From April 10 â€“ 11, the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) had its annual festival at the 6th Regiment Armory in New York City. Joining the many members of the SVA community who were in attendanceâ€”including Tom Hart (faculty), Peter Kuper (faculty), Michael Kupperman (BFA 1998 Fine Arts), David Mazzucchelli (faculty), Dash Shaw (BFA 2005 Illustration) and James Sturm (MFA 1991 Illustration as Visual Essay)â€”was comic artist and alumnus Marguerite Dabaie (BFA 2007 Cartooning), presenting her comic The Hookah Girl (which the New York Daily News included in its roundup of the best comics from the festival) and checking out the artwork on display. Below is Dabaieâ€™s dispatch from the event:
As an artist who has vended at MoCCAFest for the past four years, I equate the annual event to a 48-hour-long reaffirmation that the comic medium (and its artists) is a wonderful thing. Iâ€™m not usually the type to attend comic-related parties, readings or what-have-you during the year; I instead choose to run around like a maniac to every table during one convenient event, taking in the smell of fresh ink on printed paper.
MoCCA Fest is always a euphoric high for me. There are many talented artists who attend; so much so, it would be impossible for me to give the proper amounts of attention to every single one. For a relatively small showâ€”much smaller than, say, New York Comic Conâ€”thatâ€™s a pretty impressive feat. Besides, since the Festâ€™s recent move to the 69th Regiment Armory from the Puck Building, it has definitely inherited some of that comic convention feelâ€”a single, enormous room with a high ceiling and rows upon rows of art.
And the artâ€”what can I say? I am always overwhelmed. Wonderfully, amazedly, so. I realize, by being a part of these shows, that there’s always room for comics. Some highlights (in no particular order): Smile, by Raina Telgemeier. An autobiographical story of childhood tooth woes. It takes place in San Francisco, where I grew up, and this graphic novel makes me reminisce. Life Meter 3, a video game-related compilation comic. Chock full of gaming in-jokes, in full color! Kenan Rubensteinâ€™s single-page comics that he folds several times over. The result is a comic that literally unfurls. He has been creating this style of comic for the past few years, and I always enjoy reading them. Paige Pumphreyâ€™s art book. Her work is slick, bright, and pinup-girly in a feminist way that I thoroughly enjoy. Menstruation Station by Jen Vaughn. Guys may not understand, but I get it. Totally. By the way, Jaime Hernandez was there, signing books. And I had a few books to sell, too: The Hookah Girl, Volumes 1 and 2; Tetaâ€™s Cookbook; and Starfish.
Images: (top) photo from MoCCAFest by Marguerite Dabaie; (bottom) Marguerite Dabaie,Â The Hookah Girl, Volumes 1 and 2.