The Society of Illustrators is proud to share this year’s stellar list of Guests of Honor for the MoCCA Arts Festival, taking place April 1-2 at Metropolitan West in New York City. This year’s featured Guests of Honor are:
- Acclaimed French cartoonist Blutch, whose graphic novel Peplum marks his second English- language translation, makes his first ever appearance at a North American comics festival.
- Cliff Chiang, known for his “fluid and confident storytelling” in work on comics including Human Target, Beware the Creeper, Wonder Woman, and Paper Girls.
- Artist Becky Cloonan, whose best-selling comics include Demo, East Coast Rising, American Virgin, Gotham Academy, The Punisher, and many others.
- Illustrator Drew Friedman, recognized for his body of comics work as well as his unforgettable caricatures of celebrities and legends, political figures and performers.
- British comics artist David Lloyd, best known as the artist of V for Vendetta, written by Alan Moore, and the designer of the iconic Guy Fawkes mask since adopted by Anonymous.
- American Born Chinese and Boxers & Saints author Gene Luen Yang, the current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and a prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellow, who will appear on Saturday only.
This diverse group of artists exemplifies the limitless aesthetic and social power of comics and cartooning. The MoCCA Arts Festival will take place April 1 – 2nd from 11:00AM – 6:00PM at Metropolitan West (636 W. 46th St.) with programming mere steps away at Ink48 (653 11th Ave).
Price of admission is $5 per day and will grant attendees access to the Fest including the Exhibitors Hall, on-site Gallery space, and programming. Tickets will be available for purchase at the door. Children under twelve are free. Further scheduling information regarding our Guests of Honor’s visits will be available in future announcements.
Applications to table at the Fest are now available online, and will close on December 31st.
ABOUT THE GUESTS OF HONOR
Born Christian Hincker in Strasbourg, France, comic artist and writer Blutch is widely recognized for his incredible draftsmanship and his affectionate, outsider’s take on American culture including cinema and jazz. His comics debuted in the magazine Fluide Glacial in the 1980s. Since then he has published many books with publishers including L’Association, Cornelius, and Dargaud. His books So Long, Silver Screen (Picturebox) and Peplum (New York Review Comics) have been translated into English, and his illustrations have appeared in publications including Libération and The New Yorker. In 2009, he won the prestigious Grand Prix at the Festival International de la Bande Dessinée in Angoulême, France. His visit to North America is supported by Europe Comics
Comic artist Cliff Chiang began his career as an illustrator for Disney Adventures Magazine and Vertigo/DC before moving on to freelance. His client list includes DC Comics, GQ Magazine, Lucasfilm, Warner Animation, Dark Horse Comics, Dynamics Forces Entertainment, and the ACLU. His artwork was used in the comics Human Target, Beware the Creeper and Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre, Green Arrow/Black Canary and Wonder Woman. He is currently working on the series Paper Girls with writer Brian K. Vaughan.
At only 36, New York’s School of Visual Arts alum Becky Cloonan has already paved the way for women in comics. Her breakout hit, Demo (2004), a collaboration with Brian Wood, received numerous accolades and recognitions. Her first solo project,
East Coast Rising, released by Tokyopop in 2006, earned her a third Eisner nomination for Best New Series. In 2012 she became the first woman to draw a main Batman title. Following Batman, she did the art for The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys and later created cover art and stories for Gotham Academy for DC Comics.
Award winning artist Drew Friedman’s comics and illustrations have appeared in Raw, Weirdo, American Splendor, Heavy Metal, National Lampoon, SPY, MAD, The New Yorker, BLAB!, Time, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The New York Observer, Entertainment Weekly, among many others. His work has been collected in several volumes, and The New York Times called his three volumes of Old Jewish Comedians “A festival of drawing virtuosity and fabulous craggy faces.” His books of portraits, Heroes of the Comic Books and More Heroes of The Comics, published by Fantagraphics, have received high praise and recognition from the comics community. He is the subject of the upcoming documentary Drew Friedman: Vermeer of the Borscht Belt.
British comic art David Lloyd’s career began in the 1970s creating art for Marvel UK titles. In 1982, author and editor Dez Skinn started production on Warrior magazine, and invited Lloyd to create a new pulp character. With the help of writer Alan Moore, the two conceived V for Vendetta, a dark comic featuring an anarchist anti-hero who battles with a fascist government while donning a Guy-Fawkes mask. DC Comics would later pick up the comic and transform it into a full graphic novel. In 2006, V for Vendetta became a full-length feature film, while the Guy-Fawkes mask illustrated by Lloyd has been used widely in protests throughout the world. Since the widespread popularity of V, Lloyd has worked on numerous other titles including Wasteland, Espers, War Story, The Territory, Kickback, among others. In 2012, Lloyd launched an online comics anthology called Aces Weekly.
Gene Luen Yang
Gene Luen Yang found early recognition in 2006 through his young adult (YA) book American Born Chinese (First Second Books), which became the first graphic novel to be a finalist for the National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association’s Printz Award, as well as an Eisner Award. His next title, the diptych Boxers & Saints (also published by First Second Books), continued his winning streak, receiving the L.A. Times Book Prize. In January of 2016, Yang was appointed as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress, Every Child A Reader, and the Children’s Book Council; then later that year, he was named a MacArthur Genius.
About the Society of Illustrators and the MoCCA Arts Festival
Founded in 1901, the Society of Illustrators is the oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to the art of illustration in America. Notable Society members have been N.C. Wyeth, Rube Goldberg, and Norman Rockwell, among many others. Our Museum of Illustration was established in 1981. We offer year-round themed exhibits, art education programs and annual juried competitions. Our Permanent Collection houses 3,500 pieces that are cataloged for scholarly use and displayed periodically. In 2012, we created the MoCCA Gallery with a focus on curated exhibits of comic and cartoon art.
The MoCCA Arts Festival is a 2-day multimedia event, Manhattan’s largest independent comics, cartoon and animation festival, drawing over 7,000 attendees each year. With 400 exhibiting artists displaying their work, award-winning honorees speaking about their careers and artistic processes and other featured artists conducting workshops, lectures and film screenings, our Festival mission accelerates the advancement of the Society’s broader mission to serve as Manhattan’s singular cultural institution promoting all genres of illustration through exhibitions, programs and art education.