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One of the great pleasures of being a pop culture journalist is the being invited to sample and taste new products — particularly a variety of foods meant to simplify life while hopefully enhancing it. Part of the pleasure is in seeing conventional brands — ones that aren’t always thought of as either so tasty or healthy — so affected by the nutritional and organic trends that they have unveiled new products that support those trends. Or they’ve made new items that just taste better. Of course with a site like filmfestivaltraveler.com, there’s a presences for those product perfect for the traveler — compact, easy to open and quick to prepare. Here’s a portfolio that’s a self-explanatory sampling of the some of the cool foods sampled during Eat This! expo at the New York Marriott Marquis.
After moving from the Javits Center to Pier 94, Special Edition: NYC continues to be a great convention in its second year. Sure, there was significantly less natural lighting at the Pier, but con-goers compared it to the hideout of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or some sorta cyberpunk dystopia, so nobody seemed to mind too much.
The regular New York Comic Con is definitely a tremendous spectacle and a great show, but it can be utterly draining. Meanwhile SENYC has a much more leisurely feel to it. There were enough people attending to make it feel lively, but it was not so jam packed that you could barely walk around. Marvel’s series of panels on its Secret Wars mega-event drew attention (and suspicion from fans believing the comic company would be excising any characters they didn’t also own the movie rights to). but I spent most of my time traversing the Artist’s Alley section. In attendance were plenty of cape book old guards (Peter David, Brian Michael Bendis), some indie impresarios (Brandon Graham, Colleen Coover), and a batch of webcomic folk (Jeph Jacques, Meredith Gran) rounding the show out so things had a nice something-for-everybody feel.
Beyond the Longbox caught up with some of these authors and artists to ask them about the comics that gave them the drive to create their own works.
Hopefully Special Edition: NYC will remain a staple in the New York con scene.
Photo by R. Gandhi
Since 2002, the MoCCA Festival has been one of the premiere events in NYC for small independent comics. But even a convenient little categorization like “independent comics” belies the wide breadth of variety and ingenuity from the artists and creators exhibiting at this show. There are the old guard, people whose roots can be traced back to Zap Comix and Raw, artists breaking away from superhero and sci-fi stories, and other artists reinventing those tried and true stories in new way. Webcomics have now become such a prevalent part of the comics scene that now you have authors that got their influences not from the print comics from years past, but from the trailblazing authors that put their comics online.
Michel Fiffe was there showing the second collection of COPRA, a reimagining of 1980’s era Suicide Squad in indie-style trappings. Molly Ostertag and Brennan Lee Mulligan showed their own twist on the cape genre, Strong Female Protagonist, while publisher Youth in Decline had the comically dark Snackies. Understanding Comics author Scott McCloud was signing autographs and showing his new book The Sculptor with First Second Books. And then there are your stapled together zines that take their own weird approach, like the comics of Will Laren, who does one page comics of strange, wrinkly, and bizarrely colored people spouting nonsensical dialog.An all around odd mix, but that combination of different kinds of comics is what makes MoCCA a great show.
We met up with a few authors to ask them what comics sparked their own creativity.
MoCCA has gained something of a reputation for how much it moves from location to location. Originally starting off in the Puck Building, then moving the the 69th Regiment Armory, MoCCA 2015 was at Center 548 in Chelsea, adjacent the High Line. But all this is a moot point since Publishers Weekly has reported that MoCCA will have to move yet again due to Center 548 getting new owners. But wherever it winds up in 2016, MoCCA will remain a convention I hold near and dear.
Seems like deja vu all over again as we return lemming like to Art Basel Miami 2014. We were surprised by an initial rejection of our press credentials by the accreditation folks in Basel (perhaps we had been too snarky in last year's coverage). A quick email righted the situation and we were properly certified.
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