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Showing posts from June, 2008

It can't rain all the time...

As a comics collector when storing books in my basement I did everything I could to make sure that boxes were not left on the floor as flooding is a book lovers’ worst enemy. I bought a plastic shelving system, made sure everything was up off the floor and in boxes, and I thought all was safe.

Then a pipe burst in the basement ceiling, and water dripped down onto my comics. Ugh.

Ok, in all honesty my boxes acted heroically, taking the brunt of the damage and saving most of my comics. I had many boxes downstairs from years of books accrued while working as a book club editor, visiting the weekly comic shop, and from random purchases. Compared to the amount of books in my collection the damage wasn’t that bad. I lost about 60 books, most of them manga samples given to me while researching that area of the comics world.
Well, aside from needing new storage boxes, containers, or maybe a carbon freezing chamber, it’ll be alright. Life goes on. Another crisis averted.

And this situation forced…

Attended THE SPIES OF WARSAW reading

On Tuesday night, June the 24th, at the Barnes & Noble on 66th, I attended a reading by Alan Furst, the writer some of the best espionage novels of modern times. I recently had the opportunity to read his newest book, The Spies of Warsaw, as part of a freelance evaluation. I’d been aware of his novels as a former book club editor, but this newest one was actually the first that I read.

All of Alan Furst's novels take place on the eve of World War II, that dangerous time as plans were hatched and mistrust was everywhere, especially in Europe. The author spoke about being obsessed with that time period and mentioned how his fascination only grows with age. When asked if he'd consider writing about another moment in time he simply said he wasn't interested.

He read a few pages from the new novel, from the opening chapter, and they poetically rolled off his tongue. It had been a while since I've been to a reading, and I always like listening to authors read from their ow…

Review of Lobster Johnson: The Iron Prometheus

I just finished reading, LOBSTER JOHNSON: The Iron Prometheus , the trade paperback that I picked up last week at the comic shop. Ever since my best buddy Joe G. got me hooked on Hellboy many years ago, I've come back for more. In the last few years I've devowered every B.P.R.D. (that's the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense) story, which are all set in the samer errie world as Hellboy and I've waited patiently for the return of my favorite pulp character - Lobster Johnson. [Yes, that is my Lobster Johnson heroclix in the photo].

In Iron Prometheus, we follow Lobster on the trail of evildoers in 1937 New York and New Jersey. There are mad scientists, the beginnings of the Nazi regime, and a powerful metallic suit energized by a mysterious force. Only Lobster Johnson and his team can help an average Joe find the girl and evade the darkest evil. I think that the Hellboy series spin-offs like B.P.R.D. and this book focusing on Lobster Johnson are some of the best k…

my favorite bar in NYC...Old Town

Without the sign, quite frankly, I was lost.[It was recently replaced after having been taken down for a while for repair].

There is nothing better on a summer Friday afternoon (in my mind anyway) than meeting a friend for a pint and some lunch at one of my favorite places in Manhattan - Old Town Bar. Now I know this place has been reviewed endlessly over the years and is a mainstay of various walkes of life, and that is what makes it such a great place. With a rich literary tradition and serving food and beverages for well over 100 years it continues to be a regular stop for me (thanks to Joe P. for introducing me to this joint!).
The location is perfect, just north of Union Square, and the staff is always friendly and polite. I've spent many hours enjoying a great lunch or laughing with friends over a few happy hour rounds. I also know it's a favorite locale for many publishing folk, like some of my good friends at St. Martin's in the nearby Flatiron building. It was also …

One of these days, I need to get organizized.

As I look ahead at what to read next, and as I read various things for freelance; one of the things we like to do here at bookrastination (and by "we" I of course mean "me") is procrastinate. And my favorite way to do this, aside from activating my Xbox 360 is to organize my library online using See the sidebar for a random peek into my collection.

I fell in love with this site immediately, as it is so easy to enter, categorize,and 'tag' your books. The site is free to enter up to 200 books after creating a basisc sign-in ID, and either $10 a year or $25 lifetime membership for anything over that (which I happily sent right over).

Of course one of the things that came with being a book club editor for ten years as well as a lifetime pack rat is A LOT of books. Needless to say the organizing project continues...and will do so for some time. But check it out when you have a minute, you might get as hooked as I did.

Just finished Fables, Vol. 10 [no spoilers]

Last night I finished volume 10 of FABLES. If you're not one of the lucky people already reading this amazing DC Comics / Vertigo title, you should find your closest book or comic store and pick up volumes one and two - at least - needless to say, you'll be hooked.How do I talk about this series without giving anything away? Let's see...I don't want to spoil it for anyone except to say that ten volumes in and I am still surprised at every turn. It is such an imaginative series filled with characters from all ends of folklore, fable and fairy tale..there is something in it for everyone.
It kills me that I was at San Diego Comic Con last year in a hotel room party hosted by none other than Bill Willingham himself and at that point I had just started reading the series. If I had only listened to my friend Cara (a former DC employee who first recommended the series to me) and started reading it earlier then maybe I could have picked Bill's brain or the brain of Mark Buc…

My review of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

While attending BEA (Book Expo America) in L.A. earlier this month, I picked up an ‘advance reader’s edition’ in the HarperCollins booth of Neil Gaiman's newest novel, The Graveyard Book, and I really enjoyed it. It was impossible not to care about the plight of little Nobody ‘Bod’ Owens. His story is filled with sadness, adventure, and a host of the most interesting ghostly caretakers - the inhabitants of the Graveyard who raise him. Learning the tricks of the Graveyard, Bod must survive caught between the worlds of the living and the dead.
Reminiscent of The Nightmare Before Christmas in its ghoulish charm, I think The Graveyard Book will delight readers of any age (and most-certainly fans of Coraline). The September release date makes this a perfect pre-Halloween reading gift for the Gaiman fan in your life. Or, consider it a wonderful little book as a gift to turn someone onto Gaiman.

The only thing missing from the advance reader’s edition were the planned illustrations done by…

My day in Sunnyside

I spent my day in Sunnyside, Queens today, freelancing for a literary agent that I've befriended recently. It was a beautiful day and an educational one spent on a couch reviewing manuscripts and not in front of a computer screen (which was a treat actually).
The battle continues.
Tomorrow: my review of Neil Gaiman's latest novel...

Day One

And so it begins. It is a beautiful day and I was inspired to finally start blogging today. Maybe it was the film I saw last (Dreams with Sharp Teeth), maybe it is the fact that I'm a slacker and have been talking about getting down some thoughts online about my life in publishing. Maybe, just maybe, it's the dead poet in me reawakened and wanting to contribute a verse...
Let me just point out to any prospective reader, that I am not at all technical and this blog will not be perfect, in fact, it'll be far from it. But I learn as I go, and have many friends who will help, so I am optimistic.