MoCCA Arts Festival My First Con of the Year

MoCCAFest 2017 art by Becky Cloonan

My convention year kicks off with the MoCCA Arts Festival, held April 1-2 in New York City by the Society of Illustrators. That’s less than a month away!

The show will be held in Metropolitan West, located on West 46th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues, while programming (a small but quality list of panels) takes place at the Ink48 hotel (653 11th Ave). This year’s guests of honor are:

  • Acclaimed French cartoonist Blutch, whose graphic novel Peplum marks his second English-language translation, making his first-ever appearance at a North American comics festival.
  • Cliff Chiang, known for his “fluid and confident storytelling” in work on comics including Human Target, Beware the Creeper, Wonder Woman, and Paper Girls.
  • Artist Becky Cloonan, whose best-selling comics include Demo, East Coast Rising, American Virgin, Gotham Academy, and many others.
  • Illustrator Drew Friedman, recognized for his body of comics work as well as his unforgettable caricatures of celebrities and legends, political figures and performers.
  • British comics artist David Lloyd, best known as the artist of V for Vendetta, written by Alan Moore, and the designer of the iconic Guy Fawkes mask since adopted by Anonymous.
  • American Born Chinese and Boxers & Saints author Gene Luen Yang, the current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and a prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellow, who will appear on Saturday only.
MoCCAFest 2017 art by Becky Cloonan

Art by Becky Cloonan

One thing I like about the show (other than an excuse to visit NYC) is the exhibit policy:

Exhibitors are restricted to comic and cartoon artists and their representatives. This includes: Artists of creator-owned comics, publishers, and writers, selling only comic/cartoon art, comics and graphic novels. Exhibitors must display published material (self-published accepted) to be eligible.

This is a show focused on comics, not prints or merchandise. I have fun at those kinds of shows, too, but this one is great for finding artists new to me while catching up with old friends. Admission is $5 per day, a bargain!

The show also has an after party and award ceremony. The juried MoCCA Arts Festival Award of Excellence recognizes the most outstanding work on view at the festival. The categories include long form, short form, single image, and special format, with up to one gold and two silver medal winners for each category. Those winners are announced on Saturday evening, April 1, at 7:30 at the Society of Illustrators (128 East 63 Street); admission is a $10 cover charge, with a cash bar.



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