Book Expo America 2012 – Day 2 (Part 1)

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.
My final scheduled signing was Chef Carla Hall, making it the third and final Top Chef of the Expo. You might also know her from her daily weekday appearance on ABC’s The Chew. First off, seriously, the woman is gorgeous in person, Hootie Hoo indeed. Unfortunately she was only signing a recipe card with a singular recipe from his forthcoming in November, Cooking with Love, but what a recipe it is. It’s for her Chicken Pot Pie (with Crust on the Bottom!). It’s a lot of work for a recipe, but god damn does it read scrumptious. I was even able to discuss with Carla how to make it slightly more healthy, which was totally awesome.

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.

Teen Boat has launched and out to sea!

A couple weeks back I was happy to attend a Launch Party for the collected edition of TEEN BOAT by Dave Roman and John Green. I’ve been reading and enjoying their work separately and together since way with their book Quicken Forbidden and following through with their work in the FLIGHT anthologies, various mini comics, Agnes Quill, and much more. The party featured books, a boat, food, musical performances and fun. I filmed some of it and made a video.

MoCCA Fest 2012: Pre-Show Acknowledgments! (now with more stuff!)

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above image created by Rick Parker

The 10th Annual MoCCA Fest is coming up this coming weekend April 28-29th, located for the fourth year at the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue between 25th and 26th Street on the island of Manhattan in New York City. I have attended the fair since 2002, and actually before that when it became a conception when the 2011 Small Press Expo in Maryland was canceled.

Every year it has provided me with a great chance to catch up with friends, discover new comics, hear amazing stories, get awesome original sketches, and feel like a part of history as through its panels it preserves the history of comics just as the museum does, while creating a new history by embracing the next line of comics through the fair which features many times students, independent comics artists who expand the pantheon and artists from around the world including Norway, France and this year as you’ll see below a cadre from Australia.  By being located in a central location not far from Madison Square Park and tons of awesome restaurants and with exhibitors who sell as many prints, t-shirts, pins, stickers, and even plushes as they do comics, there’s actually something for everyone!

For this year’s fest I’ve decided to do a pre-fest look at things that have been announced as debuting or being specially promoted for the event. That list is quite long, but I’ve chosen a selection that I feel gives you a good guide of NOT MISS items while divulging in the very large and expansive show, which includes excellent panels as well.

Hans Rickheit will be officially debuting his newest graphic novel Folly: The Consequences of Indiscretion

The absolutely stunning NOMADS – An Anthology will be available. It’s 40 pages of full color and seven amazing artists.

Tara and Paul Abbamondi bring their newest, a 40+ page collaboration titled The Stolen Lovelight

One of the most exciting things has to be what is being called Caravan of Comics. 12 artists from Australia will be traveling across America hitting various conventions and shops. Their first convention will MoCCA Fest. Among the talented group are David Blumenstein, who will bringing the two collections of his comic Showman? The Adventures of Brett Braddock, Pat Grant debuting the American edition of his comic BLUE through Top Shelf, Matt Taylor will be on hand with his comic Lars the Last Viking Goes to the End of The World, Jen Breach should have two comics with her, one drawn by Doug Holgate called Clementine Hetherington and the other drawn by Jase Harper called Humans Are The Weirdest. They’ll be lots of more, but those are some highlights.

The female collective of Coffee Spoon Comics will have a new collection available and I’m sure as many copies they have left of their individual minis as well. The collection will be a music issue and this great short is one of the stories.

Lawrence Gullo, best known for Baritarian Boy, should have a newest book called My Surgery available.

789 Studio’s Rain: A Collection, which received its backing and support through Kickstarter will be making its official debut at the show.

Dave Shabet will be there with the collected edition of his comic Dead Winter and who knows what else.

Sean Ford will be debuting his book Only Skin published by Secret Acres.

Alexandra Beguez and Kim Ku are sharing a table and they have a fascinating assortment of mini comics and prints.

Thomas Baehr will have his newest POLE-The Comic Strip with Penguins collection Make Guano Not War.

The Adventuring Comapny will be there with with the recently released Very Near Mint Vol.2 and more.

Nate Bear does a lot of stuff including mini comics, but one of the cool things he has is this new I Scream Truck print that I’m sure will be at MoCCA Fest. Do not miss this table, his work is great.Anthony Pugh, the artist aka LogikOne will have a self-published book on hand. As a long time fan of his works I’m excited by this.

Juan Nunez will have the first issue of his mini-series Cabeza available.

Holly Foltz will have issues 1-3 of her comic Unpleasant People at her table.

Lesser Key Studios will have their stunning Ianuae available, as well as stickers and buttons.

Tom Hart’s Retrofit comic Daddy Lightning will make its debut.

Trip City which features work from Dean Haspiel, Jennifer Hayden, Dan Goldman, Seth Kushner, Nick Abadzis and many more will be offering the Trip City Visitor’s Guide.
Pat Lewis is going to have an anthology of comic stories about television called Our Broadcast Day. This should be worth it for the “Mad Men” story by Alex Robinson on its own.

Fantagraphics are bringing a cadre of books in limited supplies as debuts, many of them not officially coming out to stores for months!

All this doesn’t mention many folks who I am excited to see who haven’t announced what they’ll have at the fest, sometimes bringing complete surprises or not wanting to a reveal and then have something go wrong. Do yourself a favor and check out the list of of exhibitors.

 

 

 

On top of the exhibit/merchandise/fest room there’s also the panels which are always exciting. You see the whole schedule at the MoccAFest site, but here’s a few selections of interest.
SATURDAY
either in ROOM A or B (check the schedule for updates and during the convention)2:15 P.M. Gary Panter receives the Klein Award, presentation by Bill Kartalopoulos
3:15 P.M. Comics creator Hans Rickheit in conversation with
4:15 P.M. “Harvey Pekar’s Final Projects”: Jeff Newelt (editor of The Pekar Project) and artists Joseph Remnant (Cleveland) , Rick Parker, Sean Pryor, Dean Haspiel (The Quitter) and JT Waldman (Not The Israel My Parents Promised Me) celebrate the life and work of comics pioneer Harvey Pekar with his widow, writer Joyce Brabner.

SUNDAY

11:15 P.M. Rick Parker Drawing Workshop. Rick is an incredible teacher and can teach something new and interesting to people with no experience to total masters of the craft.

12:15 P.M. “To Run a Comic Shop”: Alex Cox (formerly of Rocket Ship, now with CBDLF), Tucker Stone (Bergen Street Comics), Thor Parker (Midtown Comics), and Gabe Fowler (Desert Island), will tell stories of comic shop retailing.

5:15 P.M. Animation! Every year the show’s ending panel is cartoons from folks also involved in comics. This year the two main features are Devin Clark of Ugly Americans and Aaron Augenblick, whose studios has worked on Super Jail, Ugly Americans, Wonder Showzen and some awesome shorts.

New York Comic Con 2011 Overview Part 4

SUNDAY – DAY 4

I ended up waking up much later than planned and found myself rushing out of the house to at least catch my 12:15 Press session with J.Q. Quintel of “Regular Show” and Pendelton Ward of “Adventure Time” along with other writers and voice talent from the show including Tom Kenny.

From there I had about an hour or two to kill before a scheduled interview with Dave Gilbert of Wadjeteye Games. That interview was amazing and will be on this site sooner than later, probably this week. My mother’s hospital stay has delayed a lot of things.

In between I enjoyed many of the various booths I had missed on other days. I saw video games, indie publishers I hadn’t seen in years, had great conversations, saw amazing cosplay, took photos and all that jazz.

I stood on my feet as long as I could and even considered doing my traditional see what’s left over from booth destruction/left over, but the madhouse made me just feel best to get the hell out of Javits and not deal with people anymore.

I made plans to meet with my best friend Nick and figure out something fun to do for his birthday which we went and did.

New York Comic Con 2011 Overview Part 2

Quick clarification… as the Tom Morello concert was over before 8 PM I ducked into Jim Hanley’s and got to get an awesome drawing from Eddy Barrows as part of a signing and say hello to long time friend Ian Brill who just happened to be in the store.

DAY TWO-FRIDAY

The morning consisted of walking more of the very large convention floor. The show this year took over the entire building, so it was a lot to explore, especially in between panels and meetings and press sessions. I got some good snaps in my first two hours on Friday, but before long it was time to head down to my press session for the new adult animation show Good Vibes which will be premiering on MTV October 27, 2011 after the new Beavis & Butthead.

In this press room were Adam Brody, Josh Gad, Olivia Thirlby, the show’s writers/producers and one of my long time crushes, Debi Mazar. The panel was done round table with 4 different press folks to a table and the actors coming in separate sections. This is what I’ve been used to do for these press rooms, but would get different experiences this year during the con. I had a lot of fun talking to everyone but talking to Debi was the highlight. I was amazed that neither Adam or David Gordon Green knew anything about the O.C. Cartoon, The Atomic County though. That was interesting to discover they made it without their knowledge or if maybe Adam forgot it? Who knows…

The press room ran long so I only ended up having time to make my way through the show discovering more of the floor to go to the HUSBANDS autograph signing with Sean Hemeon, Brad “Cheeks” Bell and Jane Espenson. Alessandra was supposed to be there too, but by the time I was there she was running late and wasn’t there by the time I was done. Before the show I tweeted to Brad that I wanted to have a photo taken where Brad and Sean were giving me a double kiss on the cheek. They obliged me and even did it in character instead of their actual personalities, which is awesome! I actually showed HUSBANDS to my mom for the first time recently and she was laughing and wanted to know what channel it was on. So there we go, the show must go on TV!

From there it was back to a quick floor walk and desperately trying to reach my friend Alesha. She really wanted to meet Doc Hammer and being the kind of friend I am, I had to indulge her and I know Doc and Jackson would have no objection to meeting an absolutely amazingly gorgeous mentally, facially and physically woman like Alesha. After finally giving her instructions I got over to the press room and set up my camera as Doc and Jackson did a press room like they usually do press conferences on TV, the people sitting at a table in the front and pointing to journalists for their questions.

Alesha popped into the room looking like a goddess dressed up as Lana Kane from Archer and took a seat next to me. She even got to ask a couple questions and like I promised she got to some one and one with Jackson and Doc after wards. Even though I’ve known Chris McCulloch (Jackson Publick) for years I had never met Doc Hammer either so it was a pleasure.

Based on the time I decided I would just walk around with Alesha for awhile till my 6 PM session for Pizza Man press. We just explored the show and had a good time talking and walking. She got a ton of “Lana, Lana” “WHAT?” “Danger Zone” cat calls, a major change from last year when only one person recognized her. She still got one dude confusing her for Tomb Raider though. Only one though, she actually got like 20-30 cat calls as we walked around which was awesome.

I rushed over to my Pizza Man and this was run really differently than anything I’ve ever been to. It was a free for all and no one was moderating, so you grabbed who you could and when you exhausted what you could talk about or felt you had enough, you moved on to the next person. DDP ended up being super late, but I really did enjoy talking to Frankie Muniz and Corbin Bernsen before he showed up. Great interviews and soon on Youtube.

Once it was all done I had planned to go to the Pizza Man panel to see the full special trailer (luckily posted online), but with my mom in the hospital I rushed home to grab her a few things as she learned it would be a longer stay than ever hoped.

Despite this I had an excellent second day which I loved immensely.

Some early Cool Things Coming Up at the 2011 New York Comic Con

First of note is the nine course dinner at wd-50 with food writer and SVP of Creative at Marvel C.B. Cebulski and former Vertigo editor turned Marve Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. Oh and Joe Quesada will be there too. While I personally would rather spend $606 and have an even LARGER meal at wd-50 with some close friends, this event is the perfect opportunity for 10 folks who want to make their NYCC experience even more amazing. If I had $550, I’d probably go, but I don’t… so, there’s that!

Opening night for folks who can afford themselves 4 day tickets there will be a very special concert from DJ Z-Trip. Labeled as America’s favorite DJ these days and one of the original kings of mash-up, this could be an exciting addition to events. This one is free to 4 day ticket holders and while it may seem like there’s no pop-culture tie in, one would be wrong. On closer scrutiny one of the songs that first got Z-Trip noticed was his re-mix of the RUSH classic “Tom Sawyer” which got featured in the cult classic SMALL SOLDIERS starring  a teenage Kirsten Dunst, a teenage Greg Smith (famous now for the TV series Everwood and Rookie Blue and the film, Hobo With a Shotgun), some of the world’s greatest stand-ups (Dennis Leary, David Cross, Jay Mohr, Phil Hartman) and a who’s-who of classic Hollywood as the voices of the toys (including Ernest Borgnine and Frank Langella).   If you need some extra incentive to check the concert out, go to Z-Trip’s website where you can download almost all his albums for free.

Also notable is the Speed Dating event.  I really wanted to attend this at last year’s convention and scheduling of private press events, walking the floor and meeting certain folks preempted it.  This year I feel it is an experience I should have as both an attractive, eligible nerd bachelor and as a pop-culture journalist.

There are many comic book releases, debuts and toys at the show this year.  None of the panels have been announced other than the Jay & Silent Bob Get Old Live ticketed event.  As much as I enjoy them, I listen to Smodcast enough and have seen the Kevin live speaking DVDs, I don’t need to see them live, but it could be a great experience for someone else.

As time gets closer I’ll plan to try and break down the panels, IGN Theatre events, various booth happenings and possible exclusive press events I’ll be involved in.  I hope you  look forward to that.

A French Soiree in NYC

On June 9th, 2011 I went out to Random House’s first “Blogger’s Night Out”” event in celebration of the upcoming book FRENCH LESSON by Ellen Sussman.

While I sadly left my camera inside my bag, I hope my words can paint enough a wonderful picture.

First let me state that the Bertelsman Random House building is insane.  The lobby is book porn heaven!  This is what a true book enthusiast with money to burn would do with their mansion.   One could stare at the set-up and the limited editions and everything forever, even with it under glass, lock and key.

The event was held in one of the conference rooms which are also covered in amazing book shelves displaying every kind of book Random House has published since 1925.

There was a wonderful spread with cheeses of all kind, plenty of wine, grapes, blackberries, strawberries, all very french, very apropos for  la fete.  There were also pitchers of a delicious sweet drink with black berries that I think I might’ve had at least 5 cups of, it was that good.

To celebrate the France aspect of everything , there were tables promoting RH’s Living Language series as well as a Fodor’s table with both their France and Paris books on display and available.

Ellen did a wonderful presentation detailing the background of the book, where the research came from, where the roots of the plot came from and how she included much of her real life into a fictional narrative she felt carried the tale stronger and much more compellingly than her sweet and happy life.  She sold the book very well and I look forward to reading it.

Meeting all the various publicity and marketing folks at RH was fabulous and all the book bloggers and guests were equally exciting.  I had some really great conversations with everyone about everything one could think of.

A fantastic night with an awesome gift bag as well containing the audiobook of French Lessons, and other books and magazines pertaining to France capped the evening perfectly.