Trees & Hills makes its MoCCA debut!

June 26th, 2007 by Daniel Barlow · 3 Comments

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N.H. cartoonist Marek Bennett mans the Trees & Hills / Mimi’s Doughnuts table at the 2007 MoCCA convention in New York City on June 23. Thanks to Matthew Reidsma for the photo.

We met a lot of people who previously had never heard of the Trees & Hills comics group. And we sold and gave away lots of comics, including our new 52-page anthology, Field Guide to Cartoonists of Vermont, New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts.

Trees & Hills members walked away from MoCCA 2007 tired and partly bruised, but with open eyes and excitement for the future. Here are a few thoughts, three days after the end of the show.

1)Location: The Trees & Hills/ Mimi’s Doughnuts table was located on the seventh floor of the Puck Building, six floors up from the three other MoCCA rooms. This meant we got about one-fourth the traffic that the other floors saw, but the incoming natural light and breathing room turned our floor into a nice island away from the bustle of the convention.

Reviews are a bit mixed on this. Marek Bennett (Mimi’s Doughnuts) preferred the location. But he’s a true natural with relating to people and sold what appeared to be a good number of comics and a few shirts. Trees & Hills co-founder Colin Tedford and I felt that the access that the downstairs floor would have given us outweighed the nice, upper floor atmosphere.

2)Comics. We got Trees & Hills comics into a lot of fan’s hands, including an editor at DC Vertigo, several small press publishers, The Beat’s Heidi MacDonald (who later posted a picture of me and listed the anthology title on her blog), Brian Wood (a former Vermonter) and lots of others. This was clearly a success and at least one big indie publisher expressed interest in a graphic novel one of our cartoonists is working on and I was told by a major publisher that I should pitch to them.

3)Vermont Comics. The Green Mountain State was well represented. The Center for Cartoon Studies had two tables at the show and their SUNDAYS anthology sold out on, appropriately, Sunday, and was one of the true buzz books of the show. Rick Veitch (Army @ Love, Rare Bit Fiends) was right around the corner from our table and he had some nice original pages for sale. Alison Bechdel had a huge line for sketches, which nicely occurred directly behind our table.

We did expect to sell more comics. For me, the show did highlight the oddity that – at this level of the comics industry at least – we are almost all operating at a loss. But its the love that keeps us doing it, even if sales are fractions of costs.

Still, the networking and the crackling energy and excitement and the after parties (monsters dancing on stripper poles!) made it all worth every cent. On the second day of the show, I happily put down the $325 to lock in our table for next year.

Tags: Event reports · Events

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anonymous // Jun 28, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    Yeah, I think that unfortunately at many levels of the comic business you will find you are operating at a loss. But you’ll still love what you do, and how many people can say that.

    Wish I could have made it, and it sounds like despite lower than expected sales you guys had a good first go at a bigger show.

  • 2 Marek Bennett // Jun 28, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    It’s true, I was TOTALLY into the whole skylight/sunlight atmosphere up on the 7th floor… but ONE FOURTH the traffic?!? If that’s a documented, substantiated statistical fact, then I think we ought to head for the lower floors, natural relations or no!

    I had a great time meeting readers AND artists. I’m already psyched about next year! I’ll post some of my own MOCCA notes soon.

  • 3 Marianne R. Petit // Jul 9, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    Hey. I’m sorry I missed you guys. I had a table at MoCCA (on the ground floor) but heard about you after the fact from reading Heidi MacDonald’s blog (which I’m bummed about because I’m from NYC but just moved to Adams, MA half-time.)

    I think everyone expected to sell more. oh well. Maybe next year?

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