|I am aware that the 'u' is backwards. My table monkey claims it was to give it character. No wonder I got a lot of chuckles from passersby.|
A Brief Overview
Last weekend was MoCCA Festival, up in New York. On Friday afternoon, Rascals, Rogues, and Dames piled onto a plane and flew up to Newark, New Jersey, to stay in their lovely and not at all sketchy Ramada Inn. This was my first time at MoCCA, and out of all the cons I've attended, I'd have to say it was the best. I did have to consume massive (for me) amounts of coffee in order to stay alert and harass passers by, but that's a small price to pay for a good convention.
|Image via MoCCA's website|
|Image via here|
MoCCA was held in the Armory, which is one of the largest convention spaces I've been in. While they packed the con floor with vendors, dealers, and artists, the con itself didn't get uncomfortably hot from the crowd, thanks to the high ceilings. I seemed to be in a great spot for business, being only a couple tables down from the Johnny Wander crew, I got a lot of overflow business. In addition, my tablemate, Eric Lide (sadly, not pictured), went to SVA, and MoCCA happens to double as the unofficial SVA reunion site, so I got to meet a lot of great people.
Table Setup Process
|All my stuff was stored under the table, and pretty well organized, so it was all about getting it out and setting it up.|
|Just gettin stuff out on the table. Two copies of each book (one on the vertical display to catch attention, one on a mini easel to be flipped through), buttons displayed on mini corkboards.|
|Hangin' up books and their signs on the vertical display. The signs are mini corkboards labelled with liquid chalk.|
|Settin' up the mini easels.|
|Paperdolls and mini comics! There's a combo pack that includes several minis on top of the vertical display that sold pretty decently (seven bucks total, includes a charm, and is attractively packaged)|
|Closeup of the buttons and charms, the big sellers this year.|
Comparing Two Mini Comic ConsAlthough MoCCA and FLUKE are both mini comic conventions, they seem to draw very different crowds. MoCCA's attendees seemed happy to be there (for the most part) a first in my convention-going experience. While making an actual profit at MoCCA would have been impossible for me at this time (factoring in travel expenses, food, and paying for my hired hand), I did make the cost of the table ($150), mostly in button and charm sales. I did sell a fair number of mini comics, mostly on the second day, and mostly to fellow vendors, and I was approached for trades several times (all of which I accepted). My biggest sellers besides buttons and charms were the Little Book of Monsters and my combo packs.
Inspiring Table SetupsWhile manned the table, Joseph canvassed the crowd, finding the best table setups for me to share here. He also interviewed a variety of vendors, which will be shared via SEQAlab soon.
If you recognize any of these artists, please let me know, so I can credit them!
The Take-Away LessonsI try to learn something at every convention I attend, and MoCCA was no exception. Cartoony erotic art is in demand right now, and parents have a hard time telling at a glance which vendors sell kid friendly stuff. Everything at my table is kid friendly, and it's time to invest in a banner advertising that. At past conventions, I've taken a suggested 'hands off' approach, but I've found that I make my best sales when I engage the crowd. Maybe it's just that they feel guilty, or maybe even sorry for me, but even pity money is green and fills my cashbox. It's also probably time to switch to a larger table, as my setup's gotten a bit crowded and it's hard to see everything.
Verdict:All in all, I thought MoCCA was a great convention, and I'd love to attend it again, especially if there's a way I can reduce my costs.
But hey, that's just me! I bet you'd like to hear what MoCCA's like, from behind the Fantagraphics table.