Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Talk and a Death

Some of you may know that comics genius, Harvey Pekar, died earlier this week.  I haven't thought too much on it until reading my husband's blog (is it totally weird that Matt and I are communicating through blogs?) and seeing, then reading, the links to other comic artists' thoughts on his passing.  I am, and have been for much of my life, a comics lover [Um, did I mention I have been to the San Diego Comic-Con three times, the first time on my honeymoon?].  When I was a kid, and even now, I religiously read the Sunday funnies.  As a teen, I was heavily into horror comics, such as Tales from the Crypt.  Once in college, I branched out into all sorts of indie titles, such as Roberta Gregory's Naughty Bits, Jeff Smith's Bone, and anything by Lynda Barry.  Towards the end of college, I started working in a public library in Madison.  It was a delightful strip mall branch library with a devoted patronage.  It also had a hip librarian who kept the branch well-stocked in comics.  That is where I discovered Harvey Pekar.  I read all of his collected works, even though I couldn't quite tell if I liked the guy.  I even still have a grumbly voice for him in my head (which may or may not be anything like his real voice).  It's always weird that a death causes so many memories (as I write this, I'm watching a "Golden Girls" episode where they think Sofia is dying, so she tells them all sorts of things, and they tell her all sorts of things, and then it turns out she just ate something crappy.  That kind of relates to what I just wrote.  Yeah?).  Anyway, if you haven't read any of his autobiographical brilliance, I highly recommend heading over to your local library and looking him up.  And then making them buy some of his books if they don't have them already.

I also wanted to mention I will be on a panel with my husband, Matthew Cordell, and two other authors, James Kennedy and Stephanie Kuehnert, on July 23 at 57th Street Books in Chicago's gorgeous Hyde Park (Obama's Chi-Town digs!).  I don't know if the event is open to everyone or just members of SCBWI, but you can email the contact below for more information.  Here's the skinny, if anyone would like to attend: 

What if you're hosting a book event and nobody shows?

What if you've finally landed an editor, but she's moving houses?

Come one, come all to the next Hyde Park/South Side SCBWI event we're calling, "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" We're planning a lively panel discussion of worst-case scenarios and how to make the best of them!

Our panel of children's authors and illustrators will share their worst-case scenarios and pass along what they did to get themselves through it all. We'll feature James Kennedy, Stephanie Kuehnert, Matthew Cordell, and Julie Halpern, who together have piles of books and buckets of experience.

6 p.m. July 23rd (Friday)
57th Street Books
1301 East 57th Street in Hyde Park
"What's the Worst That Could Happen?"

Don't think this is a night devoted to commiseration in this time of industry upheaval. No, no, no. It is more like strategy building from a team of experts. Survival tips from folks who know!

We'd also like this to be a bit of a summer mixer as well. We'll be serving light fare like our world famous brownies, sandwiches, wine, and beer.

Please RSVP to so we can get a headcount. 

 Hope to see some of you there! 

Was this a somber blog post?  It's gray outside.  Not my fault.


Nina said...

Oh I met James Kennedy at ALA this year. Tell him about D&D! I gave him a d20 and he was going to give it to his niece who wants to play.

Julie H said...

Speaking of D&D-- I need a new "I played D&D before it was cool" bumper sticker. Mine is so warn, it's barely legible! Do they still exist?