Con Wars: MoCCA vs Stumptown

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In a rather surprising turn of events, New York’s MoCCA Festival has announced their 2012 dates — and not only are they a change from previously announced dates, but it’s the same weekend — April 27-28 — as Stumptown Festival, the alt-comix festival held each year in Portland.

The Stumptown dates were announced months ago, so the change comes as a surprise. As one exhibitor who forwarded the letter told us, in previous years MoCCA and Stumptown were a week apart, which was hard enough, but now the already small pool of indie comics publishers and creators are going to have to skip one or the other.

The convention circuit has become increasingly crowded, with many festivals squeezing into the tight March/April/May season to avoid competing with big summer cons. An unspoken agreement usually prevails where similar shows in close territories avoid picking the same or proximate dates.

Stumptown and MoCCA are both part of a loose confederation of indie shows — others include APE in San Francisco, TCAF in Toronto and SPX in Bethesda, MD. While Stumptown and MoCCA previously were separated by a few months, MoCCA had to leave its traditional June date when they moved into the Lexington Armory, a huge building with no air conditioning. The first MoCCA held there happened to coincide with a heat wave which left exhibitors and attendees alike standing in pools of sweat.

MoCCA’s letter to pre-registered exhibitors is reproduced below:

“The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art – MoCCA – is pleased to announce to you, our advance-registered exhibitors, that we have finalized our dates for MoCCA Fest 2012! We thank you for ordering your tables in advance, and helping to make MoCCA Fest the continuing success that it is!

Please note that the next Festival will take place over April Saturday 28 and Sunday April 29, 2012, with exhibitor registration taking place on the afternoon of Friday April 27. This is slightly different than our tentative dates of April 14-15. If this date is not convenient or you find you have a conflict, let us know immediately and we will he happy to issue you a full and complete refund; this offer will continue to stand until December 31, 2011.

In addition, we would like to take this opportunity to show our gratitude for your continuing support by presenting you with SIX attendee weekend passes to MoCCA Fest 2012, courtesy of us. Please note that these are attendee tickets, and are non-transferable as exhibitor passes for your table. Bring family and friends to enjoy the festival the whole weekend through! This offer is only extended to our advance registered exhibitors.

Last year we celebrated the Tenth Anniversary of MoCCA, and in 2012 we will celebrate the 10th year of the Festival. This will prove to be a special MoCCA Fest for everyone following our most successful year, where as many of you know, we sold completely to capacity. The annual two-day Festival continues to attract thousands of comic art lovers and creators from around the globe to celebrate one of the worldʼs most popular art forms in the heart of New York City.

Since 2002 the MoCCA Festival has offered a unique venue to experience comics, minicomics, web-comics, graphic novels, animation, posters, prints, original artwork, and more. Each year, the Festival invites dozens of established and emerging creators, scholars, and other experts to participate in two days of lectures and discussion panels on a variety of comics and cartoon topics. Past exhibitors have included Abrams ComicArts, ACT-I-VATE, Ad House, Candle Light Press, Center for Cartoon Studies, Comics Bakery, Drawn & Quarterly, Evil Twin Comics, Fantagraphics, First Second Books, Joe Kubert School, NBM Press, New York University, the Norwegian Consulate, Paperkutz, Parsons School of Design, Pantheon, School for Visual Arts, TopatoCo, Top Shelf, Tug Boat Press, and many, many more.

Again, you have our thanks from everyone here at MoCCA, and we look forward to seeing everyone next April.
Should you have any additional questions, please direct them to Emma Rivera at [email protected], or call the office at xxx-xxx-xxxx.

We’ll see you soon, and thanks again for supporting MoCCA!
Sincerely,

Jack Walsh
Museum Manager