MoCCA fest programming will be held at the Highline Hotel

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Some details on the logistics of the new venue for this year’s MoCCA Festival have been announced. The show itself is moving to Center 548 on West 22nd Street, and programming will be held two blocks away at the Highline Hotel on 20th and 10th Avenue, a converted 1865 building that was once Clement Clarke […]

SPX table lottery opens on February 1

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The Small Press Expo, to be held this year Sept. 19-20, isn’t a fully curated show. About half the booths are grandfathered in, but the rest are open in a “lottery” that is nerve-wracking but ultimately fair. While curated shows like TCAF and CAB present a sleek line-up, it’s good to have some element of the random for one premiere CAF. REgistration is open from February 1-15 and the rest of the process is laid out in an announcement. “What to expect when you’re expecting to table.”

The Devastator/Beat Convention Exhibitor Survey is out: which cons are loved, which are hated

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Last fall, we here at The Beat teamed up with the awesome folks at The Devastator to put together a survey for convention exhibitors. With all the controversy over who is spending and what cons are con games, it seemed like time to seriously upgrade this survey. And you responded, with more than 100 people taking the survey, giving results on the top cons and CAFs that revealed average sales and average amount of satisfaction with each show.

In case you’ve never heard of them, The Devastator is a humor/comic magazine based in LA that features sharp satire and art by founders Geoffrey Golden and Amanda Meadows as well as people from The Onion, the Daily Show, Adult Swim, Marvel and more.

The result, as crunched by the Devastator’s staff, has some eye-opening statistics. You can read the entire report right here, and see some of the Devastator team’s own comments below, but here are a few of my own eye-openers:

Must read: Whit Taylor on “A Visit to CAB” and comic arts festival sustainability

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Whitney Taylor continues to be my favorite investigative comics journalist—well, maybe investigative is too strong a word, but if “talking to a lot of people and painting a picture” is the criterion, Whit is it, as her report on Comic Arts Brooklyn shows. This was a strong show but one that experienced an unexpected glitch: a lot of people thought it was a two day show and didn’t come to the exhibits on Saturday. This resulted in a smaller crowd and, for some, lower sales. On the day there was a lot of anxiety—it’s like basing your business plan on Christmas sales and then there’s a big blizzard the day of the big sale—but everyone seems to have survived intact.

And yet, is a financial model this precarious one that is “sustainable”? I predict sustainable will be THE word of 2015, as a the last few days of posts here have been exploring. Taylor talks about the model with many publishers and creators and key behind the scenes people like publishing rep Tony Shenton, and while everyone is optimistic, there is no real consensus on whether things are working, improving or just providing a false illusion of hope:

SF Comics Festival ist now in the works

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I’m not going to give updates on this every time there’s a post, but just to keep up with various developments, that indie comics show in San Francisco that a bunch of volunteers have begun exploring has some pretty ambitious plans as reported by Matt Silady. SF is currently without a major comics show, as […]

Comics Arts LA was a success it seems

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SIMPSONS creator @mattgroening4 just popped into #thinktankgallery for the @ComicArtsLA event. Only 3 HOURS LEFT! pic.twitter.com/1AjbgP7VEy — Think Tank Gallery (@ThinkTankDTLA) December 6, 2014 …or that’s what I get from the social media reports, which are brief but positive. Packed house for Comics in Animation panel with @natazilla, @lisadraws, @ryanpequin! Right now! pic.twitter.com/QvLmoDnT06 — Comic […]

CAF update: MoCCA exhibitor reg due date and LIneworks info

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Speaking of CAFS, a couple of other newsy notes for the burgeoning crop of events next year,

TCAF opens pop-up shop with Zdarsky event

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TCAF—The Toronto Comic Arts Festival—is expanding with a holiday pop-up shop at the Toronto Reference Library, home of the yearly comic festival. The shop will kick off with an event for “Just The Tips” the Sex Criminals spin off book by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky this Wednesday, December 3rd at 6 pm. Home town hero Zdarsky will be present to sign.

New CAF: CXC in Columbus from Smith and Spurgeon

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And here’s the official word on that new comic arts festival that people were alluding to at ICAF: Cartoon Crossroads Columbus or CXC, which will be a lot more than a CAF, really. The event will debut in 2015 as a two-day event (held October 2-3) and then grow into a four day festival in 2016. The show has a four person executive committee consisting of Cartoon Books’ Jeff Smith and Vijaya Iyer, Comics Reporter’s Tom Spurgeon and Billy Ireland Library founder Lucy Caswell. Smith is the Artistic Director, while Spurgeon will be the Festival Director. Can you say heavy hitters?

Con season winding down with Comics Arts LA

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It’s been a long, long year of cons, with new ones springing up every where. The CAF season is winding up with Comic Arts LA on December 6th. A nice posted by Sophia Foster-Dimino has just been unveiled, and the exhibitor list is here. LA hasn’t been entirely successful for indie comics centered events, but […]

CAB 2014 in Pictures! With Art Spiegelman, Roz Chast, Raymond Pettibon and a cast of dozens

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The Beat took pictures at CAB 2014! Some of them are Hipstamatic. Live with it. This was a good show, as usual. I came back with a bag full of books and immediately started reading them, one of the virtues of the home show. Although jam packed the show was surmountable, and I thought I […]

To do tonight: Al Jaffee, Anya Davidson, Hic and Hoc and more pre_CAB events

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Whoops a LOT to do tonight! Fire up your Über! These are ALL tonight. A Faintly Lit Light- Group Show at 4:00pm – 7:00pm

Right now! HOT DRINKS!

The Perfect Nothing Catalog 260 Johnson Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11206

Blaise Larmee / Quintessa Matranga / Lms Sadler / Aidan Koch / Marie Jacotey / Anthony Cudahy / Wiley […]

Comic Arts Brooklyn Debuts Part One: From Bow-Wow to Wendy

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Exhibitors at Comic Arts Brooklyn this weekend were kind enough to send me listings of their books—as usual there is something for everyone. I received so many listing I’m dividing this into two parts. Many thanks to the creators who took the time to send me news of their work. It looks to be a very exciting show.  Enjoy!

APE moving to San Jose Convention Center for October 3-4, 2015

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APE—the Alternative Press Expo—moves to San Jose next year, and it will be held in the San Jose Convention Center, which already hosts the more mainstream Big Wow Comics Fest in April. APE will stay in its fall dates, in this case October 3-4. The dates, and more plans for the show, were revealed in a wide ranging interview with show runner Dan Vado conducted by Deb Aoki for Publishers Weekly. Although indie CAFs haven’t exactly thrived in traditional convention centers—Stumptown in Portland springs to mind—Vado has big plans to tie the comic fest in more with other local San Jose cultural events:

SPACE poster by Tom Williams unveiled

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S.P.A.C.E. (Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo) is yet another comics-related event in Columbus. This will be the 15th year for the show, making it one of the granddaddys of the indie “CAF” circuit and it claims to be “the midwest’s longest running exhibition of small press, creator owned  and art comics.” This year it will be held April 14 and 15th at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Columbus and sponsored by Back Porch Comics.

SPX 2014 exhibitors list goes to a lottery system

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Catching up on some of the news that broke Christmas week (!?!) and this is pretty huge. After a total server meltdown and general headaches over exhibitor registration for the 2013 show. the Small Press Expo is going to basically a lottery. “Legacy” exhibitors—those who have been at the show for five years or more—and invited guests (of course) will be given tables, and the remainder will be put up for a lotteryplain and simple. The show will not go curated, as nearly every other CAF has, because…well because of tradition. Here’s the new procedure::