Book Expo America 2012 Pre-Event Highlights & Tips

Book Expo America 2012 is right around the corner. Last year I wrote a focused pre-event article giving tips and advice on how to approach the show using my last two years prior of experience of tackling the Javits. That advice came in handy for myself as well, since my Book Expo America 2011 experience was absolutely amazing. I got so many awesome books, met awesome people, made connections, got amazing photos and plenty material for various articles.

This year I plan the same and I feel it might be good to reiterate some of my tips, rewrite them or maybe even give some new ones before delving into my very long list of highlights for the show.

One of the things people always focus on are sensible walking shoes, something with support, but I’m going to change my assessment on that fact after last year wearing obscenely sensible shoes. They were perfect when I was walking the floor. The minute I had to be standing on a line though, they became less sensible. They’re arched and designed to actually wobble with the groove of your foot, but once you’re just physically standing still with a bag or two of books waiting for the one author whose line is so long you’re not sure where the actual end of the line is you’re wishing you’re in sandals or barefooted or something like that. So what is my suggestion now? I have no idea. Take your feet into account, know what works for you in a situation like that. I’m thinking sandals, but you can’t get away with that easily and be professional. So just do what is going to be comfortable for you, whatever that is. Although barefooted is not a good idea.

The biggest tip I’ve going to do my best to implement is “running” back to bag check when things get too physically heavy and I end up being completely exhausted by shows end. I have events and signings and galley giveaways and just walking around aimlessly all over the show, not to mention Blog World and I might actually forget to get back to bag check, but even if I do, that rolling suitcase not allowed on the show floor will be there for when its time to go home.

So with some tips out of the way, the real fun can begin, my personal highlights and what I look forward to. I am not going to provide times, booth numbers or anything like that. That information is all on the internet, the mobile app and various blogs and news sites. This is just things that people going to Book Expo should be looking for or be excited to hear me talk about and for those not going to Book Expo a way to imagine it all before photos and proper reportage comes their way.

I’m going to start with regular authors instead of celebrities, etc.


Daniel Handler is at Book Expo again, but he’s there as Lemony Snicket this time around. It’s been some years since he’s entered the Unfortunate Universe. Along with the great comics artist SETH, the first in his new series, All The Wrong Questions, will be previewed.


Andrew Gross
who wrote the awesome EYES WIDE OPEN, will present his newest novel 15 SECONDS.R.L. Stine will be there for his newest adult focused novel, RED RAIN.

Children’s illustrator Scott Nash presents his first self penned book The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay The Pirate.

Michael Connelly who became even more popular than before after theMatthew McConaughey starring film The Lincoln Lawyer will be there for the latest Harry Bosch novel (for those only familiar with the movie, Bosch is Haller’s half brother and an LAPD homicide detective).

William Joyce, author/illustrator and academy award winner will be there promoting the book adaptation of the amazing The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

Tracy Hickman, co-writer of the epic DragonSword, Deathgate and other fantastic series, will be there with publisher Shadow Mountain for his Tales of the Dragon’s Bard series.

Journalist Alex Stone will be signing his book, Fooling Houdini, one of the lesser known books at the show that really caught my attention.

Walter Mosley, the best selling crime novelist will be there in promotion of his sci-fi novel, a flip book of two novellas.

Ridley Pearson has a new adult suspense series that starts with The Risk Agent.

Children’s book writer/illustrator and coincidentally one of my former college fellow students, David Ezra Stein will be promoting his upcoming Because Amelia Smiled.

One of the greatest children’s writers ever, James Howe, will be there for his upcoming picture book, illustrated by Chris Raschka, Otter and Odder.

That doesn’t cover even remotely everything that I’ll even be into but it should focus you enough.

In terms of celebrities with autobiographies or novels, well it’s a choice list.

Molly Ringwald has written a novel.

Q104.3’s Carol Miller, has a memoir.

Kevin Pollak has also written a memoir. Oh and if you haven’t checked out his newer podcast Talkin’ Walkin, you’re missing out.

Michael Ian Black has new book to promote in America, You Sexy Bitch co-written with Meghan McCain, who I believe shall also be there.

Frank DeCaro, best known for his movie reviews on The Daily Show and Sirius radio program, is promoting a collected recipe collection.

On top of that,  these three chefs of TOP CHEF fame shall be at the event!

Season 6’s Mike Isabella, Season 7’s runner up Angelo Sosa (also of Top Chef All-Stars) and Season 5’s Carla Hall (now of The Chew).

In this listing I have left out a lot. My schedule is filled with galley times, panels, chefs, other major writers, comic artists, celebs and more. It is a full and crazy schedule which I doubt I’ll accomplish as there’s only 60 minutes in an hour and who knows who long some things can take between waiting, talking, getting a photo, a signature and getting to your next location which can be down the aisle or across the room, but it’s all worth it.

Hope you have as much fun as I plan to!

Authors I Enjoy, and if there was more than one of me

I thought I’d take a better look at the schedule for Brooklyn Book Festival 2011 taking place Sunday, May 18th at Columbus Park in Brooklyn, New York. I will be focusing on the non comics selections this time. So please keep the previous post in mind if you head to this wonderful event.

LAWRENCE BLOCK and SUSAN ISAACS, two highly entertaining writers in the crime drama genre are part of a moderated panel at 5 PM in The Borough Hall Courtroom. While my familiarity with them is not as heavy as it should be, as I aware that their books are the kind of work I tend to truly enjoy. It amazes me that only one film has ever come from Block’s works as well, as I see the few Matthew Scudder books I’ve read to be perfect for film. Issac’s though has a little bit of film work, which she actually wrote but again not since the 90’s. This is no indication of the quality of their work, as both are best selling and highly respected writers and in the current trend of Crime Fiction, their views are invaluable.

DJ SPOOKY, whom I only know as a musician, seems to have written a few books and will joining a photographer for a speak on the environment and sustainable change on the Main Stage at 2 PM.

PETE HAMILL, one of the greatest journalists ever and with a slew of fictional works becoming one of the best traditional fiction writers will part of a talk at 3 PM on the Main Stage.

JULES FEIFFER, a living legend cartoonist will be joined by Norton Juster to talk the 5oth Anniversary of THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH at 12 PM in The St. Francis Auditorium.

At 1 in The St. Francis Auditorium two of the greatest living writers of all time in my opinion shall be reading. JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER and the truly compelling and captivating JOYCE CAROL OATES will be presenting and speaking.

The 12 o’clock session in the St. Francis Reading Room features three quality writers on subjects that are of high interest to me, so I shall just copy&paste the official description here:
Crashing Genres. Join authors whose work defies classification: crashing the genre borders of science fiction/ fantasy and the supernatural. CORY DOCTOROW (For The Win, Little Brother), KELLY LINK, author of cult favorite stories in Pretty Monsters and Magic for Beginners, and best-selling author JEWELL PARKER RHODES, winner of the American Book Award, uses magical realism to examine race and memory in her New Orleans vampire trilogy Seasons,Moon, and Hurricane. Moderated by Stephanie Anderson.

Controversial and very popular Critics J. HOBERMAN (The Village Voice) and JASON ZINOMAN (NY Times) will be joined by Foreign Film Expert and a professor at the United Nations, ROBERTA SERET in a discussion on film moderated by film historian and critic ED HALTER at 5 PM in the St. Francis Screening Room.

EOIN COLFER and WALTER MOSELY talk crime drama with Los Angeles Times book critic DAVID L. ULIN 3 PM at ST. ANN AND THE HOLY TRINITY CHURCH.

Right after that at 4 PM same location, actor, playwright and essayist WALLACE SHAWN will joined on stage by partner and fellow actor and essayist DEBORAH EISENBERG and colleague FRAN LIEBOWITZ in a discussion modern by the executive director of the National Book Association HAROLD AUGENBRAUM.

At 2 PM on the North Stage is a very exciting presentation based upon the television program JEOPARDY it features two big winners JUSTIN BERNBACH and celebrated author ARTHUR PHILLIPS and journalist and former Businessweek Editor STEPHEN BAKER who wrote a book abiout the development of IBM’s Jeopardy computer Watson. Moderated by SPIN Magazine’s Greg Milner.

I want to remind folks that there are planned signing schedules for many of these authors as well, so pay close close close attention to the free guidebook being handed out at Book Festival. It will be an invaluable device to have a full and fulfilling day!

The Continuing Insurgence of Sequential Storytelling As Accepted Media

 

 

I am currently considering attending the Brooklyn Book Festival as media and barring that just another consumer.  As I look over the schedule of readings and panels I am excited and mesmerized by the amount of “comics” artists are involved in regular talks with “traditional” writers.  While it was apparent at this year’s Book Expo America that the graphic novel is becoming more and more accepted amongst the regular reader, it overjoys me to see that this fact is continuing at a consumer level with an event such as the festival.

 

 

While there are many panels dedicated simply to graphic novels and comics, which I will overview in a moment here, I am excited to see that Adrian Tomine will be on a panel about NY writers.    Also notable, Nick Bertozzi will be on a panel about re-imagining history with two award winning young adult authors.  Sarah Glidden will be on stage with Casey Scieszka and Steven Weinberg discussing Epic Adventures; while Casey and Steven’s book To Timbuktu has illustrations, it is not a graphic novel like Glidden’s How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less. Anders Nilson sits on a panel called Notes From The Underground with prose novelists Susan Choi and Jonathan Dee.  

Let me focus now on those comics panels, as well as a few ones that are of particular interest to me.  I expect overlap to exist, as is par for the course for conventions, expos and festivals.  In the case of description I shall be “borrowing” directly from the Festival page when needed.

Keep in mind the Brooklyn Book Festival is SEPTEMBER 18, 2011 in Downtown Brooklyn, New York City.

Starting at 11:00 P.M.
YOUTH STOOP
Borough Hall Plaza/Columbus Park

Comics Quick-Draw!: Three comic artists face off in this fast-paced contest. Drawing (literally!) from audience suggestions, NYT best-selling and ALA-notable book author/illustrator Raina Telgemeier (Smile), best-selling author/illustrator Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy), and rising star author/illustrator Laura Lee Gulledge (Page by Paige) will battle with pen and pad.  And, everybody wins: finished art will be gifted to some of the lucky young people in attendance! Moderated by Calvin Reid, editor of Publishers Weekly Comics World.

at 1:00 P.M.
ST. FRANCIS SCREENING ROOM
180 Remsen Street


Funny Ha-Ha-Comedy in Comics:
Join and laugh with four artists of comics that are surreal, political, and hilarious: Eisner-nominated and cult-favorite Michael Kupperman (Mark Twain’s Autobiography: 1910-2010); Harvey, Glyph, and Inkpot Award-winning Keith Knight (The Knight Life: Chivalry Ain’t Dead); web-comics phenomenon Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant); and newcomer Jennifer Hayden (Underwire). Moderated by Heidi MacDonald of The Beat and Publishers Weekly Comics World.

In the same building, but in the ST. FRANCIS AUDITORIUM and a
Ticket Required Event at
3:00 P.M.

Comics Writ Large and Small: Three of the most exciting artists working in the comics medium today—who work on canvases both epic and poetic—will discuss their craft and the artistry of long and short form graphic stories. Harvey, Ignatz, and Eisner-award winner Craig Thompson’s much-anticipated Habibi is a 672-page quest of spiritualism and love. Ignatz winner Anders Nilsen’s 658-page Big Questions weaves together surreal tales the artist released as shorter works over many years, and Harvey award-winner Adrian Tomine’s Optic Nerve series, with #12 newly released, typifies the concision of his storytelling—also loved by many in New Yorker covers and strips that offer a thousand words in a few quiet frames.  Moderated by Meg Lemke.

Back in the Screening Room at
4:00 P.M.

Drawing a Life: How do you draw someone else’s memories? Eisner-nominated Dean Haspiel (Cuba: My Revolution) illustrated the memoir of revolutionary turned refugee Inverna Lockpez.  Pulitzer nominee Lauren Redniss (Radioactive: A Tale of Love and Fallout) blends research and imagination in a haunting portrait of Marie Curie and rising star artist GB Tran (Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey) turns to his own family’s history to portray a war-torn, transnational generation. Moderated by Hillary Chute, author of Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics.

 

My one major conflict is at 3:00 P.M.

ST. ANN AND THE HOLY TRINITY CHURCH (157 Montague Street)

Brooklyn Book Festival Presents – Gumshoes: Award winning authors Eoin Colfer (Plugged) and Walter Mosley (When the Thrill Is Gone).   Moderated by David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times.

I missed the opportunity to meet Eoin at Book Expo America as the line was incredibly long and I’d of missed three other opportunities that were happening during the time I was on that line.  So unfortunately I left the line and then of course read PLUGGED which quickly became one my favorite books of 2011.   Sitting with the legendary Walter Mosely they should have a spirited conversation.

Other Panels of interest/note from PCS’ perspective:

2:00 P.M.
BROOKLYN HISTORICAL SOCIETY MAIN HALL
128 Pierrepont Street
Politics and Poetry: Poets Timothy Donnelly (The Cloud Corporation), Nick Flynn (The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands), Thomas Sayers Ellis (Skin, Inc: Identity Repair Poems) and Evie Shockley (The New Black) explore poetry’s capacity for social change role and the role of poetry in public life. Moderated by Camille Rankine of Cave Canem Foundation.

5:00 P.M.
ST. FRANCIS SCREENING ROOM
180 Remsen Street

Moving Pictures. From B Movies to the Art House, film is possibly the most powerful broadcast medium of the past century—taking us on flights of fancy as often as it brings us face-to-face with the more unpleasant nature of the contemporary world. J. Hoberman (Army of Phantoms), Jason Zinoman (Shock Value), and Roberta Seret (World Affairs in Foreign Films) discuss the role of movies in understanding our world and ourselves. Moderated by film critic and Light Industry founder, Ed Halter.

Of course on top of panels there is the Festival itself which has signings, previews, and booths galore. The outdoor setting of Columbus Park/Borough Hall makes for a truly entertaining event. While I have not been capable to go every year, I always desire to, knowing it is truly one of the best events New York has for readers and book lovers.