Friday, November 9th, 2012

Oh, Well

I won't be going to the BCGF tomorrow after all. The gas situation is still messy, I'm not feeling very well (dizzy spells? What?) and a tree fell on our house the night of the snow storm. Everyone's okay, not a huge tree, but a big scare and something else to deal with now. The mass transit option isn't very attractive for an event I don't actually have to be at. I spoke with Alex at the CBLDF and we'll try to set a signing up for another time.

I really wanted to go and will miss being able to see some folks. Life could be worse.

Hope everyone at the event has a great time and no hassles getting there and back again.
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Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Quick BCGF Update

The BCGF is this Saturday, and if all goes according to plan I'll be there, signing at the CBLDF table. Staten Island is still in a bad way, so the gas situation might affect my being able to make it. Gas is supposed to become easier to get by the weekend, but for the time being it's still semi-Mad Max out here. If Staten Island had better mass transit to Brooklyn I'd go that route, but they don't, so I won't. I'll keep all three of you who might give a toss an update by Friday.
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Sunday, December 5th, 2010

Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival Rundown/Rambling

I had a terrific time at the BCGF yesterday, the show had a great vibe, a lot of energy, a lot of folks walking in, some off the street unaware the event was taking place until they walked past it. This included a few local cartoonists and comics fans.  I ended up bunking with Jim Rugg and his friend Jason Lex for much of the show, which turned out to be fortunate as I sold enough books and crafts to cover Crushy's follow-up vet visit, more or less. So, thanks to Jim for sharing some table space. And it was great talking comics and movies and art and girls and high school and conventions and industry dirt and doings with Jim and Jason after the event at a local pizza joint. We were still at it on a windy corner for fifteen freezing minutes before we headed off.

Speaking of speaking about comics, Irwin Hasen was unable to attend as expected, so Paul Pope, Dan Nadel and I just talked old cartoonists for a while. Paul was pretty sick with a cold, Dan's polite, so I did my talking bit for a reason, for a change. I enjoyed it and while the audience was stone still silent for stretches of time, they seemed to wake up here and there and enjoy parts of the discussion. Even when invited to chime in the folks mostly clammed up. I had fun, hey, looking at Roy Crane and Toth slides and whatnot and shooting the shit, I can talk comics until the comics industry comes down around my ears. And then keep talking.

I met (surprise-presence at the show) Matt Groening for the second time, albeit this time around it was less embarrassing and pleasant, as I didn't stammer and yammer nervously in front of him as I did many SDCC's ago.  I mostly listened to him and Dan Nadel speak, when introduced by Dan I mentioned I was doing stuff for Bongo and he thanked me and I thanked him for their generous page rates and then I listened to him tell Dan about his hotel woes and schedule. He's right regular for an icon and super-successful entertainment industry person, at least that's the quick impression.

While I was doing the panel Groening had walked past Jason and Jim's set-up and had seen the Treehouse of Horror copies I had on display -- he signed them and they all sold while Jason and Amber Delaney (who is a member of the Comic geek Speak podcast and was super-helpful and great to talk to) were sweet enough to cover my sales while I was away from the table. And I have one Groening-signed copy for my own, duh-haw, huh huh. We all agreed I did better at the table when I was away which I guess speaks towards their sparkling personalities and my, uh, well, personality. Seriously, though, I wasn't a jerk at all, yesterday. Unless anyone thinks otherwise. I even smiled a bunch of times, as Calvin Reid duly recorded for the Publisher's Weekly twitter feed. I wasn't able to display any art either at Jim's table or the Picturebox table while signing there, so staying up until 3 a.m. prepping the portfolios was...well, not a great use of time, in hindsight, and a sleep-killer. But I did need to organize the art for updating the website and listing some things on eBay, so, hey, it got done. I sold a lot of copies of Beasts of Burden and the Hellboy crossover, surprising as I was really the only straightforward genre guy at the festival (as far as the guest list went, but overall as well) besides Pope, and he straddles the art/genre fence in a manner I don't. So, yeah, I felt a little weird, especially signing next to Sammy Harkham and plopping down my stuff in-between a horde of honest-to-gosh art comics and books. But hey, I signed a lot of stuff, more than at the NYCC by far. Even signed a hardcover of Animal Rites or two, some Bill and Ted's trades, a few copies of World's Funnest and several copies of the Wednesday Comics HC. One never knows. I was busy all day, laughed a lot, did a small number of sketches (including a color-penciled version of Japanese icon Booska, which I quite liked) had a swell time and only felt nervous or out of place or intimidated a few times. Maybe when I'm 50 I'll get some worry-free sleep before a show, it gets better as I get older.

Got to walk and talk with the super-cool Mad-man Ryan Flanders, spoke very briefly to Charles Burns, wanted to talk to Doug Allen but wasn't sure which fella behind the table was Allen and which was Gary Lieb and got anxious about looking stupid and never walked up and committed after floating by three times. Never got to meet Lynda Barry. Was late to the party once again and got to Kate Beaton's table too late to buy a copy of her book. Saw Kim Deitch but never got to say hello, Ditto Nick Bertozzi. Caught up with Mr. Stephen Charles Manale who was doing terrific $2 caricatures to attendees while selling prints and not nearly enough books (shame on you folks). OMG Lauren Weinstein and Tim Hodler's daughter is adorable. Waved hello to Matt Madden in passing. Caught up with Dustin Harbin and bought his diary comics, he gave me an original strip-- ye gods does he work super-small and Hunt 102-tight on those babies. Amazing (shame on folks for not gobbling up these beauties at only $10 a pop!). Always good to see Bob Schreck and Randy there, nice surprise to see them. Good to briefly see Scott Eder and the artwork he had on display, always a draw-dropping array of stuff that makes me wish I had a trust fund for original art. Talked briefly to Sammy Harkham about Kramer's #7, listened as he discussed the next Kramer's with a few readers. Saw a lot of fabulous work (which I wasn't in a position to buy, unfortunately), and felt that the idea of a curated show definitely has advantages in certain respects to an open-invite show like MOCCA. Not a shot across the bow comment or a slag, mind you, the phrase "certain respects" was carefully chosen. Each approach has advantages and disadvantages, but speaking to the content and timbre of the work on exhibition, a curated event will always have a stronger thrust, even if you don't cotton to the choices. I did. I thought the material and artwork on display was invigorating and I wish I could have sampled something from just about every table. Really wanted to pick up the Gluyas Williams and Percy Crosby book/portfolios at the Rosedbud Archives table, who also had information on a planned Percy Crosby Skippy project.  And a host of books and minis from folks I'd not heard of looked inviting. But the dough was earmarked for Crushy, two slices of pizza and a beer, and the all-mighty gas and toll fund. Did you know the Verazzano Bridge is now $11? What a world, the Bloomberg NYC Mall. One nice plus -- free parking on the street. Sweet. They'll meter those curbsides soon, I'm sure.

And I'm certainly forgetting some folks I spoke to, met, or annoyed, and for that I apologize.

Nuts and bolts stuff: Liked the venue well enough, clean, semi-charming, the lights in the gymnasium were old-school yellow-creepy-dim, but it wasn't too cold or too hot and the crowds only became stifling a few times as folks flowed through pretty well and the panels were held downstairs. Only real complaint was the discussions were on the other side of a large space downstairs where the Asian-Style Hot Dog concession was set up, the chatter from folks eating and talking and ordering and milling about  made it tough to be heard during the panel despite the use of microphones. Since the event was free, the tardy and the curious were still waltzing in as late as 8:30, taking programs and bags and hitting the tables. Did I mention I parked for free? Always cool. 

So, yeah, good time. Wish I had enough energy to have attended the after-party, my neck and back were killing me by 7 pm, and my eyes were giving me problems, I was tired. But happy. Even sleeping badly and having to slap on the neck-brace in the wee hours of the night didn't dampen the good feeling. Still feel like crap, but them's the breaks.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hi and get something signed, pick something up, wish Crushy well, give Sarah and Emily their best, say nice things about Beasts of Burden, etc.  All appreciated.

Now back to work, cleaning up, catching up, and as much Alleve and Pepsi Throwback as I can stand.
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Friday, November 19th, 2010

Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival

The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival is being held on December 4th in Brooklyn (duh), NY, former home of the Dodgers and Evan Dorkin. Speaking of Evan Dorkin (hey, that's me!),  he and I will be a real, actual guest at the Festival, for reasons only Dan Nadel knows. Personally, I have a feeling I've only been invited to the shindig to carry Irwin Hasen's luggage and run for sandwiches.

Otherwise, the guest list is all killer, with no filler: Lynda Barry, Charles Burns, Bill Griffith, Kate Beaton, Jillian Tamaki, Renee French, Adrian Tomine, Sammy Harkham, Gabrielle Bell, Paul Pope, Brian Chippendale, Irwin Hasen, Mark Alan Stamaty, Jordan Crane, Anders Nilsen, Leanne Shapton and Johnny Ryan.

Exhibitors include folks like Jim Rugg, Doug Allen, Mark Newgarden, Julia Wertz, Jason Little and Gary Leib. Publishers like D&Q, Adhouse and Sparkplug are setting up. I'm sure lots of other nifty creators and creative types will be there as well.

Speaking of Hasen, I'm on a panel dedicated to the veteran cartoonist of Golden Age and Dondi fame, along with Paul Pope and Nadel. I think we're supposed to nudge Hasen and keep him talking, although that's probably not going to be a problem. Hopefully some folks will come to listen to the guy discuss a life -- an actual, real, long life -- in comics. Hopefully they won't make me clean up after him. He talks while he eats, I hear.

The full list of panels and conversations can be found here .

Satellite events taking place during the weekend of the show can be found here.

The whole damned shebang happens here:

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church
275 North 8th Street
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

Cost: FREE to the public.

I have to say, other than the panel, I have no idea what I'll be doing during the festival. I don't think I'm supposed to set up anywhere and do sketches or sign stuff other than for a short , dedicated "guesty" signing time. I think. I'd be perfectly willing to sit at a table all day doodling and signing anything, but I'm a guest, and I don't know what that means or how that works, I'll ask and get back to you. I'm trying not to worry about it too much, because based on most recent events I've attended, I won't be very busy if I sign. I don't make the kinds of comics most folks at this show create, I don't make "graphics", I know I'm going to feel odd man out. But it's a short drive and I like Dan and I'm chuffed at being asked to participate and help clean up afterward and I'm trying to get over my anxiety issues so I figured why not go and see some neat stuff and a few people I know and maybe talk comics with folks. Right? Right. My lack of art credentials don't mean Jock Mahoney here because I'm a guest. Gonna stay positive here. Yeah. Even if I do have to get the sandwiches and a Dr. Brown's Cream Soda for the Dondi guy.

Deep breath. Deep breath.

Anyway, so you're going, right? You should go. Just go. Bring something for me to sign so I look popular. The Hellboy crossover, the Animal Rites book, the Simpsons Treehouse issue (not the one with the formalism, the one with the Jack Kirby and blood spatter gags), the Liberty Comics thing nobody talked about, some of my older, funnier work you liked back in college or junior high, whatever. All I'm saying is don't leave me high and dry in my own home town, okay? Don't make me drive home crying like the kid at the end of The Last American Virgin. I'm having enough trouble already with this whole comics thing, so step lightly, okay? Don't Break The Ice, fer chrissakes.  

Did I mention it's free? 
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