The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (www.moccany.com) hosts a small press/indie convention in NYC each year, generally known to the cognoscenti as "MoCCA." It's a good deal like the STAPLE convention held in Austin, TX each spring, which I believe I blogged about a bit further down the page. This year's MoCCA was held in the old armory on Lexington Ave. at 25th St, which is a cavernous building right in the middle of Manhattan. I shouldn't suggest that the armory is abandoned, however - I'm pretty sure it's still used for military purposes. I know for a fact that it was about seven and a half years ago, in fact, because I remember walking past it (or possibly another armory very much like it a bit further uptown) in September 2001. All of the doors were open, and the thing was FILLED with tanks. It was a bit wild, actually, to think that I had been living in the midst of enough military hardware to level the entire city without really being aware of it.
Anyway, so, MoCCA. It's a convention designed primarily for people who make their own books, or create something art or book-like, to show off their wares and attract some interest from the sort of folks who like indie graphic novels and art. Marvel didn't have a booth, for example, and while DC did, it was focused on their edgy Vertigo line and interesting web-based Zuda line. Top Shelf and Fantagraphics were both represented, but mostly it seemed like a chance for people to give themselves a chance. A lot of the books were strange, unpolished or unpalatable, but there was also plenty of amazing work on display.
For one, I didn't spend as much money as I normally do at these things, because I brought a stack of Strongman with me and people were generally willing to trade books for books. That being said, I did buy a copy of the first Northlanders trade from Brian Wood. He gave me some good advice at a con a few years ago, so it was nice to catch up. I got him a copy of Strongman, which he said he'd heard of (I got that a fair amount, actually, which was verrrrrry nice). He then calls his Vertigo editor over, introduces me, has me give him another copy, and the dude said he'd check it out and get back to me. Can NOT beat that. I think of all this networking the way many people probably do - there's not a person who's bad to meet, talk to, remember, Facebook, Twitterfollow, email, etc.
Also had a great chat with Tom Valente, who I worked with years ago on a short called Cockroach, Evan Dorkin (creator of Milk & Cheese and fellow SLG writer/artist), did a short update interview with Charlito from indiespinnerrack.com that should be up soon, reconnected with Monica Gallagher (who I met at Staple) and various other people. Not such a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
P.S. I am going to start adding photos to these soon. No one likes to read these days, after all.