The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival has come and gone, but the comics I bought there are forever. Or until they disintegrate. Please enjoy this selection of prime panels from the small-press work Team Geekanerd picked up at MoCCA '09.
Best Character Design - Things I've Seen At Shows, Allan Norico
Things I've Seen At Shows is rawker Allan Norico's collection of cartoon portraits based on the most memorable or archtypical people he's seen at rock shows over the last decade. Besides having an beautifully clean, sharp, and funny style, Norico's caricatures are so vividly on-point that reading the book brought back all sorts of memories from my own Berkeley punk experience that I hadn't thought about in years. There are a couple more preview pages on Norico's website, and the whole book is only $7 bucks; highly recommended for fans of awesome design or ROCKING THE F OUT.
Star Wars, talking potatoes, weird cuteness, and lots of DIY B&W goodness, after the jump!
Best Actor - Potatoes from Cooking With Food #1, by Evan Palmer
It is an eternal mystery of comics; how does an artist manage to pack an actor's seminar worth of expression into a drawing with only two eyes and a tiny, tiny mouth? Between the first and third panel, I swear you can see the potato gathering confidence in his shy line of questioning. And the fourth panel's angry-mug-to-the-audience is a great touch.
This comic is in fact a collection of illustrated recipes, at least one of which I plan on cooking tonight. Sadly, the book is not on Evan Palmer's website, so if you want a copy (and how can you not? LOOK AT THAT POTATO) head over to his site and email him!
Cute Overload - Lesbians by Jane Mai
When I bought this stapled mini-comic consisting of the 3-panel adventures in randomness of two gay girls as well as "other lesbians", my co-editor Degan was heard to remark "You don't have to buy something JUST because it has lesbians in it." Well it turned out to be awesome and hilarious (typically what I look for in mini-comics), and it ended with this drawing of lesbian otters in love. Just goes to show, when buying mini-comics, follow your heart! PS: Author Jane Mai is so indie she doesn't even seem to have a public website; talk about indie cred!
Ewok Alert and Cute Overload II - Harvest Is When I Need You The Most: A Star Wars Fanbook, edited by Shelli Paroline
This "Fanbook" may be my favorite thing I bought all weekend. An anthology of short Star Wars fancomics by independent artists, this three-part collection is a Star Wars version of DC's Bizzaro anthology. Except it's better, because it's Star Wars. The drawing that acompaniest the credits jumped out at me, because it speaks to my recently published theory that Ewoks are flesh eating monsters.
That drawing about is by editor Shelli Paroline. The book features a comic she did about what happens to Oola after she drops into the Rancor pit, which is a whimsical yet sad piece of imagined EU history, but what I really want to emphasize is this panel featuring my favorite character of the entire saga....
SALACIOUS CRUMB! I think this drawing captures his nihilistic misanthropy very well, as well as his crumb-likness.
There are lots more previews on the official site, I highly, highly recommend you check it out.
Achievement in Shading - Nerd Burglar (anthology), Elijah Brubaker
This is a scary freakin' ghost story inspired by an old sea shanty or something like that, and when things turn bad, artist Elijah Brubaker (no relation??) amps up the dramatic shading to grand guignol levels. I love it. Not sure if I've ever seen such a cute character look so frightening as in the first panel.
Too Real - Das Bear by Joseph Guillette
Speaking as a Hispanic person with no Hispanic friends, this hit a little too close to home. I was actually lucky to get this book for free, and it's full of other slice-of-life comics starring depressed and bitter animals, which is pretty much my thing. Author Joe Guillette has a free webcomic featuring hobos on his website, so you're going to want to check that out.
Best Dramatic Tension - Featuring Talking Guinea Pigs! by JoeGP
I picked this comic up from artist JoeGP's table because it had guinea pigs on the cover. I flipped to this page, and was immediately drawn into the story even without any other context. It was my only impulse purchase of the entire festival. I think it's the "hands-touching-through-the-glass" that really got me. Luckily for you, this entire space epic is available for free online. Not that I'm mad I bought a hard copy...grumble (jk jk lol).
That's it! For more festival highlights, be sure to check out our MoCCA set on Flickr.