Archive for October, 2006


October 29th, 2006

I hate posting without pictures. My lost camera never showed up. Other kind souls have been taking photos for me, though, and when they send them to me, I’ll post them here.

Today I got up really early and took the TGV (train à grande vitesse, or very fast train) from Paris to Brussels with my editor, Jean-Luc. Brussels, home of Hergé and Tintin! What a strange and beautiful city. Before my first appointment, we checked out the marché aux puces (flea market) in the Place du Sablon. That’s where Tintin buys that ship model in Secret of the Unicorn, and the Thompson twins get their Read the rest of this entry »

Festival Internationale du Film Lesbien et Feministe, Paris

October 29th, 2006

Saturday I did a signing at this big lesbian film fest. There were hordes of women at the festival, maybe a thousand? They show films for the whole weekend and there are booths and discussions and stuff like that. French lesbians look more like American lesbians than French people in general look like American people in general. Though I still felt conspicuously lacking in flair. The women’s bookstore, Violette & Co., arranged for me…

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Mots à la Bouche, Paris

October 27th, 2006

I feel bad that I didn’t do more of an event this evening at Mots à la Bouche, the very lovely gay & lesbian bookstore in the Marais…I had some miscommunications, and thought that there wasn’t room to do my slide presentation. (Perhaps it wasn’t a miscommunication, but my situational A.D.D.)Anyhow, I felt bad that people were expecting more and I didn’t deliver. I’m really, really sorry. Come see me tomorrow between 3 and 5 at the Festival International du Film Lesbien & Feministe de Paris, and there will be more of a discussion. Plus I’ll draw pictures for you.

(to G&H, who commented on the last post: Sorry you didn’t find me after my signing tonight. I had dinner with some women I met at Mots à la Bouche. First they showed me the bar Le Troisieme Lieu–but we just walked in, looked around, and left. Then we ate at the Café Beaubourg.)

Violette & Co., Paris

October 27th, 2006

I don’t have any visuals from my booksigning last night because of a long complicated saga about my camera which I will recount below. But I had a very lovely evening at Violette et Compagnie, la librarie des filles et des garçons manqués, the bookstore “for girls and tomboys.”

Catherine and Christine, who run the bookstore, were très charmantes. As I learned from my editor, authors don’t really do readings in France, but actors will read from their books. So I didn’t read. Christine began the evening with a very thoughtful description of my book. And then I did a short powerpoint presentation about how I drew Fun Home, and a very nice South African woman named Fiona translated. I like having a translator. I wish I had one all the time, even in English, who would constantly be clarifying what I was trying to say.
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Tintin à Paris

October 25th, 2006


Here’s the sky about an hour ago, on the street near my hotel.

les cigares des pharaoens

Here’s the logo on a truck I saw on the street today. I forget what kind of truck…some kind of mechanical service or other. But it might look familiar to Tintin fans.


I’m finding that Tintin is a kind of lingua franca. At dinner last night where some people didn’t speak English, we resorted to naming our favorite Tintin books.

I have to go. More later.

My Paris schedule

October 24th, 2006

Thank you, everyone who’s been updating the blog about where and when I’m appearing in Paris! I finally got a programme from my French publisher.

Jeudi 26 Octobre, 19h
Librairie Violette & Co.

Vendredi 27 Octobre, 19h.
Librairie Les Mots à la Bouche.

Samedi 28 Octobre, 14h-17h
Le Festival du Film Lesbien et Féministe au Trianon, Paris 9e.

I’m not sure what I’ll be doing at a film festival. But I’m sure I’ll think of something.

Oh. Then on Sunday, I’m going to Brussels.

Dimanche 29 Octobre
15h, Bruxelles. I think that’s the name of a big comic book store there.

les premiers choses premier

October 24th, 2006

paris wifi

I just arrived in Paris, so what do I do first? Get online.

Okay. NOW I’m gonna go out and walk around.

Institute for Contemporary Arts, London

October 24th, 2006

My event last night at the ICA went really well. It was part of a series called Comica. The room was sold out, and had a great tech setup so everyone could see the drawings clearly. The brilliant and effervescent-to-the-point-of-exploding Lea Delaria interviewed me onstage after I read. This blurry picture captures a bit of her kinetic energy.

kinetic lea

Talking with Lea was really fun. I’d been somewhat nervous, not knowing quite what to expect from the woman famous for saying about Hillary Clinton, “Finally, a first lady we can fuck.” She did grill me rather minutely about my masturbation habits, but other than that I think our conversation was very seemly and apropos. One topic she was interested in discussing was my obsessive tendency to record my own life, which reminded me to take a picture of the audience for the blog. So here they are. I think this made them a little nervous. Or maybe they were just appalled at such obstreperously American behavior. That guy in the front row is Paul Gravett, the Comica organizer

ICA crowd

I signed books for a long time afterward—the museum bookshop sold out.

Then I hung out in the bar with some friends. Then we all walked back to Bloomsbury where they got on the Tube and I returned to my hotel.

jane, helen, me, lenna

That’s Jane Hoy on the left, and her girlfriend Helen Sandler—Helen’s directing the York Lesbian Arts Festival which is happening this weekend and which I’m very sorry to be missing. To my right is Lenna Cumberbatch, drag king extraordinare and my erstwhile webmeister.

word freak

October 23rd, 2006

Dateline London.
I did a brief booksigning this afternoon at Gay’s the Word. Then made a pilgrimage to Dr. Johnson’s house, the guy who wrote the first major English dictionary. Here’s the famous garret where he did most of the work, with a crew of amanuenses. (look it up.)

the garret

They had a closet of Georgian costumes for kids to put on, and there was no one around, so…

as dr

Here’s a passage from the dictionary.


And here’s a monument outside to Dr. J’s cat, Hodge, “a very fine cat indeed.” He’s sitting on a dictionary, with oyster shells at his feet. Apparently Dr. J. would personally go out to the fish market and fetch oysters for him, rather than having his servants do it, so that the servants wouldn’t feel resentment toward the cat.

Hodge, a very fine cat indeed

Wrote this Sunday morning but couldn’t get online to post it

October 23rd, 2006

Just arrived in London. First of all, I just want to say how boggled I am by the money everyone has been sending to the site. Thank you all so much. At last count it was about $1500. A most timely and welcome influx. I’ll talk more about the whole payment/donation scenario in a later post, after I’ve given it more thought. It’s complicated, and I have mixed feelings about it.

I had a crazy time getting ready to leave on this trip. Read the rest of this entry »