About a week ago, I had the pleasure of going to the second annual Maine Comics Arts Festival on Portland’s waterfront. The event grew dramatically compared to the first year - in fact, it seemed to about double in size - but kept the same happy, friendly atmosphere it is becoming known for. If you followed the #MeCAF tag on Twitter, you probably noticed the overwhelming amount of positive vibes coming from the attendees and exhibitors at the show. Hopefully, the show will keep the positivity as it grows in the coming years.
One of the cool things about MeCAF is the fact that there are no shops selling back issues or trades. All of the stuff sold at the show is coming right from comic creators. Rather than recap the entire show (again, it can just be summed up in the word awesome), I present all the cool art and books I bought this year. If you come next year, it’s worth remembering that the fact no shops are hocking wares doesn’t mean the show is necessarily light on the wallet.
Apologies for the sometimes terrible pictures - a lot of these books and prints aren’t pictured anywhere online, and the weather in Maine isn’t photo-friendly this morning.
“Down” by Mr. Oblivious.
By the time I got to the festival last year, Mark Gonyea (aka Mr. Oblivious) had sold through a lot of his stock of story posters. This year, I went straight to his booth and had my pick from over a dozen designs. I ended up with “Down”, a nice big 12×16 print chronicling an explorer’s journey through a cave.
Spiderman/Lizard and Black Canary by Joe Quinones
Unfortunately, deadlines kept Joe Quinones from attending MeCAF. Fortunately, his girlfriend was there selling prints of Joe’s amazing work. As much as I wanted to dig into my bank account and order a commission, I was thrilled to leave the show with prints of Spidey, the Lizard and Black Canary.
Daredevil sketch from Dirk Tiede
My first sketch ever!
Lake Shore Drive by Dirk Tiede
This print is awesome. Like, frame and hang in any room in the house gorgeous. I can’t imagine how hard it is to draw a good skyline - so many lines! - but Tiede knocked this one out of the park.
I’m usually reluctant to pick up anthology comics, but I was happy to make an exception for Inbound 4. In the book, dozens of Boston-area creators teamed up to tell “the most intriguing, bizarre, and baffling stories from five centuries” of Boston’s past. Plus, bonus points for a Moxie comic!
Dave is the guy that I buy my comics from every week at Casablanca, and I’ve always wanted to pick up some issues of his series Walking Christendom. MeCAF was the first time I ever saw an actual trade of the book available, so I snapped it up.
Star Wars mini-comics from HarvestComic.com
Possibly the most adorable comics I now own. Harvest is When I Need You the Most, And Don’t Forget the Droids, and Only What You Take With You are Star Wars fanbooks. The stories in each are funny, touching comics inspired by the three original Star Wars movies.
DC up-and-comer Jeff Lemire was kind enough to not only sign my copies of Sweet Tooth and The Nobody, but do big sketches in the front of each! It was great to watch Jeff bang out these sketches so fast. I just wish I could have snagged a commission too - here’s an example of one he did during the fest.
So, how’d I do at my first purchase-heavy comic convention? Do you have any favorite or one-of-a-kind items you’ve picked up at comic or book conventions? Let me know in the comments.