Fast post-MoCCA impressions at the stroke of midnight.

*I just got back.

- It was a lot of fun, a really nice day. I spent too much money and my feet kind of hurt, but I feel good nonetheless.

- The best thing about these shows is meeting so many people I only ever communicate with through the internet. It's really great to actually walk up to everyone and say hello. I mean, I even gazed upon the true form of Neilalien. You can't put a price on that.

- Big debut book of the day? It seemed to be AdHouse's long-awaited Pulphope: The Art of Paul Pope, the artist's signing of which prompted a line that curved backward, around a bend, through oncoming foot traffic, for several tables' length. It's a very nice-looking book, and I particularly enjoyed Pope's essay on his years spent working with Kodansha for their manga anthologies Afternoon and Morning. All fans will want it.

- I love stray comics, and one of the joys of these shows is getting to flip through back-issues of series you're unlikely to encounter at all in many comics shops. Best find - the 1997 debut issue of Mjau Mjau (technically titled Forresten presenterer nr. 2: Mjau Mjau av Jason, the series having apparently launched as part of a different ongoing concern), Norwegian comics master Jason's one-man anthology, which serialized many of the early works released in the US by Fantagraphics as graphic novels. But this is really early work, never translated to English, and features (gah!) human characters instead of the artist's familiar animal figures. As a big-time Jason fan, this was a real treat.

- Most interesting-looking book I picked up: My Boy (Mon Fiston), by Olivier Schrauwen, from Belgian publisher Bries. A visually astonishing homage to early 20th century American newspaper comics, spiked with distressing images and lingering anxiety. Bart Beaty really liked it, Derik Badman not so much.

- And, as you can obviously infer, I really appreciated the presence of several European publishers and artists, putting a lot of beautiful work at the fingertips of people who's otherwise only know it through the importing process.

- Many of the publishers exhibiting also whipped up free catalogs to plug upcoming wares. The absolute biggest discovery for me was that PictureBox has licensed more alternative manga. They've already got the Yuichi Yokoyama collection New Engineering set for this November, and now 2008 will bring us Monster Men Bureiko Lullaby, a mid-'80s work by Takashi Nemoto, one of the artists listed in my old 2005 manga wish list. You might recall a selection from his Future Sperm Brazil appearing in the 1996 anthology Comics Underground Japan. This is great news. PictureBox also had The Ganzfeld 5: Japanada! out for the show - this edition is a straight-up comics and illustration anthology, and 88 of its 196 pages are devoted to Japanese artists (the rest, in case you didn't guess, goes to Canada).

- Also, NBM is releasing The Art of Bryan Talbot, a 96-page $19.95 softcover, in December. Did everyone know this but me?

- Ok, more later.