Friday, July 31, 2009


The Players:

me, Jennifer
- the comic book/graphic novel buyer for Sam Weller's Bookstore.

- also me, with my new black hair, dressed in costume (cosplay). Etinu dlrow eht fo sdraziw!

Comic Con
- the largest comic book convention in North America, happening for the last 40 years in SanDiego. It's an epic four-day event.
me + "the con" = special

The Props:

Top Shelf, Dark Horse, Fantagraphics all had great graphic novels at their booths. (Weller's stocks many titles.)

There were major book publishers pushing upcoming fall titles. Noteworthy: The Magicians by Lev Grossman. Read it, devoured it, loved it. Scary, fantastical magic for adults & teens. It comes out August 11 from Penguin. (Weller's will have it.)

Century Guild. Fine art dealer specializing in Art Nouveau. The most elegant booth. Gorgeous Mucha prints. Epic absinthe posters.

Steampunks. Followers were abundant! Essentially, steampunk is the idea of industrializing/mechanizing the Victorian era. An ideal of modern science mixed with romance and novelty, it feels unprocessed as everything is done by individuals. The comic The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is an excellent example. One of my favorite webcomics Monster Commute had a booth - follow them to realize the creative world of steampunk.
Uglydolls! So squishable & ugly they're cute! My favorite has been discontinued - forget his name, but he had chest hair. (Sam Weller's is getting new dolls!)

The Play:


I attended Comic Con for five straight years (reveling solo in my girlish nerdom) until 2006, when suddenly being nerdy wasn't so passé. That last year was overwhelming (x12). The aisles were extremely crowded - I was run over by baby-strollers on Sunday. A good chunk of floor space (the convention center is enormous!) was devoted to manga/anime and video games (both are fine hobbies, but not my cup of tea). I experienced overkill of free schwag, panels and film premieres in Hall H ...the ominous Hall H. These downsides accompanied more of the wonderful: artist alley, indie press island, comics for a dollar! Also, the coolest film presentation ever held in Hall H: the panel for King Kong: Adrien Brody, Naomi Watts, Jack Black - followed by a half hour performance by TENACIOUS D!! The Serenity panel was also pretty hilarious, too.


After a two year hiatus (I opted for Europe instead!) I returned to Comic Con this last weekend.

Still enormous and overcrowded (over 126, 000 attendees!!) the con did not seem so overwhelming to me this round. The secret? Doing the opposite of what I'd done the previous years: I didn't spend every hour of every day ogling awesome stuff. My friend Spidey & I walked through once and bought only a few tantalizing comics. There was too much to choose from, so I didn't. (I'm sure I'll regret later not having picked up more books or art.) I saw lots of people dressed as Watchmen or manga/anime characters or steampunks or Princess Leia, but didn't bother taking pictures. You can view a few cosplayers (including Zatanna!) from this great photographer Tim Wong.

I only sat at three panels: Harry Potter fandom and another for the Fables series. (Bill Willingham is delightful!) The other panel was a discussion between clever James Cameron and Peter Jackson (producer District 9) who is adorably scruffy and brilliant.

In the evenings I ate delicious dinners with friends and went out to parties. Eoin Colfer is another delightful author. (He's written the newest of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series! October 10!) I fawned over Edward James Olmos (of BSG - swoon!). I met (& frightened) Matt Selman, a Simpsons writer and witty guy. Where was Seth Green?!!


It's certainly an experience to be had for book lovers. Comics aren't only for kids.

Bring on the nerds and their thick rimmed-glasses . . .

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hardboiled Book Club: Citizen Vince

Sam Wellers Bookstore's Hardboiled Book Club meets tonight, Tuesday July 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the fabulous Wellers basement.

Citizen Vince author Jess Walter will join our meeting via speaker phone to discuss our latest selection. This is your chance to ask anything you ever wanted to know about Jess Walter but were afraid to ask. Well not everything....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lit Knit -- Knitting in WellerWorld

Tonight, July 22 at 5:30, will be the first meeting of the new knitting group at Wellers, Knit Lit.

Why would you want to come in to knit at 5:30 on a Wednesday?
  • Because you'll spend an hour relaxing with knitting and conversation instead of driving home in rush hour traffic.
  • Because you'll meet the cool Weller-istas who knit and other downtown knitting types.
  • Because you'll get to show off your favorite knitting project to people who'll appreciate it.
  • Because you'll get to talk books, knitting or other, with people who love books as much as you do.
  • Because we welcome crocheters too.
Lit Knit will meet at the dining table on the lower level on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month. You really should come and knit/crochet with us.