We’re still trying to collate our own thoughts of MoCCA ’09 — despite the problems, it was a GREAT SHOW — but others got there first and have reflected our own thoughts. A few early links:
§ Marion Vitus’s Flickr stream contains much that makes MoCCA the special time it is, from the “Drink and Draw Like a Lady” party to a big group of friends eating in a park on a perfect summer night (above).
§ Veteran observer and participant Sean T. Collins has a very strong post with both the highs and the lows well-explained.
§ Likewise, Brian Heater’s account at The Daily Cross Hatch is a wide-ranging and comprehensive write-up. He also has photos. (Why, oh why, did ours have to be so shitty?)
We got to meet our fellow blogger Sandy Bilus of I Love Rob Liefeld, and his thoughts, too, should be pondered.
AND, some randomly Googled blogger entries from non-household names: freakylynx:
This new location was quite a change from the old. The pluses would be that it offered more space, higher ceilings (you appreciate that more when you consider how many people are roaming around an enclosed area), quicker to reach from the subway, and perhaps that everyone was in one spot rather than in an off room where they might be missed. It’s weird isn’t it, something new might be an improvement overall but I still missed the personality of the old building – sure some people were on the second floor which required cramp, heated elevator rides, and sure sure it could be almost a bit of a maze to get from one end to the other with rooms of varying sizes which had to be explored so you could spot everyone’s table – but the place had freakin’ personality rather than being just one large square room! Ah well.
§ And Danielle Griffith:
So far, it’s going pretty well! I am at home, exhausted, not doing fun stuff, because not only did I do too much fun stuff too late Friday night, but it was hot in the Armory. By the way, MoCCA is in a freaking National Guard Armory. It’s sort of strangely forboding, like, you feel like you’re trapped inside while the zombie hordes are clamoring outside. It’s huge and hot. I was very tired by the end of the day, despite consuming a total of five shots of espresso and one grande iced coffee from Starbucks.
Just want to say thanks for the food recommendations… baoguette was awesome and affordable!
So how hot exactly was it? If Kevin Smith was there, would he be forced to remove his black trench coat? Anyone know what the actual room temperature in there was?
I loved the new space. I was there for most of Saturday and it didn’t feel overly hot. That said, I was one of the exhibitors in the SWEATBATH that was the 7th Floor MoCCA 2008.
And to accuse the Armory of having no personality… ?
It felt like the pit at CBGB’s after a half hour. It was hot enough that I know people who left because of it. One person after only a half an hour. And my 4-yr old was in terrible discomfort on Sunday, and people told us we were in the “cool” section. Last year’s show was famous for it being 101 degrees on Sunday, which would have roasted everyone alive in the Armory.
The Armory has personality, but so does Carrot Top. Personality ain’t the same as class. The Puck Building was problematic, and definitely too hot upstairs, but the Armory’s benefits don’t make it top choice, in my opinion. The benefits I saw were: more room, more exhibitors, the programming was accessible and really well-attended for once, and MOCCA could afford to rent it. From what I understand, the Puck Building was out if for no other reason than affordability.
It’s a bigger show (arguable a good thing), still a fun show, with amazing books and great guests but it’s hardly the same show, for good or bad, looking more like a high school gym flea market, having a lot less personality and identity, and being a complete and utter all-around sweat box. People just looked exhausted, my table neighbors and I were wiped out. If you’re young and unencumbered and in love with comics, it’s probably still aces. If you are really young or have a heart condition, think twice. Plus, table prices are going up quite a bit, and more exhibitors means more dollar competition. MOCCA 2.0 is a curious thing, sort of like SPX after they canned the Sunday hang-out. Still nifty, but different.
I’ll stop before I get deep into my problems with the show promotion, website, the guide book omitting many names, the very late information, and the messy, late opening on Saturday, because they didn’t have the tickets and many of the badges. I also heard publishers books arrived late. That’s double plus ungood, no matter how you slice it. I’ve never experienced that at any show, bad or good, small press or big-time. You have your stuff there on time to open.
Rick: How hot was it, Seth kept his suit on, but I believe he may have swapped his brow with a handkerchee from time to time.
Evan: Thanks for the honest appraisal, as always.
My photos posted here: http://nycityofmike.blogspot.com/2009/06/mocca-art-festival-2009-69th-armory.html
The cost of properly A/C’ing a hall of that size I suspect would make my head explode, but may I suggest at least a couple industrial fans at opposite corners, pointed up? At least get some circulation going?
Someone should tell Danielle that caffeine is a diuretic. Drinking all that coffee actually dehydrated her more. Water next time.
Me too!: http://www.snipurl.com/ilikecomics
Does anyone know exactly how many more tables they were able to squeeze into the Armory? It didn’t seem like THAT many more. I could see them outgrowing the Armory by next year. I hope they do, if just so they are forced to find another place with air-conditioning.
Totally agree with Evan, though I don’t fault the tireless and well-meaning MoCCA planners who put on quite an outsized annual show with limited resources.
I hope that the Puck Building will be back next year — old buildings will always be hot, but at least small rooms can be helped with fans. The class and charm and boutique nature of the multi-room Puck space made it a show I eagerly brought coworkers and non-comics friends to experience. Friends who came with me this year were overwhelmed, tired from the heat, unhappy with the neighborhood, and eager to leave. Past years had an air of sophistication and art-exhibitry that I hope others value enough to bring back in the future.
Oh, and to answer Heidi’s question, I, for one, spent the same $200 or so I spend every year and I’m absolutely thrilled with everything I picked up.
I don’t know the numbers, but I do know that the Puck Building substantially increased its rental rates this year, and the Armory costs substantially less than the Puck Building’s old rates.
I’ve worked for a events company that handled production for Fashion Week events in the Armory, and it costs upwards of $50,000 to bring in A/C units for that space, and takes at least two full days before the event to install the equipment.
If the Armory is substantially cheaper than the OLD rates at the Puck, why does MoCCA keep raising table prices? That combined with their new trick of making exhibitors pay up front for next year’s table makes it seem more like the exhibitors table costs are paying to keep MoCCA’s larger organization running, not just the Art Festival.
One thing I’ll say is that it seemed like there were fewer minis than in years past. I wonder if the rising table prices are pricing out the hand-made comics. It would be a shame if that disappeared completely and the festival becomes just a promotional event for the bigger companies. All that has been said before, but this was the first year I noticed it.
Though it was still a good show, of course. The international contingent makes MoCCA pretty unique.