Martha Thomases: MoCCA My Socks Off
As a writer and a long-time nerd, I’m used to spending a lot of time alone. Especially after the winter we’ve had, I can go for days not only not leaving my apartment, but not even wearing anything my mother would recognize as pants (sweatpants didn’t count).
And then, this weekend, just as the snow finally melts and the sun comes out, is the MoCCA Festival . All of a sudden, instead of talking only to my cat (who doesn’t require much sophisticated banter), a lot of people I enjoy will be conveniently assembled in one place.
MoCCA is certainly a lot bigger than it was the first time I went, back in the days when the museum was separate from the Society of Illustrators. Still, compared to the behemoths in San Diego, Chicago, and even across town at the Javitz Center. Instead of Hollywood previews and video game demonstrations, MoCCA’s non-comics exhibitors tend to display hand-made crochet monsters or cal figurines.
I’ve seen people I admire on the floor of this show, just as I’ve seen people I admire on the subway and on the sidewalk. But celebrities? In San Diego and New York, I’ve seen people like Robert Downey, Jr. and Whoopi Goldberg on the floor. They are easy to spot because they are surrounded by bodyguards. And they need to be. Fans have to be kept away or the celebrity will be mobbed, even physically hurt. This year’s MoCCA celebrity spotting? Probably the most high-profile will be Macy’s Charlie Brown parade balloon. Fans aren’t tall enough to maul him.
That’s cool. At MoCCA, the books are the celebrities. And this year’s assortment of new books looks especially wonderful.
MoCCA has books for kids and books for grown-ups without either feeling forced, because, for the most part, the people creating the books are creating what they want to read, not (necessarily) what they think the market wants. MoCCA is fan-friendly in a way that doesn’t require special events for cos-players. Nor do they need security guards to protect women and/or children and/or queer people and/or other minorities from assault.
Sometimes the aisles get too crowded, and sometimes it’s too hot, but it’s a very friendly show, with plenty of good will. I wish all comic book shows could be this pleasant.
In case that isn’t enough people for me, I’m also going to one of the two big benefits my family enjoys attending every year. A cancer charity throws a big party that is attended by huge celebrities, like these from last year.
Come by, if you find yourself with nothing to do in the middle of MoCCA.