12.22.2009

Where did the film THE BOOK OF ELI come from?

I'll be honest. I was watching football on Sunday, and out of nowhere I see the trailer for a new post-apocalyptic film with a lone warrior walking down a desolate road. Sword slung over one shoulder, shotgun over the other, and that beat up trench coat the superhero cape of the post-apoc warrior.

I likey.
Then I saw it starred Denzel. What? Awesome.
Then I saw that Gary Oldman was in it. Excuse me? Even more awesome. Mila Kunis is in the film as well.

But being the bookish fellow that I am, whenever I see an interesting movie trailer and I can't identify the source of the work, I get curious because, could something that doesn't look half-bad actually be conceived in a Hollywood studio boardroom?

So I did some research. The film is helmed by the directing duo -- and identical twins -- Hughes brothers, whose last film was 2001's From Hell. Interesting. They are also known from their debut hit, Menace II Society.

The screenplay, originally written by Gary Whitta, was rewritten by Anthony Peckham in 2008, and they began filming in New Mexico in 2009. The work does not look to be based on any existing book or comic book.

The basic plot is that Denzel's character wanders across a wasted landscape, protecting a mythical book that could mean the redemption of all mankind. I don't know more than that, and I don't think I want to.

Sure, this will be hard to get to see in the theater with a new baby at home ("go to the movies while you still can" was the second most recommended thing after "get some sleep" from everyone), but I very much want to see this as I'm a big fan of the post-apoc genre of books, comics, and films ever since seeing the Mad Max films in my youth.

It'll be interesting to see if a comic book publisher inks a deal to bring Book of Eli comics soon. This is probably already a done deal or in the works.

It's a long road...

[addition: very cool trailer I just found, here]

12.17.2009

New Edition: James George Franco arrives just in time for the holidays.



Hi Friends,

I wanted to report the birth of my wonderful son, James George, whom arrived on 12/11/09 at 1:44 a.m. weighing in at 7 lb. 2 oz.

Things are going well, I'm out of the office for a few weeks, then back some time after Christmas.

Too tired to go into lengthy posting right now, but I'll be back at some point. The little guy is doing well and so is his mommy.

One neat surprise was this wonderful Maurice Sendak theme at Columbia Presbyterian hospital. I snapped this one pic, but they had many wonderful images in the main lobby and I just loved it -- saw it as a great sign that books will be a big part of James' life.




Back to my duties. And yes, I mean that quite literally. I'll write again when I can.
Keep reading~

12.07.2009

Check out the LEGO mashup.

In continual support of the amazing LEGO Star Wars: Visual Companion, they'd just added more LEGO fun on the site with this new mashup game. Check it out here. Now have some fun.

In other news, I saw THE ROAD at the Sunshine Theater last week and it was simply amazing. The film captured the desperate tone of the book precisely, with each moment of anxiety on the long road traveled brought to clarity on screen. It is a world of grayness, a harsh world, but one realized in this film. Bravo.

Very busy with new job and pending arrival of our baby boy. I will do my best to keep the few and faithful readers of Bookrastination informed. Forgive any prolonged absence, for I realize I am already a slacker. This site should be called Slackrastination. Ha.

11.25.2009

SFWA Annual NY Reception 2009

Attended the SFWA event on Monday night, the annual NY gathering of SF-ish folks at a new location, Planet Hollywood in Times Square, although I loved the Society of Illustrators location on East 63rd street, where it had been for several previous years.

Returning to 1540 Broadway was a bit nostalgic for me, having started there as an Editorial Assistant for the Mystery Guild back in 1997 on a rainy day in May, and eventually working my way to become one of the Editors of the Science Fiction Book Club. In fact, several SFBC editor alumni were in attendance as well [Ellen, Moshe, and Andy].

I had a good time, enjoying the flowing red wine and conversing with old friends as well as make a few new ones, like Lauren P. from Orbit Books, whom I chatted with for a while about book design, SI, and comics, of course. The locale worked out fine, albeit with the backdrop of tourists dining below us, amid dated Hollywood memorabilia, little of which I'm sure is authentic anymore.

The good folks at SFScope posted some photos here. I appear in the upper right hand corner of the 12th photo, in full beard. And with that, I bid you Happy Thanksgiving.

11.18.2009

The New York Times asks what is the future of e-reading...

In my new guise, I've been pondering the very same question that the Times reported on in their Technology section yesterday: here. What is the future of e-reading?

This question seems to be on everyone's mind working with ebooks of one kind or another. And I'm sure we'll soon see a convergence, as I discussed with a publishing contact of mine over lunch yesterday on 24th street.

Sure, a bookish fellow like myself will continue to buy actual books--and of course comic books. But I plan to walk in both worlds, reading digitally as well as carrying around printed  books as well.

I want to embrace the technology that will continue to usher us into a new era. And at the same time, keep an eye on the very objects that have been such a large part of my life--and which also take up a large amount of the space within my home.

The story continues...

11.11.2009

A conversation about tie-in fiction

The Angry Robot blog just posted a link to a conversation between Mark Charan Newton and Dan Abnett, which took place on Jeff Vandermeer's blog. The topic of conversation is the tie-in novel. It is a fascinating read if you're at all interested in this part of sf/f related books.
 
I'm one of those people interested in such things.

Not only because for many years I was responsible for acquiring tie-in books while an editor for the SFBC, and had the pleasure of finding many great reads over the years, which serviced many a fan base of the respective tie-in properties. But also because I'll soon be involved with developing tie-in fiction, which I'm psyched about.

Unfortunately there is a stigma associated with this type of writing. Some of it rings true of course, as with any work-for-hire work can be "hacked out" by a writer looking for little more than a pay check. But I feel that can be true of any segment of publishing whether it be other categories of fiction, or writing in general. My experience has been that certain authors take this work very seriously and fans of the tie-in property can spot a writer not giving his all.

Dan Abnett, having made his bones writing both comics and fiction on both sides of the pond, makes an interesting point how writing as work-for-hire for big comics companies is something everyone aspires to, and how this is the complete opposite with most tie-in novel work. There is a long history of it being looked down on. And that is sad, because if you're a fan of, say, Star Wars, there are so many more adventures waiting for you in the pages of the tie-ins.

I really enjoyed the post, and comments section, and I'm glad to see people in the field discussing this important part of SF-related writing.

I'll end with one of my favorite tie-in novels, in this case a comics tie-in by the man who wrote the original story in the comics, the legendary, Marv Wolfman. I read and bought for SFBC the Crisis on Infinite Earths novel tie-in published by ibooks, and found it to be amazing.

As a fan, it was incredible to see the story through the Flash's perspective, and the detail really added to the legacy of that infamous DC storyline. I'm sure several fans may have missed this book simply because it was a novel tie-in, but I thought it was brilliant.

As a publishing professional who is about to step back into the ring with tie-in novels, and be involved in their development, there is no greater conversation for me to see taking place right now.

11.05.2009

Stephen King Library 2010 Desk Calendars are in. Thanks are in order.

As a freelance editor over the past few years, I've worked on a wide variety of projects. Some fun, some tedious, others quite somewhere in between. But such is the life of a freelancer, you make due, seek and accept jobs where you can find them, and learn to be Charlie Hustle.


At one point late last year I was asked to edit Book-of-the-Month Club's--exclusive to memebers--2010 Stephen King Library desk calendar. This sounded like, and turned out to be, one of the most enjoyable projects I been involved in to date.

The hardest part was following up the terrfic work of the ultra-talented Robin Furth, former King research assistant, writer of various books about King, as well as scribe of several of the new Marvel and Del Rey comic book adaptations/miniseries of King's work. In my humble opinion she is a marvel and I was quite intimidated to talk to her, but when we spoke she was very cool and totally supportive-and even willing to contribute an essay to my project. Fantastic, I thought, what a great way to start on this exciting project.

Then it was several months of planning, reading, researching, and writing essays, trivia, finding excerpts, etc. I'd like to personally thank my sister, Jill, for help. See, she's a life-long King fanatic and had a copy of almost every novel and short story collection out there. She was my own personal King library. And working with her on one essay was a real thrill. I showed up at her apartment one day and left with pretty much her entire collection in addition to the books I already had.

Brainstorming ideas was the most fun. I mean, this is the kind of thing every bookish person dreams about. Take a favorite author, write about the little bits of this and that, the juicy details, the odd connections. Find fanatical people to contribute and pull it all together.

I also have to thank my personal "editorial assistant-at-large" and that would be my lovely wife, Fotini. She is also a contributor, with her own personal story about traveling to Greece as a teen and dearly grasping onto those King paperbacks to get her through long boat rides and flights. King was her personal salvation and she is also responsible for many essay ideas and helped me develop them into the readable bits within. For this, I am eternally grateful.

The other great part of editing this project was that I got to commission authors and King fanactics to write articles. This was great as there were already so many great contributors, the project soon became a delicate balance of previous collaborators and new entries, each with a personal angle which added to the depth of the collection.

In addition to the wonderful essay by the aforementioned Robin Furth, there are also return contributions such as: Stephen Jewell, an Australian born, London-based writer; comic book illustrator Jae Lee; Bev Vincent, a contributor to Cemetery Dance magazine and Bram Stoker-nominated author of The Road to the Dark Tower; Brian Freeman, author of many terrific books; Dan Kimmel, a Boston-based film critic and writer; and Rocky Wood, celebrated Australian writer of non-fiction and member of the HWA (Horror Writers Association).

Also I was able to invite others to contribute, including edged-weapon master and fantasy author, Peter V. Brett, and Jeff Somers, veritable SF writer and the kind of guy who'd have your back in a saloon fight. Everyone had great personal stories how King's work touched them in some way [I realize that sounds naughtier than it should]. I'd also like to thanks all the other contributors: Matt B., Nancy, Tom, Matt D., Beth, Jenn Huff, and Gary - you're all aces.
Here is a sample of one of the wonderful layout pages by freelance designer, Shonna Dowers, who did a wonderful job on the entire project. It was a pleasure work with you.

Last but not least I'd like to thank Deborah Sinclaire, EIC of Book-of-the-Month Club, without whom this project would not have come to me. Deb is a former boss, turned trusted colleague and confidant, and her confidence in me is something I've always valued and appreciated. Thanks.

Little did I know when I was asked to contribute one small article for the 2008 calendar, while I was an editor for the Science Fiction Book Club, [where I wrote about seeing King at NY Comic Con that year], that this entire project would come to me just a short time later. But for me, it's been all about the journey.

10.28.2009

Lofty Aspirations

I'm excited to report that I've accepted a full-time position that starts next week. It is very exciting and I'll be working in an e-publishing capacity. I plan to report in when able, and talk about things I am able to discuss on this public forum.

I've certainly been tuned in to all the exciting developments in the e-book world and am glad to be taking an active leap into the future with this position. This will not change the fact that I am, and will always be, a print lover (or 'p-book' as one friend reported on her
blog).

I also plan to continue reviewing books here, as I certainly will have more time to read as I get back to a regular commuting schedule, maybe even with a bit more frequency. We'll have to see how it goes. Stay tuned.

10.21.2009

A Cozy NOOK and a trip to B&N


Yesterday's annoucement from B&N about their new e-reader THE NOOK adds another rapidly developing element to this digital reader arms race. At first glance at the site description, it looks pretty sweet, innovative, and user-friendly.

As I am uber-interested in the e-reader developments (as many of us publishing types are) for more reasons than I can list right now, it'll be interesting to see how this development plays into holiday book buying and gift giving. Eyes peeled for product reviews.

Speaking of B&N, last night I went by the Union Square store where Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl books, was there to talk about penning his Hitchhiker's Guide book: And Another Thing. He was quite charming and very funny as I imagined he'd be. He talked about the experience of reading the first Adams book in the 70s and how he embraced the new project as a tribute to the late author.

Overall, it was a good night, as I got the change afterwards to talk shop with my pal Pete at Old Town Bar, my favorite bar in the city. We talked about SF/F, job opportunities, working at home, and World Fantasy Con which I am sadly not attending this year.

Thanks for listening to another tale from the road of this journeyman. Now the My Chemical Romance is playing and I need to get back to work~

10.16.2009

Live Chat: R.A. Salvatore

Earlier this evening I was one of many fans who dropped by Suvudu.com to participate in an author chat with SF/F author R.A. Salvatore, hosted by the dynamo that is Shawn Speakman.

Bob (Mr Salvatore prefers 'Bob') was a gracious guest who joked around with fans and answered many questions about the Forgotten Realms books he's written, his own Demon Wars novels, his infamous Star Wars novel, as well as various other things dwarf-related and not. Also, just released was his newest Forgotten Realms novel: The Ghost King - which I must get already. (slacker!)

I've had the pleasure of meeting Bob several times over the years at several comic and book conventions and he is just the nicest guy. In full disclosure, I also sold many of his books while an editor for the Science Fiction Book Club, and it was my pleasure to do so as I've been a fan of his since high school (when I was reading his books instead of whatever I was supposed to be reading in school at the time).

I mentally planned a few Salvatore-related future posts, stories I'd like to share about my experiences reading his work, and getting to meet him in person for the first time, which I'm sure many fans will appreciate.

For now I'll leave you with a link to the author chat, courtesy of the good folks at Suvudu. Enjoy.

10.15.2009

Calling the SURFER..

If the person who commented for the giveaway, and calls themself "Surfer" please contact me via email so that I can get your email and address info for your prize pack [see post below for details]. I'd like to send your prize out but can't do so without contact info. Gracias!

10.13.2009

The LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary prize pack Winners are...

I wanted to thank everyone who took the time to comment on the LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary blog post and be part of this event even in this small way. It has been a fun discussion--and I really enjoyed everyone's stories, comments, and Star Wars love. And don't forget to pick up this book, it makes a great gift for the little (or big) Star Wars LEGO fan in your life.

To those of you who were unable to comment, maybe because at work they block your ability to do such things I only have to say--so sorry. Maybe next time you can figure something out and be part of the fun. For those that did comment, I really do appreciate it, and know how many sites, blogs, and other things are grasping for your attention.

Now, for those lucky few who took the time to leave me a comment, I have 8, count 'em *8* winners. Four of you have won one of the DK Publishing prize packs, and four of you have won my own personal personalized Bookrastination prize packs.


[The window display at Boomerang toy store in NYC, during the 10.10.09 launch event.]

If I list you as a winner, please email me with your (real) full name, street address, and email address so that I can have both DK and myself send out the prizes. You can email me at jayf44 [at] gmail [dot] com. I've written it this way to avoid spammers, I can also be reached through the "view my entire profile" link on the blog home page.

[Troopers & Fett keeping the sidewalk traffic moving, as a young Luke Skywalker checks out the book event table!]

Also, to draw out the suspense a bit more, if anyone is wondering how I picked the winners, I assigned everyone a number and rolled a good old 20-sided die and rolled away until the randomly assigned numbers came up. I worked my way down the list of prizes that way. It seemed appropriate for some reason. Maybe because I'm a little nerdy. And the winners are:

Grand prize winner of the DK MEGA PACK is: Marci
And the three winners of the DK MINI PACKS are: Mike, Surfer, and Kelly S.

Special (randomly assorted) Bookrastination prize packs will also be going to: John & Lisa HF., PunkyMonkey, Anne-Marie R., and PTUT.

[The view from inside the Boomerang toy store in Tribeca. Another excuse to show Boba Fett on back cover. And how often do you see Stormtroopes on NYC streets anyway?]

Again, thanks all for playing. Also, be sure to email me ASAP with your contact info so I can get the prizes out to you over the next two weeks. I am sorry to all of those who did not win prizes this time around, check back from time to time where I'll be sure to give away some other book-related goodies and comics.

I'd like to say thanks to my good friends at DK Publishing for allowing me to participate in the special 10.10.09 launch event, with a special shoutout going to Nancy L.--you rock!

I'd like to thank the nice folks at Boomerang for letting me hang around and snap photos (which I've randomly inserted throughout this post). I'd also like to thank the Stormtroopers, and Biker Scout, who appeared curtesy of the 501st Legion.

And no thank you would be complete, without thanking Boba Fett himself, who appeared representing the Mandalorian Mercs--it was great meeting all of you, hope to see you on the road or on the convention circuit.

This giveaway was fun and I plan to randomly do giveaways when I find the time. The launch event was also fun, I hope there are more like it in the future, and if so I hope to cover them. Now, it is back to reality for a while...

10.10.2009

10-10-09 LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary launch successful.

Hi all. The book launch event for the LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary today was a blast. I'll write a full review soon, but here are a few pics from the Boomerang toy store in Tribeca to hold you over. Monday I'll be picking GIVEAWAY winners as well - stay tuned!


First is the lovely salesperson who set up table featuring the LEGO book. Two stormtroopers and a biker scout were on hand, and Boba Fett himself, greeted the little ones in honor of the release of the book. I'll include links to the store (Boomerang) and the men in costume as well in the next post. Their uniforms looked great.

10.09.2009

Found my...

..concept sketch Boba Fett. All white. He blends in with stormtroopers just fine and even comes with an alternate helmet. Another fine piece in the collection. Have a great weekend!

I'll be sure to report in from the 10.10.09 lauch event for the LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary.

10.08.2009

My Boba Fett Collection or, well, most of it

I've been a collector of Star Wars toys my entire life. Back in the 70s when I was a little kid in Brooklyn I remember playing with the original Death Star Playset. When one of the pieces broke, I remember scotch-taping a Lincoln Log to repair a broken part of the playset.

Over time I've began to focus my collecting. It was after meeting this guy Ray who loved the design of Star Wars & especially the Empire, and he made me realize you don't have to buy every single Star Wars toy to be a fan... just your favorites.
At that point, I decided to start focusing (somewhat) my collecting. I began with Boba Fett. I sought almost every version of Boba Fett released, including a San Diego Comic Con Star Wars exclusive signed by Fett actor Jeremy Bulloch himself [meeting him is a highlight from my convention going life-not pictured coincidentally, still packed away somewhere]. I've always been a fan of the Empire, the bad guys, the Imperial Fleet, Stormtroopers, AT-AT drivers, etc.
But I love the Bounty Hunters. And Fett was ‘the boss and the hitman’ [if I may use a line from a favorite Clutch song]. Initially I was going to take individual pictures of each Boba Fett figure that I have, then I felt that would be TOO LONG. So here is a group shot of what I could locate quickly. And on the right, is the back cover of the LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary, I flipped it around because the back featured LEGO Boba. [The other book is a great pop-up book I found a while back featuring Mr. Fett as well].

I set up a Fett collage of all my figures, and even found a case of Star Wars trading cards where I kept all of the Fett ones separate. I think it makes for quite a cool collection. I even allowed the new special edition Luke from the new book to hang out for the portrait [left corner of pic].
And what I realized is that sometimes if you’re a collector of things, be they books, comics, toys, or all three [like me] it is fun to pick a theme within a theme and run with it. That lets you focus your collecting power and once you showcase all the stuff together, it makes for a pretty cool collection. In this case, one Boba Fett.

Then I realized, to my dismay, that I did’t have a LEGO Boba Fett. Although I found in my collection a LEGO Jango Fett, part of a LEGO pen my wife had gotten me. So at least one LEGO Fett down. And now I’m on a mission. That’s right, I’ve put a bounty on a LEGO Fett. [Below picture is Jango talking to the new LEGO Luke, apologies for bluriness]. For AMAZING LEGO photos check out the LEGO a day blog, part of the 10.10.09 Blog team. His site is awesome.


And I will get my man, whether that is frozen in carbonite, or as a LEGO.

Also, let's not forget 10.10.09 – the launch of the LEGO Star Wars The Visual Dictionary.

And if you haven't posted a comment on my last blog with the GIVEAWAY about your favorite Star Wars character, get to it. There are a bunch of great comments but I'd love to hear more and you might win some cool prizes... wich may include unopened figures from my personal Star Wars collection, in addition to the great items provided by DK Publishing.

Oh, and don't get me started on my Imperial Army collection... for another time.

10.06.2009

LEGO® STAR WARS The Visual Dictionary 10.10.09 Launch!

Take the simple joy of LEGO brick building and pair it with Star Wars action figures and playsets, and wham! – LEGO STAR WARS! Being a life-long Star Wars fan, collector, reader, lover (it’s true) it was a treat when I was asked to blog about the DK Publishing launch event for the exciting new book: LEGO® STAR WARS The Visual Dictionary.
On 10.10.09 DK Publishing will coordinate a nation-wide in-store launch event for this exciting new book featuring LEGO Star Wars. See all event details [here].

Also follow them on Twitter - @DKPublishing
Friend their book page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/LEGO-Star-Wars-The-Visual-Dictionary/92548342590?ref=nf

But I’m getting ahead of myself, because if you’ve read this far, you’re in for a treat… my first STAR WARS GIVEAWAY! That’s right, the good folks at DK Publishing, have generously provided me – in relation to the promotion of the LEGO STAR WARS The Visual Dictionary – with a bunch of Star Wars loot that I can give away here on my blog, to my loyal & hopefully new readers. [Please note this blog giveaway is not affiliated with the in-store events on 10.10.09, each store will have it's own event, prizes, etc. I'm only attending as a fan to snap a few pics and be part of the blog team covering the event.]

My blog GIVEAWAY details are: I’ve decided to make the first giveaway on Bookrastination quite simple. Post a comment to this blog post and tell me: “Who your favorite Star Wars character is and why?” Just a few quick sentences will do the trick, and I’ll pick a few a of my favorites and a random bunch will win prizes. [All comments for this GIVEAWAY must be posted and received by (correction):10/12/09 to be considered for prizes.]

It’s simple. Post a comment. Talk about Star Wars. Who doesn’t like talking about Star Wars? And maybe win some neat prizes. Parents, feel free to help post with your little ones [ewok, jawa, or droid] – just be sure to share any [potential] prizes with them!

PRIZE DETAILS: Aside from some assorted goodies I’ve been sent in the “exclusive event kit” to giveaway, which include: 1 copy of the new book, a few t-shirts, sticker sheets, buttons, and collectable post card packs.

DK Publishing has also assembled four additional prize packs that they will send directly to the winners [I’ll coordinate that for you lucky few] those details are: One (1) Mega Pack includes: (1) copy LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary; (1) 10/10/09 T-Shirt; (1) Postcard pack from San Diego Comic Con; (1) Darth Vader Minifigure. Three (3) Mini Packs, each mini pack includes: (1) copy LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary; (1) 10/10/09 T-Shirt.

Good luck!

The LEGO® STAR WARS The Visual Dictionary shares so many details & descriptive visuals for fans of all ages using amazing photos of LEGO Star Wars figures, playsets, and vehicles.
Bonus: The book has flip-action corners so when you fan through the pages, it makes little moving pictures. I kid you not, this book is fun. Check out some sample spreads.


What an amazing Death Star LEGO set, and I love the variations on the Hoth Rebel Soldiers below. [I'll be hearing he Imperial Probe Droid in my head all day now...]

See the 10.10.09 DK Publishing book site, for more details where you could win a Nintendo Wii as well as a see list of stores participating in the launch event in your area. I plan to stop by the day’s events at the Boomerang toy store in Manhattan. I’ll be attending this as a guest, and part of the blog team, only there to enjoy and report back on some of the fun. I will not be giving away anything at the store events, simply there as a reporting blogger. Oh, but I'm sure the participating stores will have plenty of goodies on hand to give out to Legions of the Empire, I mean, adoring fans of all-things LEGO Star Wars.

Next post Thursday: Tales of a Bounty Hunter Toy Collection.

Then my Launch Event Post [Saturday]: Pics and highlights from the in-store launch event!

9.28.2009

My review of Spider-Man Noir by Hine, Sapolsky and Di Giandomenico

I'll be honest, like with many comics over the years for me, it was the cover that drew me in [it is currently my screensaver on my home pc, great job Patrick Zircher]. That, and maybe also because I've been in a noir-ish mood. But this black-trench coat wearing, weapon-wielding Spidy throwback looked interesting enough to pursue.

The creative team was: writers David Hine and Fabrice Sapolsky, art by Carmine Di Giandomenico, covers by Patrick Zircher, and edited by Alejandro Arbona. Fantastic job all around creating mood, tension, and dramatic desperation.

I did wait for the trade paperback on this one, and was pleasantly surprised when Marvel released the book in a 5 x 7ish trade, not quite manga sized, and yet not full-sized either. It was perfect for a mass transit ride, and it felt special in it's own mid-sized treatment.

I would have loved to see an introduction of some sort, telling me in detail how this project came together, and just who had the idea to set this exactly at the time period when it takes place [1933 by the way]. It is such a stylized book, a look into the specific creation would have been a nice addition.

Note: There is a cover gallery and development sketchbook in the back. Bonus!

Illustrations such as this splash page opener -- invigorating with movement and tension made for a perfect noir comic book experience.

And is that Spidy with a pistol? Why yes it is. This isn't your grandfather's Spider-Man. Actually it might be your great-grandfather's Spidy - as it takes place in the 1930s after World War I.

Spidy's Uncle Ben was a WW I veteran that tried to teach him about what it meant to be a hero before he passed. But this is a dark era, the Great Depression is here --Peter isn't the innocent kid that we know and love.

He blames the gangster - The Goblin - for the problems that the city and those close to him face. Peter confides in beat reporter, Ben Ulrick, a sorry cause yet an earnest character in this story.

It is the sad story of Ben, coupled with the reckless abandon of Peter, that bring the story to the amazing conclusion. I don't want to give too much away, but yes...Aunt May is a Socialist. Then...


...a jump from the window. The feel of this page fell somewhere between the old crime fighter we've come to know and a page from Sin City.

A daring escape from the cops who were probably on the take anyway. Evidence pointing in his direction, and a crime-fighting outfit comprised of a black trench coat, mask sown together by hand, and a pair of aviator goggles from the great war.

And a revolver of course -

I'm a fan of re-imaginings. Looking at iconic stories and characters, told in a different light, or in a different time. Such as an all-time favorite, Superman Red Son, the DC Elseworlds project supposing Big Blue crash landed in Communist Russia.

Or the 1980s film, Time After Time, in which Jack the Ripper, steals away to the future in a time machine.

Take an institution and re-imagine it in a new creative context. Sometimes it isn't done right, but when it is, it makes for some great reading or viewing.

I recommend Spider-Man Noir, if you're looking for a little something different, something darker from the red and blue crusader that you have always known. Maybe not for the youngster, but definitely for the definitive fan whose grown up with Spidy and wants to be challenged with a new concept.

9.25.2009

Toys in the Attic

I'm not sure exactly what Aerosmith had in mind when they titled this 1975 cd, but it's a gem. I also don't know what the man who designed the attic in the home I moved into this summer was thinking... but boy did he design it for me.

I've already spent loads of time up there going through boxes of my personal collection of comics, books, and toys to fill out my new hideaway.

I know once I've built in more book shelves--there was already one built into the wall by the stairway-- it will be glorious. I've already drawn up plans to add shelves to the walls which allow for it.

Also, somehow I have to get a desk up there and at this point I'm not sure whether that means building it up there or finding something to take apart and bring up the narrow secret staircase [Ok, the stairway is not completely hidden, but there is a door which simply looks like a linen closet which leads to the attic. Yes, I'm considering making it more like a hidden doorway.]

Here is an early photo of the attic before we moved in, and clearly this woodwork was not the toiling of an amateur. Every angle is accounted for and and as soon as I saw it I knew the room would be perfect for a library and reading room filled with my collection of books.
And as I move box after box, I keep rifling through them to find one piece of treasure after the next. Not to mention I continue to find duplicates of so many books, a side effect of many generous years of free books while working as a book club editor. Ask anyone who ever stopped by my cubicle/office/then cubicle again, and it was packed with books - a joy of the job for me.

So, the built-in shelf went from looking like this...


...to this. Quickly it was filled and as you can see more boxes of books await...I also took advantage of the top to place [from left to right] my: Ultimate Iron Man bust, the Dark Knight Strikes Again statue, Secret Wars Iron Man figure, Mr Freeze snow globe, special edition Boba Fett action figure, reading gargoyle statue, and Dark Horse Hellboy vinyl figure, all on top of the shelf space.

Obviously this is a work in progress. A proud work I would say, a room I've spent a lifetime putting together. And it will change as time goes by and I get rid of non-essentials and purchase more gems for the collection. I look forward to posting progress as more shelves get built and filled.

9.16.2009

Good times at the Brooklyn Book Festival

On Sunday I spent the beautiful day in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Book Festival and what a terrific day to support the local book trade. I arrived early with my friend Nancy and her colleagues who work at DK Books [part of Penguin] and helped set up their terrific booth, just as other publishers, book stores, and authors were setting up shop all around us. There is Nancy setting up the DK booth. [If any of my new friends at DK read this, thanks for letting me set up and be part of the action - I had a great time meeting you!]




I walked around a lot which was was just fine with me as earlier on in the day it was cool and overcast, but later on when the sun came out - wham - it was hot, over 80 I think. But the show pleasantly filled up with all kinds of Brooklyn's bookish best - and we all enjoyed the show. Here's a photo of the book mobile, open for passersby to enter and check out.




Several book publishers, such as Brooklyn's own Akashic books set up great stands [this photo below is of Johnny Temple, publisher of Akashic books being interviewed by New York 1]. I was more than happy to pick up one of the fantastic books in Akashic's Noir series [proudly for me it was Queens Noir edited by Robert Knightly - review to come soon.


Also many indy bookstores such as Brooklyn's Freebird books, who had what I thought was the most cleverly themed t-shirts of the event [and where I spent my good money], with their novel-t shirts. I grabbed the Ahab one, gotta love the "literary" team captain!


I also had the pleasure of meeting actor Wallace Shawn, a veteran of stage and screen, who has appeared in everything from The Princess Bride to recent episodes of Gossip Girl. I picked up his new book, Essays, which he kindly signed [to my wife] for me. So far the essays are interesting, and quite personal about his viewpoint on just about everything. Not finished yet.



Seriously, how does one look at a photo of this lovable actor and not just giggle. He's a riot, and has had such a long and interesting career, I was more than happy to support his book.


Another real treat for this comic book guy, was the fact that New York Comic Con sponsored panels all day long. I attended the panel entitled: Sci-Fi and Fantasy in NYC which comprised of authors living in and sometimes writing SF and fantasy in New York. The panel consisted of my good friend and fantasy writer Peter Brett, also fantasy writer S.C. Butler [with the quote of the day about genre writers and in essence genre lovers, "we're the orcs of the literary world"], urban fantasy author Anton Strout who helped us flashback to sortid RPG-playing days, and Dave Roman. This was all moderated ably by Brian Slattery. All gave good examples of how New York life influences their writing whether or not they actually write fiction based in a New York setting. The boys in action in photo below, probably talking about D&D.


It was a good day, full of an active scene of bookish people [something that always makes me happy]. I only see this festival growing every year. And it was great to see everyone embrace everything from comics to literary magazines. In a perfect world it all mixes together, and on Sunday, that perfect world was Brooklyn.

9.09.2009

A Time of Change at DC Comics...

There are many details coming out since yesterday's announcement that Time Warner has created a new group called DC Entertainment, Inc. and that well-respected president & publisher of DC Comics, Paul Levitz, is stepping down to return to his writing roots [as well as act as an editorial consultant for DC] with Diane Nelson being named president of this new group [along with a new publisher for the still-in-existence DC Comics group to be named in the near future].

I'd like to mention that over the years as an Editor for the Science Fiction Book Club, I had the chance to meet Paul Levitz several times and he was always friendly and willing to chat for a bit, and I honestly wish him the best in his new endeavors. He is someone I respect very much.

It is difficult for me to determine at this time if this announcement is the result of various Warner execs sitting in a conference room and creating this plan to "combat" the Disney purchase of Marvel Comics. Certainly a major power struggle in the entertainment industry has just hit a new level and each side is bolstering up.

What this might mean for the comics fans out there... who knows? But as far as that precious entertainment dollar, well, I'm sure each company will be working hard to make sure it goes to their side with boatloads of game/movie/tv/animation/toy/etc. products coming along.


This industry professional, comics fan, movie aficionado, and reader of all things comics-related will stay absolutely glued to the blogosphere and media sites to see how this progresses.

9.07.2009

It has been reported..


...that Guy Ritchie has signed to direct a feature film based on the DC Comics badass character LOBO. That could be awesome. Lobo is a bounty hunter and killing machine [I'll write up an in depth profile soon.] Production is to start in early 2010.



8.31.2009

This just in -- Disney buying Marvel Entertainment!

The comics world is rocked to the very foundation today when it was reported by all the major news sites that the Walt Disney Company is buying Marvel Entertainment for an estimated 4 billion dollar deal.

In a stock and cash transaction, Disney will gain the ownership of some 5000 Marvel characters, and the future of Marvel will change somewhat I'm sure under new ownership.

What does this mean for Marvel Films? What does this mean for Spidy, Wolverine, and the X-Men gang? Stay tuned. How the Disney media powerhouse might transform the House of Ideas is yet to be seen.

This office tried to reach The Punisher for comment, he has yet to return my calls.

8.22.2009

A Friday Run

After what felt like weeks [and it may have actually been weeks], I met my partner in crime yesterday and hit Midtown Comics. Being a weekly comics buyer for as far back as I can remember, whenever too many weeks go by without hitting a shop, I start to exhibit symptoms of withdrawal. So I was glad to be back among the colorfully printed books and fellow nerdy companions.

I've a few things to note for any interested. First and foremost, if you're not already reading FABLES, you should be [what is wrong with you?]. Volume 12: The Dark Ages came out in trade paperback last week and I'm already a few pages in, and as always it did not disappoint.

I was pleased to find the first story, "All Around Town" illustrated by Mike Allred with colors by his talented wife, Laura Allred. I'm a big fan of the Madman creator, and his Kirby-influenced style was a nice slight change of pace for an issue.

I also picked up, PUNISHER: Noir, #1 written by Frank Tieri, with art by Paul Azaceta and colors by Nick Filardi. I had read a preview of this at Comicbookresources.com and liked the opening pages in the trenches of World War I [anyone who knows me, knows that I'm happiest when military history & comics come together].

I was initially pleased with the fantastic artwork, which works great for the flashbacks to the war, but was disappointed by the latter part of the first issue dealing with "young little Frankie." The plot seemed like a combination of The Godfather [with a young Vito Corleone refusing the Don of the streets, and the confrontation in the store is right out of A History of Violence--one must simply substitute a hot pot of coffee with a jar of pickles].

I picked up the variant cover, although I normally shun variant editions as I had enough money taken from me in the 90s with that nonsense, but this cover was just perfectly reminiscent of that great shot in The Usual Suspects of Keyser Soze walking...had to get it.

I may stick with this book another issue or two, especially if it flashes back to the father figure in the trenches of the war. We'll see.

Lastly, I was glad to see The Eternal Prison prominently displayed at Midtown [good work guys supporting a local writer - Jersey boy].

Back to the trenches...

8.18.2009

My review of Bloodroot by Bill Loehfelm

Bloodroot by Bill Loehfelm
Putnam, September 2009, $25.95, hardcover
A novel by the author of Fresh Kills

How “at home” can a novel feel? For me and Bloodroot… right at home.

And not because of the content. This is a story about two brothers and their turbulent relationship, some high stakes mob activity, with a dash of drug use, mixed all together and set to boil. No, I feel right at home because author Bill Loehfelm’s setting is on the streets where I grew up—Staten Island. And coincidentally where he grew up as well.


Now I know what you’re saying, “Staten Island? What kind of a setting is that?” To many it is the forgotten borough, but it has charm, and for this story it was the perfect setting. Mind you, this is not a book about Staten Island—it just happens to take place there. And I would have been able to call “bullshit” if the author was calling it in.

But this second outing by the winner of the Amazon New Discovery Award for his first novel, Fresh Kills [also a real location on SI], knows his shit. He gets it right. The sleepy suburb is brought to life by it’s shady characters, and every street from Richmond Avenue to Hylan Boulevard is right on. Every hangout from the Red Spot to The Cargo CafĂ© is perfectly recreated. I felt like I was back in the borough where I used to live avoiding shady characters and hanging out at Midland Beach. [Ok, Queens isn’t that far away. And Loehfelm has since settled in New Orleans.]

So in the story when when Kevin Curran, a school teacher, realizes that his brother Danny is loosing a long battle with addiction, Kevin thinks he’s never going to see him again. Then, three years later…

Danny is back and he’s not the same. He’s cleaned himself up, and is hanging out with a serious crowd. A big goon from high school in fact named Al Bruno is now Danny’s partner-in-crime… literally.

Can Kevin save his brother from the dangers of his new profession, and save their relationship in the meantime? Plus, can he keep his job while avoiding the strange goings on at the Bloodroot Hospital for Children, that is all somehow tied into all the crazy shit going on in his life?

With pacing reminiscent of Fight Club, Loehfelm brings to life the thuggish guys of my youth and breathes life into the suburb-meets-city feel of Staten Island with all the twisting roads, ridiculously wealthy houses, and local hangouts.

I’d recommend this book to my best buddies because not only does it draw upon bits of a communal experience (at least for us New Yorkers who grew up in the outer boroughs), but also its great story of an ordinary guy thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Anyone can appreciate it.

The dark places where I used to be afraid to go while wandering around as a teenager are exactly the places he goes in Bloodroot.

How much does the author take from real life and how much does he make up? I couldn’t say. But don’t we all draw from life when we write? It all mixes together with the imagination, and he isn’t claiming this to be a memoir, so there you go. Where it all came from doesn’t concern me, even if one thug is an exact reproduction of a guy I went to high school with. It just makes it all the more real. And a damn good read.

Suddenly I’m craving a good slice of pizza.

8.05.2009

The Eternal Prison by Jeff Somers - website up, book out soon!

Soon to be published [Aug. 12th], the 3rd in the Avery Cates series, The Eternal Prison by Jeff Somers is a force to be reckoned with.

The official website has been made live, with a fun text game to check out, and Jeff's street minions are spreading the word far and wide online as well as through posting various tidbits and handing out goodies.

In a few days I'll post a short sample text, so sharpen your hidden weapons, make sure you've a few extra clips, and keep eyes peeled for Security Force cops at every turn.

As I plow through my early copy I'll continue my live report from the field.

If you haven't read these books, think grim & gritty near future reminiscent of Blade Runner. It also reminds me of Frank Miller & Geoff Darrow's Hard Boiled comics - hard core indeed.

7.29.2009

My Review of: PETER & MAX: A Fables Novel by Bill Willingham with illustrations by Steve Leiahola

Already a fan of the magnificent FABLES comic book series by Bill Willingham and artist Mark Buckingham, inked by Steve Leialoha, and also a fan of the comic book spin-off series, Jack of Fables, I was very excited to read the first Vertigo novel, Peter & Max: A Fables Novel. Set to be published in October 2009 by Vertigo, the on-the-edge imprint of DC Comics that has brought such classics as Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series as well as many other superb comics such as Preacher, Y the Last Man, and 100 Bullets.

This book leads out of the imaginative world created by Willingham and his collaborators, where characters from fairy tale and folklore actually exist in other magical worlds, and are forced to escape the oppression of a great Adversary, where they create a safe haven, a magically protected area in New York City called Fabletown with an upstate branch called The Farm where those unable to hide in human form are forced to live.

An even greater expansion of the well thought out Fables world, the novel tells the stories of the Piper family, and more specifically of Peter and Max, two brothers destined for great things, some good and some evil. Both heir to their father’s magical flute, Frost, they are thrust into desperation as the evil hordes of the enemy force the fables of the magical lands to seek refuge. The Piper family is disrupted as well as the Peep family, including Peter’s childhood crush Rainbow (‘Bo) Peep. It seems their time of innocence is gone.

Spoiler alert – I don’t give away major plot points but do discuss the novel in more detail. STOP here if you’d rather not read more about the story. [Don’t worry I don’t reveal who the Adversary is to any who have yet to start reading Fables – but get on it already!]


Peter and Bo’s journey of survival is desperate and wrought with danger and deception. Meanwhile, Max, seeking vengeance and his rightful place, is forever tracking his brother. It makes for an exciting and epic climax as brother faces brother, spread out over many battles over many years.

Also, especially for fans of the Fables comic book, are the cameos of many of Fables’ popular cast, including Bigby Wolf, Frau Totenkinder, and other assorted residents of Fabletown. Told during both a modern battle, with flashbacks over several centuries and in various magical lands, the book is a journey to take, a magical tune to follow, that tells an incredible story.

For fantasy fans to delight in, Willingham’s text is a joy, and I was left only wishing for more cameos from the likes of all the Fables characters, as he has breathed such detailed life and back story into them all, even as I realize this book had to end, I wished it had not.

I think anyone can enjoy this fairy tale, and follow the pied piper and his tune. But for fans of Fables, this is an immense joy, giving so much more breathe to the world we’ve come to love.

The Warded Man movie deal

I'm excited to share the news about my good friend, fantasy author Peter V. Brett and the movie deal that has been struck.

See the attached link for the news: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3ide843f7bf07c511f72af7f1bfe79a0a8

It's amazing to me that some day in the near future, on the big screen, I'll get to see the tattooed warrior that I've come to know, kick some serious demon ass!

7.26.2009

Escape From the Prison Planet

I've taken off for a few days with my lovely lady and several books, of course. Some of which I have to read in an official capacity, others of which I brought along just for fun. With Stevzie II in tow [my trusty laptop] I can access my files for the reports I need to write as well as plug in and enter the matrix.

I'll write back soon to clue you in on what I'm reading exactly, for now I leave a vague allusion to greatness. For now I'll leave you with this interesting book-related trailer of sorts, which I find both interesting and elusive. Talk amongst yourselves...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16_LrVtnH1U

7.24.2009

It's a good day.

I had to post today. Even if it's about nothing. You see, today is a good day. It's my birthday, so why not. I'm getting settled in my new house, sorting through boxes of my cds, books, and various other things. Finding some duplicate copies of books - which I plan to give away here in the near future.

Life is good. My wife and I are expecting - that is really the best news I can share. I'm not quite sure if anyone will read this. But today I am at peace with the world [note: this is not always the case.] But today I am feeling the love.

I plan to try to post more regularly, talk about books, books, and more books and see where this road takes me. Carpe diem, my friends...

7.22.2009

I'm back online

Cable is hooked up and life is good. Lots going on but I thought to just check in and write a quick hello. I plan to be posting more regularly from my new fortress of solitude.

Something interesting that came my way, check this site out...hmmmm..

http://www.survivethenewroom.com/

"And that's all I have to say about that..."

Be back soon talking shop and taking names!

7.14.2009

I've been...offline.

As many of you may or may not know, I'm in the process of moving so my internet is disrupted while we settle things up. I'm working very much like Spider Jersusalem, from an undisclosed location, via laptop, as I drink in the hot city and the eek my way through the serene outer boroughs.


One bit of news I'd love to share related to a graphic novel I am a big fan of, is that Top Shelf Comics has posted a trailer for the film adaptation of The Surrogates, starring Bruce Willis. Check it out here.
A fine science fiction, near future story by the talented Rob Venditti with art by Brett Weldele. Grab a copy and quick.

Be back soon. From the road --

7.02.2009

More Larry Doyle Movie News

As reported in today's Publishers Lunch daily email, Larry Doyle's next novel, Go, Mutants! has sold to Universal Pictures, and will have Doyle adapting for the screen.

This is great news for Doyle, as it is announced right before the movie release of the 'Beth Cooper summer fun film. Before you know it, this guy might be working with Judd Apatow on his next film project. Or he might become the next Apatow. I'm happy to see his nerdy charm working it's wonders [being a fellow nerd]. I may also be getting ahead of myself. Only time will tell.

6.25.2009

A Book to Film, and my lame tie-in story.

I went to see The Hangover last week, and saw a trailer for a new comedy based on a book which is still sitting on my bookshelf UNREAD that a friend gave to me maybe two years ago.

Yes, this humorous novel from Ecco Press by Larry Doyle, was given to me as a gift from my friend Kim who said something to the effect of, "This reminded me of your writing - but I know you can do better if you just stick with it."

Sure, I'm an editor, but I've always dabbled in writing, all my life, and I've been meaning to pick up the book and read it already [Kim - apologies, I never meant any insult.] In fact Kim knows I haven't read it because we're still part of a writing group we affectionately named WRITE CLUB, several years ago. In fact, we've met on and off for close to 8 years I think.

Also please know I mean no offense to the author, of whom I am in no position to judge as I still haven't read the book yet, especially as he has done what I have not which is get a novel published, something which I'm not actively pursuing at the moment [although it is one of my life goals]. He was also a writer for The Simpsons, so no slouch there. I very much look forward to the read.

His book, originally published in hardcover in 2007, will not need any help from me, as I hope it sees a nice resurgence in sales as the movie gets closer to release date which is right around the corner as July 10th [according to the IMDB page on the film]. But, I am more than happy to discuss it here, as I plan to read it soon - better late than never. And as I pack up books to move to a new house, this is one of the books I'll be leaving on my shelf until the move, as a reminder to dive right in.

I openly admit, I am sometimes a slacker. Ask my friends, ask my wife. Hell, the name of this blog is Bookrastination, a not-so-subtle play on procrastination [of which I am the king]. This'll prove how much of a slacker I am, as I grabbed the book off the shelf to double-check the publication date, I noticed I had the front flap used as book mark, I was only on page 10.
Well, I'm glad to see someone saw something special in this book which is about a high school nerd who puts it all on the line during his graduation speech, enough in fact to develop and make it into a film. I vow to read it before the movie comes out, and I hope a lot of people do the same. I got about three weeks.

I must end with mentioning that the fantastic jacket illustration and interior chapter illustrations are by none other than Evan Dorkin [a magnificent comic book creator and very, very talented man].

If anyone has anything to say about this book/movie/story, please feel free to comment below, I'd love to hear your angle.

6.21.2009

Tim Akers signs with Pyr Books. Sweet!

I was stoked to read Lou Anders' post on facebook that he has signed up-and-coming fantasy author, Tim Akers' second novel, The Horns of Ruin to Pyr Books. Read all about it here [I also added the Pyr Books blog to my blogroll].


Like Lou, I've read an early version of Tim Akers' debut novel, Heart of Veridon, which will be coming out from Solaris books this Fall. I thought it was really something [although I must confess I was involved in working on a small aspect of the editorial development of this book], but am I wrong in wanting to tell people how much I liked it? I think not.


Let me just quickly also say that I met Tim last year at World Fantasy Con in Calgary and he is a hell of a nice guy and we talked videogames, Magic the Gathering, and other assorted nerdy things over dinner. Soon after I wound up coincidentally working on his book and really loved the world he created. It was fantastical, action packed, and the world ticked with a special mechanical hum. A great read if you're looking for something to sink your teeth into at the end of the summer when it releases.

I simply wanted to echo the great news here. Bravo Lou & Tim!

6.15.2009

Interesting blog discussion on character, story, action!

Hi friends,

An interesting discussion has just begun by friend and fantasy author S.C. Butler over on SF & Fantasy Novelists site. His post: Give Me Narrative or Give Me Death, starts off an interesting discussion on what is most important to a reader in a book.

Head on over and chime in (I did). I'm aware the conversation and opinions can go various ways, but isn't that the fun of comments and blog posts anyway? To throw in your two cents and see what everybody else has to say?


Talk amongst yourselves.

P.S. New post soon on a fantastic bound galley I picked up last week.

6.04.2009

Other Books I'm Excited About from BEA

I wanted to run through a few more of the advance reader copies, that I picked up at BEA that I have only just started reading. Now that there are plenty of books on my to-be-read shelf, let's take a peek the newest additions that I picked up at the show.

First up is my off-center photo of the advance uncorrected proof of Beg, Borrow, Steal: A Writer's Life by Michael Greenberg from Other Press. This collection of autobiographical essays was first written by Greenberg for the Times Literary Supplement. A native New Yorker, describes his life as an aspiring writer, describing in vivid detail all the struggles, the highs and lows, and at only 66 pages in I feel connected to the author by his New York experiences.

It has even already affected my personal journal writing, as I'm already trying to keep in mind the panache which the author writes about the everyday, the mundane, and the seemingly ordinary. He writes about topics such as documenting his daily commute, the transport of garbage to the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, and other goings on and how it ties into his life, his father's scrap metal business, and all the menial jobs he's had in the struggle to survive as a writer.
Swinging back to graphic novels as I often do, I wanted to talk briefly about the advance reader's edition of a new book from IDW, an adaptation of Richard Stark's Parker novels by the award-winning Darwyn Cooke in this first installment, The Hunter.
Adapted with the blessing of Richard Stark (Donald Westlake) before he sadly passed in 2008, the Cooke adaptations are moody, highly stylized, and in my opinion - dead on.
Illustrated in black & white with only a wash of blue ink throughout, this effect sets up a noir-ish atmosphere that other books seldom accomplish. IDW is so behind this new series, they printed a limited number of hardcover advances to give away at BEA, and I'm glad I was able to snag one. More to come soon.
Oh, and I had to post this picture of the King, as I found him rocking out not far from the Diamond booth.

6.01.2009

BEA weekend from my eyes.

It was a fun weekend for me, attending Book Expo America at the Javits Center. Long but fun. Lots of walking around, handshaking, grabbing books, grabbing iced coffee, and taking rests. But between seeing old friends, and meeting so many new ones, I was pleased. I know the press has reported that attendance and giveaways were down from the last few years, but it felt like a rallying show to me in the eyes of the larger world and the doom-and-gloom feelings. I had a blast.

I had the pleasure of joining in the Blogger Signing Event hosted by Firebrand & Netgalley on Saturday at 4pm, which was really neat. I was sharing the table with bloggers: Stephanie of Stephanie's Written Word, and Gayle of Every Day I Write the Book. They were super-nice and it was a treat to be seated with them and talk about books & blogging about them.



Also, I wanted to mention again, one of the books I'm most excited to finish, the graphic memoir by David Small, STITCHES. I snapped a photo of the advance copy, I scored at the Norton booth.


Creepy, sureal, and yet happy and sad at the same time, I'm less than 100 pages in and already swept away by the honesty and cruelty of the story, and I'm attached to the sad story, a touching memoir with emotional art reminiscent of Bill Plimpton and Chester Brown, among others. Here is a photo of the author signing at the W.W. Norton booth - I was glad to see so much buzz generated about this terrific new book.


As Heidi MacDonald summed up at The Beat, it didn't matter one bit that this was a memoir written as a graphic novel to anyone grabbing up a copy. Everyone I spoke with seemed highly impressed with the format and style.

More to come on books I'm excited to read that I picked up at the show and other assorted highlights.