April 21, 2011

MoCCA Malt

Randy and I had a great time at MoCCA FEST 2011 in NYC. On the drive, we got lost while trying to flag down a minivan Randy was convinced held Al Jaffee.

We stayed at a Lutheran hostel on the corners of East 15th and Irving Place. Tony, our "concierge," told us our rooms were on the quiet side of the building. That was sarcasm, we later learned.

On the first day at the conference, Randy and I hit the floor, meeting and talking with many of our favorite artists, writers, and over-all interesting people—Denis Kitchen, Caitlin M, and Andrew Cooke, the director of the outstanding documentary Will Eisner, Portrait of a Sequential Artist. We promised Julia Wertz we'd go to her panel and ask some questions other than "What's it like to be a woman working in comics?" but much to our dissapointment had to head home early the next day and missed it. But we were excited Julia signed our copy of Drinking at the Movies.

While Randy and I blew all our cash buying great books, my partner Gretchen (our travel coordinator) scored three tickets to Mamma Mia! at the Winter Gardens. What a show! Much to Randy's delight, and defying all logic, it included his favorite Abba song, "Waterloo"! Later that night, we discovered an Irish pub right next to the hostel. Our waiter, who we nicknamed "Patrick," provided excellent service, but in reality, there wasn't a hint of Ireland in the place.

On Sunday, Randy and I visited a few early panels and picked up the latest offerings from students at Vermont's Center for Cartoon Studies. We had a great talk with Nathan Schreiber, who just put out his second volume of Power Out, and we bought Lucy Knisley's new book, Make Yourself Happy.

Whew! What a busy day! The drive home went without a hitch. My favorite pit stop was a visit to Lucky's old-fashioned diner in Stamford, CT. We got burgers, fries, and malts. (Mine was a mocha--get it? MoCCA malt...)


MoCCA FEST was held at The Lexington Avenue Armory, a beautiful monster of a building.

Free stuff!

Wall-to-wall comic book creators!

The legendary Jerry Robinson, creator of The Joker (watching over his shoulder)

The "Almost True, Where Autobiography and Fiction Collide" panel (from left): moderator, Calvin Reid; Gabrielle Bell; Joe Ollmann; Pascal Girard; and Leslie Stein

Pascal Girard signing/illustrating Randy's copy of Reunion

The artist in the city (looking good!)

Liz and Gretchen on Broadway! (You may have already seen this photo in People.)