Rants & Ramblings

random commentary about culture, media, politics, technology and whatnot.



While we were in New York on Saturday, Rob and I made a point to check out the MoCCA Art Fest — basically a kind of comicon for folks who produce and enjoy independent comics and graphic novels, sponsored by the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art in SoHo. Despite the number of people there, it was a pleasantly low-key event — none of the high-octane nerdity one might expect at a more mainstream comicon. (Read: Nobody came in costume. That said, when so many of these comics are about “normal” people, it’s entirely possible that some folks did come dressed as their favorite indie comics characters, just no one could tell.)

Merchandising seemed to be a huge thing here — almost as big as the comics themselves. Most tables offered prints, mini buttons, tee-shirts and more for sale, in addition to their comics offerings. And I do admit to falling prey to some of it myself, picking up a t-shirt with an illustration of Owly, a too-adorable-for-words little owl that stars in his own series from Andy Runton and Top Shelf Press. I managed to restrain myself from also buying an Owly plushie, but only barely. (I also picked up an Owly comic.)

Indie publisher Drawn and Quarterly also had a sizable presence, with a large display table for book sales and a roster of artists available for signings. As luck would have it, Adrian Tomine, a favorite illustrator of ours, was scheduled to do a signing that afternoon. Rob asked him to sign a copy of the most recent issue of Optic Nerve. While he was there, Rob asked him about his recent New Yorker cover — the one with the girl reading the book on the back of the tourist bus. We think she’s reading “Nine Stories” by J.D. Salinger. Tomine’s reply was a frustratingly enigmatic “whatever you want it to be.”