West Hollywood

Comics and Graphic Novels at this year’s West Hollywood Book Fair

10th Annual West Hollywood Book Fair

The West Hollywood Book Fair is this Sunday, October 2nd, and a good number of comic book and graphic novel authors, artists, publishers and retailers are taking part. There are plenty of panels and events, which all include signings immediately after. Here’s a look at what’s happening:


The Comics, Graphic Novels & More Pavilion will have panels throughout the entire day. Good discussions will be held to examine how comics are attempting to diversify their readership, as well as the rise of graphic novel anthologies and young adult graphic novels. There will also be a look at comic book adaptations of the worlds of Jim Henson and a broader look at comics getting adapted to film and TV. The day is then capped off with a live podcast covering Superman’s impact on American and world culture.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Diversity in Comics panel. Former TokyoPop senior editor Lillian Diaz-Przybyl moderates; panelists: author/illustrator Leland Myrick (Feynman), manga editor/writer Troy Lewter (Priest, Cabin in the Woods), and writer Kimberly Komatsu (Womanthology, In America’s Shadow).

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm: The Rise of the Graphic Novel Anthology. Comedy writer Asterios Kokkinos moderates; panelists: Kazu Kibuishi (editor of Flight, Explorer), DJ Kirkbride (editor of Popgun), Nicole Sixx (contributor to Womanthology), and Michael Woods (editor of Outlaw Territory).

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm: The World of Young Adult Grapphic Novels. Lillian Diaz-Przybyl again moderates; panelists: author Cecil Castellucci (The Plain Janes), writer Deborah Vankin (Poseurs), and editor Barbara Randall Kesel (Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives, Wicked Lovely: Desert Tales).

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm: Jim Henson and Comic Books: Putting Puppets to Paper. Writer/editor (and Henson specialist) Tim Beedle moderates; panelists: The Jim Henson Company‘s Director of Product Development Jim Formanek, writer Brian Holguin (Dark Crystal), consulting editor Joe LeFavi of Quixotic Transmedia (Fraggle Rock, The Storyteller, Return to Labyrinth), and writer Heather Nuhfer (Fraggle Rock).

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Comics to Screen & Back Again. Moderated by Sax Carr and Blair Marnell of Crave Online’s The Idiot Box podcast; panelists: writer/editor Len Wein (Swamp Thing, X-Men), executive story editor/writer Deric A. Hughes (Warehouse 13), and writer Sam Sarker of Johnny Depp’s production company Infinitum Nihil (The Vault).

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Inside the Comics Industry: Superman. A live broadcast of the Fandom Planet podcast hosted by comedians Tim Powers and Sax Carr; panelists: artist Jon Bogdanove (Superman: The Man of Steel), writer Elliot S! Maggin (Action Comics, Superman), and comics historian/cartoonist Scott Shaw! (Oddball Comics, Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew)

The Current Events & Hot Topics Pavilion will also include some comics mixed into their “traditional” book discussions. Writer Joshua Dysart (Unknown Soldier) will be one of the panelists for The Way of the Gun: Fascination & Fear in Fact & Fiction, moderated by writer Gary Phillips (Cowboys). Other panelists include novelists Naomi Hirahara (Blood Hina: A Mas Arai Mystery) and Adam Winkler (Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America).

The popular Amulet series of graphic novels by special guest Kazu Kibuishi

The Teen Stage has a live author interview with Cecil Castellucci (The Plain Janes, Janes in Love), conducted by blogger and book reviewer Chelsea Swiggett. The two will discuss Castellucci’s two graphic novels, as well as her popular young adult novels like Rose Sees Red.


Young Adult author Cecil Castellucci will also be exhibiting her collaborative narrative project Literary Diaspora at the Fair. She mails (yes, old fashion mails!) out words to visual artists and images to authors who then create something inspired by what they received. They then mail it back to her to add to the growing stories. So far comics artists Becky Cloonan, Joe Infurnari, Chip Zdarsky and others have participated. Cards returned so far will be displayed at the Fair, and visitors might even find a card in a books asking them to participate. Check out LiteraryDiaspora.com for more on the project.

Live Art with Billy Martinez – Indie comics creator Martinez will produce art at the Indie Comics Creators Booths all day long. Booth: C 19-22

How to Make Comic Books & Zines Workshop – The Indie Comics Creators Booths will hold workshops and tutorials all day long. Booth: C 19-22

Special Guests:

Cecil CastellucciThe Plain Janes and Janes in Love graphic novels, as well as YA novels Boy Proof, The Queen of Cool and Beige. Official site.
Kazu Kibuishi Amulet graphic novel series, Flight comics anthology. Official site.
Deborah VankinPoseurs graphic novel, LA Times staff writer. Twitter.


Archaia Entertainment – Publisher of graphic novels Mouse Guard, Return of the Dapper Men, Jim Henson projects like Fraggle Rock and The Dark Crystal, and much more. Booth: C 4-5
The Comic Bug – A great comic book store in Manhattan Beach. Booth: C 1-2
The Devastator – A quarterly comedy magazine with comics, funny writing and other wackiness run by editor-in-chief Geoffrey Golden (Cracked, National Lampoon). Booth: C 19-22, Table E
Eyedraugh Comics – Independent comics publisher located in Fontana. Booth: C 19-22, Table A
Neko Press Comics – Art studio, school and publisher run by La Mesa-based illustrator Billy Martinez, who will be producing live art all day long. Booth: C 19-22, Table H
OMGcow: A Comic Diary – An autobiographical web-comic by cartoonist Sheika Lugta of Long Beach. Booth: C 19-22, Table A

The WeHo Book Fair is happening this Sunday at the West Hollywood Library, which is itself having a grand opening the day before, and the neighboring West Hollywood Park, at N. San Vicente Blvd. at Melrose Blvd, this Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm.

This Friday is brought to you by Don’t Like Surprise Kitteh

Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend:

COMEDY – The X-ecution: Final 6 and we’re still rooting for Kathie Bostian of the Magic Meathands! It’s elimination-style improv comedy with $500 and meetings with top talent agencies at stake. Find out who gets eliminated and who moves on to the next week at The Improv Space in Westwood, Friday, 8-9 PM. Tickets: $10

MUSIC – Singer/songwriter Maureen Toth launches her debut album Shine at Molly Malone’s in the Fairfax District of LA, Friday, 8 PM. She’ll be joined for an acoustic set with blues/folk guitarist Bernie Larsen, bassist David Sutton and drummer Butch Norton. Tickets: $10

COMMUNITYThe Great Wall of Los Angeles Bubble Bath is looking for volunteers. Help clean up the longest mural in the world (1000 feet depicting the history of Los Angeles from pre-history to now!) by gathering with others at the Great Wall of Los Angeles in Valley Glen, Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM. If interested, email felipe@sparcmurals.org or call 310-822-9560, ext 10 at the the Social and Public Art Resource Center and leave your name, phone and email.

COMEDY – I perform family friendly improv comedy with the Magic Meathands at the The Spot Café & Lounge in Culver City, Saturday, 8 PM. Opening for us is the South Bay improv troupe Jump Start. Tickets: $7 ($3 for kids 12 & under)

THEATERPulp Shakespeare answers the age-old question, “What if Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction was written by William Shakespeare?”, at the Actor’s Circle Theatre in West Hollywood, Saturday, 6 PM and Sunday, 7 PM. Catch the previews of this show right before it officially debuts at Hollywood Fringe next week. Tickets: $10

BREAKING: Newsstands still exist, kids still read comics

This just in: Print Still Happens! (Click for bigginess)

Amid all the attention put on digital, its exclusive contract with the future, and the “print is dead” mantra, it’s refreshing to be reminded that kids can still be completely entertained by a comic book made of dead trees and staples at their local newsstand.

The Los Angeles Times has a Southern California Moments site that highlights a local photo of the day. This picture, titled “Fully engaged,” was selected for January 25. It was taken by user bobcov1 on September 9, 2010. The kids sit at King’s Newsstand, located at 8361 Beverly Blvd. at Kings Road. It’s named after its neighbor Kings Road Café, although I’m not sure which was there first. The boy on the right is reading a comic book although I can’t tell which one. His brother (presumably) seems to be reading a magazine, another form of print that’s becoming more and more rare in this ever-increasingly app-powered world.

The photo’s caption reads, “Two young boys, clearly aware that life exists beyond Gameboy, entertain themselves the old-fashioned way.” Game Boy. How quaint. (Nintendo DS, maybe. Or the PSP.)

It’s easy to forget that outside of major cities, newsstands have become a rare sight, but Los Angeles actually has a ton of them. In fact there’s one a few blocks away from me on the corner of National and Sepulveda that I could probably walk to in about ten minutes. (Incidentally, there’s a pretty crummy comic book store in the strip mall kitty-corner to it that I’ve finally given up on.)

According to Yelp, there are over 1,000 newsstands in the greater Los Angeles area. It would be interesting to see what kind of presence comic books have in these newsstands, and what kind of sales they generate. I mean, does anyone actually still buy comics at their local newsstand? Here’s the photographic proof that says they do.

(Via The Beat)