I went to NYC for the MoCCA Art Fest again this year.  The convention has generally been held in June in the past, but this year they had it in April for some reason.  I did it as day trip again, just going down for the Saturday, traveling part way by car and then taking the train into Grand Central.  This time, though, I visited the actual museum as well as the convention, because I was interested in seeing their large exhibit NeoIntegrity (there were several artists’ work in the show that I wanted to check out, including Bill Griffith, from whose site I first heard of the exhibit).

I first headed to the East Village, not far from the museum, to see if I could grab lunch at teany, a vegetarian restaurant co-founded by Moby.  teany had been closed since last June because of a fire, but had been making noises about reopening since February.  I took a chance and stopped by, but alas, it was still not open (it has reopened since I was in NYC).

I ended up getting a falafel sandwich from a street vendor on my way over to the museum.  I took in the exhibit, which was fun to look at – most of it was original art from published works, and there were a ton of artists involved.  However, in general, the stuff by artists I’m familiar with was stuff I’d seen before.  The vast majority of the artists were new to me, though, and there was a lot of funny and interesting work to look at and read.

I left there and headed up to the con at the 69th Regiment National Guard Armory in midtown.  There was a line to get in, which I waited in for a bit before I realized that I could just walk right in, given that I had bought a ticket online (I got to go to a separate table where they looked up my registration and sent me on in – I should have remembered that from last year).

Once inside, I headed down to the panel room, as a panel I wanted to see was starting in 10 minutes.  It’s a good thing I didn’t wait, because there was already a long line to get into the panel room!  The panel was supposed to start at 2:00, but the con staff ended up starting to let the line in at almost 2:15.  The room filled up quickly, and I thought I might not get to to see it, but I ended up standing in the doorway.

The panel was on the topic of alternate treatments of superheroes in comics, and featured artists who had done superhero work but more often (or primarily) did more alternative comics.  The specific people on the panel were the reason for the large crowd: Paul Pope, Frank Miller, Kyle Baker, Jaime Hernandez, and Dean Haspiel.  I snapped a few cell phone pics from my doorway perch – here’s the least bad-looking one:

The guy on the far left was the moderator.  The artists proceed left to right after that in the order I named them.

After that, I had a couple of hours to wander the convention floor:

There was a brief signing by Hernandez I was able to hit, and I managed to visit Ted Rall during the hour he was at his publisher’s booth.  I discovered that Rall is a Mac user!

Other creators I visited and/or bought merchandise from (but did not take pictures of) included Pat Lewis, Raina Telgemeier, Bill Roundy, Monica Gallagher, and R. Sikoryak.

One of the things Mr. Sikoryak is known for is doing slideshow presentations of his comics.  The last panel of the day, which I attended, was him and a few other artists showing slideshows of their work, with parts performed by professional voice actors.  It was a blast, and there were even a few slideshows at the end with images in 3-D.  They passed out glasses to the audience for those:

Yes, it’s blurry – it was another cell phone picture and the room was dark.

The end of that panel marked the end of the con.  I made my way back toward downtown, looking for a place for dinner.  On the way, I happened by Gramercy Park:

where I noticed this sign:

Asking people in Manhattan not to honk?  I wonder if this law actually works…

On my walk I also saw this rather curvy building on 3rd Ave.:

I ended up eating at a little Afghan restaurant called Khyber Pass on St. Mark’s Place.  After that, I headed back toward Grand Central Station, but had some extra time, so I wandered over to Times Square.  Who should I meet there, but Hello Kitty!

She was doing what she does best – waving Hello.

Despite all the light and billboards and entertainmentplexes (or perhaps because of them), there isn’t really anything I find interesting in Times Square.  One neat thing I saw as I headed for the train station again was a Scottish band playing on the sidewalk:

I didn’t stick around long enough to find out who they were or anything, though.  Just part of the New York color.  With that, I left the big apple.