No particular title dominated this year's Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art's annual festival, expanded to two days at Manhattan's Puck building, but a lot of books by young creators were hot items. Fantagraphics quickly sold out all of the first volume of Mome, a new anthology described as "the Granta of comics."
Andy Runton, Harvey Award winner for best new talent for his Owly series, was at the Top Shelf table for a signing; so was Jeffrey Brown, whose new book, AEIOU, also sold out quickly. Austin English's art-brut Christina and Charles (Sparkplug) was a favorite among the cartoonists in attendance, and Bryan Lee O'Malley signed the new second volume of his movie-optioned Scott Pilgrim series (Oni). Drawn & Quarterly sold a big stack of Walt & Skeezix, its new deluxe hardcover reprint of Frank King's Gasoline Alley strips.
Novelist Jonathan Lethem and Dan Clowes (who signed his new book, Ice Haven) drew crowds to the Pantheon booth, and there was much buzz around Pantheon. The house announced that Craig Thompson, author of the acclaimed Blankets, will leave Top Shelf for Pantheon for his next book. The publisher also had an advance copy of Charles Burns's Black Hole on display, along with Joann Sfar's much-anticipated The Rabbi's Cat.
Matt Madden and Jessica Abel, instructors at the new Center for Cartoon Studies, showed off their comics textbook, Lines on Paper, coming from Holt/Roaring Brook's First Second imprint. Madden was also displaying a proof of his experimental book 99 Ways to Tell a Story, from Penguin's Chamberlain Brothers imprint. And iBooks' table featured a preview of Jew Gangster, a forthcoming graphic novel by legendary comics creator Joe Kubert.
Attendance at the Harvey Kurtzman Awards ceremony was disappointing, with only a few winners there. Jeff Smith (Bone) was the keynote speaker and won Harveys for best cartoonist and best graphic novel reprint. iBook's Blacksad 2 by Juajono Guardino and Juan Diaz Canales won for best original work; Michael Chabon's The Escapist (Dark Horse) won for best anthology; and Vertical Books'Buddha by Osamu Tezuka won for best foreign material.