Thursday, June 11, 2009

Signing at Quimbys:Seth and Tomine

So yesterday I went to Quimby's and saw Seth and Adrian Tomine. They both spoke for about twenty minutes each, and the place was packed. I was standing towards the back next to some guy who kept reaching around people to read books and sniffing snot back into his nose loudly. Seth recited six different stories about his life that related to comics, each punctuated by slides behind him and a tap on a bell. I saw Seth a couple of years ago at Columbia college doing a similar type of speaking engagement. Both were funny and insightful.

Adrian Tomine talked about the new edition of 32 stories, his collection of early mini-comic material. There was a little too much of the self deprecation for my tastes, but he did fess up to enough ego to make the overall theme very human.

After the speaking I waited in line to get my books signed. The line was slow and long. It took much longer than I expected, and I should have just browsed around and waited for the line to thin out. I brought Wimbledon Green for Seth to sign and an issue of Optic Nerve since I couldn't find my old 32 stories copy. (I looked everywhere!) Both guys were nice and friendly, as you would expect them to be. Still the line was long ( I think 40 minutes) and afterwards it was already late. Before I left I talked to Jeffrey Brown who's always good to chat with about kids and comics. I also got a chance to introduce myself to Ivan Brunetti who was nice enough to read some of my comics and give me his thoughts. I've heard how nervous Ivan can be around people who like his work, so I wasn't surprised that I freaked him out upon approaching him. He took a couple of steps back and avoided eye contact, but was pleasant and friendly engaging me in some conversation. He then tried to convince me that his latest book wasn't very good and I shouldn't buy it. Ivan introduced me to Daniel Raeburn of Imp fame, who was looking for some comic gossip alluded too in Adrian's talk.

I've seen Chris Ware at events like this in the past, and have shook his hand, but haven't had the opportunity to chat him up. I would have last night, as he and Ivan were talking just before I went over there, but alas, Chris left and didn't pop around again till after I was leaving.

Quimby's is great for these events and host all sorts of cool gatherings. In fact this weekend they're hosting both Bob Odenkirk of Mr. Show fame, and Archer Prewitt the master cartoonist behind Sof' Boy. Definitely not enough time in the week.

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