What I Did On My Cartooning Vacation
The AAEC Convention and MOCCA festival
(Note: this is an updated version of a previous post, now including the MOCCA festival)
I have lots to say about the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists Convention in Pittsburgh (which is where I was all last week) and the MOCCA festival in NYC, but no time to say it in.
So my superbrief AAEC summary: I spent a lot of quality time in bars swapping stories with Cindy Procious, Clay Bennett and Ted Rall, and even took a turn meringue dancing at an Afro-Cuban club with Tom Toles (who, unlike me or Ted Rall, actually knows how to move to music without knocking people over). I also got to talk to and/or hang out with Mark Fiore, Lalo Alcaraz, Kirk Anderson, Joel Pett, J.P. Trostle (and his fabulous wife Maura), and Signe Wilkinson, among many others. In other words, the convention totally rocked.
An infinite amount of gratitude goes to Cindy, who invited me to Pittsburgh in the first place, and of course to Clay.
Big props are also due to Mr. Rall, who not only tells a really good story over a margarita but who also drafted me (a first-time convention attendee who hasn't even been cartooning for two years!) to be on a panel, "Gangs of the AAEC: The Alties vs. the Nasties: Should we replace donkeys and elephants with wordy talking heads with badly-drawn hands?" I was Altie number 3 (Ted and Lalo being numbers 1 and 2), and Ted and Cindy tell me I was plenty articulate despite being completely unprepared and sleep-deprived.
All in all, Cindy, Clay and Ted made me feel very welcome at the convention, and not like some kid trying to sit at the adults table.
As a side note, hanging out at the conference drastically increased my quota of straight white male acquaintances, but the question of why editorial cartooning is such a male-dominated field will have to wait for another time.
As for the MOCCA Festival, I have to say the best part was the people who came up my table and said things like "Are you Mikhaela? I read your blog all the time!" or "I read your cartoons in the Boston Phoenix." I mean, I know I have readers but it's a whole other thing to actually meet them--sometimes I wonder if I'm sending cartoons and blogs into the vaccuum just for my own satisfaction. So I sold and signed a bunch of books (soon to be available by mail-order) and posters, with a lot of help from my fabulous boyfriend Yves. Yves also filled in for me at the table when I wanted to go and say hello to Howard Cruse, Keith Knight, Scott Bateman, and, once again, Ted Rall. And I finally got to meet fellow young cartoonist/blogger August Pollak and (drum roll) the man himself, Tom Tomorrow. So all in all, a good time.