My first official day of Book Expo America was to keep it simply, monumental. I got to the Javits Center at 6 AM in preperation for insanity in procuring tickets for day one events, but it wasn’t as big a deal as I expected. I ended up getting tickets for Dennis Lehane, Molly Ringwald, Lee Woodruff and Natalie Merchant and circumstances had me only not using one ticket.
My happenings were very whirlwind, so I feel the best way to focus on things is to discuss the things I procured based upon my schedule and then highlight all the awesome things I found and procured out of schedule.
My first main thing was Batman & Robin Vol. 1 by Peter Tomasi, with art by Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray. This would be of the New 52 series. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that the offereing was the retail hardcover edition. I had been planning to get two of the new Batman books once in trade paperback (I’ve already ordered Animal Man, Frankenstein and Swamp Thing), but to have this hardcover signed by Peter warning me to not go into Gotham City is an extra awesome.
From here I ended up in my longest line of the entire show. So long it cut into two planned book signings I wanted to go to, but the line was to get the super limited, absolutely awesome attache case promotion for Lemony Snicket’s All The Wrong Questions. The attache case has a bar of soap, a pen, a calendar, a business card, an info sheet and a sneak preview of two chapters. The official website mentioned is LSATWQ.com which will only allow you to get on a newsletter for now, but should offer much more soon. Not to make you jealous but just to whet your appetite, I’ve provided two quick images from the promotional giveaway. The book arrives in October.
Next on my agenda that I was able to hit up was music producer Jeffrey Weber, who has written a humor filled memoir titled You’ve Got A Deal! I actually brought him my copy of a David Benoit CD that he had produced which really pleased him. We discussed some of what he was working on now and he mentioned he was working with the former lead singer of Atlantic Starr, but I forget if he said if it was Bryant or Weathers.
Following was Natalie Merchant. There was no CD or galley, but the poster she signed is quite beautiful. I also brought an old Natalie CD of her performing in 1999 for her to sign. She wasn’t really keep on doing photos, but I was able to get a little something. I’m shocked to see how salt & pepper has gone, but she’s still lovely as ever. The forthcoming book is a special edition of LEAVE YOUER SLEEP, collecting the poems she performed on the same named album with art by Barbara McClintlock and includes the original 2010 album.
I had just enough time to grab a galley of The Highskies Adventures of Bluejay the Pirate, available September 2012 and talk to writer/artist Scott Nash, then leaping on to the fast line for TROLLHUNTERS by Michael Dahl, available August 2012 before heading halfway across the building for the William Joyce signing.
The line for Joyce wasn’t as long as Snicket but it was pretty long. Once I got to the front it was worth it though as I was able to get a little bit of info out of Joyce on future projects. A Numberlys short is forthcoming, another app for Morris Lessmore and within a year, Moonbot’s first feature length.
My memory is a little foggy but after that I think I went right over to a nearby table for The Little White Duck by Andres Vera Martinez. This book is absolutely stunning, Andres art is just so awesome and I could stare it forever.
Although I may have first headed over to get a tasty treat and meet Chef Mike Isabella. The treat was a rainbow cookie hand baked by Mike and they also served some Proseco. Mike has a cookbook called Crazy Good Italian, coming in October.
So foggy still in order, but let’s say from there I went over to a longer than expected line for Pat Oliffe who was signing Captain America Joins The Avengers. Oliffe used a new style or at least a style that I am not used to seeing from him for this book, but it looks great and then I was able to say hello to Walter Mosley and have him sign a copy of his new excellent sci-fiction flipbook GIFT OF FIRE / ON THE HEAD OF A PIN before rushing to use my Molly Ringwald ticket.
I wish I could get a better photo of Molly, but her publisher rushed the line. I at least got this shot here and I look forward to reading her novel, When It Happens To You, coming in September. I must say Molly looks gorgeous, the best she has in years. I’d kill for a kiss, or something, I don’t know what I’m saying. Childhood crushes die hard… they die hard.
I used my Lee Woodruff ticket after this as well to get her upcoming Those We Love Most, scheduled for September. The Dennis Lehane line was really long, so I’m glad I was able to grab the galley for his newest.
The final thing in my schedule was Tracy Hickman who was signing with his wife their new series EVENTTIDE. I had a very pleasant talk with Tracy about my longtime love of his work with Margaret Weiss and got this taken from super far away photo done by one their publisher Shadow Moon people.
In between all this schedule stuff I found many more galleys, got on lined for things I didn’t realize in planning and checked out the booths with self publishers/lesser known writers and I’ll be focusing on those in the next paragraphs. I procured the items throughout the show and trying to remember the order at this point would be pure insanity, so I’m just going to randomly pull from the pile of stuff I got that I didn’t know I wanted, but glad I got and talk about it.
One of the best random, unplanned books/meetings I had on Wednesday was with Kevin Powell. If you watched MTV back in the day and I mean BACK in the day or follow New York politics the name will seem familiar to you. He is a three time congresional candidate (unfortunatley unsuccessful) and was Kevin, the awesome music writer who was on season one of The Real World. Through Lulu Press he has published his newest collection of essays titled, Barak Obama, Ronald Reagan, and The Ghost of Dr.King, which is available now.
The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. There was poster with a letter to readers that really intrigued and the plot made me think of films like Incognito and this Matt Dillon film about an art forger and this other one with Meg Ryan, but I might’ve imagined both of those. Either way, it seems like a fascinating book. It’s scheduled to come out in October.
The Absent One by Jussi Adler-Olsen. I absolutely loved his first book translated in America, The Keeper of Lost Causes, and I expect the same here. Available August.
As I was leaving the Javits, a booth of what would not be but appeared to East Asian food caught my eye. Instead they were distribituing The Festival of Earthly Delights by Matt Dojny and also handing out weird food bags like asian dried flowers and crickets, and other stuff, but I took crickets, they had candy too. You can get a free e-book of the novel at http://bit.ly/KxSSv5
From Papercutz entertainment comes a brand new Three Stooges graphic novel that coincided to come with the film. It isn’t attached to the movie though, it’s all an original stories featuring those lovable Stooge brothers written by Papercutz EIC, legendary comics writer/editor Jim Salicrup and longtime Archie Comics writer George Gladir, with art by truly legendary comics artist Stan Goldberg.
Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub, scheduled for September is a 1920′s tale of Hollywood, telling the rise of a young film starlet, I can only hope that despite the kind of simple description of the book in the back, the prose is strong and there are twists along the way.
I mentioned I had to skip the Dennis Lehane signing, despite having a ticket because the line was just too long, but luckily I got the ARC of his upcoming Live By Night. Scheduled to come out October 2nd, it’s an epic rise of the gangster story during the roaring Prohibition twenties of the East Coast with what I expect the usual turns of surprises we’ve come to expect from the gritty storyteller. This is one of those reads I’m really looking forward to.
Vordak The Incomprehensible: Double Trouble is the third book in the hilarious series, in this one Vordak gets a clone and mayhem and hilarity ensues. It is scheduled for August.
Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch, scheduled for October is very different than his first book Eleventh Plague in terms of the world, but continues to explore self discovery, friendship and genre settings that allow for an excellent balance.
The Ninth Captain Underpants Epic Novel by Dav Pilkey is titled And The Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers. I absolutely love everything Pilkey has done and I doubt this latest will be any different.
Tap Out by Eric Devine got my notice because its based in MMA and based on conversations with the publisher’s my interest gained to make it a definite read. It shall be available in September.
Try the Morgue by Eva Maria Stahl, scheduled for October is a fictional novel based on the real life of the author whose real name is not Eva Maria Stahl, because before writing she ran guns for dangerous war criminals. This book is already popular internationally and finally comes to America.
One of the things I love doing when not hitting schedules or hunting for galleys is exploring the lesser known, smaller independent booths be they Children’s or Adult. I am going to end this article discussing two finds there on Day one.
First up is the work of Cathy Carroll, who publishes her work through My Imagination Publishing. She writes and illustrates the titles and has a truly charming style that reminds me of Matt Feazel and Rich Burlew as she brings simple stick figures to amazing life, but her work is more charming. She has two books out now, LUKAS which came out in 2010 and MY ABC & SAY which just came out and I believed premiered at BEA and has more forthcoming.
Finally is Captain McFinn and Friends. This series is entire program on Anti-Bullying which features books, music, a ebook app, school visits, an after school program and just an amazing campaign. I plan to a fuller write-up, as I do with MANY of the books here and in the following BEA Day reports, but I must say go check out the website to this now. The characters are extremely well drawn, and the integration along the whole brand is fabulous.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey and appreciate that my recollections are far from over as there were two more days and I am still recovering from the intensity of it all.