My travels – Part 1 – MoCCA

Man, have I been traveling a ton this last month. As a matter of fact, I was on the road (or in the air, or on train tracks, or sleeping on an air mattress at a friend’s apartment) for 15 out of 19 days. Just too much. I’m happy to be home till Comic Con.

In order, these were the events I went to: The National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Weekend, Book Expo and MoCCA. Since MoCCA is the most recent (two weeks ago), I’ll hit that first and the others (hopefully) next week. (Yep, I’m not very timely and thus a bad, bad blogger.)

I mooched a place to stay off of my friends Bob (professionally known as “R.”) Sikoryak and Kriota Willberg. Bob is quite well-known in the “alternative comics scene” and it was fun to tag along with him and experience an area of comics I don’t know nearly enough about.

And now the bullet points:

• MoCCA moved from the Puck Building to the Amory on Lexington. It’s big joint where you could systematically see every table but, man, was it hot.

• Got to sit near my friend Marek Bennett who just put out a new book on a Xeric grant. A “block” away way was Brendan Burford whose newest edition of “Syncopated” was just published by Villard Press. Marek, Brendan and I all play ukulele (me just barely). Brendan even had his with him. It seems to be a popular instrument among cartoonists, which leads me to…

• Sunday night’s “Comic Strip Serenade” at a joint out in Brooklyn. Put together by a couple of comics historians, it was a performance of early 20th century sheet music inspired by comic strips like Pogo, Barney Google, The Gumps and Krazy Kat. And, my oh my, were there are a lot of ukes involved. As a matter of fact, the last piece was music that was an integral part of a comic strip called “Them Days Are Gone Forever” and featured not one, not two, not three, but four, count ’em, four ukuleles!

• And a big shout out to reader Dorian, who I’ve christened the “MoCCA Weekend’s #1 Bo Nanas fan” for coming to the show to see me. (I am always shocked and amazed when anyone comes specifically to see me at these things, such is my humbleness and meager level of fame.). She was kind enough to pick up a Bo book and the new Great Scott book. Unfortunately I’d forgotten to bring Bo buttons with me so I mailed her one with a sketch as a “thank you.”

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6 Responses to “My travels – Part 1 – MoCCA”

  1. Marek Says:

    Hey, John! It was great to see you again. I guess all that travelling and air-mattressing must have fixed your back for you! I’m glad we got to trade our new books.

    And HOT, sir? HOT, was it? Piff-poff, why back in ’08 it was so hot at MoCCA that all the toner melted off my copied zines and the fumes started a fire alarm…

  2. KOVALESKI Says:

    Great to see you too…and trade. Your new book is great. (I think the intense sweatiness fixed my back.)

  3. Dorian Says:

    Hi John! Thanks for the shout out – very kind of you! Just wanted to “stop by” your blog and let you know I got the button in last night’s mail and it’s super cute! Thanks again!!

    I’m now headed back home (Oregon) for a few weeks vacation, which I really need after stopping by the Armory and finding out what it’s like to tour in a furnace. (ha ha) I hope you and Marek will give a uke performance at the next con, maybe with an accordian too! :)

  4. KOVALESKI Says:

    My pleasure, Dorian. Funny you should mention accordion – my wife and I did a sing-a-long at our wedding reception. Her on accordion, me on ukulele.

  5. Dorian Says:

    I bet your reception was one for the ages! (It wasn’t a blind mention, you told me about her occasional band at MoCCA.)

  6. KOVALESKI Says:

    It was indeed pretty fun.

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