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.
Long 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.
A few weeks ago the 2014 Book Expo America happened and as every year I had an amazing time and scored many books and took not enough photographs. Being a pop-culture blog I will READ most anything but when it comes to photos I mostly stick to the pop-culture end of things and that means movies, music, television, comics and in cases culinary (as I am a trained chef).
Top Row: Actor Neil Patrick Harris signs previews of his upcoming memoir “Choose Your Own Autobiography”. Author Daniel Handler AKA Lemony Snicket promoting his newest “FILE UNDER: 13 Suspicious Incidents” and upcoming “All The Wrong Questions Book 3”. Christian Rudder of the band Bishop Allen and co-founder of OK Cupid with copies of his upcoming “Dataclysm”.
Bottom Row: Gabrielle Corcos & actress Debi Mazar of Food Channel’s EXTRA VIRGIN, cook book out now. Signmaker and artist Stephen “ESPO” Powers signs his Love Letter. Winner of MASTERCHEF season 4 Luca Manfé with copies of his cookbook My Italian Kitchen.
Book Expo America 2013 approaches Thursday and for me it begins tomorrow with my first BEA Bloggers.
Over the last few years I’ve written regular prepping for BEA articles, pre-press of exciting titles being promoted, all that jazz. Each year before the show begins I want to have at least ONE article prior to the show that expels my excitement, lets fellow attendees, new and old know what to expect if they haven’t done the same amount of research I’ve done or something.
Each year this gets harder and harder. For the last couple weeks I’ve been collecting many links. Links of other folks prep articles, official websites of books that catch my eye, publishers schedules, events and more. I feel for this year it might be best for me to just share those actual links and let people pour through it as BEA 2013 looks to be pretty big and crazy especially with a Saturday packed to the gills of Neil Gaiman, Robbie Robertson and Jim Gaffigan. I guess for those Power Readers though they wanted to go ALL OUT!
BOOKS THAT I THINK HAVE ARCS or PROMOS or WHATEVER that look cool
Fantastic Family Whipple by Matthew Ward
Guides, Publishers Signing schedules,
This is of course nowhere a near complete list, it’s not even EVERYTHING I’ve gathered, but I’ve got to keep some of my fun to myself or at least to in person sharing.
As I did with Day One I am going to present things that I was able to “conquer” based upon the schedule I had created for myself and then list and discuss all the wonderful galleys, signings, meetings, etc. that happened outside of this prescribed schedule. My second day at Book Expo America 2012 was another exciting adventure full of celebrities, amazing authors, surprises, long lines, random goodies, and whatchamacallits. With this opening paragraph out of the way, away we go.
I didn’t arrive at the Javits Center at 6 AM like I had on Tuesday to make sure I had guaranteed tickets to Molly Ringwald. I did get there around 7 AM though and actually ended up with two tickets that I wasn’t able to use because the lines for them even with tickets only were beyond reasonable. The only one I am sad about is not meeting Joyce Carol Oates, as she’s long been one of my favorite writers (as surprising as they might seem to those who know me).
The first line I hit after rounding the floor for galley giveaways was for Ridley Pearson’s new adult suspense thriller series, The Risk Agent, out on June 19th. The first book introduces us to the series stars John Knox and Grace Chu and takes place in Shanghai, while it’s Ridley’s YA work that has garnered him the most attention I am really excited to read this more intense ride knowing he did his research.
After I went to get Because Amelia Smiled, the newest from David Ezra Stein. I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that David is an old college mate, but I’ve also become a fan of his art very quickly. This new book is a change for him in style drawn in pencils, crayon and watercolor. Looking quite dreamy and yet compelling. While his stories are definitely geared towards younger readers, the art makes them very universal.
Next up was the infamous Damien Echols. The formerly incarcerated young man whose story was told in the documentaries Paradise Lost 1-3 and whose story caught the attention of such luminary figues as Henry Rollins, Eddie Vedder, Johnny Depp and Marilyn Manson, as he was part of what became known as The West Memphis Three. Now free on an unfortunate Alford plea, which means possibly never seeing true justice or knowing the trutg, he has helped produce a new documentary that premiered at Sundance, West of Memphis, and Simon & Schuster has reprinted his 2005 self published journal with new material, now titled Life After Death which includes a cover by Shepard Fairey who has done WM3 art in the past. I have no personal opinion of his guilt, innocence or elsewise, I just know he has a good story to tell. The book ships in September.
Back to Autographing where I got the second comics biography written by Marc Tyler Nobleman, who previously wrote a children’s style book on the history of Joe Siegel & Joe Shuster, creators of Superman. The new one is about Bill Finger, the co-creator of Batman with Bob Kane and is titled BILL THE BOY WONDER-The Secret Co-Creator of Batman. The first book in what could be a series I feel if Marc follows with say Gardner Fox, who in an analogy that may or not make sense one could say that Bill created the automobile, Gardner made the car actually move. It’s illustrated by one of my personal faves Ty Templeton and is available now.
It was time to get my second Ridley Pearson book of the day in KINGDOM KEEPERS V. It amazes me that despite needing tickets these lines are obscenely long and take forever, but they do. Nonetheless I got my copy of the currently out book and look forward to it.
A pop over a couple tables down and I get to meet my second Top Chef of the Expo in the super sexy and handsome Angelo Sosa (alongside Curtis Stone and Jamie Oliver, there’s a small smattering of serious male hotness in chefs, oh and Ainsley Harriot… women there’s bucketloads, but men, a select few). He was signing his cookbook Flavor Exposed, already available, which I’m going to really do my damndest to use some of the recipes some, they’re scrumptious reading and looking, as William Brinson‘s photography in the book is superb.
I really wanted to get over to the Graphic Novels panel on the Uptown stage to hear Noah Van Sciver, Raina Telgemeier and Zack Giallongo, among others discuss their upcoming books. Time ran away from me though. Fortunately I’d been able to get a galley of Raina’s DRAMA eariler from Scholastic and catch up with her to sign it, not that I don’t see her randomly all the time. I also was able to catch Noah Van Sciver earlier in the day. I had stopped by Fantagraphics on Tuesday and had a nice talk with Eric Reynolds and then while walking to a signing, I noticed that someone who gave a Noah like vibe sitting with Eric long before his official signing, so I made my way over and got the galley for his The Hypo – A Graphic Portrait of the Melancholic Young Lincoln, whose final cover is awesome. DRAMA by Raina Telgemeier comes out in September and The Hypo is coming in October.
As my chances at Chris Colfer were null & void I opted to head over to Perseus and get a double signing. First up was the premier musician Buddy Guy, who’s memoir When I Left Home is currently available, followed by Teresa Guidice of Housewives of New Jersey, Celebrity Apprentice and a few best selling cookbook fames. In terms of Teresa they gave out last year’s Fabulicious! Teresa’s Italian Family Cookbook instead of her recently released Fast & Fit, both are great things to own and learn from though culinary wise. If there’s one thing Guidice does other than be really pretty while making a fool of herself on TV, it’s cook. In terms of Buddy the line moved a little too fast for me to really talk with him about anything, but I admit I don’t really know as much about him as I should.
With some time to kill I decided to check out an education panel on the Hottest Graphic Novels of 2012, I stayed long enough to get some great suggestions and a preview of Chris Ware’s upcoming “Building Stories” from Pantheon in October which will come in a box that looks like a building with comics of varying designs and sizes. Much like some old McSweeney’s were done.
I left early to get back upstairs for the Kevin Pollak signing and got there just in time. Kevin has a memoir titled How I Slept My Way to the Middle, scheduled for November. I was actually a little intimidated (me intimidated?!?) and stammered my words, but was able to get myself together to request for him to do a Christopher Walken sell for the book which he not completely graciously, but in a very Kevin Pollak type way agreed to and you can see that here or hopefully in an embed below along with a photo of the two of us. Make sure to listen to/watch Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show and also Talkin Walkin, both worth it.
Right after Kevin Pollak it was a mad rush across the floor for a super long line to Michael Ian Black and Meghan McCain for their roadtrip humor book America, You Sexy Bitch which comes out on June 12, 2012. Meeting both was a pleasure and this book is one of those on high priority for me. While I don’t really know Meghan, I LOVE Black. From The State, to Wet Hot American Summer to Stella and Reaper, he’s been a huge fave. His previous book written on his own was hilarious, but the American Road Trip with the super hot daughter of John McCain premise tops it I think. Can’t wait to read this.
A few choices were up after this signings, but none of them possible between lines or whatever, so instead I ended up hanging out with the person who was in line behind me for Black and McCain, who just so happened to be the husband of my next doable signing. That husband happens to be writer and columnist, Jim Colucci, who works mostly for CBS’ magazine The Watch (which was a wonderful discovery as I didn’t know the magazine and it is great, just signed up for my free subscription) and his significant other is former Daily Show movie reviewer and current Sirus Radio Host, Frank DeCaro. Frank was promoting his book, Dead Celebrity Cookbook, as well as the followup Christmas in Tinseltown, that arrives in October. He also gave out an apron, which was just totally awesome.
While in line for DeCaro I was able to swing to the table right next door for a book that was on my original schedule but somehow fell off when I rewrote it to be less cluttered, and I’m glad serendipity dropped it in my lap. It is the follow-up to a series I haven’t yet read, but it was written by Brandon Mull, famous for Fablehaven and it’s called The Candy Shop War: Arcade Catastrophe.
The rest of this will be broken into a Part 2 in which I go into the galleys and giveaways, etc. garnered off the schedule, but before I close off I want to talk about the one party I ended up bothering to try out on Wednesday night. It was called Pub Date and it took place at Le Poisson Rouge on Bleeker. I only went to get a chance to meet one of my favorite comic artists of all time, Phil Jimenez, which I got to do! I haven’t stayed on top of DC Comics since deciding to trade wait the New 52 and all Vertigo past SCALPED and The Unwritten, so I really knew nothing of his monthly Fairest, so I spoke to him on that. The party itself was really way too loud for any proper networking though, but I did bump into two old friends. One being Guy Lecharles Gonzalez who I see it all the book and comic shows and the other was Chavisa Woods, who almost feels like it was a lifetime ago that I saw her last.
That interesting surprise and randomness which was just topping to a day full of randomness, surprises and excitement just made this year’s BEA feel totally amazing.
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.
Jimmy Fallon was very gracious and kind. He loved that I told him how much I loved “The Bathroom Wall”
Kevin Sorbo was a little late, but he was awesome, even when I accidentally in my half-awake state confused Andromeda and Farscape. I know the difference and knew which show he was on, I just confused their plots.
Duff McKagan seemed just amazed to be at a Book Expo instead of a rock event. I praised LOADED and asked about the US leg of the tour.
I got be to be first in line for Joey’s signing and asked him some very intensive questions about the book, his condition and how it’ll affect his future work. Very intriguing short conversation.
I almost missed out on Candace, but Henry Rollins ended up cancelling. I have a feeling her book will have way too much Jesus stuff as she follows in her brother’s footsteps, but hey, I got the pic.
The publishers moved the Chuck Pahlaniuk line along pretty fast, but I’m just glad to have an early copy of DAMNED.
These photos of course only show a portion of the second day. SO much more happened that I didn’t photograpgh. These photos along with txt elsewhere tell a great tale though, or if not a great tale, a document of a time.
I was lucky enough to get a front row seat to John Lithgow’s Insight Stages promoting his upcoming memoir DRAMA: An Actor’s Education. It was a fun and enjoyable presentation. I edited it into three parts for time (per to Youtube’s standards) and continuity in terms of thoughts and stories flowing well. I hope you appreciate. Without even having a chance to yet read my galley I can say the book will be worth it.
Bruce Jay Friedman, writer of Stir Crazy, The Lonely Guy, Splash and many more.
Jenny Slate & Dean Fleischer-Camp, the comedienne and her entertainment partner have
As my entire weekend was filled with sun, beach and beautiful people I have yet to catch up fully. I felt for the few readers I do/may have, I’d give a whirl of memories.
Spoke with Jimmy Fallon for what felt at least five minutes about music, the show, etc.
It was a rush over to Kevin Sorbo who ended up being just a little late, but not by much. Charming fellow.
A blurry of booths happened along getting books and seeing folks. I was so wired I barely ever tweeted.
Duff McKagan was awesome, although he seemed pretty blitzed and bewildered by the Book Expo.
For a Book Expo there sure were a lot of costumed mascots running around.
I was first in line for Joey Pantoliano, so luckily folks held my spot and I ran around grabbing a few more galleys and such.
I was on the line for Eoin Colfer at one point, but I had to give up. I luckily got the ARC for Plugged and will devour it. Would’ve loved to met the man, maybe a different, and much better setting will occur someday.
There was a surge of things to see and do. Henry Rollins signing got canceled so I was able to find time to see Candace Cameron and a bunch of book authors that I’ll do reviews on, but there was so much, the order is just whabbaddadoo in my head.
I had a huge block of time to waste before my final book signing of the day with Chuck Palahniuk. Luckily I bumped into a new friend and we walked around.
After Wednesday’s show I had a SAG screening of BEGINNERS to see. I met up with my good buddy Rich Watson and it was a fab time with a Q & A with Christopher Plummer afterwards.
Thursday morning was a mad rush to get KILL ALEX CROSS and then to get myself a nice front row seat for Jane Lynch. Both were pulled off beautifully.
I had only two other signings to get to on the final day. That being Tom Wilson and Nick James. Tom Wilson drew me a Ziggy with a MOHAWK because I jokingly made the request.
The rest of the show involved checking out booths I had missed out on from my Tues/Wed schedule. I really enjoyed myself, discovering great books that would’ve otherwise missed my notice.
I came home, with bags FILLED to the brim and then went out once again to end my Book Expo experience with a bang by taking my mom to a SAG screening of THE HIGH COST OF LIVING followed by a Q & A with Zach Braff.
This QUICK & DIRTY will be followed up by many entries and notes. Keep an eye out!