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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Book Release Party: Hero at MoCCA (Part One)

Running a literary children’s blog requires a certain level of restraint. The person who reviews picture books and middle grade novels and YA titles is going to have a gap in their repertoire here and there. Unless, of course, they do it for a living (which, insofar as I know, is not yet an option). With that in mind, I’ve always tried to limit myself to only looking at books for kids who haven’t get been knocked upside the head by the pooberty stick. Then I got an invitation to the book release party for Perry Moore’s first young adult novel Hero. Here is what influenced by decision to attend:

A) Perry is one of my Hot Men of Children’s Literature (#32, if you want to get technical). So that’s one connection right there.

B) His book is about a gay teen superhero. And thought I didn’t know it before I read the book, I LOVE gay teen superheroes! They’re the bestest superheroes out there.

C) After reading the book, I found that I really enjoyed it. There’s nothing worse than having an author you adore churn out something so-so. Fortunately, Moore really has a handle on his world and though I will not be reviewing the book I will happily recommend it to anyone interested.

D) The party was being held in the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art.

Yes, Virginia, there really is a Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. And it may well surprise you that there are very few museums of this type in America. There’s the one in San Francisco and … this one. I was told that another option for the party would have been the Superhero Supply Store in Brooklyn (which I have always meant to visit) but this was obviously the next best thing.

Now this Museum is a subtle little place. It’s only been around for about six years and finding it requires knowing about it. As I stumbled in and stowed my bags I saw that Mo Willems was a frequent contributor (a
Sheep in the City image seems to be for sale, if you’d care to buy). So too were familiar artists like Sara Varon, Raina Telegameier, and pretty much every other New York cartoonist you could think of. Televisions played old films, like one of Winsor McKay drawing Little Nemo characters (hellooooo, Video Sunday!). I was also very impressed to see that the current exhibit was featuring webcomics. Infinite Canvas: The Art of Webcomics belies the fear I’ve had that "real" cartoonists consider their webby brethern to be no good. There was even an Artist Showcase featuring the webcomic group ACT-I-VATE. A good book release party knows to use a space where minglers can step away from the crowd and enjoy the scenery from time to time.

If I’m not too confused I believe that Lawrence Klein, Chairman of the MoCCA board, was walking about the place, mingling. So too was Gina Gagliano of First Second books.  She volunteers at MoCCA as well.

Nice crowd too.  The sheer bulk of beautiful people was fascinating. I mean, we were technically in Soho. Beautiful people (or people who think that they are beautiful, which is far more fun) are abundant anyway. Yet you usually don’t find yourself fighting with them over the last remaining quesadilla or patiently explaining to them that the books sitting around the place are free. I could only assume that since Perry is kinda the executive producer of the Narnia movies that some of these people must have come from the entertainment world.

Getting to Perry? Not easy. Not impossible, but not easy. Initially I was shy (though saying to someone, "I made you a Hot Man of Children’s Literature" is perhaps the greatest conversation opener known to man) and my shyness was nearly my undoing. Within 20 minutes of my arrival the place was packed and Perry was impossible to reach. I had to draft poor Angus Killick (HMOCL #20) into introducing me. Though I must admit that this plan backfired a bit when Angus ended up inadvertently in the role of the guy who organizes the line for the book signing. So I dutifully got in line as Perry started signing with the pen that one of the entertainment types had "borrowed" from me.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. There used to be a similar museum in Northampton, MA, bankrolled bythe Ninja Turtle guys who lived there. I still miss it a lot.


  2. This book sound WONDERFUL! I’m glad you did mention it, or I may not have found it.