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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Boston Book Festival (the aftermath)

Seriously, the rainiest, windiest, cop-hasslingest book festival ever. Although it was very fun and the customers were EXTREMELY book hungry. But it was crazy!! It rained almost constantly. Every now and then the wind would dump buckets of water on the customers, eventually it warmed up and windstorms came in tearing down our booth (literally) and finally the Boston Police Department shut the whole thing down about an hour and a half before the scheduled finish. But sales were great despite the weather until our booth was destroyed. Is there convention insurance?

Look at these cute comic fans huddled together against the elements! They want books more than anything.

Peg working it. Here she is talking to Sasha Watson from DoubleX about women in comics.

Y'know, I'm from Boston and I kind of forget that parts of it are really beautiful. I mostly remember how ornery people are (I've sworn off the "M" word). But it was great seeing the city again and tons of old friends as well as old customers from The Million Year Picnic dropped by which was nice. Boston is a great book city and a great comics city so it wasnt exactly a surprise how often people were informed about our books--"I looked up to see a book festival and then to see my favorite publisher!"--or how happy the uninformed were to learn who we are. Really, we were almost assaulted minute by minute with questions or pleas--"Who are you?," "Where are you from?," "Thanks for coming!," "Come back next year--don't let the rain get you down!," "Boston needed a book festival, we love books!"

That said, our Moomin books, Nancy, Melvin Monster and Masterpiece Comics were hot sellers We almost sold out of Masterpiece before Bob did his slide show. In fact, have I mentioned how sharp the BBF was with their programming? Bob was on a panel called "And Now For Something Completely Different" with McSweeneys author Jessica Anthony, and the super-nice-came-by-the-booth-and-bought-some-books Paul Tremblay. A cartoonist on a panel with novelists? The BBF knows that they have smart attendees and there is no need to do separate comics programming. Love it! Bob had to sign the last couple of books standing up on the sidewalk because our booth had blown down around us. Did I mention the wind?

Some college kid did not make his kegger money this weekend.

826 Boston was in attendance promoting literacy for kids and selling McSweeneys books. I believe their theme is "Bigfoot Research" with which I admit to being a bit disappointed. I kind of feel like they should be wearing tri-corner hats and silver-smithing or something but then again I suppose that Johnny Tremaine might have put me off reading for an extra 5 years and who doesn't love giant mysterious ape-men even if they seem geographically inappropriate. And my initial Lizzie Borden suggestion is just plain wrong.

These kids could not believe that there was a real live cartoonist in front of them. They hung on Bob for half an hour.

A very high percentage of older professorial types who did not actually scoff at the idea of reading comic books. Go figure. His friend bought all three AYA volumes. Did we mention how much Boston likes books?

Finally Peg's super sweet cousins, Anna and Meg Burns showed up right before the fuzz shut the whole thing down (was it really a safety issue or an anti-intellectual show of force? Hmmm?! HMMM?!?!) I include this picture so that you can get a sense of us as "real people" and not just "gifted and savvy business people."


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