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I really liked this. I don't have anything clever or pithy or whatever to toss into the mix. No witty "MOCCA? Shoulda had a MOCHA! LATTE! HEYOOO!" I just wanted to say that I dug this, particularly your review of At A Crossroads.

Great reviews as always. Bummer that you didn't have the best time at Mocca, because I totally loved it. I don't have lots of warm memories about the Puck Building though, which is what everyone else seems to be saying. I think I wasn't as worried (or whatever) about the overall presentation; I just love going from table to table and checking out all the comics, meeting people whose work I like and people I've never heard of before but still blow my mind. And hey, hanging out with you and Tucker helped, along with getting to experience the big city. You guys are jaded New Yorkers, that's my theory.

Glad to see you liked Jobnik; I'll take credit for that one, since I introduced you to Miriam. I thought you might be interested in her stuff, if only because you Jews like each other, right? No, actually you had mentioned wanting to check out some comics by women, and I know that story about joining the Israeli military is pretty amazing. I'm happy that it paid off.

Also, that anecdote about Monistat is hilarious. That's all.

I think Matt's theory is correct.

Did any of the small press comics that had male authors pull you in as well? A lot of the more traditional male-authored comics on the Virgin Read are the ones produced by Marvel/DC; I'm curious to see if that same sense of connecting with the author comes not (or partially not) from gender but from the self-produced mini format.

I'm trying to leave a comment on a web page without sounding like I'm trying to grind some sort of axe about gender; I'm sorry if I do.

This is the first Virgin Read where I've immediately written down the books for later purchase. That may be because the books are actual objects of affection here, not derision or confusion.

Hey, thanks David!

And Matt, I agree with your theory, too. ;) Honestly I'm really happy to hear you had such a great time. Because, yeah, it proves that we have jaded, black hearts now. Must be time for us to move to Northern California or something. (???)"

And Justin, great point that it might be that i enjoy small press comics, not necessarily "female." Because, yeah, I loved what I'd read from Secret Acres and Sam.....Oh, his name is escaping me now, but I wrote about him too. And I totally LOVED Achewood. And although I didn't write about it, I loved Anders Nilsen's comic about his girlfriend.

You know Tucker often mentions how Comics Of The Weak began as a way to make me laugh. And likewise, Virgin read came out of me, unintentionally, making him laugh when I'd haphazardly pick up some (unknown to me) sacred-cow of a comic and say something like "Why do his thighs look literally like sausages?" (Okay, something funnier than that, though) And he'd laugh and say, "you've GOT to right that down."

So, that's how a lot of this came to be, and thus why I might tend to pick up more mainstream things and then kind of complain about it. But it does seem like the Virgin Read is changing.... so maybe they'll be a little bit more of me seeking out comics rather than me just flipping through someone else's pile and picking one.

But first, there's been a request for Love and Rockets. And then I've got to do Secret Acre's latest. and THEN I'll peruse the small press comics and see what I like.

In other words, thanks for your comment, Justin!

That works; the Virgin Read can be about first encounters with given series, instead of first encounters with comics.

It'd be interesting to see what someone says about Love and Rockets, or something Alan Moore has done recently, etc., without knowing all the history around it. Come to think of it, that's just the flipside of the calcified superhero comics mythology.

I love your review of those 3 comics! I've been reading your reviews for a while, obvi, but that's the 1st time I've wanted to pick up one comic and read it.

Perhaps the fact that I just read all 18 volumes of Naoki Urasawa's "Monster" randomly while recovering from oral surgery has something to do with my wanting to read comic books all of the sudden. But your reviews are also pretty dope.

Heart you!

Justin, if you go back a couple weeks, Nina reviewed the latest League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

And hey, Love and Rockets! That should be interesting. Are you doing the volume that came out last year? I was trying to think of where would be a good place to start with the series, but I guess that's as good as any. Some of the stuff from the 80s would be good too, like Heartbreak Soup, Human Diastrophism, or stuff from Maggie the Mechanic or something. As great as that series is, jumping in in the middle can be confusing as hell, since it's got characters and storylines that have been going on for over 20 years. Some of the best comics ever though.

If I was going to suggest other comics for Nina, I dunno, have you read Scott Pilgrim? Or Blue Monday? Hmm, there's probably some others, but I wouldn't want this to turn into "get your girlfriend to read comics" hour.

Just wanted to echo some of the comments above - love your Mocca story and your reviews. Going to try and track down "At a Crossroads"

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