Posts Tagged ‘books’

Fotographical Friday: Previously Enjoyed.

January 19, 2018

I recently found my first Bo Nanas book, signed by me, in a used bookstore. It gave my fragile ego a bit of a tweak.

My travels – Part 4 – Book expo

July 7, 2009

Yet another in my series of late posts. This one is about Book Expo in NYC which was, indeed, over a month ago. Book Expo is where publishers come to hawk their new wares to bookstores, libraries, colleges, etc. And as swag goes, it’s pretty high on the list. It’s hard to turn a corner without someone putting a free book into your hands. (As a matter of fact, the Javits Center has a shipping department set up because it can become impossible to carry your booty home.) My wife’s advice is “You do not have to take every book that is offered to you.”

Did I mention that there’s also a lot of authors signing books? Here’s the ones I got:

Liberty Meadows 10th Anniversary Special Edition signed by Frank Cho

MOME (Vol 13) signed by Dash Shaw

Adventures in Cartooning signed by the authors and James Sturm’s daughter Eva, who has a drawing in it

Zig-zagging signed by Tom Wilson II (“Ziggy”)

Silent but Deadly signed by Mark Tatulli (“Lio”)

Flawed Dogs signed by Berkley Breathed (“Bloom County”)

Wizard of OZ comic signed by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young

X-men Forever signed by Chris Claremont

• and a Buffy comic signed by the author whose name escapes me (it was for my wife and is her pile of books and stuff.)

I (heart) NY

May 18, 2009

It’s true, I do (heart) NY…just not so much during a one-day whirlwind trip.

The up-and-back trip (total car hours: 1, total train hours: 7) was part of one of my many jobs as a freelancer – I’m the Humor Editor for Marian Heath Greeting Cards and I was going to the Stationery Show. This is a big trade show and it gives me the chance to see what’s going on in the industry, scope out talent and see my colleagues at MH, since they are based in Wareham, MA and I’m not.

I decided to do it all in one day because there’s too much going on…but my bad back wasn’t happy about it. I’ve been nursing it for a few weeks and then I pulled it in the car yesterday morning just turning my head to look at my blind spot. Sheesh.

Since I had a few hours tween the show’s end and my train back, I hightailed it to the Strand Bookstore. Words don’t do this place justice. Lots of books, all discounted. They’ve expanded their cartooning section since I was there last year. Could’ve brought home an armload but just got the latest Best American Comics (guest editor Lynda Barry) and another anthology edited by Ivan Brunetti. Good reading on the train ride back home.

Thursday is the new Sunday – Comedy team

March 12, 2009


I do love the back-in-forth banter of old time comedy teams.* I tried to do a similar thing with Bo and Mrs. Yannes in the Sunday strip that’s running on today. I like the set-up, but the end gag is pretty obvious.

The above drop panel is a standard “tail peek” with a really large book … or a really small Bo … or a somewhat enlarged book and a somewhat en-smalled Bo.

* In real life, the only universally accepted comeback to confusing conversation is of course “Third base.”

The weather outside was frightful…

December 8, 2008

…but a good time was still had at the CD/book signing on Friday night. (And the weather wasn’t that frightful. It’s December. It’s the Northeast. Gotta deal with it.)

It was quite the week of shameless promotion what with papering our small town with posters, appearing in our local newspaper (my wife was in the newspaper twice on the same day – talk about shameless), culminating in an (yawn) early Friday morning appearance on our AM radio station. Then we got our blood drawn.

(What does that have to do with the signing? Nothing. But you’ve got to admit, the word “blood” sure made this boring recap seem more exciting for just a moment.)

Then came the moving of the books from home to Gallery 30, which in our paperless society, you would think should weight a little bit less.

There are two kinds of people I expected to come to the signing – people I know and people I don’t know, but all from our burg. What I didn’t expect was people I don’t know coming from a distance greater than one you’d walk on a December night in the Northeast…because, well, I’m just not that well-known. Yet Tim, who used to read Bo Nanas when it ran Sundays-only in the Washington Post, drove an hour to have me sign books for him. I was so thrilled that I had to give him one of the limited edition Bo Nanas buttons as a prize (which are limited because I didn’t get very many made).

Why not stop by…

November 30, 2008

…if you just happen to be in Gettysburg, PA this Friday night.


(You can check out my wife’s CD, “Piano Recital,” at Amazon, CD Baby and iTunes.)

Back of the book

November 5, 2008

A reader wrote me after he got his copy of the new book “APPEELING” and mentioned that he really like the second quote on the back cover. Here are both of the quotes:

“Bo Nanas has a unique perspective on human society, a view that offers ample opportunity for warped commentary of the satirical kind.”
– R.C. HARVEY, noted comics historian and critic

“My Uncle John draws pictures and then you laugh.”
– BRITTNEY, niece

Obviously I paired them up for maximum comedic output.

The first one is from a review Bob Harvey did of my first book “Monkey Meets World” for The Comics Buyer’s Guide.

The second quote is not a review of either book; it’s how my niece described me to a teacher, probably in Kindergarten.

Brittney’s was such a great quote that I’ve always remembered it and I’m thrilled that I finally got a chance to use it.

(By the way, she’s 19 years-old now.)

(BTW#2, I also used her name for the character of the pint-sized con man Brittney of the Squirrel Scouts.)

(BTW#3, she is also nothing like the pint-sized con man Brittney of the Squirrel Scouts…except for the blond part…and at one time, when she was younger, she was indeed “pint-sized.”)

SPX memories

October 7, 2008

Or more aptly titled, “SPX – what I can remember.”

With my half-o-table mate John Martz somewhere in the skies tween our country and his (you may not know this to look at him, but he’s Canadian), it’s time to do a rehash of the weekend. (Johnny will probably be doing the same on his site and – since he’s younger and more nimble of mind – doing a better job of recalling it.)

John Martz and another guy also with the name John

John Martz and another guy also with the name John

Saturday morning was a lot of getting-up-at-6:30, packing-the-car, breakfasting-on-Cliff-Bars-and-coffee-laced-with-zombified-dairy-product and driving-to-Bethesda. At the hotel, our box hauling was made almost completely painless by my wife’s red New York-style shopping/laundry cart. (It’s really the kind of thing you never see outside of NYC – and it hadn’t been used since her move from wilds of Brooklyn.) We split our half-o-table into a quarter-o-table each and squeezed our merch into 1.5 feet. I had brought my now out-of-print Bo Nanas comic strip collection “Monkey Meets World,” my “Jack N. Box” comic and a couple of mini comics – one Bo; the other Great Scott. (Unfortunately, my new Bo collection was – and still is – in shipping limbo.) Johnny brought some prints, original art and his fantastic books including his new one, a collection of warm-up drawings.

As with any event like this where you sit a lot and occasionally sell an item, there’s a lot of nothing punctuated by brief moments of something. Thus the narrative structure of this post will now deteriorate into random bullet points.

• To pass the time Johnny and I count what people are wearing. We pick specific items of clothing. I get non-baseball-cap hats. He gets mass-market-pop-culture t-shirts. Hats wins by a long shot.

• A person squats at an empty table and sells out all of their mini comics, making more money in an hour than I do all day.

• Johnny and I compare sketchbooks. His is filled with great drawings, most that could be collected in book form (and have – see above.) Mine is filled with hearts, rainbows and unicorns. (Not really, but mine is pretty unimpressive.)

• After the Ignatz Awards, we’re just too tired from a long day so we wuss out, go up to the hotel room and fall asleep watching a Mythbusters marathon. (Did they get the lead balloon to fly? Somebody please tell me!)

• Sunday morning the hostess at the Silver Diner seats us then immediately asks us to guess where she was last night. Before we can mutter “Uh…” she tells us that Saturday night was homecoming and that she got stuck in an elevator for 2 1/2 hours with nine other students (and an old lady) and that she had spent an hour and $40 on her hair and when they got finally got out it was this big…(holds hands up on either side of her head like she’s showing how large the fish was that got away.)

• I was told that my sales would be better but I’m “not enough of a cute girl.” (A point I could not argue.)

• The personification of commitment is a guy with an entire comic book page permanently displayed on his body as a tattooed sleeve.

• Another guy walked around in a yellow super hero suit of his own design. He strolled by a number of times so he seemed to be promoting something, but since SPX has very little in the way of super hero material (bordering on none), I’m not sure what he could have been promoting. (The first time he went by he had a trench coat over his get-up, which I thought was a subtle statement about the role of identity in our society. Or the lack of coat racks.)

All in all, it was a fun time. Good energy, got to meet some nice people, sell some stuff. Sign me up for a 2009 1/4 table.

Tune in tomorrow for the jam Johnny and I did after getting home on Sunday.

The 50 Things That Every Comics Collection Truly Needs

October 3, 2008

So here I am, wasting time while waiting for my half-o-table mate John Martz to arrive for our fun-filled SPX weekend. I decided to take a hint from Johnny’s site and do the home version of Tom Spurgeon’s The 50 Things That Every Comics Collection Truly Needs (from his great Comics Reporter site.) Here’s the list. What I have is in bold…or bold italics if I’m not sure.

1. Something From The ACME Novelty Library
Yes, but I might only have one now that I look. (Not starting off too well, am I.)

2. A Complete Run Of Arcade

3. Any Number Of Mini-Comics
Yes, a few. (OK, still a poor batting average so far.)

4. At Least One Pogo Book From The 1950s
Now we’re cooking. I’ve got about a dozen including a Pogo songbook I bought on my honeymoon.

5. A Barnaby Collection
Two hardcovers, three digests and a more recent paperback.

6. Binky Brown and the Holy Virgin Mary

7. As Many Issues of RAW as You Can Place Your Hands On
Er, I have one, which is probably not as many as I could get my hands on.

8. A Little Stack of Archie Comics

9. A Suite of Modern Literary Graphic Novels
Yep, got a bunch. (Not sure about the “bunch/suite” exchange rate…)

10. Several Tintin Albums
Also yep.

11. A Smattering Of Treasury Editions Or Similarly Oversized Books
Most of mine are comic strip collections – Little Nemo, Polly and Her Pals, etc. (Always a challenge to fit on a regulation bookshelf.)

12. Several Significant Runs of Alternative Comic Book Series
Some, but not sure if you’d call it significant.

13. A Few Early Comic Strip Collections To Your Taste
Way too many. (And by “too many” I mean “not nearly enough.”)

14. Several “Indy Comics” From Their Heyday
American Flagg in original form. Do Cerebus collections count?

15. At Least One Comic Book From When You First Started Reading Comic Books
Still got all my Marvels from the 70s

16. At Least One Comic That Failed to Finish The Way It Planned To

17. Some Osamu Tezuka

18. The Entire Run Of At Least One Manga Series

19. One Or Two 1970s Doonesbury Collections
Got a good load of these.

20. At Least One Saul Steinberg Hardcover

21. One Run of A Comic Strip That You Yourself Have Clipped
Not sure I have these anymore. Do have Conchy that someone else clipped. Partial credit?

22. A Selection of Comics That Interest You That You Can’t Explain To Anyone Else

23. At Least One Woodcut Novel
Reprint only.

24. As Much Peanuts As You Can Stand
I have over 100. I can stand more.

25. Maus
Yes, both.

26. A Significant Sample of R. Crumb’s Sketchbooks
A couple Crumbs but no sketchbooks

27. The original edition of Sick, Sick, Sick.

28. The Smithsonian Collection Of Newspaper Comics

29. Several copies of MAD
The mailman brings it hot-n-fresh every month. (Sometimes I’m even in it.) And I have all my MADs from the 70s.

30. A stack of Jack Kirby 1970s Comic Books
One or two.

31. More than a few Stan Lee/Jack Kirby 1960s Marvel Comic Books
Once again, one or two.

32. A You’re-Too-High-To-Tell Amount of Underground Comix

33. Some Calvin and Hobbes

34. Some Love and Rockets

35. The Marvel Benefit Issue Of Coober Skeber

36. A Few Comics Not In Your Native Tongue
I always ask people to grab me something – anything – when they’re traveling (as I do myself.) From Argentinian sci-fi that mirrors the country’s history to hysterically gross Dutch comics, I’m there.

37. A Nice Stack of Jack Chick Comics

38. A Stack of Comics You Can Hand To Anybody’s Kid

39. At Least A Few Alan Moore Comics

40. A Comic You Made Yourself

41. A Few Comics About Comics
Yep. I love this kinda thing.

42. A Run Of Yummy Fur

43. Some Frank Miller Comics

44. Several Lee/Ditko/Romita Amazing Spider-Man Comic Books

45. A Few Great Comics Short Stories

46. A Tijuana Bible

47. Some Weirdo

48. An Array Of Comics In Various Non-Superhero Genres
This defines most of my books.

49. An Editorial Cartoonist’s Collection or Two
Quite a few. Tom Toles stuff always reads well even years later.

50. A Few Collections From New Yorker Cartoonists
A solid amount – probably an entire shelf.