On April 9th I attended MoCCA Fest in Manhattan; it’s a convention/exhibition that the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art has yearly at the Lexington Armory. According to their homepage, “Since 2002 the MoCCA Festival offers a unique venue to experience comics, mini-comics, web comics, graphic novels, animation, posters, prints, original artwork and more.” Their schedule was packed with panels and their main exhibition room was filled with tables galore of artists both young and old showing their works.
Besides the actual exposure to fantastic artists and the opportunity to browse new books will be coming out from publishing groups that I enjoy, the best event of the day was the Cross Hatch Carousel. The cartoonists who attended read their comics aloud while the panels were displayed on projectors. It was a whole new way of experiencing comics, having them read aloud/narrated as well as visually on display gave the form a new sensory depth; sharing the experience with a room full of people who laughing with me was extremely pleasant as well.
Below the cut I’ll discuss some of the art/artists that I saw there.
Ken Wong – homepage – Wong creates comics that are more than flat panels: his origami comics are meant to be folded. By subverting the form we usually associate with comics he’s able to create something that retains originality in an era where the use of print media is constantly in question. With this comic, you have to touch, open, fold and re-fold in order to read the whole story and gain the whole experience.
Kate Beaton – homepage – Kate Beaton’s art takes inspiration from historical and literary subject matter for the most part; her dialogue is modern and sassy, which is an excellent contrast to some of the time periods and people she draws. Her paneling and comedic timing is really wonderful. She was featured in the aforementioned Carousel and it was a treat to see how she quickly skipped along to the next comic while the punchline of the last one was still sinking in – it kept us in giggles the whole time.
Polly Guo – homepage – I love her linework and her sense of motion; she has a great sense of depth and it looks so effortless that it’s quite enviable really! I really dig her Sherlock and Watson drawings especially (she’s got a comic that’s a Houdini and Sherlock crossover!), but she has some DC Comics related art as well. She’s studying animation, and has some great stuff on vimeo.
Abby Boeh – homepage – her illustrations feature keen composition and color choices. When I was at MoCCA this image of the Gryffindor quidditch team caught my eye especially. Her depictions of each character are so accurate that you probably wouldn’t need their names beneath their faces!
Nick Iluzada – homepage – Nick’s art is fantastic, as you can already tell from the above, but I find that his color choices are equally skilled and clever. He’s not afraid to choose bright shades, and they give his work great vibrancy.
Rebecca Mock – homepage – The finer details of Mock’s work are really what makes her a stand-out for me. Her illustrations are large and sprawling, but she can handle the sizes she creates with aplomb. I think she understands that when illustration and artwork are merely beautiful you look once, but a work that is intelligent inspires a viewer want to look again and again. I also really love this flowchart from her website.
G. Grossman – homepage – she doesn’t have her homepage up entirely, but I hope she does soon. Her illustrations radiate energy and her line work possesses an elegance which reminds me of Asian miniature art (but it doesn’t have Ms Grossman’s coloring!). She’s definitely someone I’m keeping my eye on.
Dana Guerrieri – homepage – I was drawn to Dana’s table because her character designs and linework caught me from afar. Her illustrations immediately give one the impression of a strong sense of myth and the fantastic. Her website has illustrations for characters from the Magic Flute, which is my favorite Mozart opera, so bonus points for her.