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MoCCA Wrap-Up: Minx, Underage Authors and Unprintable Sketches

The Sunday crowd at MoCCA 2007Much as I enjoyed the MoCCA programming yesterday, I made a conscious decision not to spend as much time in panels today, so as to spend more time walking the floor and picking up cool looking books. I limited myself to just two panels –Shelly Bond’s too-early-in-the-morning Minx panel and the Joe Matt spotlight which Clayton blogged earlier– and spent the rest of the day soaking up (and picking up) the indie comics goodness that was abundant in four rooms of the Puck building. I’m be happily returning home with a sackful of new comics, minis, anthologies, graphic novels and even one comics-related prose novel that looks fantastic.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. As mentioned, my day began with the Minx presentation. For those not yet familiar with this new DC imprint, it was the brainchild of former Vertigo editor, Shelly Bond, who wanted to create an alternative to manga for the teen girl market. Given Bond’s Vertigo pedigree, however, her aim with the new imprint was “to create a line that was edgy and evocative and fearless.” She provided a brief rundown of the Minx books on the publishing slate into early next year, and there were a couple that even sounded intriguing to me … and being neither a teenager or a girl, that’s a pretty decent ratio.

Confessions of a Blabbermouth coverThe first of the two books in question was interesting to me given the hook of the authors. Vertigo-regular and Minx-newcomer Mike Carey is collaborating with his 15-year-old daughter Louise to write Confessions of a Blabbermouth. Turns out the younger Carey is an aspiring novelist, and was willing to lend her ol’ dad a hand in capturing the voice of a teen girl from a dysfunctional family who wields her blog like a weapon. The book, with artwork by Aaron Alexovich, is due in mid-September.

Speaking of Alexovich, the other book that sounded like a winner to me is Kimmie66, which is he’s both writing and drawing for a November release. Kimmie66 is the only book in the Minx line with a futuristic edge to it, taking place in the 23rd century and sounding like it might just answer the question, “what if William Gibson were to write a YA cyberpunk graphic novel?” I’ll be tuning in to discover the answer come November.

Alexa Kitchen photoGetting back to the convention floor, if you were taken aback to hear that a 15-year-old would be co-writing an upcoming graphic novel from one of the big two, you’d better be sitting down when I tell you that Louise Carey has nothing on the youngest creator who was appearing at MoCCA this weekend. That award goes to Alexa Kitchen, the 9-year-old daughter of comics impresario, Denis Kitchen. Mind you, Alexa is 9 now, but she was just 7 (!!!) when she wrote and drew her 176-page how-to volume, Drawing Comics is Easy. Oh, and as if all of that weren’t enough, she also numbers such legends as Will Eisner, Neil Gaiman and R. Crumb among her admirers. The mind boggles.

Joe Matt drawing in the author's sketch book at MoCCA Turning from the innocence of youth to the glorious depravity of, well, Joe Matt … since Clayton mentioned the sketch that I got from the artist (who was generously sketching in exchange for donations to MoCCA today), I feel I need to address that. Here’s a picture of Matt getting started on the sketch, but –and this shouldn’t come as any great surprise to those of you who are familiar with his oeuvre– there simply isn’t any way I can reproduce the finished piece in this forum. Or at least there’s no way I can do so and also expect to remain employed, that is. Having said that, however, let me give you some background and make you a deal.

A few years ago, envious over the ultra-cool sketch books that friends had gotten filled by their favorite artists at conventions, I started a “theme” sketch book of my own at SPX 2000. My theme? I provided the artists a photo of my golden retriever and invited them to go to town. Over the years, I’ve gotten a remarkable roster of artists to grace the sketch book with their renditions of my fondly remembered companion. That’s the background, and here’s the deal: if you’d like to see Joe Matt’s piece, and the rest of the book in the bargain –featuring such luminaries as Frank Miller, Art Spiegelman and Matt Wagner, to name just three– just find me at an upcoming show (San Diego, Baltimore, SPX), introduce yourself, and I’ll be more than happy to share the sketch book and talk comics with you. Deal?

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