That's all I could think about while heading into the city for the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) Art Festival last Saturday. It was definitely one of those fry-an-egg-on-the-hood-of-your-car days. My temperature gauge read 101 degrees when I parked but it was my friend Jen's birthday so I persevered.
The programming for the weekend was held at the MoCCA Gallery with the main festival, including sketch tables, located in the Puck Building in lower Manhattan. There was a small issue getting into the Puck Building for me seeing as how there are stairs. There's a lift on one of the entrances but no one was immediately available with the key to use it and sitting still and baking in the sun was not on my list of things to do that day. A fast acting cleaning woman grabbed my friends and I and brought us around back where, surprisingly, there were no stairs at all. Of course, that was near the dumpsters, but it was infinitely simpler and I thanked her profusely for it.
We took a quick spin around the first floor but it was far too crowded for me to actually take in anything I was seeing. Though I did happen to spot a few people at the tables that I recently added on Myspace which was funny. It was later than I expected due to a friends mishap with sausage earlier in the day (don't ask) so I headed up to the 7th floor to get myself in line for some sketches.
Unfortunately I was too late to see Patrick McDonnell, the creator of my favorite comic strip Mutts. I met him at the NY Comic Con two years ago and had him sketch in two of my books then though so it wasn't too big a loss. The other person I had come to see was Cliff Chiang. I met him at the NY Comic Con this year but it was the last day so a sketch wouldn't have been possible. I was determined to get something this time so I went right to the table where you pay (the proceeds went to the museum) but they didn't have his sheet out yet because he wasn't there. I decided it was best to wait right there so I didn't wind up being last in line. Cliff showed up and remembered me from the NYCC which was cool too.
I wound up being second in line behind a nice fellow from The Comic Collective whose name I sadly cannot remember (if you're reading this, sorry). We had a nice chat and he had Cliff sketch him a Hellboy. I bought a sketchbook to start a themed collection of drawings and thought about what I would want a whole book of. I didn't really want to pick just one particular character, instead I came up with the idea to have artists draw me instead. A bit narcissistic, I know, but I figure it should be interesting to see how they each interpret me. I told Cliff he could draw me in the scooter or not and he asked if I wanted a superhero spin on it. I said sure and told him a few of my favorites. Wouldn't you know? Out of the bunch he picked to draw me as Zatanna. I absolutely love it! Thanks Cliff!
By the time the sketch was done my friends had already circled the entire place twice and I had been sitting in a room with the sun beaming in on me for about two hours. Strangely enough, even with the temperature outside and the amount of people indoors, it didn't really smell at all. Quite an unexpected relief. Also unexpected was spotting Jackson Publick just as I was about to leave. Most people probably wouldn't know what he looked like but after two NY Comic Con Venture Bros. panels he's not hard to spot. He was in the middle of a conversation so I just popped in quickly to introduce myself and say hello. He was very nice. Geez, that sounds kind of dumb doesn't it? "He was very nice." I should have made up something awesome like, I convinced him to let me voice a character on the show (*cough*I do voiceovers Jackson!*cough*) or he called in the Guild of Calamitous intent to get me away from him or something. Oh well.