While the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art and the Society of Illustrators are holding their annual MoCCA Comic Arts Fest this weekend, the organizations this year have extended their reach with Comic + Cartoon Art Week. Starting today, there are a series of events around the city that showcase many of the amazing comics and artwork from our city's creative folks.

amNewYork takes a look at some of those events, as well as a few panel highlights from the weekend festival.

If you go: The MoCCA Arts Fest is on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at the 69th Regiment Armory, 68 Lexington Ave. $5. For a full list of events, go to societyofillustrators.org.

MONDAY

Strong Female Protagonists

Join comic creators and editors as they chat about the women working in the comic industry. Featuring editor Shelly Bond and cartoonists Diane Noomin, Alitah Martinez and Raina Telgemeier. (7 p.m., School of Visual Arts Amphitheater, 209 E. 23rd St., Room 311, FREE, registration required)

THURSDAY

Nick Abadzis + Tucker Stone

Cartoonist Abadzis discusses his new graphic novel, "The Cigar That Fell In Love With a Pipe," about Orson Welles, with comics journalist Stone. (7 p.m., Strand Bookstore, 828 Broadway, must buy the book or a $15 gift card)

FRIDAY

Fiona Staples

This artist, a Guest of Honor at the festival, signs copies of her acclaimed sci-fi comic, "Saga," written by Brian K. Vaughan. (6:30 p.m., Midtown Comics Downtown, 64 Fulton St., FREE, midtowncomics.com)

R. Sikoryak Presents: Carousel for Kids!

Cartoonist Sikoryak hosts this event featuring readings and projected pictures, showcasing the works of James Kochalka ("The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza") and many others. Bring the kids! (Noon, MoCCA Arts Fest, Room One)

Drinking Ink: Art Spiegelman and Joost Swarte in Conversation

These two legends -- "Maus" creator Spiegelman and award-winning Dutch cartoonist Swarte -- discuss their careers. (2 p.m., MoCCA Arts Fest, Room One)

SATURDAY

Comics and Design

Master book designer Chip Kidd chats with editor Françoise Mouly (Raw Magazine and Toon Books) about the art of graphic design. (3:30 p.m., MoCCA Arts Fest, Room Two)

SUNDAY

Alison Bechdel and Howard Cruse in Conversation

Acclaimed cartoonists Bechdel ("Fun Home") and Cruse ("Stuck Rubber Baby") discuss their influential works with moderator Hillary Chute. (2 p.m., MoCCA Arts Fest, Room One)

What Kids Learn From Making Comics

This panel investigates the impact of using and making comics as a tool for learning in the classroom. (1 p.m., MoCCA Arts Fest, Room Two)