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As mentioned on the blog last week, the past few years has seen an exciting development of “crowd funding” websites designed to help serious artists raise money for their creative projects. Sites like Kickstarter ( and Indiegogo ( have spawned a wave of activity that allows designers, filmmakers, and yes, comic book artists the opportunity to raise funds by attracting people in their communities and around the world (often in the form of video presentations or art portfolios) to pledge money in exchange for small rewards (i.e. a T-shirt or a limited addition comic book). By simply getting the satisfaction of helping talented artists complete their projects and realizing their creative visions pledgers have helped countless artists get their products out to the public.

Now there are at least two Graphic Universe artists who’ve gotten into the action. Dylan Meconis (illustrator of Twisted Journeys #19 The Fifth Musketeer) was triumphant in raising money for her recent project appropriately named The Dylan Meconis Library 2012 (Dylan Meconis Interview)—a three-volume series of clever and cheeky tales, including an Eisner–nominated story called Outfoxed. And Yuko Ota (Manga Math Mysteries #3 The Secret Ghost and Twisted Journeys #17 Detective Frankenstein), a Brooklyn-based artist, has found success raising funds for her two Benign Kingdom projects through crowd funding.

The Dylan Meconis Library 2012

It’s exciting to see this new fundraising model provide great opportunities for creative people to produce winning new works that complement their traditional careers paths. Some of these endeavors may spark major breakthroughs.

Dylan Meconis (top) and Yuko Ota (bottom)

This great photo, and many others, are by Jody Culkin and part of “Photo Mania: MoCCA 2011” in Publisher’s Weekly.

For another look at this year’s MoCCA Fest, I give you Danny Lerner. Danny just joined us at the Graphic Universe office. This was his first MoCCA Fest, so he bring a unique perspective to the event.

The 2011 Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) Festival was held on April 9th and 10th at the historic 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan. The event offered an arsenal of color and inspiration, brimming with authors and illustrators, publishers and fans of comics and graphic novels.

For Graphic Universe the event was productive and lively. Several Lerner authors and illustrators were on hand for signings and promotions including the talented author/illustrator duo of Colleen AF Venable and Stephanie Yue who brought us the popular series Guinea PIG, Pet Shop Private Eye. Also, gifted and versatile artist Yuko Ota, illustrator of both The Secret Ghost and Detective Frankenstein (from the Twisted Journeys series) was in attendance.
Although small in size and scope compared to the behemoth New York Comic Con held in October and the even bigger San Diego Comic-Con, the MoCCA Fest offers a unique opportunity for Graphic Universe to scout an exciting crop of up and coming artists who just might become the next future success stories in the comic world. And Graphic Universe is eager to play a vital part in that process.

One of New York City’s most unique, fun, and artsy comic conventions is around the corner!  MoCCA Festival is this weekend, April 9th and 10th. Look for us at the Graphic Universe table (B2) and say hello!

MoCCA Fest is an annual comic convention which attracts comics makers and comics lover from all over the world.  The exhibition hall is filled with cartoonists, publisher, and retailers selling their wares, and  there are plenty of panels and workshops to attend.  Speaking of workshops, if you happen to be at the festival on Sunday, I’ll be offering a Mini-Comics Crash Course with fellow comics educator Tom Hart.  Tom is one of my favorite teachers, I love teaming up with him.  Here are the two of us giving a similar workshop at the University of Northern Iowa.


Be sure to stop by the Graphic Universe table to see our latest titles and get a book signed.  In attendance will be Carol Burrell (GU Editorial Director) and a bunch of authors and artists, including:


Colleen AF Venable and Stephanie Yue

Evonne Tsang

Alitha E. Martinez

Yuko Ota


Hope to see you there!

The GU Blog… written, scribbled, drawn, and tweeted by GU's editorial director and stalwart editorial assistant.

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