Thursday, June 11, 2009
Why I like MoCCA
So it was a little disorganized. And hot. But because they opened the doors an hour late, I got to stand in line with a great mom who was bouncing with enthusiasm and restrained pride for her son (booth #608). And I met a man who had long ties in the children's book world. And behind me was a young comic book artist who was carting in 100 copies of her latest work, heavy as it was, so she could barter with others just like her.
The people at MoCCA understand something about books. Books are permanent. Books mean work is final. Books are to be passed along, read, re-read. Of course all these artists and writers are web-savvy -- even that term is way too naive for them. It's like saying artists 50 years ago were pencil-savvy. But savvy as they are, they love print. They love its limitations, they love the tooth of paper, they like to sew up seams and fold paper and figure out how to use color on color. They like to see how they can make things look old even when they are shockingly new.
If something deserves to be printed, I heard them saying with their gorgeous tiny hand-printed volumes, then it deserves to be a beautiful object. Even if it's a few pieces of stapled Xerox paper, there is thought in every panel. The effort it takes to make books -- after work, late at night, whenever the muse strikes and when it doesn't, and all with very little money -- that effort is worth nothing unless the book itself is a work of art. And you are so right, MoCCA folk. Why print unless you can't do anything else?
Maybe I'm romanticizing a little. So what. I love the raw unstoppable passion of these artists. I am filled with deep admiration at their willingness to help one another. Honestly, with country's biggest publishers heading further and further down the virtual road, I'm glad there is a vanguard of new artists who believe in printed books. Because, dudes, I believe in you.