This is from Iceland by Matti Hagelbergia. The cover delivers, the inside is just as wonky! I love the fact that foreign Indy publishers and comic dealers are setting up at MoCCA. I hope MoCCA encourages more of this, it’s so very kewl.
#9: ALINE THE ALIEN
T. Motley is one to watch. Strong on concepts and one of the better draftspeople in the Indy scene. He’s committed to comics and moving from Denver to Brooklyn to get deeper into the comics and illustration world. Can’t wait to see what else this guy comes up with!
#8: WASCO’S WEEKBLAD
Another foreign job. Artsy-fartsy, kinda surreal, a little Chris Ware influence, maybe. More like a sketch book of comic book or magazine covers from, I gather, an imagined publication called Wasco’s Weekblad. Whatever the heck it is I LIKE IT! Lots.
#7: PROJECT ROMANTIC
I can vicariously pretend I’m a twenty-something Indy comic book artist in love through this one. It’s lots of alternate guys and gals doing this, but the production is superlative and it’s in full color throughout. You can’t go wrong with Adhouse books.
#6: OUT OF THE WOODS
School of Visual Arts must have some kind of kick-ass cartooning department because I’m way impressed by this student portfolio/comic book, and I’m not easily impressed ;o). I’m actually thinking of contacting some of the artists here when I finally do a “Contemporary Arf”. And don’t you just love that cover with its great lettering? You don’t see much good lettering from the Indy crowd, hell, from the mainstream crowd either. I’m a sucker for hand drawn type this wonderful.
#5: I SMELL AND REMEMBER
Marianne R. Petit can be counted on for interesting concepts. Here she illustrates friends’ memories that have been touched off by smells. Fascinating stuff and I love the cover with it’s tied-on fold out. This is the kind of stuff you can only find at small press gatherings ike MoCCA.
John Holmstrom, editor and publisher of Punk magazine, has long cracked me up with his signature character, Bosko. The perfect blend of laugh generating art and story. And, as you might expect from the genius behind Punk, lots of rebellion and anti-social behavior demonstated here. Yeah, baby!
#3: BLACK GHOST APPLE FACTORY
Heartiest congrats to Top Shelf’s Chris and Brett for their ten exemplorary years. And a tip of the Yoe hat for publishing one of the best Indy cartoonists: Jeremy Tinder. I’m quite taken with Jeremy’s work–I’m a big gushing fan. Jeremy’s comics are compelling, quirky, full of gentle humor. Totally engaging. I also snagged a terrific mini-painting by Jeremy at the festival, remind me to show it to you, Arf lovers!
Maybe J. P. Coovert is a big part of this scene, I dunno. I was totally unfamiliar with his work. It’s very unassuming, so normally I would have passed it by. But, as the cover hints, the guys a real thinker, willing to take risks with his simple style. And this super simple style makes it easy to get into J.P.’s work and then you find the rewards. You find you’ve been told a nice little story, and experienced some real creativity (I won’t spoil the the delightful surprise format of this little book that is revealed when you turn the last page). This is the one book I read to my wife when I got home and she loved it, too. I want more J. P. stuff (and was sad to learn I somehow missed at MoCCA a collaboration comic he did with anothe fantastic Hope Larson).
#1: ELVIS ROAD
MInd blowing, this book folds out to a full 45 feet to reveal a bizarre panorama of cartooning psychotic madness. Buenaventura Press puts the art in comic art. I thought my “Life is Short, Arf Is Long” book would be the longest book at the festival–boy was I terribly mistaken. Elvis lives and lives and lives in THIS one!
Another great MoCCA fest, congrats to all the hard working volunteers that made this baby happen! Thanks to all the Arf fans that came by to my table and were effusive in their praise of the Arf books. I had great fun at the Arf talk over at the museum with a great crowd attending. I enjoyed being interviewed by Comicolgy for their teevee show, too. Finally, a big thanks for making the book “Life is Short, Arf is Long” a sell-out. See you next year!
— C. Yoe (in the funny papers)