Saturday, May 31, 2008

BEA Day 2: Comics Oughta B-E-A Fun

BEA 2008 logoWhew! Saturday is always one of the busiest days at BEA, and today was no exception. From dawn to dusk this little stuffed bookseller was kept busy and running, and while he's much rather snuggle into bed and dream of free comp copies and fabulous authors, it's my duty instead to bring you the news from the floor. Today: a look at some of my favorite comics and graphic novel related books coming out from the many fine publishers at BEA. First however, this morning I went to the "Graphic Novel Distribution, Bookstores, and the Direct Market" panel to cheer on my bestest pal John, who was up on the dais talking about his work with Norton and Fantagraphics. (Yay, John!) But then it was onto the busy BEA floor to start filling out my Christmas list with all the best and most interesting books coming out this fall in the comics field. Let's take a look at a few of my favorites, shall we?

Our old pal John Cunningham, VP-Marketing of DC Comics, was also on that panel this morning, so I had to stop by the DC booth to check out their upcoming list.

Another star of the DC Universe

While I was there, I was lucky enough to be inducted into the Justice League of America:

I'm a member of the new Justice League!

As befits my position as the newest JLA member, Mr. Cunningham was kind enough to hand me a copy of the upcoming DC Comics Fall 2008 catalogue, 132 pages of glorious graphic novel goodness. Among my future favorites are a new hardcover edition of Watchmen...

Watchmen deluxe hardcover

...a deluxe recolored hardcover edition of Camelot 3000...

Camelot 300 deluxe hardcover

...Jack Kirby's The Demon Omnibus...

Jack Kirby's The Demon Omnibus

...a new edition of The Vertigo Tarot (gee, guess I better sell my old set on eBay stat!)...

New edition of the Vertigo Tarot

But the book I can't wait for is the drive-it-yourself because it comes with a freakin' Bat-Steering Wheel: Batman's Batmobile:

The best Batman book ever!

Movin' reluctantly along, I find there's a whole lotta manga goin' on at Viz...

A whole lotta manga goin' on

...and at TokyoPop. Hey, Uhura, ask Captain Kirk to have a talk with them about that new contract, huh?

Manga Uhura

Even venerable trade magazine Publishers Weekly gets in on the action with the magazine I like to call Mike Sterling Monthly:

In this issue of "Mike Sterling Monthly"...

Nostalgia Ventures was at the show promoting their beautiful series of Doc Savage pulp reproductions:

Doc Savage reissues from Nostalgia Ventures

University of California Press was promoting the upcoming paperback edition of their KRAZY!: The Delirious World of Anime + Comics + Video Games + Art:


I'm very excited about DK's Marvel Chronicle, a year-by-year history of Marvel Comics...

Marvel Chronicles

...although I'm not so fond of the book designer's decision to reletter classic word balloons:

Marvel Chronicle interior spreads

DK also has, perfect for stuffin' in your Christmas stocking (if you have really, really big feet), a revised and updated edition of The DC Comics Encyclopedia and, never before in print, The Vertigo Encyclopedia:

The DC Comics Encyclopedia (Updated) and The Vertigo Encyclopedia

The DC Comics Encyclopedia features heavily-illustrated, full-color and completely updated entries on 1,000 of favorite DCU heroes and villains. We can only hope it features Bob Hope, Sugar and Spike, and Captain Carrot:

DC Encyclopedia interior

...while The Vertigo Encyclopedia covers 80 of your favorite dark fantasy comics series in depth with sections on characters, storylines, creation notes, outstanding moments and spin-offs:

Vertigo Encyclopedia interior

If you like the Rough Guide series of travel books and cultural guides, here's Danny Fingeroth's The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels:

The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels

I don't want you to think that BEA is all looking at comicky-style books, oh no no no. It's great for socializing, whether you're meeting friends new:


...or old:

"Make it so, Mister Bull."

Hey, Mister Bruce, would you like me to get you some Band-Aids?:

Hello, Bruce!

And here I am in the line to audition for a part in Avenue Q:

Auditions for the BEA version of "Avenue Q"

All busy BEA work and no lunch makes Bully a hungry, hungry guy. Here's my BEA tip for you: eschew (meaning, don't chew at) the convention center snack bars and head outside to find the friendly local taco carts. Get yourself a savory Mexican lunch and eat it in the sun! Sit down for a while, relax, and regain your strength after your busy morning. Your hooves, and your tummy, will thank you for it.

Tacos for lunch! NOM NOM NOM

Hey look, comics blogosophere: it's lovable Dorian Wright from!:


After being online pals for a couple years it was wonderful to meet Dorian in person and have him shake my hoof. He even brought along the famous co-star of his blog, Puppy!:

My pal Puppy

I wish I could have a puppy.

I hopped on by to the Chronicle Books booth to check out their offerings. Since I likely won't be getting that big wooden boxed set of STar Wars books I mentioned yesterday, I'm very excited by Obsessed by Star Wars. It's a book and an electronic quiz show in one! I'll take "Princess in metal bikinis" for five hundred, Alex!:

Electronic Star Wars quiz inside a book!

Chronicle also has the perfect antidote to dull walls, the MAD Poster Book:

MAD Poster Book

And here's a couple gift books I'd love to get this holiday season: The Art of Pixar Short films and Rogue Leaders: The Story of Lucasart. Looks like it's gonna be a book-giftin' Christmas this year with cool stuff like this!:

Two books from Chronicle I want!

Yale University Press has a sequel to their lovely Ivan Brunetti-edited collection in An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories, Volume 2:

An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons & True Stories, Vol. 2

I hopped by Titan Books, where they greeted me with a cheery "pip pip," handing me a cup of tea and some lovely blads (short for book layout and design, a glossy pamphlet to show the layout and specs of a to-be-published book). I'm frightfully keen on Watching the Watchmen by Dave Gibbons. I think I spotted Alan Moore in the background, furiously erasing his name from all the bl;ads, but he was moving so quickly all I could spot was a bushy, bushy blur.

Watching the Watchmen by Dave Gibbons and not at all by Alan Moore

It's obviously being released to coincide with the upcoming Watchmen movie, but it looks like the book will be a real treat for fans of the graphic novel: the blad showed off lots of rare and little-seen Gibbons artwork:

Watching the Watchmen sample spreads

Speakin' o movies, here's The Spirit: The Movie Visual Companion:

The Spirit: The Movie Visual Companion

Hey, I didn't know this movie was directed by Lamont Cranston!:

The Spirit movie book interiors

My love of Jamie Hewlett's work makes me a sucker for Titan's upcoming The Cream of Tank Girl. Hey, they oughta make a movie outta that!:

The Cream of Tank Girl

Over at Andrews McMeel, they didn't haved a mock-up of their upcoming Dilbert 2.0 mega-boxed set, but they were handing out blads. Now I can cut all the comics out of it and hang them up in my work cubicle!

Dilbert blad

Also at Andrews McMeel: you could enter the New Yorker Book Expo Cartoon Caption Contest:

Enter the New Yorker Book Expo Cartoon Caption Contest! Or, not.
"Someday son, this will all B-E-A yours."

Here's my entry: "Someday son, this will all B-E-A yours."....No? Darnit! I shall never get to work for The New Yorker!

With hooves a-achin' I round out the day with a visit to the Convention Center's West Hall, home of the Graphic Novel Pavilion, which is mostly presses distributed to the book trade by Diamond. Frankly the graphic novel pavilion is lookin' a little sad this year, and you can't help but feel sorry for some of the publishers who don't have distribution deals with larger trade houses to get their books into trade bookstores. I'm not exactly certain if the giveaways or displayed are well-targeted towards bookstore owners and buyers...

Comics for nothing? I have nothing!

...especially at Marvel, who is giving away leftover floppies of some of their recent books and samplers:

Marvel's giveaways

I kind of rant at Marvel every year, but it just seems as if they are not interested in promoting their graphic novels and trades to the bookstore market. In a year where they've had a mega-movie tie-in, and another movie on the way, Marvel, it would behoove ya to put Iron Man trade paperbacks front and center: why not some of the excellent Iron Man trades you've released recently, or some of the Marvel Adventures digests featuring your most popular characters? Capitalize on the major name recognition your characters have and bookstore buyers will be interested in stocking Marvel books. Sadly, putting free floppies front and center won't attract the correct attention: few indies or chains stock floppies (the economically-troubled Borders is an exception) and as those fall under the periodical bailiwick, the folks attending BEA aren't going to blink twice at floppies. The "Marvel's Bestselling Authors" is actually a nice sampler of brand-name writers known in the outside world (Stephen King, Laurell K. Hamilton, George R.R. Martin, Jonathan Lethem...authors BEA attendees know and can sell), but why not put the books that tie in up front and center? And whoops! When an interior spread of your Soleil sampler features the uncensored cover artwork from Sky Doll that you didn't even put on the actual comic, there's clearly some careless editing goin' on:

Whoops! Marvel's "Soleil" sampler contains the uncensored "Sky Doll" artwork that they didn't use on the book itself.

Whew! That's one comics-packed day at BEA, and this is one weary, achin' bull here. I'm off to a hot meal and a warm bed, everyone. See ya tomorrow for the final day of BEA, the aptly named Day 3!


Tegan said...

Ooooh, new DC Encyclopedia! Wish I could get my hands on that.

Hope you're having a great time, Bully!

Beta Ray Steve said...

It will be weird getting Camelot 3000 all at once instead of the 15 years it took them to produce it originally.
Well, it felt like 15 years...