State of the Art Museum: What MoCCA Has Accomplished and Failed to Accomplish After Ten Years

These were the kinds of limitations the museum was dealing with when it was approached by the Art Students League with an offer to transfer its collection of World War II anti-Axis propaganda cartoons to MoCCA. This “Cartoons Against the Axis” collection, which included work by Charles Addams, Peter Arno, Syd Hoff, Crockett Johnson and many others, had first toured the country in 1942 as a war-bond-boosting exhibit organized by then Art Students League Men's President Gregory d’Allessio. D’Allessio’s widow Hilda Terry, known for her Broom Hilda Teena comic strip, agreed to the collection’s acquisition by MoCCA. Sixty-three years after its first exhibition, the collection was displayed at MoCCA in a show that ran from Oct. 8, 2005 to Feb. 6, 2006. In an essay accompanying the exhibit, Art Spiegelman wrote, “As a group these drawings offer a complex and unsanitized range of cartoon art: cartoon as propaganda, as joke, as graphic design, as witness, as howl of anger, and sometimes even as Art.”

It was the last time the cartoons would appear in public as a group. Within three years of acquiring the collection, MoCCA began auctioning off pieces of the collection to the highest bidder. The cartoon that had best evoked the juncture between propaganda and art for Spiegelman was a painting by Saul Steinberg. “It shows Der Fuhrer as an unprepossessing Teutonic knight with a small Mussolini strapped to a shield pierced with arrows,” he wrote. “Hitler is mounted on a horse that wears a Nazi Helmet and a swastika-patterned blindfold. … The damned horse has some of the pathos of Spark Plug (the horse in Billy DeBeck’s 1920s Barney Google strip) but also somehow echoes the tortured equine in the world’s most memorable anti-axis cartoon: Picasso’s Guernica.” The Journal has confirmed that the Steinberg painting was sold through Heritage Auctions for $8,604 on June 5, 2008. Other pieces from the collection, including one by William Henry Cotton were part of the same auction. In 2009, eight other “Against the Axis” cartoons, including work by Ben Roth, Fred Balk, Frank Beaven and John Groth, were auctioned through Heritage.

<em>Don Quixote</em>, Saul Steinberg, ca. 1943

MoCCA is chartered by the State Education Department and operates as a nonprofit art museum. In its mission statement, it pledges to “collect, preserve, educate, and display cartoon and comic art.” Breaking up a unique, historically important collection and selling it off piecemeal does not, on the face of it, seem to be in keeping with the goals of an art museum, so the Journal consulted the American Association of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors and the Association of Art Museum Curators. As it happens, museums had gone through a decades-long process to establish a code of ethics. In 1984, the American Association of Museum’s Commission on Museums for a New Century decided that more emphasis should be placed on public service and education and an Ethics Task Force was appointed. After several years of debate and discussion, a finalized AAM Code of Ethics for Museums was approved in 1993. An individual museum was expected to come up with its own code of ethics that would be in conformance with the AAM’s code. In relation to collections, the Code required a museum to ensure that:

Collections-related activities promote the public good rather than individual financial gain.

Collections in its custody are lawfully held, protected, secure, unencumbered, cared for and preserved.

Acquisition, disposal and loan activities are conducted in a manner that respects the protection and preservation of natural and cultural resources and discourages illicit trade in such materials.

Disposal of collections through sale, trade or research activities is solely for the advancement of the museum’s mission. Proceeds from the sale of nonliving collections are to be used consistent with the established standards of the museum’s discipline, but in no event shall they be used for anything other than acquisition or direct care of collections.

Spokespersons for the American Association of Museum Directors confirmed to the Journal that funds from “de-accessioning,” that is the sale of collection items, can be used only for the acquisition and care of other art, there can be no sales to museum administrators or staff, and all living artists or donors must be notified if their art is being de-accessioned. Also, any art in the possession of the museum must be made accessible to the public.

Abramowitz is well aware of these rules and assured the Journal that they are being followed by MoCCA. “We can’t use the money from the sale of art for any capital expenses,” she said; “we can only use it for art-related purposes.”

Given that the few acquisitions that are taken on by MoCCA tend to be donations and considering the modest size and storage facilities of its permanent collection, the Journal asked what art-related expenses MoCCA could have that would justify the sale of art. “Just installing a show is very expensive,” Abramowitz said.

Abramowitz herself takes no salary as president and chairman of MoCCA’s board of trustees. The paid museum director position was replaced a couple of years ago by a part-time museum manager (Doug Bratton) and a full-time registrar, but Scalzi was let go last year to further reduce costs, leaving only one part-time manager position on the museum’s payroll.

The splintering of the “Cartoonists Against the Axis” collection is certainly a loss to comics history, but the entire blame for it can’t necessarily be laid at the fourth-floor door of the museum. Given its limited resources and staff, MoCCA was arguably not in a position to keep the collection safe and accessible without better funding. According to Abramowitz, “We were reluctant to take it. The collection was in poor condition to begin with and we could not have taken care of it all. It was before my time so I don’t know if it was her [Terry’s] intention for us to keep it or sell it, but it was a matter of having a museum or not having a museum. It doesn’t do any good to have a collection if you don’t have a museum to display it.” Klein said donors are always given an option of indicating whether the donated art can or cannot be sold.

A Fred Balk piece from MoCCA's "Cartoons Against the Axis" exhibit, sold at auction

The Art Students League was at the limits of its own storage capacity when it proposed to donate the art to MoCCA. With comic art museums closing right and left, the tragedy of the “Cartoonists Against the Axis” collection is that it ran out of options and was facing slow ruination or homelessness.

Abramowitz doesn’t want to be thought of as a heartless businesswoman who has no affinity for comics and is somehow getting rich in the comic-art-museum biz. She grew up reading comics and has an educational background in art. “I went to summer camp with the Harvey brothers,” she told the Journal. “Harvey comics were passed around the camp every summer. I remember reading Harvey and Archie comics under the covers with a flashlight after ‘lights-out.’ My brother was the superhero comics fan, which he collected and traded. As I grew older, I became a fan of Mad magazine.”

She has a BFA with an emphasis on photography and worked for a time in commercial photography in the ’80 and ’90s, but it was her eight years of late-career experience in commercial real estate that made her an immediate asset to MoCCA when she met Klein in 2003. “I served as MoCCA’s commercial real estate broker,” she said, “and convinced our current landlord, Jeff Gural, the chairman of Newmark Knight Frank, to donate our current space rent-free for almost a year. Our lease is still way below the current market due to Jeff’s generosity. However, the rent does go up annually and remains our largest expense.”

Abramowitz became co-vice chairman of MoCCA’s board of trustees in 2006, then was elected chairman and president in 2008, essentially filling Klein’s former role. As a real-estate broker, she knew that a place needed to look good if it was going to attract interest and that was her initial focus. Asked what her goals were for the museum when she took the reins, she said, “My goal was to improve the museum, to give it more credibility as a museum and to improve it in appearance. I closed the museum for six months to do that. And it turned out to be very successful.”

What improvements specifically? “Mostly physical,” she said. “The cleaning of the museum. I wanted to have a stronger feel of professionalism. I wanted it to feel like a place that people would want to treat like a museum. An artist could feel comfortable loaning their work or a collector or some other people would want their work to be donated here. And the first opening we had, I was shocked because when people came in here, they were whispering. We’d go, ‘Wow. They’re looking and they’re being quiet.’ I replaced a lot of the furniture in here. I threw away a lot of things that were collected that we didn’t need and I cleaned up the place and I painted and polished the floors. I made the place feel much more sparse. I wanted to treat it professionally. You answer the phone a certain way. The volunteers wore the MoCCA T-shirt. I created systems.”

Asked what her goals for MoCCA are today, she said, “To actively fund the museum. That’s our focus. To increase our staff. To relocate to a ground-level presence.”

She expressed surprise when the Journal suggested that building MoCCA’s permanent collection did not seem to be a high priority. “We get offers of art donations,” she said. “The permanent collection is growing. We have not been idle on it. But being able to exist is our first priority. It’s really hard to fund a museum in New York and to build a permanent collection. That’s the reality. If we were in Iowa, we would have a much bigger space and I would have four or five people. We desperately need to hire more people.”

The Catch-22 that museums labor under, as Mort Walker discovered, is that you can afford fine facilities in the wilds of Florida, but you don’t have access to the kind of community interest and funding possibilities that a publishing Mecca like New York offers. “I don’t have access to very much funding,” Abramowitz corrected the Journal. “The city doesn’t have it. The publishers don’t have it. The artists don’t have it. But I think having a museum in New York is really a special thing. I think it has an appeal to visitors and I think it has a great appeal to artists.”

Above all, Abramowitz wants you to know that, despite its longevity, MoCCA is not rolling in money. It continues to have to claw its way into existence day after day. Without more funding, it can’t afford a larger space and without a larger space it can’t expand or display a permanent collection. Under the circumstances, the imaginary contest-entry museum we considered earlier begins to look like a cruel joke.

In the fall of 2010, MoCCA was approached by prominent webzine SuckerPunch with an idea that would seem to promise much potential publicity and fundraising possibilities. SuckerPunch would challenge architects to design a new site for MoCCA, with the winning designs to be awarded cash prizes totaling $2,500 and publication on the SuckerPunch site. Abramowitz agreed to sit on the jury and provide a set of requirements for the project, including a 20,000-square-foot, flexible, modular museum space, four offices, two classrooms, a café, a store, a theater and a lecture hall. SuckerPunch announced the competition, even selecting an empty lot at the corner of Norfolk and Delancey Streets in the Lower East Side, noting, however, that the site was not owned by either SuckerPunch or MoCCA.

The contest drew eye-popping, utopian site and floor plans from individual architects and architectural firms from all over the world. The extravagant designs, with names like BLOP!!..POW!!..WIZZZZZZZ and Bubble Art Display, reflected both an aggrandized and a degraded view of what a comic art museum would be. The First Place entry by Volkan Alkanoglu, who was awarded $1,200, appears to have been an attempt to design a 20,000-square-foot Batmobile.

The first-place-winning entry in an architectural contest for redesigning MoCCA.

If you’re not a regular SuckerPunch visitor, it’s understandable if you’ve never heard of these proposed MoCCA designs or this contest. MoCCA did little to promote the event and no specific effort was made to raise funds to realize any of the architectural designs. “They were fantasies,” said Abramowitz. “It was fun for us, but we didn’t take it too seriously.” After years of dealing with New York real estate, Abramowitz has apparently learned not to think too big. It will be a long wait for that alternate-universe museum to “take shape.”

Now consider a third alternate-reality cartoon-art museum: This one has a permanent collection of more than 7,000 items, including etchings dating back to the 1700s, animation cels, and original strip art. Two of the museum’s five gallery spaces — 800 square feet out of a total of 3,200 square feet — are dedicated to showcasing the permanent collection, with one gallery set aside for animation and the other for everything else, including comic books, strips, editorial cartoons, undergrounds, etc. Archives not on display are kept in a second-floor collections room. Another three galleries totaling 2,400 square feet are devoted to nonpermanent exhibits. The museum also houses second-floor offices and a bookstore and offers educational workshops, lectures and after-school programs.

This museum, the Cartoon Art Museum, exists in the alternate universe that is San Francisco. Like MoCCA, CAM is a survivor. Founded by Malcolm Whyte, it began in 1984 as a moveable “museum without walls” setting up exhibitions wherever space became available, then acquired a permanent residence in the Yerba Buena Gardens cultural center in 1987 with the help of a Charles Schulz endowment. The building is not owned by CAM or by the city, however. Half of CAM’s annual budget goes to pay rent.

Much of CAM’s permanent collection was acquired during its first five years. According to CAM Curator Andrew Farago, “With that as the foundation, the collection has been building itself ever since.” Asked about the museum’s policy on selling donated art, Farago said, “We only sell artwork that is donated for that express purpose. If an artist donates a piece for one of our auctions, we’ll sell it, but anything that’s intended for the collection stays in our archives.”

As with Abramowitz and MoCCA, fundraising is a constant battle for CAM. “We’re always fundraising,” said Farago. “Always. I don’t think a week passes that we aren’t scheduling events, writing grants, meeting with funders or brainstorming with cartoonists or our board of directors about ways to generate additional income for the museum. We’re in the same boat as pretty much every other arts nonprofit right now, in that every year we’re still around is a good one. We’ve always operated on a tight budget, and that’s allowed us to adapt whenever we face downturns in the economy. Larger museums spend on a single show what I spend in two or three years assembling our exhibitions. We know what we’re doing, how to do it and how to operate within our means, and that’s been the key to surviving everything that’s come our way since 1984.”

Paid staff at CAM includes a curator, an executive director and a full-time bookstore manager, plus regular contractors: a skeleton crew that MoCCA would nevertheless envy. One advantage that has helped CAM get to its current position is the patronage of the Schulz family. “Jeannie Schulz is still one of our biggest supporters,” Farago said, “and I can’t imagine where we’d be without her ongoing efforts on our behalf.”

CAM struggles, but at the end of the day, it has accomplished much that we would want in a comic art museum, even if it isn’t shaped like the Batmobile. That is not to say that it is a shining beacon. In the broad spectrum of art museums in the U.S., CAM is not a top-tier institution. It still inhabits the ghetto reserved for mass-culture-themed museums.

Such museums face a unique set of challenges. One is the cultural glass ceiling that ensures that museums like MoCCA or CAM are never going to reach the same level of social respectability as a museum of high art (and are therefore not going to be high on the radar of most big-money donors). Another obstacle, however, is self-imposed: It is the way that mass-culture museums have allowed themselves to become inextricable from the commercial industry that owns many of the properties that make up the art form.
The high recognition quotient of properties like Batman and Archie is the ace up the sleeve of comic-art museums and they can’t resist playing it over and over. CAM is no different from MoCCA in this regard: It uses crowd-pleasing shows like its recent Image Comics retrospective and Art of Puss ’n’ Boots exhibit to subsidize shows built around edgier fare like editorial cartoonist KAL or LGBTQ cartoonists. Of course, art done for hire is still art, and there is every justification for an exhibition of art by, say, Dan DeCarlo or Steve Ditko. Unfortunately, the artists don’t have the same recognition quotient or nostalgic glow as the characters they worked on, so comic art museums tend to develop such shows around the properties rather than the artists.

Even major institutions like the Museum of Modern Art or the Brooklyn Museum are not above popular-culture exhibitions on subjects like Star Wars. But MoMA has the space to offer such shows while still displaying the permanent collections on which its reputation has been founded. Which brings us full-circle back to the problems of real estate and money.

When the Journal approached Abramowitz about doing a 10th anniversary assessment of the museum, it sparked a panicked exchange of internal correspondence at MoCCA wondering what sort of hatchet job the Journal had in mind and planning how best to stall the proposed article. (The Journal has seen the e-mails.) Abramowitz was not available when the Journal visited the museum and for the better part of a year, she kept the Journal at bay, pleading ill health and a busy schedule. All of which suggests a guilty conscience. But when the Journal looks at MoCCA — and it has had many months to look while striving to interview Abramowitz — it sees a worthy institution fighting an uphill battle to give comic art the respect it ought to have. Could Abramowitz and the board of trustees be doing a better job of generating public attention and financial support for the museum? Maybe. Certainly, it seems as though the SuckerPunch contest could have been better used to create publicity and inspire concrete funding proposals, and there are better ways to work media like the Journal than hiding from them. Nor is she particularly beloved by all of the museum’s various volunteers and curators, more than one of whom reported butting heads with her. But let’s face it. Abramowitz doesn’t receive a paycheck for what she does. She suffers the anxieties of a shoestring budget and harassing phone calls from journalists because she wants New York to have a decent museum of comic and cartoon art.

We know a comic-art museum with a viable permanent collection is possible, because CAM and San Francisco have made one. But ultimately, the only way that MoCCA will grow the way that it needs to is if the comics community holds the museum to high standards, supports the achievement of those standards and makes the City of New York show respect for its native son: the comic art form. Right now, MoCCA is a long way from putting a crack in the cultural glass ceiling, but the worst that we can say about it — and the best that we can say — is that we will have the comic-art museum that we deserve.

81 Responses to State of the Art Museum: What MoCCA Has Accomplished and Failed to Accomplish After Ten Years

  1. “The Catch-22 that museums labor under, as Mort Walker discovered, is that you can afford fine facilities in the wilds of Florida, but you don’t have access to the kind of community interest and funding possibilities that a publishing Mecca like New York offers.”

    This is the explanation that many have given for the failure of Walker’s museum, but it doesn’t ring true. There are great museums and art spaces all over the country, often in very out-of-the-way places. In fact, great museums in New York City can suffer the same financial difficulties that a museum anywhere in the country might have. For example, the American Folk Art Museum almost collapsed last year. As it was, it had to sell its building (to MOMA) and become a renter. It also got some big checks from people who, presumably, thought that it would be a crying shame for such an important museum to dissolve.

    “I don’t have access to very much funding,” Abramowitz corrected the Journal. “The city doesn’t have it. The publishers don’t have it. The artists don’t have it. But I think having a museum in New York is really a special thing. I think it has an appeal to visitors and I think it has a great appeal to artists.”

    This is what I find kind of dispiriting. According to MOCCA’s 990, they had total revenue of $270 thousand. That is miniscule. That is the kind of revenue I expect to see from a non-collecting, artists-run institution, not from a collecting museum. And their rent in 2009 was $108 thousand, according to their 990!

    I wish the article had dealt more with their fund-raising. This is a challenge for a non-profit, but there are lots of techniques. Indeed, I’d like to see a break-down between support (grants and contributions) and income (money earned from MoCCA and other programs). How is their grant-writing? Do they have a gala? Etc. With such small revenue (relatively speaking), it seems like they are not particularly good at rounding up support.

    Perhaps support for this kind of museum is difficult. Maybe it’s easier for people to support artists’ spaces and performance art venues than a comics museum, although that seems hard to believe. But given that almost half their annual revenue goes to pay a landlord for a cramped 4th floor location with no signage, I’d say that their biggest problem is location. For that annual rent, you could get pretty roomy ground-floor accommodations in many other cities in the U.S. And the fund-raising would not be any more difficult elsewhere.

  2. Joe Wos says:

    There are three museums right now dedicated to the comic and cartoon arts in the United States. The ToonSeum in Pittsburgh is somewhere between the two, we are larger than Mocca and smaller than San Francisco. Two galleries, a public hall gallery, and an outdoor comics reading courtyard in downtown Pittsburgh. While we have only been in existence for 5 years, and downtown for only three, we have had paced sustainable growth.
    We did a 400 page study on the feasibility of a cartoon art museum in Pittsburgh and examined both CAM and MOCCA closely pulling what worked and fit us from both to shape our vision.
    Our collection is now about 2000 pieces or so stored offsite at a climate controlled facility. We recently added a small library area as well, about 1000 books in rotation. I invite you to get to know us.
    I can be reached at joe@toonseum.com
    Thank you,
    Joe Wos
    Executive Director

  3. Brendt Rioux says:

    It’s pretty disheartening to read that such basic concerns of rent and location – issues which all mass-culture oriented non-profits face – have led MoCCA to make some questionable decisions, clearly at the expense of building a collection for longevity’s sake. Yes, it is an imperfect, invisible location, clearly lacking in support and outreach. Programming is hit and miss. (Could care less about what’s there now but wish I’d seen the Jaffe show — that’s just me.) And that contest looks so ludicrous and misguided!

    But I’d like to give credit where credit is due: I greatly appreciated both the Kim Deitch retrospective in 2008, and the NeoIntegrity show in 2010. I don’t know the degree to which MoCCA was responsible for putting these events together, and sure, they might have benefitted from expanded gallery space and more informative curatorial information. But any occasion for the public to see originals by the artists in those shows should be cause for celebration, whatever the circumstances. And hey, Gahan Wilson’s doing a class soon. Cool. I’ll hope for another, better 10 years, in which the museum faces up to the concerned criticisms here and makes some improvements.

  4. The Comic Guru says:

    Too much whining !!!

    My G__ —- this article,, while purporting to be balanced, does nothing but whine too loudly about “problems”.

    The museum has done a great job of providing a service and space for all those in love of comics in NYC. Yes – it seems to have funding issues – but lets be realistic. As was pointed out in the article, those in love with comics are not generally the type of people who are donating to the MET, and they are not donating to MOCCA either.

    Has The Comics Journal ever considered making a small donation or doing something to help out ?

    And all the nonsense with Dan Nadal ….. please. This guy is a frustrated industry participant who operates on the periphery, and is self promoting trying to make a bigger name for himself. He constantly bashes MOCCA because he is trying to develop his own fair as a competitive event. As the article pointed out – he could run a show in the Everglades at lower cost, but whats the point. The cost of the MOCCA FEST is huge in manhattan, their space is expensive, and no one in this industry wants to provide any financial support – like the guy who didnt want to pay $5 for admission. Everyone in the Comics industry thinks that because they are “indie”, they are entitled to get everything for free or at low cost.

    How many people in the industry try to negotiate their entrance fee at that for profit, commercially driven nightmare known as New York ComicCon?

    Stop whining about the education program having limited seating. The program is great. The cost is low (and often zero for members). What is the alternative? Renting space somewhere else so more people could attend, and complain that the costs are too high because the museum had to rent space.??

    Every organization has its ups and downs – 10 years later, MOCCA has done a great service to the comics community in New York. No one thinks every show at MoMA is perfect, and not every show has raving reviews. It is not a question of good and bad. It is simply a reflection of the fact that different people, and different reviewers, have different opinions. Nadel is a cry baby. Writers from TimeOut are enthusiastic. So what? If you dont like to cook, stay out of the kitchen —- but dont keep coming back to a restaurant that you dont like, so that you can keep complaining that the food is not up to your standards. That is what some in this community, like Nadel, seem to be doing.

    All those who complain about MOCCA seem to say the same things over and over. It’s old news. What you never hear about is any constructive suggestions. Like – ok – if the fee to have a table at MoccaFest is too high, than how should MOCCA raise money elsewhere to keep the museum operating? I dont believe I have ever heard or seen a single suggestion.

    The problem is not with MOCCA. It is with an industry and community that has little money, and even less to provide support. There seems to be an entitlement issue at hand. Those indies complain that everything is too expensive, and at the same time, that the museum should be doing more and more.

    It is an immature attitude coming from individuals with that sense of entitlement.

    I applaud the efforts and results of MOCCA for surviving for 10 years, in one of the most expensive cities in the world, with one of the most demanding constituencies in the world, who have among the least economic resources in the world. BRAVO.

  5. Chris Jones says:

    Interesting article. MoCCA is a name you hear floating around the internet much more than that of the Cartoon Art Museum so it’s curious to hear that the former is apparently a more dire institution on the whole. Robert raises an interesting point although it seems to me that the point of the museum is that it IS in New York and wants to stand alongside high art museums in the same area. Their efforts are commendable although I have to admit my heart sunk when I read the part about them selling off the Axis cartoon collection. What was the Art Students League’s reaction to that?

    I’m sort of bad at visualizing space-about how big is 975 square feet?

  6. As a contributor to NeoIntegrity: the Comics Edition (one of hundreds!) I can speak to that show. It was curated by Keith Mayerson, an outside curator and artist, but specifically for MoCCA and with the full contribution and participation of the MoCCA staff, without whom it never could have happened. Also, when I co-curated the 2009 “Silent Pictures” show at CUNY, MoCCA volunteered to organize a panel discussion in connection to it, and the attendance was fantastic, standing room only. So it does seem to have connected with its intended public, and I think there is a certain amount of goodwill toward it.

    What MoCCA most direly needs, though, in my opinion at least, is a curator with art historical training, one specifically trained to deal with, and care for, art objects. Until someone like that is hired, bringing with them the responsibility toward art objects inculcated in such training (which is why I’m insisting on art history, and not just museum studies; similarly, I don’t think simple training as an artist would be enough in this case), their handling of their own collection will remain subjected to many of the problems described here.

  7. I should add that there are plenty of people with such training–and specializing, specifically, in works on paper–in the NYC area. Even hiring someone like that on a part-time basis could greatly benefit the collection.

  8. CitizenCliff says:

    So in 10 years, from conception to the present, the biggest mistakes were selling some art because MoCCA needed money, not having air conditioning at an event, leaving some names off some art, and no markings on the building — scandalous! Did anyone think to contact 60 Minutes about this?

    Not only are MoCCA’s problems not shocking, they’re understandable, given the limited resources and manpower. What the article fails to mention is the benefits to the NYC comics community that MoCCA provides. The MoCCA Thursdays panels, often run by Danny Fingeroth are entertaining and highly informative, and feature comic legends and others who worked behind the scenes. There is no other setting I know of where such a small audience can freely ask questions and afterward meet the speakers.

    The classes at MoCCA are excellent. Want to learn about making comics or cartoons? You can learn from people like Howard Chaykin, Paul Levitz, Liza Donnelly, Bill Plympton, Gahan Wilson, Chris Claremont, Denny O’Neil, and many others. About two years ago I took a storyboarding class taught by Stephan DeStefano. The class was masterfully taught, and we had a lot of fun as well. I made some great friends in that class, who I still get together with.

    For those who are critical of MoCCA, I would simply say: get involved. Volunteer your time, your services, your expertise. Come to planning meetings for MoCCA Fest. MoCCA is far from perfect — but it is ours, and we can make it into what we wish. I for one, am grateful it exists, warts and all.

  9. patrick ford says:

    Picture a tiny one bedroom house.

    “Within three years of acquiring the collection, MoCCA began auctioning off pieces of the collection”

    Appalling. Were there no pictures of Batman they could sell instead?

  10. The Comic Guru says:

    Another few points about this article – which in the end is reasonably well balanced.

    1. More whining about the permanent collection. I have seen the permanent collection a few years ago. Yes – it may be largely stored in what may be equivalent of a large walk in closet – BUT everything is stored unframed in flat files. You can store a considerable amount of work in a flat file with drawers up to the ceiling.

    2. Selling part of the AXIS collection? So what? Museums deaccession work all the time. The best quality was kept (I think). The lesser quality was let go.

    3. The article itself concludes with:
    ” But ultimately, the only way that MoCCA will grow the way that it needs to is if the comics community holds the museum to high standards, supports the achievement of those standards…… ”

    Well its fine for all those indies to hold the museum to high standards – what about also doing some contributing??? It’s difficult to maintain high standards when the audience is constantly griping about a $5 admission fee, or the cost of a table at MOCCA Fest. It would have been nice to see this reporter suggesting that the community could also to more to support the museum, rather than just focusing on what the museum can do for the community.

    4. Abramowitz does a great job – for no salary. Again, some compliments, support, and thanks, would be in order, rather than criticism that she couldnt make a meeting.


  11. In response to your point 2, that MoCCA sold the illustrated Saul Steinberg painting (a rare early work, and in a medium which Steinberg only rarely used) clearly demonstrates that “the best quality” was not kept, nor was work of clear historical importance. This is why a professional curator is needed, to be able to make such judgments.

    Secondly, the AAMD guidelines as paraphrased by Dean state that funds obtained through de-accessioning “can be used only for the acquisition and care of other art.” This pretty clearly does not include installing shows, as Abramowitz seems to think it does, which falls rather under operating expenses, not under care of the art. I greatly appreciate much of the work that Abramowitz and the other volunteer members of the board have done–but, again, a professional is needed here in order to bring the museum, in its treatment of the art, up to standard.

  12. The Comic Guru says:

    Have you ever thought to volunteer some of your time, rather than criticizing the museum???

    I’m not familiar with the Steinberg painting – so cannot comment – but perhaps it had condition problems or other issues that the museum didnt want to deal with. Much of the Axis collection was a mess.

    Further, the Axis collection was not strictly de-accessioned. It was donated to the museum, to be done with as best needed by the museum. The pictures sold never formally entered the collection. They were sold off before cataloged, with the permission of the donor. The donation was made to the museum, to be used as best serves the museum.

    Andrei —- would you please consider making a donation to the museum – which could be earmarked as initial funding to hire a professional curator. Please put your money where your mouth is.

    Thank you !

  13. Confused donor says:

    I’ve very much enjoyed going to MoCCA over the past year. FWIW I was a donor/member last year; my membership lapsed recently but I have yet to receive any kind of reminder from the organization. No email, no letter asking for me to re-up. It’s a bit startling.

  14. You have to have money for that. From what I could determine, MoCCA’s 2010 990 indicated that over $150K of their $270K revenue for the previous year was spent on rent and one salary. Adding another salary would require a large increase over their (2010-level) support.

  15. Jeet Heer says:

    Upton Sinclair: why are you so negative in your criticism of the meat-packing industry? Why don’t you open up your own meat-packing firm and show us how it is done?
    Ida Tarbell: why are you exposing the faults of Standard Oil? Why don’t you get a job with John D. Rockefeller and improve things from within?
    Ralph Nader: you are so down on the car companies? Why not put your money where your moth is and buy General Motors.

  16. Frank Santoro says:

    Use a real name to comment, please.

  17. Confused donor says:

    Nope, not in this case. In virtually all other cases sure, but using a real name would simply flag me to MoCCA.

    If you want to delete, go ahead. I’m only trying to help.

  18. patrick ford says:

    What, you expect the Comics Guru to just give up his secret identity? That would be like asking Spider-Man to tell people he was Peter Parker.
    Why doesn’t THE COMICS GURU ask Stan Lee to support the museum, they do events to promote him often enough.

  19. The Comic Guru says:

    ok – Now you got me.
    The Comic Guru is Stan Lee.

    And Jeet – I was going to open an auto dealership, And a gas station, In the meat packing district but I was looking for some Indie support and they all told me they go to NJ to buy their gas because its cheaper over there.

  20. Comic Guru must hang around with Jim Salicrup quite a bit, because he writes a great deal like him and has similar thoughts on MoCCA. I remember when I wrote a critical piece on the Archie show, and a bunch of anonymous posters showed up at the Beat accusing Dan Nadel of having a diminished manhood. When your biggest supporters can’t even sign their real names….you have a problem.

    I think the piece was very balanced, and the problem is clearly NOT ENOUGH MONEY.

    So I would ask The Comic Guru for some ideas for fundraising, grant writing and so on, beyond the Festival itself. This is clearly where the most effort is needed.

  21. Eric Reynolds says:

    Comic Guru, your comments would be taken much more seriously if you signed your name. I can’t fathom why someone would feel compelled to defend the museum’s honor anonymously. If you believe in them, tell us who you are, because right now it reads as if you work at the museum. You may well not, I’m not saying you do, but I’m saying your message is hard to take seriously without the weight of a real name.

  22. No Fake Heidi, it doesn’t, however us webmasters with our godlike powers can easily check IPS and ban fakesters such as yourself.

    ON my site that would be a banning offense. Don’t know how the TCjers treat it.

    [EDITOR’S NOTE: Heidi was responding to a commenter who posted under her name. The counterfeit comment has been removed, and the IP address linked to it has been banned.]

  23. It is startling. They obviously could use the money. My takeaway from the article reading between the lines is that their fundraising, even after ten years, is not good. Most non-profits I have joined or given money to constantly pepper me with reminders to re-up, with reasons to give them more money, etc.

  24. By the way, the reason this is of interest to me is because I am the treasurer of a small 501 (c)(3) (Freneticore, which is a theater and a dance troupe) and I deal with many of the issues discussed here all the time. In addition, I have given decent money (by my modest standards) to many local non-profits that are roughly the same size as MoCCA, and I usually do research before I write a check (via GuideStar). I want to see MoCCA prosper, but to me it seems like they are continuously operating with such limited support that they can’t do a lot of what one might want a comics museum to do (collecting and maintaining comics artwork). I don’t live in New York, so my comments should be taken as coming from someone who is a disinterested observer. I must add that their public outreach through panels and speakers seems excellent–MoCCA appears to be executing one aspect of its mission very well (I follow MoCCA on Facebook, so I get invitations to these talks very frequently, and they seem really interesting and varied).

  25. NRH says:

    Reading this article and the interview published simultaneously, it seems like MoCCA is basically a comics community center and cultural hub, with everyone agreeing that the festival, classes, panels, etc. are generally good. It does not appear that they are equipped at doing the job of being a comics culture museum.

    I don’t say “comics art museum” because it doesn’t seem like they have anything in the way of being an art museum in the contemporary sense of the word – it would not be hard to imagine a comics based contemporary arts institution that is interested in arguing for a place for comics towards the center, rather than the margins, of 21st century art practices. But it really doesn’t seem like MoCCA has any interest in doing so. Whether that’s a worthwhile goal in the first place is also open to question…

  26. The Comic Guru says:

    Hi Heidi,

    ok – Now you got me.
    The Comic Guru is Jim Salicrup.

    All kidding aside. I always go by the name CG. I”m not hiding anywhere.
    As for ideas on fund raising, as I have suggested, I believe everyone who benefits from the museum should contribute to it.

    Have you made a contribution of $100.? If not – why not ? I believe as a professional, you gain alot from the museum. Have you supported it?

    Everyone agrees the problem is not enough money. The other problem is that no one in the comics community feels they need to make any financial contributions – in fact, as I stated, its just the opposite. Everyone feels that MOCCA charges too much for everything. Therein lies the problem.

  27. This thread mirrors the intense disorganization of the MoCCA museum in a way that the article itself could never do.

  28. Confused donor says:

    I agree. I expect their volunteer time is so constrained that they haven’t put priority on retaining membership. That strikes me as shortsighted. Hopefully mine simply fell through the cracks, but I’ve received so little from them recently that I wonder.

    At any rate I hope they don’t go away.

  29. A minor error:

    “Hilda Terry, known for her Broom Hilda comic strip”

    Hilda Terry was known for “Teena”. “Broom-Hilda” was done by Russell Myers (from an idea by Elliot Caplin).

  30. The Comic Guru says:


    Your comment is the most ridiculous on here ! The fact that the audience at large has different views support some notion that the museum is disorganized ?????? Maybe you should move to Cuba, where different views arent allowed. Perhaps you will feel more comfortable there.

  31. The Comic Guru says:

    Heidi !!

    Have you contributed to MOCCA?

    Are you even a member ??

    What are your suggestions about raising funds for the museum??? I presume you must have some intelligent ideas ??

  32. I would love MOCCA to do well. But I think the people who run the museum would agree that it has a lot of problems, many of them barely covered in this article. I look forward to a more in depth article in the future.
    Thanks for the tip on Cuba. I will check that out.

  33. Okay, we’ve reached reductio ad Castro. Can we shut down all the pseudonymous comments now?

  34. Chris Jones says:

    So do you guys get trolls like Guru very often? I’ve only recently started checking this site’s comments section so I don’t have a very good handle on the Comics Journal Rogues Gallery.

  35. The Comic Guru says:

    Thanks Austin,

    A more in-depth article ??? I could hardly finish reading this one it was so long and tedious !

  36. The Comic Guru says:

    Hi Chris,
    Nice question. Come by here more often !
    We all have our views. There are many who dont like tp publish a name, but that doesnt mean they are often not the most articulate views in the threads. Enjoy.

  37. Scott Grammel says:

    I’d second that. And, frankly, if you’re not Madonna or Bono, how about using two names as a handle, as well.

  38. Jim, maybe I will not contribute money until I see that the people RUNNING the museum have solid ideas about how to spend it or also raise money? Also, responding to even even handed criticism by calling the complainers whiners does not inspire confidence in me. I do like MoCCA and its events and support it through publicity and participation.

  39. Oh and Jim, the further down the list I go, your insulting replies to Austin (who eats sleeps and breathes comics) also do not inspire confidence.

    Going around and insulting people who don’t agree with you for valid reasons is not good PR.

  40. Rob Clough says:

    Mort Walker’s museum wasn’t exactly in the wilds of Florida. It was in Boca Raton, an extremely posh but mostly elderly city. The museum was in a high-rent shopping center and took up a huge amount of space. It was very nice (I visited it when they had an extensive Hank Ketcham retrospective), but I instantly wondered how they made any money–especially when there’s a fairly low population of children living in that town and Miami is a good 90 minutes away. The museum had the high-expense problems of New York without the sort of population that might actually be interested in visiting it.

  41. James says:

    Fuck anonymity, if one doesn’t have the balls to sign a name to it it’s not worth reading

  42. The Comic Guru says:


    Please DO NOT read my comments. You do not seem to have the intellectual capacity to understand why some people (not just me), do not like to post with their real names.

    of course anyone could also just make up a name instead of stating they are anonymous. Would that be better for you ???


    PS – Please refrain from using language like F___. It’s immature, and their are also children who read this site. You embarass yourself.

  43. Jonathan Lee von Strausberg III says:

    Hello everyone,

    There have been some comments seeking all anonymous contributors to stop posting in that manner, and only post with their name. After some consideration, I thought that there was no reason to hide behind a mask.

    Please feel free to simply call me John.

    Thanks, and continued happy reading.

  44. Paul Slade says:

    ‘Their” are also children who can spell. I’m with James.

  45. A note to all: I’ve been informed that Jim Salicrup only became aware of this brouhaha over the weekend when MoCCA’s Jack Walsh told him about it. So it seems our little trickster was also fibbing when s/he said s/he was Jim Salicrup. Apologies for throwing even more murk into this.

    That said, MoCCA needs more supporters like Cliff Galbraith who sign their name and stand behind their comments, and less like The Comic Guru, whoever s/he is, who is the worst kind of “defender” anyone can have.

  46. I’d really like to meet these TCJ.com-reading children, if only to get the help they so desperately need.

  47. No, this kind of “silly username” thing is pretty rare, even on the contentious threads.

  48. Jonathan Lee von Strausberg III says:


    1. Is this the “real” Heidi, or the fake Heidi ?
    2. As previously reported, I believe I read that the Comic Guru was really Stan Lee – and who is Jim Salicrup?
    3. Is a defender who is anonymous not as good as a defender who lists a false name?

    Your post seemed to be the real murk? Talk about the issue at hand please. Your postings always seem to focus on what is going on around the periphy – and never get into any real substance. This has been the case with your writings for years. It is not a good approach for a professional writer.

  49. Jonathan Lee von Strausberg III says:


    Is your contention that you support MOCCA by going to their events, but that it is not worth supporting with a financial contribution ???

    Is that logical ??

    I would not call you a supporter. I would call you a user. In fact, of the worst kind. You use the organization for what you can skim from it, but you give nothing back.


  50. Jonathan Lee von Strausberg III says:

    Heidi Maam,

    I do not insult people who dont agree with me. I only disagree with them.

    I believe you will find that a large number of people on here, when critical, get pretty insulting.

    I am merely trying to find a proper balance… the yin and the yang … the in and the out … do you get my drift ???

  51. James says:

    I know Jim and don’t think he’d be so ridiculous. I havcan;t be bother at this point to guess who someone is that uses a fake name. I can understand why people would do such a thing, but then they have to figure that not standing behind their words gives whatever they say no weight of conviction.

  52. Kim Thompson says:

    Insofar as Comic Guru/Jonathan followed his “admission” that he was Jim Salicrup (in response to Heidi’s heavy hints that he was) with “all kidding aside,” I don’t know that very many people took this confession at face value, except for Heidi, who started calling him “Jim.” (Or thought that Jim Salicrup, a professional editor since before many of the people in this debate were born, had forgotten how to use apostrophes.)

    Comic Guru’s “why don’t you go to Cuba if you can’t stand disagreement” response to Austin English was more idiotic than insulting, I’d say.

  53. Ian Harker says:

    If I was pulling the strings at MoCCA the first thing I would do is hire Dan Nadel to run everything. If you can’t beat ’em, hire ’em. It’s worked beautifully for .tcj.com.

  54. Bill Kartalopoulos says:

    One major premise of this article that I’d take issue with is that the MoCCA museum represents “the place of comics in the East Coast art world” or “the high-water mark for the level of respectability that comic art has been able to carve out for itself in its home town.” There have been a number of successful, interesting, and frequently well-reviewed comics and cartooning-related exhibits in NYC over the past ten years at venues other than MoCCA. The Jewish Museum has held exhibits devoted to Ben Katchor, William Steig, and Maurice Sendak, and hosted the post-war half of the Masters of American Comics exhibit; The Adam Baumgold Gallery has exhibited work by Seth, Charles Burns, Chris Ware, Marc Bell, and many more; Crumb’s work has been exhibited at the Society of Illustrators and Tony Shafrazi; Gary Panter and Glenn Bray curated a Zap show at Scott Edlin Gallery last year; Basil Wolverton’s work was recently exhibited at the Barbara Gladstone Gallery; my own “Cartoon Polymaths” show was up at Parsons last year, and SVA mounted a large comics exhibit called “Ink Plots” recently as well; the Rubin Museum currently has a comics exhibit up that I contributed wall text to; and the list goes on.

    Nearly all of these shows have garnered reviews or other attention in The New York Times, Artforum, ARTnews, and other mainstream venues. I think these indicate that there is a growing space for comics in the NYC art world. In this context, I don’t think one can take the current status of the MoCCA museum–whatever it is–as a sole, objective measure of the climate for work like this in NYC.

  55. Jonathan Lee von Strausberg III says:

    ok Heidi,

    But you use the museum for your benefit, and admit to giving nothing back.

    If you cannot make a financial commitment, have you ever thought of volunteering, like so many others do ?

    Is this insulting? Or a constructive approach to discussing how so many people take but do not give ?

    Thank you.

  56. Jonathan Lee von Strausberg III says:

    OMG !!!!!

    That comment is perhaps the funniest and most preposterous thing I have read in 2 or 3 years !

    Thanks for making me laugh so hard !!!

  57. Jonathan Lee von Strausberg III says:

    I disagree with this premise.

    Having a one off comics show (or even 2 or 3) over a period of 3-5 years, is not nearly the same thing as being a comics museum. Comics are the blood of the museum. The others are largely doing a profit driven show because they had something to sell.

    This is why no major museum will ever hire a former dealer.

  58. Jonathan Lee von Strausberg III says:

    This is unbelievable !!!

    BRAVO !!!!

    Criticizing MOCCA, after seeing this list of guests. No one else in the U.S could put something like this together.

    BRAVO !!!!

    Since 2002, MoCCA Fest has supplied New York with a great venue for comic lovers and creators alike to showcase and celebrate the diversity of the medium: discover comics, mini-comics, web comics, graphic novels, animation, posters, prints, original artwork and more. The festival brings established and emerging talent together for the comics community and the public at large to enjoy. Each year, the Festival invites dozens of established and emerging creators, scholars, and other experts to participate in two days of lecture/discussion panels on a variety of comics and cartoon topics. Find out what the buzz is all about — and where the buzz will be coming from — below.

    (Click for the full image)

    The award will be presented by comics critic and educator Bill Kartalopoulos.

    Born in Oklahama and raised in Texas, Gary Panter has been a prodigious painter and multimedia artist since his youth. Equally influenced by art history and the psychedelic counterculture, Panter emerged as a visual force in the L.A. punk scene of the late 1970s. While illustrating album covers and fliers for musicians including Frank Zappa and the Screamers; Panter began publishing a series of comics in Slash Magazine featuring his post-apocalyptic punk/hillbilly alter ego, Jimbo. Panter’s groundbreaking comics, which introduced the expressiveness of painting and the aesthetics of printmaking to the comics form, subsequently gained an international audience in Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly’s avant-garde anthology series RAW. Throughout the 1980s, Panter also collaborated with Pee-Wee Herman, winning three Emmy Awards as production designer on the innovative children’s television series “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.” Panter continues to paint and his work has been exhibited internationally. He regularly performs and records music and has collaborated with Joshua White on light show projects. His books of comics include Cola Madnes, Jimbo in Purgatory, and the forthcoming Dal Tokyo. Panter’s work was included in the 200! 5-2007 t raveling exhibit “Masters of American Comics”, the Phoenix Art Museum in 2007. He was the recipient of a 2000 Chrysler Award for Design Excellence. He is currently represented by Fredericks & Freiser in New York. Gary Panter lives and works in Brooklyn.

    P Craig Russell provided the stunning artwork for the 2012 MoCCA Fest poster.

    P Craig Russell has run the gamut in comics as a writer, artist and illustrator. His evocative artwork has defined dozens of titles, including his Eisner-award-winning work with Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde, Elric: Sormbringer, Dr. Strange, Ring of the Nibelung, as well as Sandman #50: Ramadan, the highest-selling issue of the series. More recent work includes graphic novel adaptations of both Neil Gaiman’s Coraline and Gaiman’s Sandman: The Dream Hunters. His latest book is The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Happy Prince, from NBM Publishing.

    MoCCA Fest is pleased to feature great talent at this year’s festival with programming and special signings & appearances, including Jessica Abel, Derf Backderf, José-Louis Bocquet, Joyce Brabner, Box Brown, Domitille Collardey, Leela Corman, Mike Dawson, Stephen DeStefano, Matt Forsythe, Drew Friedman, Tom Gauld, Dean Haspiel, Jason, Daniel Johnston, Michael Kupperman, Peter Kuper, Matt Madden, Nicolas Mahler, Catel Muller, Kevin Pyle, MK Reed, Joseph Remnant, Hans Rickheit, Alex Robinson, Olivier Schrauwen, Raina Telgemeier, GB Tran, Lauren Weinstein, & Shannon Wheeler !

    MoCCA Fest News & Updates
    Where do I go for news about the festival? If you’re not already doing so, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin, but that’s not all!

  59. Tim Hodler says:

    “Jonathan”: Are you formally affiliated with MoCCA? Either way, I think you owe it to the rest of us (and to the museum) to make that status clear.

  60. Bill Kartalopoulos says:

    Other than the Baumgold shows, very few of the exhibits that I noted featured works that were up for sale (many are museum exhibits, and even some of the gallery shows listed here, such as the Zap show and, I believe, the Wolverton show, were only exhibiting — not selling — work). Not that it matters as much as you suggest. But my larger point is that the success or failure of MoCCA at any given moment is not strictly indicative of broader NYC artworld interest in comics. That’s happening independently of MoCCA.

  61. Frank Santoro says:

    Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right – here I am – stuck in the middle with you…

  62. ed says:

    After reading the travails and criticisms of MoCCANY, thank Kirby for the CARTOON ART MUSEUM here on the Left Coast!

    Always have made a point of dropping by on my Bay Area visits; so nice that they’ve expanded and grown from that cramped walk-up setting to the roomier digs just a walk down SFMOMA…

  63. Jonathan Lee von Strausberg III says:

    I agree.
    But having worked in a commercial gallery, I know that ultimately, any show that is produced is only done with the objective of enhancing the commercial viability of the gallery – whether the works are for sale or not.
    Nuff said.

  64. Jonathan Lee von Strausberg III says:

    Yes – Heidi thought I was Jim?
    I thought it was pretty clear I was not.
    It provides some insight to Heidi’s thinking, and her often criticism of MOCCA.
    I would like to see her volunteer.

  65. “This is why no major museum will ever hire a former dealer.”

    Except for MOCA hiring Jeffrey Deitch and the Pasadena Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery and the Menil Museum hiring Walter Hopps.

    (I know–don’t feed the trolls. Sorry.)

  66. Jonathan Lee von Strausberg III says:

    Would the real Heidi McDonald please stand up.
    Please stand up.

  67. Tim Hodler says:

    Okay, bye bye then, “Jonathan.”

    I don’t know if you’re affiliated with MoCCA or not, but you’re clearly not doing them any favors, and are basically just acting like a troll now. Feel free to e-mail me with an explanation if you want to be reinstated.

  68. No one else could put this together?
    This festival, organized by artists within the Chicago Community, boasts a far more ambitious guest list

  69. CitizenCliff says:

    Actually, MoCCA will be implementing a new web based membership service which will send out a reminder to renew annually.

  70. CitizenCliff says:

    I could use my real name, Cliff Galbraith, but I’ve been CitizenCliff around the web for many years. I have no problem with anonymity. I do have a problem with people who have no idea what they are talking about. MoCCA, while small in overall square footage, is vastly complex in its programming, festival, fund raising, membership, book signings, classes and budget woes. I really don’t get all the bitching and finger pointing.

    True, MoCCA can be better, so let’s make it better. Let those who voice the most criticism, become the most active — no one will bar the door from your entrance. MoCCA needs real help, committed volunteers — and not just the pimply faced youths who are only too glad to help, but grown-up business experienced adults who can and should get things done. Bring your area of expertise, bring your innovative ideas, do it for the pure love comics.

    Why bicker and call each other names, when that time and energy could be put to better use helping MoCCA. We all love comics, and MoCCA is for those who love comics. As shaky as MoCCA appears at times, it has survived and grown over ten years. Lets work together to make the next ten years of MoCCA a successful home for an artform whose time is long overdo.

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  73. Some of the criticism of MoCCA is legit, and some is totally unfair and/or outright nonsense. Oh well, welcome to the internets.

    I would like to see a better location (in the same neighborhood, wouldn’t want to lose the walking distance from our apartment.) I was left feeling punk’d by the architecture competition to design a new MoCCA on the Lower East Side, I thought there really was going to be a new MoCCA location at that site.

    I’m a guy who writes, draws and inks my own comics; I need a ventilator to breathe, and get around in a large wheelchair, and I visited MoCCA in November 2010. I’d like to swing by MoCCA again in the next few months and renew my membership. If anyone affiliated with MoCCA ever reads this, please contact me at comics (at) superdude (dot) org, because I’d love to get involved in the NYC comics community, and have someone to talk to as I create comics.


  74. Mocca website currently says ‘Museum is currently closed to the public.’
    Events cancelled with very little explanation. Guess that $15 fine for attendee’s at the festival wasnt steep enough, huh?

  75. Rob Clough says:

    Makes one wonder if there will even be another MOCCA festival…or more to the point, if there SHOULD be another festival if they can’t keep their doors open and pay their employees. If that’s indeed what is happening.

  76. Frank Santoro says:

    Cage Match! The Battle of the Indie Festivals begins!

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  78. Such sad news. I wish I’d gone out there more recently, but it did provide me with many good times. Hopefully they’ll find a physical space sooner or later. NYC needs a comics museum. I donated about ten years worth of TCJ back issues and a ton of foreign comics to them a couple years ago. I hope it helped at least a little!

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