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.