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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rookie Yearbook One in LA!

While you were all buying original Lisa Hanawalt art for a pittance at BCGF, I had the pleasure of going to LA to pick lemons that turned out to be under-ripe clementines, leaving comics far, far behind. Okay, fine, this is a complete lie, and my trip was, indeed, pretty comic-centric, because I guess at this point I just cannot escape it. But the point of the trip was not comics, it was to promote Rookie Yearbook One to our West-Coast sistas. So, here you are, internet. What you'll find below is a recap of what happens when you send Tavi and me to LA for a few days with only one adult to supervise.

My first day in LA was a day off, which meant a trip to the beach stopping by Skylight Books and Secret Headquarters. Pictured above is Skylight's note-worthy zine section. It's one of the best I've seen. The only picture I got at Secret Headquarters was a shot of their Women Authors section. Ahem. I won't include it. But seriously! What is this, 1992?

And because it probably fits in best here, I had the pleasure of meeting Vanessa Davis, and now I want to move to LA so we can be besties. And I also got to spend A LOT of time with Matt Forsythe. He JUST moved to LA to work on Adventure Time, so the homeless chap was crashing on my couch. Congrats, Matt! We are proud of you and you will be much-missed in Montreal.

The next morning was jammed packed full of press. We started off the day at the NBC lot for a taping of Access Hollywood. If you haven't watched it yet, indulge! Please. It's not everyday you get to watch a 16-year-old talk circles around the adult hosts of a talkshow, live.

Next up was a visit to the Maximum Fun offices for a radio interview on Bullseye. This office was as impeccably decorated as Jesse Thorn is dressed. And the best part of all? A rocket-ship ride (not to be confused with a giant banana). The interview was a delight to listen to; Jesse and Tavi were a match made in pop-culture heaven and given more time, I think they could have talked for many, many hours. I'll let you know when the interview is available online.

And because it's the only picture I got of Tavi's dad, Steve, I feel obliged to include this here! If we haven't made this clear already: Tavi's parents are the best and they are always a pleasure to spend time with.

Following all that press was some more press, and then a reading/signing at Diesel. The book store was quite small, which made for a very intimate evening, and Tavi had more time to spend with each reader than normal, making the night pretty special. Watching the interactions, as always, was inspiring. Thanks, Diesel, for hosting the event!

Tavi with some ADORABLE fans. Sorry, comic-book nerds that may be reading this, but comics fans will NEVER be this cute.

Day two of Rookie madness included the highlight of the weekend for me — the event at Meltdown Comics. These guys know how to host an event. THANK-YOU to Gaston, Emily, Danielle and the rest of their team for all their hard work.

The event started off with a zine workshop put on by the LA Zine Fest. Again, THANKS to Meredith and her crew. Watching roughly 80 girls sitting down together, making friends, and creating zines was pretty incredible.

We even threw together a special Rookie zine for the event, featuring a jean-jacket DIY by Rookie Eleanor Hardwick.

Following the workshop we had a reading, hosted by the lovely Shelby Fero! You guys! She made me laugh so hard and has the voice of an angel. And in true Rookie spirit, she's only 19. THANKS Shelby for being an incredible emcee.

First up was Sarah Silverman! A well-respected comedian once called me a comedy nerd, so lets just say that having Sarah at the event was both the most exciting thing that's happened to me in a while and also the most terrifying. I said some mumbly things to her that she made me repeat and then I ran out of the room. Good one, moron.

Pictured above is Sarah telling a room full of teenage girls that Mother Theresa didn't worry about her celulite, and neither should they. Not pictured here but worth noting was Sarah telling this same room full of teenage girls that feminine deodorant was invented by men trying to take advantage of their insecurities, and that if regular soap wasn't doing the trick, they should probably see a doctor. GIRLS NEED TO KNOW THIS. God knows my mother never told me. I suppose twenty-six is as good of an age as any to learn a life lesson. Also, in giving this lesson, Sarah managed to say vagina about ten times.

And then we had screenwriter and novelist Kiwi Smith reading a passage from her next book. I don't want to debunk this tough-girl persona I've been trying so hard to create, but Legally Blonde may have been a big deal to me at one point in my life, so having Kiwi at the event was pretty rad.

And then, because why not drag one more incredible woman on to the stage, Shannon Woodward spoke about the importance of waving your freak-flag while always remembering NEVER to freak-dance. Wise words. I tend to ignore that last piece of advice, but I can't claim it's worked out well for me.

And last up we had Tavi. She spoke about taking charge of your feelings instead of just waiting for things to get better or change on their own, and how in doing so you'll get better at it, and be able to do it again and again and your life will be so much better for it. I think. I haven't mastered this skill yet, so paraphrasing it is hard. But it was wise-beyond-her-years and, as always, inspiring for everyone in the room.

If you couldn't make it to the event, throw those soggy tissues in the trash, pick yourself up off the floor, and go make yourself a ham sandwich because you can watch it here, right now. THANK-YOU to Andy and his team at Stickam for hauling in all their fancy equipment and streaming the event for us. These guys were total pros. Thinking about girls in tiny towns across America getting to participate in the event from home makes my heart do this thing were it feels funny.

I didn't manage to get everyone together for a photo, so this photo of Tavi with our incredible emcee, Shelby, with have to do.

And this, which is probably too blurry to include but I'm doing it anyway: Tavi and Sarah chatting after the readings.

Following the reading we had a signing. This picture doesn't do the line justice. Meltdown is the biggest comics shop I've ever been in, and the line wrapped around half the store. In the words of the always-succinct Jillian Tamaki about Rookie Yearbook One: "The emphasis on Doing, Making, Taking Action, Being Proactive, etc., seems revolutionary." This is the thesis of Rookie, and it could not have been exhibited more perfectly than at this event. So, THANK YOU to everyone who came out and helped to make it so magical.

Afterward Tavi had to rush off for the final event of the weekend: an Urban Outfitters sponsored dance party at Space 1520. People! This event was crazy! It started off with a signing, and ended with a live performance by Best Coast.

This was as close as I could get to the action. Turns out 500+ teenagers are much better at getting up front at a concert than I am. The turn out for the event was so great that they had to shut it down early. By the end I think we were at least 300 people over capacity and the cops were on their way. That's right: a D+Q book signing got shut down by the cops. I feel like an old-maid after spending a few days with teenagers, but that's pretty bad-ass, right?

And because my half-asked photos don't do justice to the going ons, here's a video of what went down from BadGiftProductions.

After the dance party Tavi was the special guest at a comedy show at the UCB. The line up was pretty solid (Lesley Arfin!!! Paul Rust!!) and I was too busy laughing to take any photos. Haven't I given you enough all ready?

Later gators!


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