Saturday at BEA was extremely busy, and my enthusiasm for picture-taking waned after a promising start Friday. We hosted a signing with Monte Schulz, whose novel This Side of Jordan is going to surprise a lot of folks this fall. It's fantastic.
That's Monte above, signing galleys for a big line in the autographing area, and graciously answering questions not only about his book, but also his father, Charles M. Schulz, for whom Monte wrote the book. Monte looks uncannily like his father. I couldn't get over this all weekend.
After the show, Gary, Jason and I had dinner with Monte, which included a surreal encounter with Katie Couric that I sadly got no pictures of. But so as not to completely disappoint you, here's a picture of Kathie Lee Gifford:
After a fantastic dinner, Gary insisted on a nightcap. Now, for me, "nightcap" usually involves whiskey. Not Gary. For Gary, it involves ice cream and hot fudge. We cabbed it up to Serendipity, the famous dessert place that I think Gary must own stock in.
Gary ate as much ice cream as Jason, Monte and myself combined, and threatened to eat more before we dragged him out. We continued elsewhere, meeting up with Monte's pals Sid & Karen, talking books until the wee hours of the morning, or to at least what passes as the wee hours of the morning to this pathetic dad who is usually up at 5AM with his one-year-old.
ABOVE: Gary, contended with a gut full of hot fudge.
ABOVE: My requisite Jason Miles Big Hands photo (sorry ladies, he's taken).
With MoCCA already in the rear-view mirror, it's a bit late to be recapping the 2009 Book Expo America, which took place the weekend before at the wonderfully air-conditioned Javits Center. But who doesn't like convention photos? Don't let the lack of cosplay action fool you, BEA was a great time for myself, Jason Miles and Gary Groth, and we enjoyed hanging out with the likes of Kim Deitch, Monte Schulz, Michael Kupperman, and Dash Shaw.
We flew in Thursday morning, Jason and I waking up at 4:00AM only to get to the airport by 5:00AM so I could get dissed at the Hudson News Stand by Spike Lee. Side note to Mr. Lee: if you do not want to be recognized, even at 5AM, I recommend not wearing the same designer eyeglasses, Yankees cap, and Nike sweatsuit jacket that you were wearing on the FRONT PAGE of the daily newspaper that same morning.
Friday was the start of the show, and here's Jason Miles, unusually well-dressed (sorry ladies, he's taken), prepping for the morning onslaught in our swanky new space within W.W. Norton's mighty BEA pavilion.
Friday was the official "Salute to Graphic Novels" day at BEA, and we hosted signing with Dash Shaw, Kim Deitch, and Michael Kupperman. All three were utter gentlemen, signing books for fans in our booth and in the official autograph area:
That evening, we stopped in at a BEA/DAP party where Jason regaled us with the story of a ukranian giant who, like Izzy in Love & Rockets, can't seem to stop growing due to a botched thyroid surgery. We ran into some old friends like Gabrielle Bell and Last Gasp's Kristine Anstine, and later enjoyed a great dinner with Dash his girlfriend, Jane Samborski. Conversation veered from Alex Toth to David Mazzucchelli to French comics and Manga. Oh, and "The Pussy Generation," as Clint Eastwood calls those of us who dare to question the meaning of life rather than just punch it in the face.
That's Dash & Jane up top, and Jason and Gary below. I have an exceptional gift for capturing pictures of Jason's remarkably large hands (sorry ladies, he's taken).
• Review: John Mitchell on Supermen!: “Supermen points to a time when comic books were a new and exciting form — admittedly low brow in presentation, but filled with visual and narrative leaps that would affect how we told stories visually for decades to come... This book chronicles the exciting, silly, fun and experimental world in which these kinds of [superhero] characters were forged — fairy tales from the modern era."
• Review: Lady, That's My Skull takes lunch with The Wolverton Bible, saying "It is a fascinating look at the side of an artist that most fans are not familiar with due to the scarcity of the material."
• Review: My Year Online on Ted Stearn's first Fuzz & Pluck collection: "[I] laugh[ed] out loud at many points. This is all down to Ted Stearn’s genius in depicting expressions, his excellent slapstick timing and great storyboards, where you can never tell what will happen next..."
• Reviews: The blogger behind Fluid Motion has "been reading a lot of comics by Jason recently," offering micro-reviews of 3 of his books
• Review: Newsarama enthuses about Popeye Vol. 3 (scroll about halfway down): "As with previous volumes of Popeye, it's a cornucopia of mangled English, slapstick, violence and hamburger soliciting... Fantagraphics continues to knock it out of the park with their work on the production of these books... With his fun designs and slapstick exaggeration, Segar's art has always been a plus, and nothing about that changes here... It's packed with adventure and humor, strong art, inventive and complex stories, and features more slam-bang punching than any other ten comics. It is a true, to use a much abused word, classic."
• Review: I'm not sure if this review originally ran in Rain Taxi or is original to the Powell's Books blog where it appears now, but: John Pistelli delves into The Lagoon by Lilli Carré: "The Lagoon's artisanal craftsmanship and child's-eye ironies reflect the baffled wisdom of a heroine too young to be foolish... it is a gorgeously bleak work for so young an artist."
• Interview: Baldur Bjarnason presents a 21-minute audio interview with el jefe Gary Groth recorded at the 2000 San Diego Comic Con
Adam Grano says, "I've been working here for more than six years and this is the first time I've been privileged enough to receive a note on Gary's personal stationery." I've been here 16 years years and I've never been so lucky; I'm enormously jealous. I'd like to believe that Gary designed it himself.
Gary Groth and Jason T. Miles head down to Los Angeles tomorrow morning for this weekend's BOOK EXPO AMERICA at the L.A. Convention Center (right next to the Staples Center - good luck avoiding the crush of rioting Laker fans when their team earns a trip to the NBA finals tomorrow night, gents).
Our booth numbers at the show are #1411-1413, in the W.W. Norton area, and we'll be showcasing basically our entire 2008 line, including previews of just about every title coming out for the rest of the year. We're also bringing along five our favorite sons to do signings on Friday/Saturday:
FRIDAY 4-5PM in the AUTOGRAPH AREA "GRAPHIC NOVEL SALUTE"
TONY MILLIONAIRE (Table 7) will be signing copies of The Maakies with the Wrinkled Knees, featuring Drinky Crow from Adult Swim's The Drinky Crow Show!
JORDAN CRANE (Table 8) will be signing copies of the all-ages hit, The Clouds Above, newly available in softcover!
JAIME HERNANDEZ (Table 9)will be signing copies of Love and Rockets, one of the most beloved comics of all-time, which re-launches in July as Love and Rockets: New Stories #1!
SATURDAY 1-3PM in the FANTAGRAPHICS BOOTH (#1411):
1:00-2:00PM: STEVEN WEISSMAN will be signing copies of the all-ages gem, Kid Firechief!
2:00-3:00PM: JOHNNY RYAN will be signing copies of the acclaimed adult humor strip, Blecky Yuckerella!
Also on Saturday, GARY GROTH will be participating in a "Graphic Novel BUZZ" panel. The panel will take place from 4:00 - 5:00 PM in Room 404B. Expect Gary to make some exciting announcements about a few future book projects, you heard it here first!
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