Sunday, December 14, 2008

In which I make a nuisance of myself, as usual

So I ended up attending the Kramers Ergot 7 release party at Chicago Comics last night, and it was pretty cool, if only because I actually got to check out the book, which I will never be able to actually afford.  It's a pretty amazing package, even if many of the comics within don't seem to be to my personal tastes.  But it's a beautiful thing to look at, being huge and full of intriguing imagery.  And even if I don't like every contributor, you've still got the likes of Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, Jaime Hernandez, Anders Nilsen, Kevin Huizenga, and probably quite a few others that I have no problem with.  If you can afford it, or at least have a chance to flip through it, I recommend taking a look.

This event was more of a signing than a reading/Q&A (like this one), so I don't really have much to report about what creators think, or upcoming news, or anything like that, but I do have some pictures and general anecdotes.  Plus, there was free beer!  One of the highlights was watching (left-to-right in the picture below) Dan Zettwoch, Sammy Harkham, and Souther Salazar jam on sketches in the front of fans' copies of the book:

You could tell they were havning a blast; one of them would start drawing a hand or a face or something, and the others would just add whatever they felt like to it, until it grew into a crazy jumble of imagery.  It was impossible to tell who had done what; one recipient of this treatment was incredibly excited to own such a piece of coolness.

Not being able to afford the book of the night (Chris Ware said it wasn't worth it anyway), I did bring some of my own books to be signed, and purchased a couple others.  I always love to share the sketches that creators do in my books, so here are a few.  Ivan Brunetti, drawing in McSweeney's #13:

He thanked me for my support (sarcastically, I think), confirming Laura Hudson's mom's opinion of him.  Kevin Huizenga signed a copy of Fight or Run #1 that I purchased:

Anders Nilsen signed The End:

And Ron Rege, Jr. signed that little minicomic that came with McSweeny's #13:

Talking with Chris Ware was the highlight of the night for me (aside from the free beer), especially because he had read my recent review of Acme Novelty Library #19.  I think I was more flattered by that than he was by my effusive praise, although he was the last person I expected to confuse me with the more famous Matt Brady.  He was also interested in the library copy of Skim that I was carrying; when I mentioned that it was the book about which Seth and Chester Brown had written a letter protesting the nomination of the writer for a Canadian Governor's General Literary Award while ignoring the artist, he said, "Oh, and me"; I had forgotten that he had also added his support to the issue.  He hadn't read the book though, since he asked me how it was; when I described it as "a teenage coming-of-age story", he said, "why doesn't anybody write 80-year-old coming-of-age stories?  It'll happen sooner or later."  I also asked him if there was a projected completion date for Rusty Brown, and he said "when my daughter enters college".  He did mention that he's been able to get more work done lately, so hopefully it won't be that long (his daughter is three-and-a-half at the moment).  And he also signed some books, so here are the sketches he did.  McSweeney's #13:

Acme Novelty Library #18:

And Acme #19:

Other enjoyable tidbits: Carol Tyler entertaining people in line with some baton-twirling:

Chris Ware taking a picture with me:

And a few other shots of the creators, starting with Kevin Huizenga and Chris Ware:

Ron Rege, Jr. and Anders Nilsen:

It was a good time; I wish I could have afforded to buy the book, especially since it came with a tour-exclusive print to which the creators could add their own embellishments; it can sort of be seen in this picture:

Maybe next time, after I've won the lottery.  Yeah, that's going to happen.  So anyway, check out the book if you get the chance, and keep reading the comics!  Good times.