Following the departure last year of Director Karl Erickson, MoCCA has just announced two new hires; Cartoonist Doug Bratton will fill the role of Museum Manager/Director of Development; and Mell Scalzi will join the museum as Registrar. Both have worked with the museum in the past.
Bratton attended the Kubert School as a child, and is a syndicated cartoonist whose daily panel Pop Culture Shock Therapy can be read in print and online. A native of New Jersey, he was profiled last year by NothJersey.com and a collection of his comics has been published by Andrews McMeel.
He developed several comic strip ideas but then in 2002, “I decided that I really wanted to do a single panel. I felt that entertainment media and popular culture were such a part of everyone’s life that I thought it would be interesting to do a single panel about it.”
And so “Pop Culture Shock Therapy” was born. The comic started as a purely web-based endeavor before being picked up by over 50 college newspapers and alternative news weeklies. Drawing from the richness of popular culture and entertainment media, Bratton created a comic based on what he thought was funny.
“I enjoy parody humor like the Simpsons,” explained Bratton. “Entertainment media has had such an over-saturating affect on Gen Xers like me that it just seemed like a natural way to satirize life.”
Scalzi has volunteered at MoCCA for two years and has a background in curation at both MoCCA and her alma mater, Wheaton University.
According to the PW, MoCCA will soon unveil plans for a 10 Year Anniversary Celebration and permanent, state-if-the-art facility.
In just ten short years, the Museum of Comic & Cartoon Art, -MoCCA, has carved out a place for itself in the lower Manhattan community. The museum gallery, located on Broadway just south of Houston Street, has managed to attract the works of some of the cartooning industry’s giants, including such icons as Charles Schulz, Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, Art Spiegelman, Will Eisner, David Mazzucchelli, Al Jaffee, Jules Feiffer, Stan Lee, Peter Arno, Syd Hoff, Trina Robbins, Ralph Bakshi, Todd McFarlane, Gary Baseman, Basil Wolverton, Bill Plympton, Peter Kuper, R. Sikoryak, Robert Crumb, Jamie Hernandez, Jack Kirby, Harvey Kurtzman and Maurice Sendak. The museum is currently planning its annual MoCCA Festival—one of the largest comic art festivals in the country, and MoCCA’s primary fundraiser—as well as a 10 Year Anniversary Celebration that will include the unveiling of future plans for a permanent, state-of-the-art facility.
Amidst these events, Museum President Ellen Abramowitz conducted a search for new staff leadership to replace their past Museum Director, who had recently moved on to another position. “During the search process, the Board of Trustees realized that the museum’s growth has made it necessary to fill a wide variety of skill sets in order to help MoCCA achieve its future goals,” said Abramowitz. “There was clearly a need to build greater leadership capacity at the staff level in order for us to continue growing. Sometimes when you have big shoes to fill, it makes more sense to add an extra set of feet.”
MoCCA has hired new staff to fill two leadership positions recently created by the museum. Doug Bratton will take on the role of Museum Manager/Director of Development, and Mell Scalzi has been hired to serve as Registrar. Both have a long history of involvement with MoCCA.
Doug Bratton is a cartoonist and author who serves as Chairman of the National Cartoonists Society’s New York Metro Chapter. He writes and draws a daily newspaper comic panel, and has contributed comics to Nickelodeon and MAD Magazine. A collection of his comics titled The Deranged Stalker’s Journal of Pop Culture Shock Therapy was recently published by Andrews McMeel Universal. In addition to his cartooning career, Bratton has worked in non-profit management for 15 years as a supervisor, trainer, program director, and grant writer.
Mell Scalzi has served as a volunteer at the museum for two years with MoCCA’s collections and archives department, and is a member of the Curatorial Committee. She has assisted with the curation on a number of MoCCA’s exhibits. Additionally, she co-curated exhibits at the Wallace Library at Wheaton College where she received a Bachelor of Arts, minoring in Art History with a focus on contemporary art and museum studies. She was a member of the Wheaton College Beard & Weil Galleries Curatorial Team, and also interned with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
The Museum of Comic & Cartoon Art is open to the public on Tuesdays-Sundays from noon to 5pm. It occasionally closes for exhibit installations, please call or check the website before visiting. Group and school tours are also available, please contact the museum at (212) 254-3511 and ask for group sales to schedule a tour. For any additional information about the Museum of Comic & Cartoon Art, the MoCCA Festival, or to make a tax-deductible contribution, please contact Museum President Ellen Abramowitz at (212) 254-3511.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.