Thursday, November 15, 2012
As someone who is deathly afraid of flying, I will always begin my con reports with details of my flight experience because the amount of agony and stress over flying equals the same amount of time and energy trying to plan for a comics show in another city.
The San Francisco airport had an amusing exhibition on classic board games at my gate that did its best to calm my nerves before I had to board the plane. And, okay, the flight was fine, thanks to watching episodes of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and a ridiculous reality show about the glamorous life of young people in the Silicon Valley which according to this show is based only in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco (Ai yi yi).
Here's the view over the majestic island of Manhattan. You can't help but overcome your fears and fall in love. Anyway, right after I got off the plane, I got a nice welcoming text from Annie Koyama. It made my heart melt because I was dreading the thought being all alone in Manhattan which is silly because, hello, 10 gazillion billion people live in Manhattan and it's definitely true what Ol' Blue Eyes says: New York is a "city that NEVER sleeps." Driving from the airport through Long Island, I could see a few signs of damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. Trees were knocked down, taking huge chunks of the sidewalk with them. Flags and signs were ripped apart. However people were still out and about which was comforting to see.
I met up with Lark Pien and her sister Jane who were hanging out near my hotel in the Garment District. They were looking for buttons. Jane had suggested going to the nearby Korean fast-food joint, Bon Chon. I enthusiastically accepted because it was one of the food suggestions that my friend Annie Yee told me about the day before, and, um, HOLY CRAP, the chicken there is amazing. Talk about CHICKEN JOY (Jollibee reference)! Anyway, it was nice seeing the Pien sisters together. They told me that they had volunteered the day before, giving away food and supplies to people in Red Hook. Really cool that they did that. Lark showed me the war wounds on her arm that she got from some National Guardsman trying to fling a bag of potatoes or something over her head, or wait, I think it was from a fist fight with one of the guards. Wow, Lark.
Later on, because we are pigs, the three of us met up with Annie Koyama, Robin and Dan Nishio for MORE chicken at Torishin, a yakatoriya that Robin suggested. Robin's food suggestions are always A++ and this was no different! My favorite was the pork belly and the crispy skin, and I did manage to eat one or two pieces of vegetable because I'm on a diet. What?
The next day, I ventured over to Williamsburg for the big show. I was there a little early and there was a funeral happening at Our Lady of Mount Carmel church, next to the show venue so I strolled around the neighborhood a bit. I stumbled upon Desert Island Comics! Cool! I eventually high-tailed it back to the show, and met up with Tim Hensley upstairs in the gymnasium who was already setting up the Yam Books table. What a guy! If you meet Tim on the street somewhere, ask him to show you his watch which is a LCD screen that scrolls out the time and the words "Ticket Stub". Here's the pic of the venue during the calm before the storm:
The first official purchaser of Tim's book, "Ticket Stub" was Dan Nadel, Picturebox boss-man and co-organizer of BCGF. He managed to sneak over before the show opened and the crowds would be rolling in. And boy did they ever roll in! Hoards of people! Masses! Mobs! There was some talk before the show, that the aftermath from the hurricane and storm would keep people away, but that sentiment was quashed right from the start. I'm not sure if the show is always that crowded, but after such a crazy natural disaster, it was really uplifting to see. The BCGF Tumblr site's photo of the show demonstrates so accurately how crazy it was the ENTIRE day:
I kept looking around in amazement. The sea of people made me really happy! Lots of people compared the feeling of this show to this year's SPX which I did not go to. BCGF was just a great morale booster for the comics scene. I was physically hurting from the lack of ventilation due to the crowds (I'm really bad with hot weather, that's why I moved to the Bay Area), but the happiness of seeing so many people in one space, weaving through immense aisle traffic for comics made me forget how dehydrated and sweaty I was. (Also I really shouldn't have worn a sweater!). I do have one regret though which was not being able to venture out to see cartoonist heroes like Roz Chast and Richard MaGuire, or to get to purchase the awesome books from Bill Kartalopoulos' Rebus Books or Lilli Carre's debut book "Heads or Tails" -- or basically everyone's book because people who would visit our table would always be carrying something amazing. Luckily though, many were nice enough to come around to visit our table.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
All in all, APE 2012 was a special time for me. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and gave your support for Yam Books. A special thank you to Ken McCarty for helping me set up the table and figure out addition and subtraction -- You are the best!! Now onward to BCGF!
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Whoa, you guys, this year has really flown by! I still have yet to write con reports for the previous shows that I've attended this year, which were amazing, but now another show is starting up: The 2012 Alternative Press Expo (APE) this weekend right across the bay in San Francisco, CA! Woot, woot! Check out that flyer above created by Gilbert Hernandez! As my 3-year old nephew says, "What the?!?"
I will be exhibiting at the show for my new publishing project, Yam Books and Lark Pien's Little Bird Books. Lark is currently at the Graphic Novel Residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, but I will represent her as professionally as I can at the show. I will have our Yam Books/Lark Pien collaboration, Lollygag, a sketchbook anthology that Lark edited featuring the compulsive doodles of some of the innovative and exciting cartoonists today such as Dan Zettwoch, Vanessa Davis, Renee French, Dylan Horrocks, and many more.
ALSO, I am very glad to announce that the show will mark the west coast debut of Yam Books' first bound book, TICKET STUB! The book collects the beloved mini-comic zine series of the same name by Tim Hensley. Tim will be with me at the show (can you believe that?!), signing books and talking about captioning work, from the sublime to the profane. We are both very happy and proud about this book and can't wait to share it with you guys.
We will also have our own mini-comics and original art as well as the latest titles from Koyama Press such as Michael DeForge's Lose #4, Julia Wertz' The Infinite Wait, Jesse Jacobs' By This Shall You Know Him and many others.
We hope you share in the excitement of all of these great books, and visit us at TABLE 306, Little Bird Books + Yam Books.
APE is going to be great this year with all the publishers, artists and special guests. What's even more fantastic is that the Cartoon Art Museum will be having their art opening for the Love and Rockets: A 30th Anniversary Celebration exhibit on Saturday night. Special guests Jaime, Gilbert and Mario Hernandez will be there! Oh, MAN!! To get advanced tickets and a limited exhibition print, visit the link below! Do it now!
Oh and one more thing, Thien Pham, my friend and co-host of our comics podcast, The Comix Claptrap will be moderating a panel about the Bay Area comics scene. It's the last panel of the show on Sunday. Thien will be interrogating guests Andrew Farago, Jason Shiga, myself and other local crazy comickers. You should also visit his table at the show to see an advance copy of his new graphic novel with First Second, Sumo! Here's more info on the panel:
Sunday, 4:45pm Bay Area Comics: Past, Present, and Future—Thien Pham (Level Up, Sumo), Jason Shiga (Meanwhile, Empire State), Andrew Farago (Cartoon Art Museum), and other past and present cartoonists from the Bay Area discuss one of the world's most dynamic and important comics scenes. Whether you're a lifelong San Francisco resident, a new arrival, or just visiting, this panel promises to tell you everything you ever wanted to know about comics by the Bay.
Anyway, this weekend is going to be jam-packed with great events and stuff to buy! So see ya there at Table 306!
Comics-related events you should also go to this weekend besides APE:
- Gabrielle Bell at Escapist Comics this Friday in Oakland at 6:00 pm
- Adrian Tomine at Pegasus Books this Friday in Berkeley at 7:30 pm
- Jonas Madden-Connor, Small Press Spotlight at the Cartoon Art Museum
- Love and Rockets: A 30th Anniversary Celebration exhibit this Saturday at the Cartoon Art Museum at 8:00pm
Monday, October 1, 2012
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Monday, July 16, 2012
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
It's been about 15 years since the last time I've been to Chicago, and I'm happy to be exhibiting with Lark Pien at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo this weekend. See us at Table 39! To kick off Yam Books, we will be debuting Lollygag, a mesmerizing drawing anthology edited by Lark, showcasing the obsessive doodles of some of the most exciting cartoonists and artists out there today: Nick Abadzis, Trevor Alixopulos, Rina Ayuyang, Nick Bertozzi, Lille Carré, Martin Cendreda, Capucine Delouis, Eleanor Davis, Vanessa Davis, Renee French, Shaenon Garrity, Tom Gauld, John Hankiewicz, Tom Hart, Dylan Horrocks, Tom Kaczynski, Megan Kelso, Dave Kiersh, Larry Marder, Maré Odomo, Lark Pien, Jesse Reklaw, Jim Rugg, Daria Tessler, Angie Wang, Malachi Ward, and Dan Zettwoch.
Includes "easter egg" fold outs and debossed/letterpressed cover -- all hand-bound! And man were these hard to hand-bind! Check Lark's hands if you are at the show!
Also at our table, Lark will have artwork, prints and some minis. I'll have copies of my latest mini "Outta This Comes the Crazy" and copies of "Whirlwind Wonderland". We'll have some promo postcards for Yam Book's collection of Tim Hensley's "Ticket Stub" coming out this Fall. The post card displays a page from the mini-comic series that Tim decided not to put in the book, but that I loved so much so I had to at least share it in postcard form! FREE FREE!
OH AND WAIT! I'll be on a panel on Saturday with 5 talented female autobio cartoonists where they will talk about their comics, and I will listen and nod. No, I'll talk too, maybe!
12:30pm – 1:30pm, 1st Floor Conaway Stage
A Round Table on Women and Graphic Autobiography
with Rina Ayuyang, Julia Wertz, Leslie Stein, Marian Runk, Keiler Roberts and Lucy Knisley
Autobiography has pushed the boundaries of what comics can be and how memoir can be embodied. Real life recounted in comics form is often capable of finding places that are the most funny, relatable and true. This roundtable conversation examines the challenges and rewards of working (and playing) with your own life as subject matter.
Come visit us at TABLE 39!! We are so eager to eat big hearty meals, see the sights, brave the heat, share comics and ALLL THAT JAZZZZZZ! (God, I love that musical, don't you?)