Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

December 11, 2016

So I Went To A Book Signing And My Twenties Showed Up


I went to the 40th Anniversary Fantagraphics book signing and general celebration over the weekend. It was sort of unbelievably nice, which is a word you don't often hear in relation to the venerable alt-comics publisher.

I doubt I'll make a formal report, but I'll keep a lot of memories from the weekend. Friday night was a downtown panel and Saturday night was a book signing and Simon Hanselmann musical performance (that's JR Williams and I think Mary Fleener above; I couldn't get my photos off of my camera) followed by a party held in a nearby space. All of the events went really well as events it seemed like, they were all beaming with good vibes. They sold some copies of We Told You So to the point a good half-dozen people were getting them signed like yearbooks and I wish I had thought of that.

I had a really, really, really good time. I got to talk to my favorite cartoonist, Jaime Hernandez, for the entire flight as Alaskan Airlines sat us next to one another in an act of coincidence that presaged the next 72 hours. I got to see and hang out with old Fantagraphics workmates Eric Reynolds, Mike Dean, David Lasky, Rhea Patton, Rebecca Bowen, Kirsten Olsen, Carol Gnojewski, Preston White, Jen Ralston, Matt Silvie, Greg Zura, Pat Moriarity and Jim Blanchard. I broke bread and conversed with friends like Megan Kelso, Ellen Forney, Jim Woodring, Mary Woodring, Peter Bagge, Ana Merino, Matthew Southworth, Noel Franklin, Mark Campos and all the new and lovely people that work at Fantagraphics currently.

It just sort of felt good, you know? And while this has been a tough year and that was there, too, and we talked a bit of the dead and absent as much as those there and thriving, it was as positive as I felt about the world of comics in a long, long time. Just getting to thank some people for being nicer to me than I deserved once upon a time, that was a wonderful thing to get to do. And every time I thought about how long ago it was that I met most of the people in that room -- and the '90s fucking represented this weekend -- there was Conrad Groth to measure it out in terms of, well, his entire life.

And maybe the best part is that every single person to whom I spoke is working on something new.
posted 3:35 pm PST | Permalink

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