MoCCA Festival announces dates, move

A letter that went out to prepaid exhibitors for the 2009 MoCCA show — one of the nation’s biggest and most important literary comics shows of the year — reveals that the dates for next year will be June 6-7, and, in a move long suspected but unverified, the show will have a new venue, the historic 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington and 26th.

The previous location, the Puck Building, was much loved for its hardwood floors, gauzy white curtains, flattering lighting and downtown proximity, but it was also problematic: the place tended to get insanely hot in the summer, half the exhibits had to be located upstairs, prompting long, distracting elevator rides, and programming had to be held in a different venue.

The Armory is a venerable New York institution with a noted place in art history. In 1913 the legendary Armory Show was held there, introducing Modern Art to America and igniting stunned comments from Teddy Roosevelt on down. Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase and works by Cézanne, Monet, Van Gogh, and other Modernists, Cubists, Fauvists and Impressionists were a shock to the art world, the Big Bang of abstraction whose influence lingers to this day.

Since then, the Armory has been home to everything from roller derby to the New York Knicks to Victoria’s Secret to WFMU’s record show. In fact, we only went there once, for a record fair and our impression was of a typically dark, cavernous space. While it lacks the diaphanous feeling of the Puck Building, at least it’s big with room to grow.

PLUS, The Armory is two blocks from Stately Beat Manor! We are so going to own this show! We know ALL the bars, ALL the Indian food joints, ALL the good coffee shops (Gregory’s on Park and 24th). And we don’t have to get up early for nada.



  1. says

    I remember the Armory from September 17, 2001, covered in missing person fliers, as it housed the counseling services for family members. (I had spent the night at an Internet cafe in Times Square, and that morning was the first day that Downtown was reopened. I walked the distance, mostly down Lexington. I still remember the temporary cell phone towers, and the distinct odor.)

    So, Heidi… you gonna host a swar-ray the night before? Perhaps a black-and-white comics ball? Can we crash on your roof?

  2. says

    Not so psyched about the space (dark and cavernous is definitely how I remember my one experience there years ago) but I *am* psyched about the proximity to awesome food and the subway. And it will certainly even the playing field in terms of everyone being in one big room, which is great.

  3. mark coale says

    H, do you really want to give the haters and stalkers info on the locale of Stately Beat Manor?

  4. michael says

    the armory might be good for size, but the Puck is hard to beat for style.

  5. says

    […]According to Ace MacDonald over at Publishers Weekly’s The Beat, the annual MoCCA sow in New York has a new home, the much celebrated 69th Regiment Armory. Swank! I really like the Armory, it’s a massive, yet beautiful room with mile-high ceilings and a very chill atmosphere. I am enthused.[…]

  6. says

    Hi Heidi, the WFMU Record Fair was never at that armory. It was held at the one located at 68 Lexington Avenue (between 25th & 26th). I know, I’ve been to all but perhaps one of the record fairs. The 69th Armory has been the home to the Antiquarian Book Fair for a number of years but no record shows. Glad to see the MoCCA show moving to a larger venue but the armory is definitely not a stylish place.

  7. george says

    In a way it will suck parking-wise;it’s very hard to get a spot around there-down by the Puck, there was more parking.

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