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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Brooklyn Book Festival (and Domy!)

Sorry for the lateness here! The week before last I was down in New York for the Brooklyn Book Festival, a one day, outdoor street festival featuring all kinds of wonderful publications. Unfortunately, this year was rained-out, which maybe affected my mood as it turns out I forgot to take a lot of photos. Still, there were a significant number of enthusiastic book browsers around again reminding me that Brooklyners LOVE reading!

Bodega publisher Randy Chang helped me out behind the booth, which was great, though it led me to come up with a new booth rule to be added to our litany of previously established ones: texting isn't selling.

How did I manage to forget to get photos of Adrian Tomine signing copies of his books at the booth (that we sold out of, despite the bad weather)? Or any photos of the amazing Jillian Tamaki who came by the booth to sign her beautiful new Petit Livre INDOOR VOICE?

Well, I don't know that I have an explanation other than that I spent most of the day trying to move books out of the way of the various leaks in the tent, catch Randy texting. So, instead, a couple of weather shots.

I know, I know. What's the point of doing a blog post if I'm not going to populate it with our beautiful cartoonists' faces? These blurry rain shots really don't make up for it. But maybe this will...

A week before BBF, I headed down to Texas to visit the Chinati Foundation in Marfa as well as the great city of Austin, home to the fantastic Domy Books.

I expected Domy to be pretty great considering that its reputation has made it all the way across the continent/to another country, but even my high expectations were blown away.

Its philosophy seems to be somewhat similar to our Librarie 211 in Montreal in that it has curated selection of art books, novels and a healthy dose of comics/mini comics, but it also stocks some pretty interesting looking Japanese books, and small press/zines. Considering that co-founder/store manager Russell Etchen doesn't get a chance to get out to the shows very often and that the store is based in the South West, the stock of handmade and small press books was doubly impressive.

Aside from the great book selection, Domy also has a gallery space on one side, where there was (when I was there) a show of works by Austin-based artists circa 1988.

Russell very kindly answered all of my annoying questions/let me take a photo of him. He also had tons of recommendations of things to do/see in Austin, which made me wish that I had stopped by Domy at the BEGINNING of my trip in lieu of the end. It could have saved me a lot of aimless wandering/believing that the only thing to do in Austin is ride mechanical bulls in empty bars (I regret nothing!).

No money for books? DON'T WORRY, DOMY'S GOT YOU COVERED! (next door to Domy)

All right, so, I know that I am slowly turning this post into a personal vacation blog, so I will cut this short, but while I was in Marfa I saw this little theatre (well, it's now a converted theatre) and it reminded me of Seth's Dominion, so I thought I would share it here.

So, while I DO feel a little bit jealous that Tom was at SPX doing chocolate fountain keg-stands, Brooklyn Book Fest was a pretty exciting place to be and Texas (save some offensive bumper stickers seen here and there) is awesome so there isn't much to complain about. Though I expect some Tom Devlin gossip from SPX. (Brian Ralph, I'm looking at you.)

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