MoCCA 2008: SWINGIN’ the HITS in NYC

June 9th, 2008 by Daniel Barlow · No Comments

MoCCA 2008 started with an injury Saturday morning, delaying the start of the show. It ended with a mid-afternoon building evacuation Sunday that threatened to deflate the rest of the day.


Crowds seemed lighter. A heat wave hit the city – literally making the convention space on the seventh floor an unattractive destination (unlike last year, Trees & Hills landed near the entrance to the largest of the MoCCA rooms … our traffic was pretty steady).


Despite all these factors (the theme of the weekend seemed to be chaos interjecting itself into order and process), there was some gorgeous work that popped up this year. People were excited to see Cat Garza’s SECRETS & LIES anthology (I’m in it!), Colleen Frakes’ TRAGIC RELIEF collection and the Boston Comic Roundtable’s debut anthology, IN BOUND #1. I also have a copy of SUNDAYS 2 somewhere around here, which looks great.


The buzz the whole weekend – from talk on the floor to even the organizers’ own feedback form – was the economy. Some creators printed less books than usual and people certainly seemed to look more and buy less. Established small-creators with strong audiences did well; those a tad more under that radar said their sales were worse than last year.


That’s not true for Trees & Hills. We had higher sales this year than in 2007, which was our MoCCA debut. I credit that to having a unique product – the CD really seemed to ignite interest. And this all without doing any on-line promotion in the week up to the show (production this year was rushed, rushed, rushed).


Word about the group really seems to be getting around too. I saw a few familiar faces from last year who came back to see what we’ve been doing. Several cartoonists came by and told us that they would soon to be moving to Vermont, which is really exciting. Special thanks to Colin Tedford, Marek Bennett, Keith Moriarty, Anne Thalheimer, Benjamin Kalish, Tim Hulsizer, Meagan Frappiea, Morgan Pielli and Cat Garza for being engaging and fun company for the weekend.


And despite all this heat and the downbeat attitude, Saturday was capped with cartoonist Anne Thalheimer giving her version of the Sermon on the Mount – an inspiring call to arms for Trees & Hills. Within minutes, we had our next anthology plans back on track, a fall convention schedule and a sense that we are nearing clarity on our role within this wonderfully messy world of indie comics.


Books I came back this year with include ones by Becky Hawkins, the RabidRabbit group, Ken Dahl, Spike, House of Twelve comics, Manual Comics, Matthew Reidsma, Dave Savage, Frederick Noland, Matt Young, Cheese Hasselberger, Matt Wood, Liz Baillie, Jeff Lok, Bonnie Bonnell, Smerwin, Cathy Leamy. Bryan Stone, Richard Marzelak, Geoff Vasile, Marek Bennett and Charles Schneeflock Snow.

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