MoCCA 2017

Apr. 2nd, 2017 11:38 pm
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MoCCA Art Festival was at Metropolitan West again this year. I was only able to attend on Sunday.


Floppies & Minis

MoCCA 2016

Apr. 2nd, 2016 09:08 pm
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This year’s MoCCA Art Fest was held at Metropolitan West, on West 48th St, all the way over on 12th Avenue, even further west and more inconvenient than last year’s venue. I guess next year’s’ll be in a barge, mid-Hudson.

Here’s my shoulder-cracking haul:


  • New Contruction by Sam Alden.
  • A Stray in the Woods by Alison Wilgus.
  • Beef With Tomato by Dean Haspiel.
  • SVA’s 2014 comics school anthology. (Not sure why I didn’t already have this, since they give ’em out free every year, but the cover was distinctive and didn’t look familiar.)
  • Fantastic Life by Kevin Mutch.
  • Uptight #5 by Jordan Crane. The eye-catching cover made me pick it up and flip through it, the interior art made me buy it, and not till I got home did I notice it was by an artist whose work I already know and like. I expect I’ll want to hunt down the earlier four issues.
  • Valor, a gorgeous anthology book edited by Isabelle Melançon and Megan Lavey-Heaton, who are also among the many contributors. I sprang for the hardcover.
  • Snackies by Nick Sumida.

Floppies & Minis


  • A pair of Winsor & Newton pigment markers, Neutral Grey 6 and Violet Blue Deep! They were giving out free samples, and when I said I’d like either a blue or a dark gray, I got one of each!

MoCCA 2015

Apr. 13th, 2015 05:00 am
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I haven’t done one of these in ages. Still been going to MoCCA every year, but I’ve been forgetting to record my hauls.

This year the festival was held at Center 548, way over (way, way, way the fuck over) on West 22nd St, near 11th Ave. The festival was held on the second through 4th floors of the building, with a tiny elevator and treacherously narrow and steep stairs. My least favorite MoCCA venue so far.

Programming was held at the nearby High Line Hotel. I got to see Scott McCloud’s presentation on his new book, The Sculptor, thanks to his tweeting about how people should show up anyway, even though the room was “sold out.” As it happened, this was a good idea; there were empty seats, and I had no problem getting in.

I later got Scott McCloud to sign my copy of The Sculptor (not purchased at the show, so not listed below). When I told him my name, he said “The only Avram I’ve ever run into had the last name Grumer…” and I reminded him of the previous time we’d had the conversation.


  • Towerkind by Kat Verhoeven. Conundrum Press.
  • Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed? by Liz Prince. Top Shelf Productions.
  • AltCom 2012 and 2014, anthologies published by a Swedish comics festival. I paid $5 for the two of them, but now I see, on the back, they’re supposed to be free. I guess they’re free at the festival, but someone had to pay to get them here from Sweden. Anyway, I also got to try a piece of that salty Swedish licorice, so maybe that makes it all OK. Here’s a link to their Facebook page, since their website is down.
  • Terrestrial, an anthology, edited by Amanda Scurti.
  • Horizon Anthology, Volume One, edited and designed by Jeremy Lawson.

Floppies & Minis

I voted

Nov. 6th, 2012 05:23 pm
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If I were living in Ohio or Florida, I’d have held my nose and voted for the war criminal. But I’m not! I’m living in New York, a state which is going to deliver its electoral votes to the Democratic Party candidate this year, no matter what I did at the voting booth. So I was free to vote my conscience, and did:

Jill Stein/Cheri Honkala, Green Party
US Senate:
Colia Clark, Green Party
US House of Representatives:
Yvette Clarke, who’s a Democrat, but I voted for her on the Working Families line, because NY supports fusion balloting.
Justices of the Supreme Court:
Cheryl Chambers, Barry Kamins, William Miller, all on the Democratic Party line. The only two alternatives, both on the Working Families line, were not approved by the NY Bar Association.
Judge of the Civil Court:
Craig Walker, Robin Garson, on the Democratic Party line.
State Senator:
Eric Adams, a Democrat, on the Working Families line. (I think. I might have messed this one up and voted him as a Democrat.)
Member of the Assembly:
Walter Mosley III, Democratic Party.

The polling place was pretty crowded. It took five or ten minutes for me to get my ballot, and then twenty minutes on line to submit my ballot once I’d filled it out.

We're fine

Oct. 30th, 2012 03:36 pm
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We’re in a second-floor apartment, over a hundred feet above sea level, so it wasn’t likely we’d see any flooding. There was some chance that we’d suffer the failure of some bit of urban infrastructure (power, water, etc) due to problems in the rest of the city, but things went pretty well. Lights flickered occasionally, but we never actually lost power. We lost our Internet connectivity for a minute or two, but it came right back. (That seems to have been neighborhood-wide. I saw a bunch of nearby people on Twitter making the same complaint around the same time.) Some (but not all) of the cable channels went out around 11:40 PM, but they’re back now.

The subways are still out, so I have no idea whether tomorrow’s NYRSF meeting will happen. The MTA says bus service will be partially restored later today, so Chris may be able to get to work tomorrow.

We are, however, out of bagels.

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I decided to skip seeing Lewis Trondheim at Bergen St Comics, and went to NerdNYC boardgame night. Here’s what I played:

Simple two-player game. Each player gets to take two actions per turn, which is the primary constraint on the action. We didn’t even bother finishing the game out when it became obvious that I’d win and there was no way for the other player to catch up. There are expansion rules that might make the game more interesting, but we didn’t use them.

Pandemic’s been around for a while, but this is the first time I’ve played it. Players cooperate to defeat a disease-ridden planet. We almost won, curing three out of the four diseases. This was fun; I’d play it again.

I’ve played this one a few times, and been doing pretty well at it recently. I miss the speed and simplicity of Coloretto; maybe I should buy a copy.

I also saw a group playing the new anniversary edition of Puerto Rico. Fancy! Metal coins, redesigned pieces, new artwork.

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My friend Sumana Harihareswara is working on a geeky standup comedy routine (“about project management, Linux, relationships, Agile, public transit, science fiction, and These Kids Today”), and needs an audience of science fiction and computer nerds in front of whom to practice it.

To that end, she’ll be performing for half an hour, starting at 7 PM, on Thursday, April 21st, at Seaburn Bookstore, 33-18 Broadway, in Astoria. Looks like it’s near the Broadway stop on the N/Q, and the Steinway stop on the M/R. I know a bunch of you live in or near Astoria, so heads up. Chris and I are going to be there. (I might also show at Pacific Standard on Friday, since I can walk there.)

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I’m an American, so I’m gonna do the Census Meme for years ending in 0 instead of 1:

2010: I’m living with [ profile] bugsybanana in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, which has become a hot and happening neighborhood.

2000: Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, NYC, living solo, able to afford it because of a comfortable salary from an online game company. To date, this remains the best job I’ve ever had.

1990: Living with my parents, in Co-Op City, the Bronx, NYC. Finishing up college, part time, while working, also part time. This is around the time I’m discovering SF fandom and going to a lot of conventions.

1980: Living with my parents in Co-Op City. Just starting the Bronx High School of Science, playing lots of D&D in the lunchroom, discovering new comic books, and I think there were maybe some classes involved as well.

1970: Four years old. Living with my parents in Co-Op City, which is still being built – I can look out our living room window and see buildings slowly going up. We’ve recently moved here from Riverdale, the Bronx (though you’ll never get most Riverdalers to admit it), NYC.

1960: Not even conceived yet.

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Friday night, I went to my first NerdNYC Board Game Night. (I’d previously been to one Recess, back when it was held in Brooklyn.) Got there about 20 min after things started; it was pretty full, not much table space, the well-lit tables occupied by people playing long games. I found a few people setting up a game of Condottiere (did pretty well, but didn’t win), and after we finished that we played Guillotine (kicked everyone’s butts), and then I chatted with [ profile] matt_rah for a bit, then went home. Next time I’ll make an effort to get there early and grab a good spot.

Saturday night, [ profile] bugsybanana and I went out to see True Grit, the recent Coen brothers version. (Neither of us has seen the John Wayne version.) It’s got great dialog and great hats, just like you’d expect of a Coen bro’s movie.

Sunday we met up with Sumana (who I’d run into at a few geekish gatherings before, and wanted to get to know better) and her husband Leonard (who I’d never met before) for lunch. We chatted about books, comics, and insurance fraud, and stopped off at City Bakery for astonishing hot chocolate.

Monday looks like it may be as warm as 50°F, so I may actually leave the apartment for its own sake, rather than shopping or some other specific outside-oriented goal.

King Con 2

Nov. 7th, 2010 07:56 pm
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This weekend was King Con, the $10 comics convention that I can walk to! I caught the awesome Kyle Baker interview on Saturday, followed by the phallotacular Bored to Death panel with Dean Haspiel, Jonathan Ames, and Jeff Newelt. Today’s highlight was a short sample of Dr Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, with Paigey Pumphrey posing. Here are my sketches of the last two poses:

Pagey lying on her side

Another one behind the cut.... )

There’s a sketch of Pumphrey in last year’s King Con writeup as well.

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Y’know those Inktense pencils I was talking about the other day? Derwent has expanded the line to 72 colors. Actually 70 colors, since one of them is the outliner, and another is Antique White which is pretty much useless. You can order them from Dick Blick, and the Dick Blick store on Bond Street carries the individual pencils. I picked up Golden Yellow and Carmine Pink to swap out for Antique White and the outliner in my 24-set.

Places that did not have the full range include: DaVinci Art Supply on 23rd St, AI Friedman on 18th St, Utrecht Art Supply on Fourth Ave, and New York Central Art Supply on Third Ave.

While checking NY Central, I discovered that Faber-Castell now makes a “superfine” (or “XS”) black Pitt marker.


Apr. 15th, 2010 10:16 pm
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Oh, right, MoCCA! I see, looking through old entries, that I neglected to write up 2008’s art fest. Which is annoying, because one of the reasons I do this is to help me keep track of what I buy, so I don’t wind up buying it again the next year. Grmph.

Anyway, this year I missed a day of MoCCA for the first time ever, to hang out with [ profile] papersky, [ profile] roadnotes, [ profile] pnh, [ profile] tnh, and [ profile] bugsybanana at Green-Wood Cemetary, and then go see a stage adaptation of Dhalgren (joined by [ profile] baldanders, [ profile] stakebait, [ profile] redbird, and [ profile] cattitude). Patrick took photos, which will probably wind up on Flickr at some point.

That left Sunday for MoCCA. I got there around 2 PM, and soon ran into Sumana, who I followed around so that I could use her charm as a shield for my own general lack of social ability. (Seriously, [ profile] kent_allard_jr tells me that I’ve got more social ability than a lot of our circle of friends, but next to people like Sumana and [ profile] cadhla I feel like a bear who’s been shaved and toilet trained. And the shaving hasn’t really taken.) Also chatted a bit with Glenn, squeed a bit at Yuko Ota, and saw some cool animation at a panel. (I should probably make more effort to attend panels at future MoCCAs.)

On to the loot:


  • The Anthology Project, edited by Joy Ang and Nick Thornborrow, design and cover illo by Joy Ang. Were you aware that Holy-Crap-Gorgeous Full-Color Comics Anthology was a growing genre? Well, it is, and here’s another one.
  • Green Monk by Brandon Dayton. Also titled Зелёный Монах on the cover, but a quick skim doesn’t show me any Russian inside.
  • The 12 Labors of Gastrophobia, by David McGuire, collecting the webcomic of the same name. McGuire, as many cartoonists do, will draw sketches in the books people buy from him at cons. He asked me “Any requests?”, and (unable to decide which character is my favorite), I said “Sing ‘My Melancholy Baby’!” The result:
    crying baby
  • Awesome Stories, a portfolio anthology published by the School of Visual Arts cartooning department. I don’t remember the school being anywhere near this supportive of the cartooning majors when I was there. They were giving this book away free!
  • School of Visual Arts Portfolio 30, another freebie. Pieces from cartooning and illustration students graduating in 2009. The pages are perforated cardstock, so you can use them as postcards.


  • The Unwritten #1, first issue of a Vertigo comics series by Mike Carey and Peter Gross. Another freebie, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered. I go to MoCCA for indie stuff, especially the stuff I can’t get in stores.
  • Static Fish #1, an anthology magazine published by the Pratt Comic Club. They also had a full color hardcover book, but that isn’t what I got.


  • Dead Winter #2, by S Dave Shabet. I thought I got #1 last year, but I don’t see it listed. Maybe it was the year before.
  • Billy the Dunce, by Jason Week. I also geeked out a bit with Week about inking. And I got a small print of one of his illustrations.
  • A whole bunch of stuff from Bob Stevenson, who had a great package deal for $10:
    • Journey into History #1 ashcan
    • The Recessionist Comics Review
    • Kenya
    • Pulped #1
    • HB Comics and Stories #1 and #2, which are so big I shouldn’t be listing them here under minis, especially #1, which has a glossy cover and ads in the back.
    • An illustration and a printed comic strip.


Nov. 8th, 2009 10:28 pm
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I heard about King-Con just a few days ago, through Becky Cloonan’s blog. A comics convention within walking distance of my apartment, how could I not go?

It was a small con, even smaller (I think) than the first MoCCA Art Festival, but the vendors managed to fill up the lower level of the Brooklyn Lyceum. The Act-I-Vate crew had a table, of course, since a lot of them have studio space in the area. I held back from buying a lot of stuff, since money’s tight, and I’ve still got books from MoCCA 2008 that I haven’t gotten around to reading. I limited myself to a (half-price!) copy of Joel Priddy’s new book, The Gift of the Magi.

One nice feature of the dealer space was a row of benches along one wall, which gave me a place to sit down, pull out my sketchbook, and do these:

King-Con sketches

That guy in the lower right? Neal Adams.

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So I hauled my laptop to Tekserve (saving NYC Mac-owners' asses since 1987), and the helpful guy at the repairs counter was successful in getting my machine to boot off a network volume. He ran some diagnostic tools (fsck?) and concluded that my hard drive is horked. He was unable to figure out why I couldn't boot from an install DVD; that's apparently something that happens sometimes when a hard drive goes bad, or it may mean my DVD drive went bad too in a display of component solidarity. But it doesn't seem to be the logic board, which is what I'd been fearing.

This is actually good news! It just so happens that I've got this old replacement hard drive that I ordered last year when I started running low on drive space. When I saw how much of a pain in the ass it was to swap drives out in this model, I just deleted a bunch of unnecessary files instead, and wound up never installing it, but it's still sitting right here a few feet behind me.

It also just so happens that I've got a replacement DVD drive sitting in our study, as well. I ordered this three years back, after some books fell on my laptop and I thought my DVD drive was damaged. (Damn, there's some decent drawing on that page. I need to get back up to that skill level.)

Since I'm doing all my repairs myself, Tekserve didn't charge me anything for the twenty minutes or so of staff time I took up. (The Coke machine still isn't working, though.)

The next step is figuring out a way to print out the PDF I've got on my desktop (and therefore on my backup drive) that tells me how to open up my machine. Then, I need a large, clean, flat surface. There's a special tool -- something like a dental pick -- I'm supposed to use to disengage catches above the DVD slot, and nobody sells it, but I think I can improvise something out of a paper clip.


Jun. 8th, 2009 01:14 am
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MoCCA Art Fest was this weekend, NYC’s top event for indie comics. I’ve been going every year since the first one, but I totally forgot to do a list like this last year.




This year was the first in the new venue, the 69th Regiment Armory on 26th and Lex, which has one big internal space, much more convenient than the three smaller spaces at the Puck Building (no link because their website has annoying automatic sound). A bit warm, though. Ran into, jeez, practically everybody, which highlights the superiority of one big space for socializing and networking.

Two or three different people asked me if I had done any comics lately, which has me pissed off at myself for having done practically no comics at all in like twenty years. I clearly in some way emit the aura of someone who ought to be making comics.

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Ordered a bunch of stuff from Amazon early last week, to take advantage of their Black Friday-through-Tuesday sale. Got a few DVDs I’d been wanting at five or six bucks a pop, a couple books I’d been faunching over, and a Hanukah present for my nephew. As they usually do, Amazon broke the shipment up into four boxes.

Yesterday, the postman rings a few times, and I buzz him in and get a package. [ profile] bugsybanana and I wind up spending the whole day indoors, so we don’t check the mail till Sunday, when she finds one of those we-tried-to-deliver-a-package-but-you-were-out slips. There’s no mail delivery on Sunday, and only one delivery other days, so the postman must have dragged the two packages out here, handed me one (the heavier one, as it turns out, though neither was particular large or heavy), and then dragged the other back to the depot.

Today I wait around till 3 PM, just in case yet another box turns up. Spend an hour walking to the post office, getting my package, walking back.

There’s a UPS slip waiting for me.

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Just noticed this today on the subway:

Don't lean on door!'

Isn’t that weird? The Os are sideways, all of them. The N in lean is slightly shaved off on the right edge; compare it to the N in not. And the letters in lean don’t seem to have the same baseline.

What the hell is up with that? I thought it was some kind of pranked-up fake sign at first, but all of the Do not lean on door signs were like that.

Update: Here's a sharper photo on Gothamist earlier this year.

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Did some sketching today at the Tea Lounge, which has become one of my regular hangouts. (The one on Union St, not the soon-to-be-closing 7th Ave branch.)

The guy on the left is Howard Bloom. I’ve no idea who the woman on the right is.

Sketches of two heads

Wow, it felt good to do that. It’s like a muscle in my neck has been tense, and now it’s relaxed.

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Hey, everybody! The MoCCA Art Fest is this coming weekend, Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 6pm, at the Puck Building, on Houston St a block east of Broadway. Admission is $10/day or $15 for the weekend. Who else is going?

April 2017



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