Archive for May 21st, 2006

BookExpo adventure

May 21st, 2006

arriving at BEAI just got back from Washington, DC after a big weekend at BookExpo America, the gargantuan publishing industry convention. I was there to promote my new book Fun Home. Here I am Friday morning, just about to enter the vast and overwhelming trade floor.

And here I am in front of the booth for Bowker, a reference book publisher. bowkerMy very first job out of college was as a temporary proofreader at Bowker. I wasn’t even proofreading words, but lists of numbers. It was awful. So I felt very smug that here I was 25 years later, no longer a temporary number checker, but an actual author.

I proceeded to the Houghton Mifflin booth, my publisher, where I signed a huge stack of books. They just gave them away to people, like breath mints! That made me a little nervous–how would we sell any if everyone had a copy already? But the Houghton people assured me that this is how these things are done. Later I signed another bunch of books in this big corral place where there are dozens of authors signing away while people line up in chutes to get a free book. the corralHere’s my chute before they let the people in. And here I am signing. signingIt was pretty wild.

But not nearly as wild as The Great Big International Drag King Show, which I went to later Friday night. These pictures suck, but it was the best I could do. pirateThis was an interesting sailor number. The finale involved a jolly roger flag being produced from a most surprising place.

This act was really impressive, with lots of period costumes and elaborate choreography. period costumes

But these guys in their chaps performing Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy, were the real a horse, ride a cowboy

The next day, I was on a panel called Pictures of a Life: Comics and the Memoir. My idol Harvey Pekar was on it too. He just guest-edited Best American Comics for Houghton Mifflin with Anne Elizabeth Moore. It’s a great anthology coming out in October. This is Harvey and me waiting to go to the airport.harvey & me