Monday, September 23, 2013

Sonoma County Book Festival

I had a terrific time at the Sonoma County Book Festival last Saturday. This is the same festival (though in a new location) at which I participated in a graphic novel panel last year, and which evidently was such a hit they decided to have two graphic novel panels this year. Comics are taking over the world!

Luckily, there's more than enough cartooning talent in the region to populate two panels. Fantastic comic book artist Brent Anderson ("Astro City") is our ringleader, so he did both. Also on the morning panel were my pal Lex Fajardo ("Kid Beowulf," modern "Peanuts"), Emily C. Martin (Megamoth Studio and Deviant Art star), and Karen Luk (lots of stuff including some good-looking Steampunk work). I don't know Emily and didn't meet her, but enjoyed meeting Karen when I arrived to do my panel in the afternoon.

Sharing my p.m. panel with the ubiquitous Mr. Anderson was Paige Braddock ("Jane's World," "Martian Confederacy," and modern "Peanuts"). I listed "modern Peanuts" as credits for both Paige and Lex; what I mean by that is that in addition to their own projects they both work at Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates as stewards of Mr. Schulz's legacy, a responsibility I know they take very seriously. Both morning and afternoon panels were moderated by Steve Alcorta, our county library's graphic novel buyer. I sucked up as best I could.

The festival was scheduled to happen around the grounds of Santa Rosa Junior College, a beautiful oak-studded campus. Hard rain overnight sent organizers into a tizzy, and in the early morning hours everything was relocated into the campus student center. Considering the panic that must've accompanied that effort I thought the festival went very well, with many attendees. My panel drew probably 25 or 30 people, which was just fine.

Pics or it didn't happen:

Way up at the front of the Main Stage is noted author Dorothy Allison (Bastard out of Carolina--that's the name of her book, not my opinion of her) who was a funny, charming, polished speaker, and a good "get" for our local fest.
Lex Fajardo (standing) and Brent Anderson shared a sales table; Karen Luk is just out of frame to the right.

Me, Paige, Brent, and moderator Steve during our panel "Novel Storytelling: The Art of the Graphic Novel--Chapter 2."

Me, Paige and Brent just before the fist fight erupted.

With Paige. She's nice. My "Abrams ComicArts" shirt was a gift from Editor Charlie and seemed appropriate for the event. However, I think it inadvertently gave some authors in the dealer's room the wrong impression; a few of them eagerly gave me their entire sales pitches that I hadn't really asked for, and I was puzzled until it occurred to me they might've thought I was actually from Abrams ComicArts and could get them published. POWER!
Thanks to the festival, author wrangler Julia Cooper, and cartoonist wrangler Brent Anderson. The fun for me is hanging around people like Brent, Paige and Lex, talking with folks eager to tap our brains, and be around book lovers. They (we) are a special breed.

1 comment:

Marion said...

I covered the booth next to Karen Luk's (so the vendor could have a break) and talked to Karen. She was delightful! I bought one of her steampunk themed books because it was so fun.