June 28th, 2004

smokin'

Post-MOCCA fallout

I'm incredibly sick and lost my voice sometime around 3 p.m. on Saturday, and then completely murdered it during the Harveys. MOCCA was an amazing show for us, and I hope for everyone else. Sunday looked slow, and then picked up and both we and SLG did better business than on a very decent and packed Saturday. Some folks thought attendance was down, but they weren;t taking into account the fact that the well-attended panels were held upstairs this year, as were the high-powered signings by the more popular cartoonists whose presence in the past jammed up the first room. Also, the removal of the panels to another floor meant that there was a lot more room on the first floor, spreading the crowd out even further. I don't know the numbers, but the MOCCA staff looked happy (and exhausted, as all show promoters/volunteers look after a show -- that post-con/event shellshocked glazed look).

I'd like to thank everyone who stopped by to say hi, pick up something or buy art. Thanks a lot, this was just a really positive, ebergetic and enjoyable show experience all around. Except for being sick and wanting to hurl myself out a window during the Harveys.

The ceremony was in the nicest room/venue I've ever seen for a comics-related event, and the food was excellent. Unfortunately, I was too freaked out to eat, could barely talk to anyone, got to my table very late (I was working on my introductions with Sarah and Anthony Bozzi, the Harvey's co-chair, who was incredibly helpful before and during the show, and to whom I give my utmost thanks and appreciation -- if he and Sarah weren't there I think I would have run into traffic on Broadway). I have to say I was disappointed with my performance at the awards, my voice was shot, I was terrifically nervous and intimidated by the venue and some attendees, things ran long (as usual) and a few unforseen things caused some mild chaos during the event. Dinner and dessertwas served buffet style, so food was available during the entire affair, which led to the clatter of silverware and lines at tables while people were speaking. A LOT of people were tipsy and/or whacked on the copious free booze provided by multiple beer/vodka/spirits companies co-sponsoring the event -- they had 2 hours between the pre-awards party and dinner to drink up free Bass and vodka and man, did they imbibe. Of course, I couldn't partake in the booze orgy because of my throat and the fact I had to drive home. We lost a batch of attendees due to alcohol, food, running off to see NYC, and who knbows what else, but a nice group remained and there were a lot of laughs despite the craziness. Often I felt like a fifth-rate comic trying to do my routine in a casino. The thing is, the next day literally dozens of people came up to us to say they really had a good time. It couldn't have all been people being polite, so I'm hoping folks did enjoy themselves throuhgout the long evening. There were a few unforseen but happy occurences during the presentation, Mocca received a nice grant from the city literally as we were holding the ceremony, and there were extra speeches surrounding such events. Neil gaiman gave a very good opening keynote speech, Jerry RObbins gave a long but very funny introduction speech when presenting, it really was a nice night, I wish I could have paid better attention and taken more of it in. I was such a nervous wreck all night and missed most of what was happening when I was offstage.

Other highlights for me was meeting and getting to speak to people like Bob Sikoryak, Chester Brown and Mike Mignola. I got to see a lot of interesting folks during the Harveys which was very cool, like Jerry Robinson, Patrick McDonnell, etc. I got to see some friends at the show I haven't seen much of lately because comics can damage a social life, Bob Fingerman, Robbie Busch, Joey Cavalieri, and it was great as always to see soem of the LSG family, Dan Vado, Joe Nakamura, and SLG stalwart cartoonist Andi Watson, who we haven't seen in ages because we don't attenmd San Diego anymore. And the readers who came by the table were really a great bunch of people, again, my thanks to you folks, you know who you are, you know what you did, thanks for making the show a really good experience. Ditto to everyone at MOCCA and the Harveys.

Okay, I gotta haul my sick carcass to Manhattan to pick up my art portfolio, which I idiotically left in a restaurant last night. I was hoping to spend the day on the couch recuperating, but stupidity reared it's stupid head.

I realize this post is more scattershot and sloppy than usual, so forgive me. I really am a goddamned wreck but wanted to post about the show before work and life got in the way. I'm probably forgetting a lot of choice memories. observations and bad jokes, but they'll wait, or they weren't worth the effort.

Later, skaters.