Well, as you may have heard, there were a lot of snafus for the opening day of MoCCA at their new venue. The scheduled 11:00 am start time was pushed back an hour when crucial boxes weren’t delivered on time, and many publishers didn’t have their books. The end time of the show was pushed back an hour and panels also got pushed back, which created more problems when the show ended.
Meanwhile, a HUGE line of people waiting to get in went around the block. Some people we spoke with were not happy that they had to wait in line for an hour in a strong morning sun. Even when they started letting people in at around noon, there was still a very healthy line of folks.
Inside, annoyances were soon forgotten — or at least reduced to talking points — by the large, enthusiastic crowd swarming the battlements in search of new comics treasure.
A few things about the The 69th Regiment Armory:
• It is an actual National Guard Armory — the home of the “Fighting 69th”* , so there were actually a couple of National Guardsmen and jeeps around, along with historical frescoes showing scenes from American history.
• It was built in 1904 and it is HUGE and does not have AC. The gymnasium-like interior was originally used for marshaling and drills, so you can only imagine how hot those people got. Show at the Armory with lots of money to spend (antique shows, fashion shows) often truck in giant AC units, but I imagine that isn’t practical for a non-profit like MoCCA.
And now some points about the show:
• The new space is VERY BIG, almost like a regular old comics convention and not like the boutique coziness of SPX or the old MoCCA. It is great to have everyone all on one floor and the greater variety of exhibitors is definitely a plus.
• There was certainly a big, big crowd at the show on Saturday, but whether they were buying tons of comics is not immediately clear.
• While making lots of money is a surefire way to make people forget their gripes, we heard a LOT of legitimate gripes about the organization of this year’s show, and unhappiness with the Armory (mainly due to the AC situation.)
• Despite that, everyone was having a good time! Comics and friends! What could be better. Kazimir Strzepek’s THE MOURNING STAR #2 and David Mazzucchelli’s ASTERIOS POLYP were the most mentioned buzz books, but the wall of Scandinavian, Danish, and other foreign comics was also a treasure trove of amazing new stuff.
As I write this, it is a beautiful day out, but if you like comics and are nearby, come to MoCCA for some good comics.
And tonight….don’t forget this awesome event. I’ll be there if I can drag my carcass out one more time.
• That’s opposed to the less famous “Non-aggressive 68th.”