Home Comic Books MoCCA Arts Festival Announces 2023 Programming

MoCCA Arts Festival Announces 2023 Programming


The Society of Illustrators is proud to announce a robust and distinguished programming schedule for the 2023 MoCCA Arts Festival, taking place April 1-2. Programming will take place at the SVA Flatiron Gallery, located at 133 West 21st Street, steps away from the Exhibitor Hall at Metropolitan Pavilion.

Organized by MoCCA Programming Director Bill Kartalopoulos, this year’s programming focuses on tough discussions about topics that are greatly impacting the comics community today, including censorship, the representation of queer youth, Artificial Intelligence, and labor issues.

Featured guest Maia Kobabe, author of the award-winning and frequently-banned Gender Queer, will answer questions posed by writer Michele Kirichanskaya (Ace Notes) in a special spotlight session. Kobabe will also participate in a very special panel about comics and censorship moderated by PEN America’s Jonathan Friedman, and also including Mike Curato, author of Flamer, and Cathy G. Johnson, author of The Breakaways, who have all been affected by the wave of censorship currently sweeping parts of the United States.

In other spotlight sessions, Barbara Brandon-Croft (Where I’m Coming From) will discuss her life and career as the first Black woman to write and draw a nationally syndicated daily comic strip. Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil) will appear in conversation with Neil Gaiman (Sandman) to discuss her career and their history of collaboration. This event is scheduled in conjunction with the exhibition “Colleen Doran Illustrates Neil Gaiman,” running from March 22nd to July 29th at the Society of Illustrators and curated by scholar Kim Munson, who will also moderate the conversation. Noah Van Sciver will discuss his prolific career in conversation with Gil Roth (Virtual Memories).

Bill Kartalopoulos will lead a panel discussion on Comics and Labor featuring Lantz Arroyo and Sarah Lopez of the worker-owned Radix Media and O. K. Fox of the Art and Labor podcast. Kartalopoulos will also discuss alternative Asian comics with artists A ee mi and Akino Kondoh and with publishers Orion Martin (Paradise Systems) and Emuh Ruh (Glacier Bay Books). As part of our Professional Development programming, Viktor Koen, chair of the Comics and Illustration departments at SVA, will lead a conversation on Art and Artificial Intelligence with panelists including artist Carson Grubaugh, who produced the AI-generated graphic novel The Abolition of Man, and illustrator Tim O’Brien, who led the successful effort to ban AI-generated art from major illustration competitions. This panel is co-organized and sponsored by the School of Visual Arts Department of Continuing Education.

Other panel events will feature artists Elizabeth Colomba, Kim Deitch, Drew Friedman, Glenn Head, Miriam Katin, Nora Krug, Toma Vagner, and more. Other events will feature an animation showcase organized by the Women in Animation advocacy group and an installment of R. Sikoryak’s ongoing Carousel series of performative comics readings.

An abbreviated programming schedule can be found below, with a full schedule available online at moccafest.org/programming. Each programming event will last one hour, with a half hour break between programming events. Admission to programming is included with MoCCA Arts Festival admission. All seating is available on a first come-first served basis. Tickets are available to purchase online as well as at the door. More information about the Fest can be found here.

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