Comics Lowdown: MoCCA postponed due to coronavirus

Plus: News about WonderCon, Jim Lee, Webtoon, Dark Horse and more!

Events: New York’s MoCCA Arts Festival, originally scheduled for April 4-5, is the latest event to be postponed due to the novel coronavirus, which has now been declared a pandemic.

“While New York is not officially calling for events of large gatherings to be canceled, many have been and we do not know what the next few weeks will entail. We recognize the amount of work and finances our exhibitors put into their tables and are trying to minimize the burden on them,” The Society of Illustrators, who puts on MoCCA every year, said in a statement.

They added, “In the meantime, we have made the decision to move forward and continue to judge the Awards of Excellence. In addition to the cash prize and Wacom tablets for Gold and Silver medalists, the Society will feature the award winners in an exhibition at the onsite Gallery we build at MoCCA Fest.”

A new date for the two-day festival has not been announced. It joins the Emerald City Comic Con, South by Southwest, E3, the London Book Fair and countless other events that have been impacted by COVID-19.

Events: Another event impacted by the coronavirus pandemic is Diamond’s annual retailer summit, which was scheduled for April 14-16. The summit is held in conjunction with MegaCon in Orlando, and there’s no word if that convention has plans to cancel.

Conventions: Finally, on the convention front, it looks like early April’s WonderCon still plans to move forward, though that could change between now and April 10, when the convention begins.

“Comic-Con is working with local officials as it pertains to the COVID-19 situation and continues to monitor developments closely,” CCI said in a statement. “At this time both shows, WonderCon Anaheim and Comic-Con in San Diego, are moving forward as scheduled. As always, the safety and security of all our attendees is of utmost importance. Please rest assured that these concerns are being taken very seriously and we will not make any decisions regarding the rescheduling of shows without weighing all considerations carefully.”

Update, March 12: WonderCon has now been postponed.

Passings: Allen Bellman, who worked as an artist Timely Comics back in the 1940s, has passed away. Bellman worked on such titles as Captain America and the Human Torch before eventually leaving for a career as a newspaper artist.

Publishing: At theC2E2 convention in Chicago, Jim Lee indicated that DC will not replace departing co-publisher Dan Didio, leaving Jim Lee as sole publisher. Newsarama was on the scene and reported on the panel.

“We’ve been with Warner Bros. for decades,” Lee elaborated. “The actual strategy for DC is to put publishing at center of what we do. It’s the engine of all the movies, TV, cartoons, we do. And so its my intent going forward as the Publisher, to lean into the collective years of my team.”

Our old friend Chris Arrant also did a much longer interview with Lee that went live last Friday, and although he declined to answer any questions about Didio, it’s still a very engaging read.

Publishing: Dark Horse Comics has promoted three members of their staff; Katii O’Brien and Rachel Roberts have both been promoted to editor, while Brett Israel has been promoted to associate editor.

Webcomics: Over at SKTCHD, David Harper has a long piece on the rise of the popular Webcomics platform Webtoon.

Webcomics: For the Insider, Josh Adams and Anthony Del Col have created a comic that details Donald Trump’s impeachment, including background information and “what he got away with.

Creators: Survivornet talks to artist J.G. Jones about being diagnosed with a rare blood cancer, polycythemia vera, and his appearance in a campaign to raise awareness about the disease.

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