I don’t like to brag, but over the weekend, I deflowered three virgins.
Oh, who am I kidding? I love to brag.
Lest you think my sex life is more interesting than it actually is, I mean the above statement metaphorically. As you know if your’e female, breaking in virgins isn’t really that entertaining. Instead, what I will now describe is how I took three friends to their first comic book convention.
Lucky for them, it was MoCCA.
Going to your first anything can be intimidating, even something as simple as a county fair or a school dance. Every event that has occurred more than once has a history. Often, there are traditions and customs with which you are unfamiliar. The way the media portrays comic book conventions, whether on Entourage or The Big Bang Theory or next year’s talk show wars, can be unnerving for newbies. Does one need to dress as a Stormtrooper? How do you know what you’re looking at?
At MoCCA, my friends didn’t have to figure it out. The tables were welcoming, with clear signage, lots of books on display, and friendly smiles by the creators (at least on Saturday, when I was there. The closest thing to cosplay was aggressive hipster-ism, which I noted primarily through the prominent number of heads adorned with hats.
Best of all, my friends didn’t require an undergraduate degree in graphic story-telling to be drawn to the books. Two of my friends are leftist political history junkies, and I soon lost track of them as they found book after book that intrigued them. My other friend, who shares my love of the obscure laugh, joined me in celebrating a new book from Shannon Wheeler and various other booths. There was one by a woman whom I think was named Stevie Wilson, who had a sign claiming her books were all about coffee, feminism and cats.
Everything I want in one place. I wish I could find her again. Stevie (if that is your name), please tell me how to buy your books.
I hope that, when my friends go home, they continue to be curious about graphic story-telling, and start to explore the kinds of books that appeal to them. I hope find more joy.
And next year, if they’re in New York at the right time, I hope they go to MoCCA with me again. Perhaps, for the occasion, we will all dress up like John Lewis.
Photo by KLGreenNYC