The Maine Comic Arts Festival was AMAZING! This was my first "real" comic show. I've been to "comic book" shows where there are lots of toys, old comics, fan-art, cosplay, etc. - but MeCAF was all about the artists and their work.

I almost didn't get up and out of the house in time - and the 2 hour drive was a bit daunting when I really needed some sleep... but it was totally worth it! I even convinced my Mom to drive up with me.

MeCAF was held at the Portland (ME) public library which is quite a place. It was FREE to get in and there were lots of adults and kids and many folks who just wandered in.

There were artists on two floors - spread all over the library, and we almost missed one cluster in the back of the kids' section.

There were also some interesting workshops, including one by my teacher at The Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS), Steve Bissette, on drawing Monsters.

Another about a High School group and their comics experiments.

And a really entertaining workshop with Maris Wicks...

Her personality is so kooky and fun - and she makes science accessible and fascinating. Here is one of her books - Human Body Theater - which is great, except that I think the section on the human reproductive system is a little... lacking. The rest is wonderful.

She had us draw objects and turn them into comics and such - my mom and I drew a plastic dinosaur (mom's is on top, mine is crushing a town).

I was SO excited to discover that there were LOTS of my fellow classmates and CCS alumni exhibiting!

Catherine and Ben - displaying their own comics as well as Center for Cartoon Studies booklets...

And below are Sandi, Moss and Angela with their great comics. I love Kelly's display with the dog holding the books. And Shashwat's paintings in the foreground, are so beautiful!

We bought a few of Angela Boyle's comics:

Awesome Possum was just funded on Kickstarter and Angela is doing a Patreon for her comic about Maria Sybilla Merian, a natural science illustrator.

We went across the street to the Portland Market to get some dinner. I loved the name of the soup vendor!

And the signs leading us upstairs were genius. They were made to look like mosaic, but used layers of papers with lots of varnish. A very cool idea I have to remember!

Here's a close-up. The edges of the papers were inked with gold marker...

OK, back to the show...

Here are some more of the interesting comics we found. Mimi and the Wolves by Alabaster Pizzo...

Baggywrinkles by Lucy Bellwood (who has also taken classes at CCS) and What This Painting Needs Is More Cats by Mitra Farmand (a CCS alum). I adore Mitra's cartoons - they made me laugh so hard and I was so happy to learn that she was like me - an "old" student at CCS...

I found lots of fun things from Anne of My Monster Hat...

And Stephanie Zuppo - also a CCS alumni - had a graphic novel, Belchville, VT.

LumberJanes by Noelle Stevenson (who was a Visiting Artist at CCS last fall). And the Jernegan Solution by Dan Mazur (who also wrote one of the Comics History books we read for school).The Jernigan Solution is about true events that happened in Lubec, Maine in 1898 - a "gold factory" con!

Thanks for Your Commitment by Tyson Pease is a comic essay about... comics. I really loved the cover on this one too. There were so many books I picked up because I adored the covers... only to discover the inside comics had no relation to the cover. An interesting lesson.

And lots of cool business cards...

and flyers and postcards...

And I learned about the Boston Comics Roundtable - an amazing group with shared studio space and workshops too.  They are doing a Kickstarter for a new comic book about science called Boundless.

It was a great show and I'm so glad I dragged myself out of bed. Today - I felt like I had a hangover, but still, it was worth it. NOW - I have to make some time to sit and read all these comics.

It also gave me some momentum, inspiration, and confidence to work on my own Patreon and Kickstarter projects! If you haven't checked those out yet, please take a look and consider backing me.

By the way - I was so excited to learn that Kickstarter had chosen my project as a "Project We Love"! It is one of their featured campaigns. Too cool!