Armchair Book Expo America: Beyond the Books

Today ABEA calls for bloggers to discuss the bookish things beyond traditional novels that we enjoy.  For me that’s an easy discussion because after I became a reader on my own at a very young age I found myself introduced to comics.

My mind is a bit confused of where my comics love started though.  It is one of two stories.  I don’t know which came first or which was the cementing of “COMICS!!!”, but I’ll tell them both and then how they’ve influenced my life as a writer, blogger, etc.

On the shelf of one of the earliest production companies I worked for as an actor at 12 years old was a copy of Watchmen.  This was in 1988.  The collection was brand new.  Something about it called to me and started reading it and falling in love.  The producer decided if I loved it so much it should be mine if my parents were okay with it.  My parents were weird.  They didn’t seem to care how violent or sexual something was.  I mean I was reading Stranger in a Strange Land before this.  I don’t know if they didn’t know, didn’t care or just trusted my brain to be adult enough to handle it.  I still have that copy of Watchmen today.

There was a comics shop that was fairly large next to the Midway Movie Theater on Queens Blvd in Forest Hills.  As I said I can’t recall if I was already into comics from Watchmen or if Watchmen called to me cause I was into comics.  I do remember this shop really well though.  The location its in is now a restaraunt.  It’s been many things throughout the years.  For the longest time it was a shop though and I shopped there.  The first comic I remember seeing there that BLEW ME AWAY was Scott McCloud’s DESTROY!!.  I knew somehow it was meant to be a pastiche and it was what basically made me appreciate the form from all elements.

By coming into comics through two books that defied what comics were about it prepared me better for an appreciation of all comics.  I like all of it.  Straight forward superhero, autobiographical introspection, sci-fiction, horror, comedy, dark comedy.  What’s wonderful is the format of comics allows it to be as broad and diverse as prose.  There are no rules.  Create something and let it live.

That is books, that is writing, that is creation.  It is why I am still a reader today even with so much media coming at me from movies, television, internet and video games.

Armchair Book Expo America: Introduction to the Uninitiated.

To introduce myself to a whole new group of potential new readers or friends isn’t the easiest thing.

I’ve been lucky enough to be at Book Expo America since 2009 since it was in my hometown. As most who do Armchair Book Expo probably know, and it’s why they Armchair, traveling to another state for an expo is no small financial affair. Travel, place to sleep, food, money for experiences, mailing costs, it all adds up. When all I had to do was take a subway and that was my ONLY expense for the week, BEA became magical.

Here I am though, 2016, wishing I was there. I guess I should get to it, since I’ve already probably broken all the rules of Armchair already.

1.  What is the name you prefer to use?

Reid Harris Cooper is my name. It’s what people call me. You can call me Reid, Reid Harris, Reid Harris Cooper or RHC.
2.  How long have you been a book blogger?

As I’ve never really considered myself a BOOK blogger but just a journalist who covered everything from comics to movies and in between, I’m going with 20 years since I started doing actual reviews on a website.
3.  Have you participated in ABEA before?

As stated before I have not. Just when I thought I would probably become involved in it, BEA moved to NYC permanently for six years.

4. Do you have a favorite book?

Forced to answer this I’d have to go with Restaurant at the End of the World by Douglas Adams. It would be literally the 4th book I read on my own when I started reading. Before those came The Twits and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein and then the first Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy book.

5. If you could create a playlist that reflects your bookshelf, what would be the first song you choose?

What Is It?” by Faith No More

Walkabout” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Insane in the Membrane” by Cypress Hill

6. How do you arrange your bookshelves? Is there a rhyme or reason? Or not at all? (#ABEAShelfie)

For a long time I tried my best. There is a rhyme though. Autobio and non-fiction are all together. Graphic Novels are all together. There’s a cook book section. Then it gets pretty crazy though. I feel like fiction is fiction is fiction, be it fantasy, mystery, sci-fi, young adult, erotica, whatever, so I gave up and just try to keep authors together.

7. If you could choose three characters to have lunch with, who would they be and why?

Someone has to pay for it all so maybe Gatsby, he’s crazy and eccentric but hey money. Then Zaphod Beeblebrox and Willy Wonka. Oh wait, they have money too so… maybe Alice, but AFTER she’s experienced all of Wonderland or Dorothy but after a few Oz books.

That’s me. I’m weird, I’m strange, and I’m all over the place with books. Also I’m here, but I really don’t fit into the Book Blogger realm. Things like Diversity, or other subjects are not of my concern. I like all kinds of stuff. I identify as non human multi sexual agnostic atheist spiritual believer so be free, love books.

BEA 2016: What I’d Get If I Was There

I won’t be able to attend BEA this year. I could not expense for airfare to Chicago as well as hotel near convention center + expenses for 3-5 days, not to mention whatever the costs even with book rate to mail all the following books I’d want (and more) back to NYC. That didn’t stop me from imagining if I was there and writing a little bit of stuff I think folks going should be aware of.

I’m not dropping table numbers or times, if you’re going to BEA you can go the website, log in and use my info that I spent time on to just create your own itinerary  of people who will be there that I want to meet, meet again, and get their latest work in some format.  The list is focused on what I like personally but I like a lot of things so there should be something,.

So without further to do:

Jeffrey Brown, the cartoonist behind many an awesome comics including Bighead and Incredible Change-Bots but who really blew up with his Star Wars humor books debuts the first full length edition of his new series Lucy & Andy Neanderthal.

Jay McInerney (most famous still for Bright Lights, Big City but has six other novels and tons of colums) with Bright, Precious Days… a follow up to The Good Life. (also scheduled to come out in August)

George Saunders, the noted essayist with his DEBUT novel Lincoln in the Bardo, not coming out till Feb 2017. There’s lots of books I’d want at BEA, but this to have in hand so early AND to meet Saunders? *sigh *

Gene Luen Yang with a second Secret Coders book. Really fun stuff here.

Eoin Colfer‘s IRON MAN aka Iron Man:The Gauntlet scheduled to come out in October and which has been a very hyped book makes it ARC debut and Eoin will be in attendance to sign too. The Gauntlet seems like a great read.

Bill Ayers, former member of the weatherman group, professor and political activist will be there with his latest Impossible! A Radical Manifesto.

Aaron Reynolds, a great Children’s book author gets teamed up with awesome artists always, for his next book coming out and presented at BEA, President Squid, he worked with Sara Varon, so totally a picture book I’d be happy to own.

Skottie Young will have the collected I Hate Fairyland Vol. 1 that he’ll be signing. I LOVED this book in floppy. To have a collected edition with probably a little sketch in it too? But again alas.

Here’s a major one, Ransom Riggs, author of Pecular Children (also a major upcoming film) will be there with upcoming hotly anticipated Tales of the Peculiar. An awesome side book.

Judd Winnick, of Marvel comics, Frumpy the Clown, Barry Ween fame will be at the Expo promoting book two in his awesome HILO series.

Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close will be there with his latest Here I Am scheduled for a September release.

Kenny Loggins, the musician extraordinaire has turned Footloose into a a children’s book.

Raina Tegelmeier, the artist/writer of Smile, Drama, and Sisters brings her latest Ghosts, which comes out in September.

Dav Pilkey, of Captain Underpants fame, brings the latest side comic “created by George and Harold” with Dog Man scheduled for August.
Matthew Reinhart, king of the pop-up, tackles LEGO in his latest which comes out September.

Box Brown, cartoonist of Andre, Legend, Bellen and more, tells another comic book story of a major icon with Tetris! Out in October.

And as a final note, on an Author stage:

Berkeley Breathed, the Bloom County cartoonist, collects the NEW strips and presents them in a talk with Scott Dunbier.

All of you going to BEA who read this.  Have fun.  Those of you in my place, well, there you are.

The Librarians at NYCC 2015

THE LIBRARIANS returns November 1st, 2015 on TNT at 8 PM with a 2 hour season premiere.

In the second season the major plot will be that the magic getting unleashed in season 1 will lead to literary characters coming to life, from Shakespeare’s Prospero to the monster from Frankenstein.

At NYCC there was both an amazing panel and incredible press session. The panel was super fun and revealed plots and stories from season 1 and upcoming season 2, while during press I was able to speak with various stars of the show to expand the thoughts from the panel and add ones not even addressed.

Here is a Playlist of all those interviews:

Nick Robinson at NYCC 2015

At NYCC 2015 I got the privilege to interview Nick Robinson as part of a roundtable in conjuction with the then coming JURASSIC WORLD blu-ray (out now in stores online and offline everywhere).

He’s an excellent young man and I’d gained appreciation for him during his time on MELISSSA & JOEY and look forward to his work in the indie based on a true story BEING CHARLIE and the major blockbuster based on the best selling Rick Yancey YA series THE 5TH WAVE.

At NYCC they transported the gates to Jurassic World to the Javits Center as well as full true to life raptor (you can call it an animatronic all you want… it was real! REAL I say!).

Here’s video of the interview:

Regular Show at NYCC 2015

At New York Comic Con 2015 I had the pleasure and privilege to speak with Sam Marin, William Salyers, JG Quintel, Sean Szeles and Paula Spence, the cast and crew.

Regular Show-The Movie is out now on DVD (October 13, 2015).  It is a truly epic adventure of space, time, action, drama, flashbacks, reveals, secrets end of the world/save the world antics worthy of the movie treatment.  The DVD has amazing special features including a full commentary  with Quintel and Szeles, animatics of deleted/unused scenes, the original board pitches and concept art.

Notice on DFA Documentary/Broken Age

While PCS still awaits the Kickstarter Collector’s Edition we wanted to give you a heads up on the excellent Documentary by 2 Player Productions now being on Steam as well as a bundle sale on Broken Age with the documentary and soundtrack.

Here’s the official word from DF themselves:

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October 1st 2015 – San Francisco

Double Fine Adventure Documentary now on Steam, 66% off this weekend

The Double Fine Adventure Documentary by 2 Player Productions is now available on Steam, with an introductory 66% off sale price until Monday October 5th!

The collaboration between 2 Player Productions and Double Fine Productions that launched a historic Kickstarter campaign has reached its conclusion! A three-year journey spanning twenty episodes, the “Double Fine Adventure” series chronicles the creation of “Broken Age,” from a germ of an idea in Tim Schafer’s notebook to a finished game and beyond.

Along the way, the team is confronted with production delays, internal strife, and outside controversy in what is the most honest, in-depth look at video game development ever created. Previously exclusive to Double Fine’s Kickstarter backers, now everyone can share in the passion, humor, and heartbreak of this landmark documentary series.

Now available on Steam, the Double Fine Adventure comes with 10 collectable Steam cards featuring art by Michael Firman, 5 Theme Badges, 5 Emoticons, and 4 Profile Backgrounds.

“Double Fine Adventure is the best video game documentary to date”

– Eurogamer

“A must-watch for those intersted in the art of game creation”

– Game Informer

“Even if you don’t care a jot about adventure games, even if you’ve never picked up a Double Fine game in your life—this is a documentary that demands your eyeballs (and your heart).”

-8bit-chip

Double Fine Adventure

Regualar price $14.9 – $5.10 until Monday (66% offf)

http://store.steampowered.com/app/402590/

Double Fine Adventure + Broken Age + Broken Age Soundtrack bundle

Regualar price $44.98 – $15.30​ until Monday (66% offf)

http://store.steampowered.com/bundle/141/

Post BEA via Video

The Impractical Jokers LIVE Punishment Special

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WHO: truTV, Impractical Jokers and Howie Mandel

WHAT: A LIVE televised event hosted by Howie Mandel. Come watch the Impractical Jokers’ EPIC LIVE FIVE STORY HIGH-WIRE WALK. In celebration of truTV’s Impractical Jokers groundbreaking 100th episode, the Jokers (Joe, Sal, Q, and Murr) will take on their most challenging dare yet – an epic high-wire walk five stories in the air above New York City during the show’s first ever live punishment extravaganza. Fans and the public are encouraged to come watch, offer support and enjoy the onsite activities.

The live punishment will have a charitable element as each Joker’s favorite charity: Doctors Without Borders (Sal), Daniel’s Music Foundation (Joe), Make-A-Wish (Murr), and Stephen Siller Foundation (Q) receives a charitable contribution, determined by how far of a distance each Joker walks.

Leading up to the live event, truTV will engage fans via social media by encouraging followers to tweet using #LivePunishment. Fans can tweet their vote for which Joker they think will “walk the farthest,” using #TeamMurr, #TeamJoe, #TeamQ, or #TeamSal. A poll will be featured on-air during the live broadcast, tabulating Twitter votes in real-time, stopping just short of the Impractical Jokers’ high-wire attempts. Follow @truTVJokers for updates.

DJ G Money will provide music on the main stage from 7-11pm leading up to the live broadcast, as well as during commercial breaks. Garrett from Z100’s Elvis Duran and the Morning Show will be hosting on the main stage from 7-9pm, and the Z100 and Power 105 Party Patrol will be passing out swag on-site from the Z100 tent.

WHERE: 19 Fulton Street | South Street Seaport, New York City

WHEN: Thursday, September 3rd

Activities for fans begin at 10:00am ET, including The Impractical Jokers Museum of Impractical History (a specially curated exhibition featuring fan-generated artwork and show artifacts); High-wire attempt will be live at 10:00pm ET.

Before BEA15

Book Expo America and Book Con 2015 are right around the corner. Seriously right around the corner, starting this Wednesday, May 27th at 1 PM till Sunday at 5 PM if you are attending both shows.

Coming in at the sixth year in a row attending the show PCS is still under prepared. No matter how many tip articles you read and there are MANY good ones (including the one posted back in 2011 on this site  which still applies in some ways) once you arrive all common sense goes out the window, but in the best way. While there is a lot of business being conducted, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. You are in a building full of people who love books, write books, sell books, review books and more. Even the shyest person will find ways to break out of their shell.

This year instead of doing a huge preview of the show PCS has made the schedule it will be working off of for both events as a public Google Doc.

There are a few personal highlights for this site though and maybe you’ll come to them and support my friends.

itiswhatitisArmada-cover-3dsLong time family friend Colin Rath will be signing copies of his  IT IS WHAT IT IS on Friday from 1-1:30 PM at Autographing Table 14. The book tells the story of he and his family’s incredible adventure through Manhattan real estate. He and his wife are amazing people and their story is inspirational and powerful one telling you to never let dreams die. Even if you are not at BEA it is a book to indeed get your hands on staring May 26th, 2015.

Ernie or Ernest Cline is a best selling author for his READY PLAYER ONE. He also wrote the screenplay for the troubled but entertaining film FANBOYS. His next book arrives on July 14th, 2015 but he will be signing copies at Penguin Randomhouse’s Booth (3119) on Thursday, from 10-11 PM. This writer first met Ernie back in his slam poetry days at the URBANA slam hosted at Bowery Poetry Club encountering his early work and becoming an immediate fan and occasional friend.

Here is a list of some the celebrities from film, television, music and culinary, the major focuses of PCS that will make appearances at the con in no particular order: Bernadette Peters, Felcia Day, BJ Novak, John Leguizamo, Mindy Kailing, Bobby Flay, Carol Alt, Lisa Jakob, Christie Brinkley, Emeril Lagasse, Karen Finley, Adam Carolla, Nick Offerman, Judah Friedlander, Abigail Breslin, Shane Dawson, Aziz Ansari, Jason Segel.

As you can see quite the line up. I’m exhausted just thinking about it… but it’s all worth. So if you’re there, have fun and love your books.