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Posts Tagged ‘mocca art fest’

On the weekend of April 2nd and 3rd, I will be sharing a table with three other artists at MoCCA Fest 2016

noelle.mocca_final2

Art for MoCCA Fest 2016. Artist: Noelle Stevenson.

You can find me at table F 219. Here’s the links for everyone at the table:

Michele Witchipoo (WitchesBrewPress):  http://www.witchesbrewpress.com/

E.J. Barnes (Drowned Town Press): http://www.drownedtownpress.com/

Jonathan Todd: http://jonathanjtodd.tumblr.com/

Paul Curtis: http://paulcurtis.livejournal.com/

Books, comics, prints, and greeting cards will be for sale at this event. So drop on by.

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Didn’t have a table at MoCCA 2014, not this year. Didn’t have any new stuff to promote. So I just basically walked around, checking out the other artists, etc. The strange part was coming across an comic book anthology I had contributed to back in 2012:

Cover for Filthy Cake, published by Scary-Art Publishing.  http://www.scary-art.com/scaryartpublishing.htm

Cover for Filthy Cake, published by Scary-Art Publishing.
http://www.scary-art.com/scaryartpublishing.htm

Below is a personal photo of the two page story I did with writer and person behind the book, Nicolas Caesar.

Short story I did the art for, Nicolas Caesar wrote the story. Published in the Filthy Cake horror comicbook anthology, 2012.

Short story I did the art for, Nicolas Caesar wrote the story. Published in the Filthy Cake horror comic book anthology, 2012.

Of course I approached the table. Met another artist and writer who contributed to the comic book anthology as well. Below is the Tumblr link (of course, it’s not the most flattering photo, but hey):

http://lowerthanlowbrow.tumblr.com/post/81892392854/ran-into-michele-witchipoo-one-of-the-other

Previous post about MoCCA 2014: https://witchesbrewpress.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/brief-review-of-mocca-2014/

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This past Saturday was the first time in many years I didn’t have an exhibitor table at MoCCA Art Fest 2014. It didn’t really bother me. Although I had done illustrations for others’ books, perhaps it was time for a break.

Other than the sight of some indie comic distributor I confronted last year, this year’s MoCCA was pretty good. The exhibitors were mostly all new. Ever since MoCCA merged with Society of Illustrators, some improvements were made.

Robert Williams Q&A panel at MoCCA Art Fest, April 5th, 2014. Photo by William Mercado.

Robert Williams Q&A panel at MoCCA Art Fest, April 5th, 2014. Photo by William Mercado.

I arrived on time for the best part of the whole MoCCA event. The Robert Williams Q&A panel. In the audience was none other than J. G. Thirlwell. For those not familiar with Thirlwell, he’s man otherwise known as Foetus, aka Clint Ruin. His band had constant name changes such as Scraping Foetus Off A Wheel throughout the ’80s and ’90s until he settled on just Foetus. He had other side projects as well, like the underground ‘supergroup’ The Immaculate Consumptive featuring himself, Lydia Lunch, Marc Almond and Nick Cave. Only a few shows took place before that project dissolved. Other than bootlegs of the gigs themselves, no recordings exist. (I’ve briefly blogged about The Immaculate Consumptive on a previous post.) 

Why I’m discussing Foetus other than his attendance at the panel is due to this. When I was 16 years old, someone gave me a promo poster of Wiseblood, another of Thirlwell’s side projects. (Saw Wiseblood live at The Ritz in NYC, 1987) Besides being a fan of Wiseblood, the artwork was done by none other than the artist himself, Robert Williams. So at age 16, I had no idea than 20 years later I would be witnessing a Q&A panel of an artist who had done cover work for a musician who would also be in the same room. Kinda cool when you think about it.

Wiseblood poster. Circa '80s. Artist Robert Williams.

Wiseblood poster. Circa 1987. Artist Robert Williams. Had this on my wall during my late teen years. Wish I still have this poster.

Of course, looking back on it, listening to bands like Wiseblood in my youth probably contributed to my misanthropy later on in my adult years.

Robert Williams Q&A panel at MoCCA Art Fest 2014. Photo by William Mercado, April 2014.

Robert Williams Q&A panel at MoCCA Art Fest 2014. Photo by William Mercado, April 2014.

After the curator Carlo McCormick was finished interviewing Williams, questions from the crowd was encouraged. I had wanted to ask about the artwork he had done for The Flesh Volcano:Slut, again featuring Marc Almond and Foetus. Yes, I had that on vinyl during my late teens. In the end I decided against asking questions regarding album artwork. Instead I was kicking myself for not being better prepared, otherwise I would’ve brought my CD reissue for Williams to sign.

Flesh Volcano/Slut by Marc Almond and Clint Ruin, aka Foetus aka J.G. Thirwell. Artwork by Robert Williams.

Flesh Volcano/Slut by Marc Almond and Clint Ruin, aka Foetus aka J.G. Thirwell. Original vinyl album cover. Artwork by Robert Williams.

As for Robert Williams himself, he was sharing various stories about himself. Some of his reflections discussed his art school years, working with underground comics such as Zap Comix, and creating Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine. 

After the panel, I mostly walked around checking out various tables. Cats seemed to be a popular theme this year. Ben brought me comic as part of my birthday present.

Frankie Comics issue # 1 by Rachel Dukes. Brought at the MoCCA Art Fest 2014.

Frankie Comics issue # 1 by Rachel Dukes. Brought at the MoCCA Art Fest 2014.

The biggest surprise was walking by, and seeing an anthology for sale that I had contributed to maybe like two years ago.

Cover for Filthy Cake, published by Scary-Art Publishing.  http://www.scary-art.com/scaryartpublishing.htm

Cover for Filthy Cake, published by Scary-Art Publishing.
http://www.scary-art.com/scaryartpublishing.htm

The artist and writer, Joey Volume was one of the anthology contributors, and this was the first time I had met anyone in person related to this book. We traded copies of each other’s comics. Below is his own title, “Meat And Sleaze.”

Meat And Sleaze issue one. Written and drawn by Joey Volume. From MoCCA Art Fest 2014.

Meat And Sleaze issue one. Written and drawn by Joey Volume. From MoCCA Art Fest 2014.

I only attended MoCCA 2014 for one day. Hopefully I’ll have an exhibitor table next year with all new material.

 

 

 

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Last weekend I did the Mocca Fest 2013. Might’ve mentioned this before, but originally I wasn’t planning to do the weekend event. Due to school and doing projects for other people, I hadn’t done any of my own stuff. In other words I didn’t have any new self-published comics of my own. Then a month before Mocca happened, someone offered me table space.

Overall I’m glad I took up on the offer. It had been over a year since I did any sort of comic book convention, so there was some rustiness. Through trial and error I discovered some facts. Also to my surprise I learned that people were still interested in my self-published comic Psycho Bunny. It’s this little zine/comic that I’ve been doing on and off for about ten years now.

What also took me by surprise was people were most interested in Psycho Bunny than my esoteric pin-up sketch book Babalon Babes. In the past, the interest in both comics/zines were sort of equal. This year, readers went more or less for Psycho Bunny, an ongoing tale about an alcoholic rabbit who dwells in urban chaos. It was also interesting because I had been thinking of dropping Psycho Bunny altogether. I’ve wondering about heading in a different direction. After all, I’ve been meaning to do this cat webcomic. Then came the Mocca show, and was proven contrary.

It also felt good to be back. Again, despite no new material of my own, there was still some interest in my work. I was trying to downgrade so I didn’t bring everything I had done within the past year/two years and a half. That would’ve been impossible to lug back and forth to the show. So this time around it was back to the basics. Besides, I kinda wanted to sell off some old material before setting forth on the new. A spring cleaning of sorts.

As for the weekend itself, the convention was packed. In the age of Nooks, Kindles and webcomics, people were still into buying indie hard copies. So in the end maybe it’s better to have a balance of everything. Perhaps readers are more interested in paper for the indie work, and digital for the more established. Time will tell.

Speaking of the more established, one of the guests of honor was none other than Ziggy the Pinhead creator Bill Griffith. Bob Fingerman was also there. Fingerman is known for various work, especially Minimum Wage  and Skinheads In Love comic series. I was a huge fan of the one off comic book he did with Lydia Lunch. Too bad my copy is not only tattered, but it seems to be m.i.a. Here’s a link: http://mediachrist.blogspot.com/2011/09/lydia-lunch-bloodsucker-comic.html?zx=a37d470fcdbcac3a

One of the original Punk rock cartoonists was also there, John Holmstrom. Alas, I didn’t go meet neither Fingerman or Holmstrom. There was my own table to tend to, and not a lot of room to move around if you wanted to leave your space for a bit. Holmstrom was there promoting his new book The Best of Punk Magazine.

The vibe was completely different at Mocca since merging with The Society of Illustrators. For starters, the fest was a lot more organized. I remember Mocca when it used to be at the Puck building, but the fest outgrew that venue a long time ago. For now Mocca still calls The 69th Regiment Armory its annual home.

Now I don’t know if it was me, but the crowd itself seemed to be a bit more conservative…? Not sure how to put it quite in words. Again, maybe it’s a sign of the times. Who knows. With Mocca there were always parents bringing their children, but this year there seemed to be more families there. I could be wrong but that was just my observation. Again, I think it’s a reflection of what’s been happening in New York City itself, as it slowly develops into a more suburban mindset. Much to my chagrin.

The highlight of the event was when someone asked me for a quick commission. I’ve grown to love these sort of commissions because it presents a challenge. It’s a combination of executing a replica of a someone else’s character, but throwing in your own interpretation as well. So this guy asks for a sketch of this comic book character called Beauty Blaze. I hadn’t heard of Beauty Blaze until that show. She’s a DC character from Legion of Superheroes. Initially I wasn’t too thrilled with the results due to nervousness, but he was. Here’s a link to the sketch:

http://www.comicartfans.com/gallerypiece.asp?piece=1000952&gsub=90046

Maybe I’ll do another post about Mocca Fest 2013. I’m still processing the event somewhat. In the meantime, here’s some photos courtesy of Paul Curtis, one of the publishers who complied the book on cartoonist Luisa Felix.

To be continued…?

Photo taken by Paul Curtis. Mocca Fest 2013.

Photo taken by Paul Curtis. Mocca Fest 2013.

Photo taken by Paul Curtis. Mocca Fest 2013.

Photo taken by Paul Curtis. Mocca Fest 2013.

Photo taken by Paul Curtis. Mocca Fest 2013.

Photo taken by Paul Curtis. Mocca Fest 2013.

Photo taken by Paul Curtis. Mocca Fest 2013.

Photo taken by Paul Curtis. Mocca Fest 2013.

MoccaCrowd2PaulCurtis

Photo taken by Paul Curtis. Mocca Fest 2013.

Photo taken by Paul Curtis. Mocca Fest 2013.

Photos by Paul Curtis, who was nice enough to let me use his pics for this blog post.

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The tribute book for cartoonist Luisa Felix has just been released. (Refer to a previous blog post: https://witchesbrewpress.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/cartoonist-and-friend-luisa-felix-1952-2013/)

You can be one of the first to get your own copy at the MoCCA Fest this weekend at table C91.

An Invitation To The World Of Luisa Felix, Cartoonist. The 100-page book has been printed in a limited edition of 250 hand-numbered copies, and each copy will contain a small sample of original Luisa Felix art. Nine artists - Keith O'Brien, Michele Witchipoo, Steve Peters, Larry Blake, Natalie Ewert, Frank Humphris, Eric Jensen, Paul and myself - have also contributed tribute art incorporating some of the many characters Ms. Felix created over her forty-year career. The book is a joint publication of Drowned Town Press and Micro-Comics.

An Invitation To The World Of Luisa Felix, Cartoonist. The 100-page book has been printed in a limited edition of 250 hand-numbered copies, and each copy will contain a small sample of original Luisa Felix art. Nine artists (also contributed to the book. The art incorporates some of the many characters Ms. Felix created over her forty-year career. The book is a joint publication of Drowned Town Press and Micro-Comics.

An Invitation To The World Of Luisa Felix, Cartoonist. The 100-page book has been printed in a limited edition of 250 hand-numbered copies, and each copy will contain a small sample of original Luisa Felix art. Nine artists – Keith O’Brien, Michele Witchipoo, Steve Peters, Larry Blake, Natalie Ewert, Frank Humphris, Eric Jensen, Paul and myself – have also contributed tribute art incorporating some of the many characters Ms. Felix created over her forty-year career. The book is a joint publication of Drowned Town Press and Micro-Comics.

If there are any copies left after the Mocca show, you might be able to order either through this website, or contact Paul Curtis. At the moment, your best bet is to purchase the book at the Mocca Fest. Any further updates will be posted.

http://drownedtownpress.com/home.html

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Just found out about the news of Luisa Felix’s passing.

Luisa Felix was a cartoonist, writer, peer and friend based in Hoboken, New Jersey. I don’t know the entire details. She died in January 2013.

According to this blog entry by cartoonist and publisher Paul Curtis, Luisa died of a stomach virus. It was complicated further by the power outages following Hurricane Sandy:

http://paulcurtis.livejournal.com/431990.html?view=1984630#t1984630

Luisa Felix had a love of films from the 1920’s and 1930s era. Inspired by actress Jean Harlow, Luisa created her character Candy Blondell.

Comic book character Candy Blondell created by Luisa Felix.

Comic book character Candy Blondell created by Luisa Felix.

I had first met Luisa during the MoCCA Art Festival back in 2005 or 2006. She was a sweet lady who formed her own fantastic world through her comics. Here’s two of her front covers:

"Bury Me Not" comic by Luisa Felix.

“Bury Me Not” comic by Luisa Felix.

"The Evil Cat" by cartoonist Luisa Felix. Featuring her main character Candy Blondell.

“The Evil Cat” by cartoonist Luisa Felix. Featuring her main character Candy Blondell.

Luisa was a kind creative who was a regular fixture at the annual Indie comic con MoCCA Art Fest. It was there I first came in contact with her. A very sweet woman. When I first started taking my own comics and artwork seriously, she was one of the first comic creators who I befriended. Due to this, she kinda holds a special place in my memories. In addition, she was a wonderful artist.

Cartoonist Luisa Felix (1952 - 2013) at the MoCCA Art Festival. Photographer unknown.

Cartoonist Luisa Felix (1952 – 2013) at the MoCCA Art Festival. Photographer unknown.

Plans for a tribute in honor of this delightful female cartoonist is in the works.

Rest in peace Luisa.

Additional links:

http://comiccreatorsunited.blogspot.com/2010/03/luisa-felix-presents-candy-blondell.html

http://francisbonnet.com/archive/sft/?p=1136

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This past weekend saw the release of the Psycho Bunny mini-issue #3.25.

It almost didn’t come out. Hence, I sacrificed sleep to make sure I would have the latest Psycho Bunny out in time for MoCCA Art Fest 2011. By 12am I was riding the subway to Manhattan. By 2am I was in some 24 hour copy/printing place near Times Square. By the time the first copy was made, it was 3am in the morning. By the time I arrived back home in Queens, it was 4am. Three hours sleep wasn’t nearly enough, for I had to set up at MoCCA before doors open, which was 11am.

Is a God to live in a dog? Praise Bob!

Not that anyone was lining up to purchase the latest copy of Psycho Bunny, but still…was it worth sleep deprivation? Absolutely!

I’d like to think I adhere to deadlines, especially my own. So even though I was kinda spaced out at MoCCA, it was totally worth it in order to present new material. Besides, in Chinese astrology, it’s currently in the year of the rabbit. Since I hadn’t done anything with Psycho Bunny since 2008, it was time for a new issue.

Psycho Bunny mini issue # 3.25. Comic by Michele Witchipoo

Psycho Bunny mini issue # 3.25 debuted at the MoCCA Art Fest 2011 this past weekend. You can also order your own copy by sending $2.00 plus $1.00 S&H via PayPal to PsychoBunnyComix@aol.com or Witchipoo@witchesbrewpress.net.

More on MoCCA with the next post.

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