BEA wrap-up


We never got to go to the Book Expo America, on Sunday — we were hoping to head over after we finished some other stuff, but the other stuff took forever. More other stuff came up YESTERDAY, and we never even got to post. Just to wrap it all up, Bully has the best coverage of all, this time lavishing praise on Boom! Studios promotional materials:

There’s a lot of information on these sell sheets, and it’s exactly the sort of information I didn’t see Marvel offering visitors to its booth: sales handles and selling points, marketing, descriptions, comparables, author biographies, and full book descriptions: absolutely everything a bookstore buyer or manager needs to get up to speed on a Boom! trade paperback. Ross also showed me an advance copy of the second Hero Squared trade paperback, which was beautifully done: great trim size (6″ x 9″), excellent price point ($14.99), beautiful color and intriguing back cover copy. Boom! also is now distributed to the bookstore trade by publisher Perseus, a smart move which will increase Boom!’s presence in bricks-and-mortar chain and independent and internet booksellers…exactly the audience who is attending BEA. I don’t care for every single one of Boom!’s comics, but I’m exceptionally impressed by their business plan and BEA presence, and I wish Ross and company all the best. I think that he “gets” it in ways some bigger companies…and I’m not even talking specifically comic companies…don’t.

We’ll echo that…in a world where pamphlets are forgotten, Boom! seems to be getting along just fine, modestly but efficiently.

You’ll find most of the major news over at ICv2:

As we reported last year, the show did not market the graphic novel pavilion as a separate area of the floor this year. That area had morphed into the Diamond Book Distributors aisle, with matching booths for Diamond and all of its publisher clients (including Marvel) and a 3D version of its diamond-shaped logo hovering overhead. The new BEA presentation was one of the last marketing initiatives organized by Diamond Director of Marketing Shelley Meyers, who recently left the company to pursue other interests.

And you can find a list of other links here.

We didn’t really do much news gathering at the show. Instead we just wandered around and chatted folks up. A few little tidbits emerged, but nothing earth shattering. Regular publishers were promoting their graphic novel offerings just as they would books without pictures. Grand Central was giving away blads of “Shooting WarSHOOTING WAR by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman; Abrams had schweet posters promoting this fall’s Jack Kirby bio by Mark Evanier; Disney was giving away previews of Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel which could be a very very big book.

Graphic novels were mainstreamed more than ever this year in every way. The Diamond area was positioned much closer to the middle of the floor, with DC an aisle over. Diamond was really the center of attention however, and a cocktail party on Saturday afternoon had most of the comics crowd standing around eating savory tarts. The mood was super relaxed and optimistic…times are good, and everyone is hatching a plan to make it even better.

On the free book front, we attempted to be brutally spartan, owing to our bad back. We did score the exciting book, Provofiev’s Diaries 1907-1914, prompting one of our compatriots to remark “That’s what they did before blogging!” On the floor there were big lines for James Patterson, Stephen Colbert and the Cartooning crowd — Garry Trudeau, Lynn Johnston, etc. Every year this is one of the biggest attractions of the BEA for sure.

While there were a ton of schwanky literary parties all over the city, including an 80th birthday for The Strand which was hear was swell, we settled for the Diamond/Image dinner at Carmine’s where Kyle Baker, Robert Kirkman and Colleen Doran were the star attractions. They had all signed that day, and the signings were good, but everyone agreed Kirkman’s was the biggest, with perhaps 100 people; clearly, he’s a cross-over success in the making. The dinner was the dual idea of Diamond’s Joshua Haynes and Image’s Mark Haven Britt, who is going back to graphic design, he told us. Joe Keatinge will be taking over Image’s marketing.

After dinner we raced over to the Dark Horse rooftop party, were Dirk Wood and Jeremy Atkins were holding forth and we snapped some awesome skyline photos. The evening ended, as–worringly–so many do, with karaoke and about that the less said the better, so we’ll leave you with only pictures:

Jeremy and Dirk, comics new boy’s love icons.

More pictures in the jump:

“Deacon Blues”

Chris Staros’ first karaoke EVER!

Terry Nantier at the NBM booth.

We never figured out what these angel girls were selling, which means the promotion failed.

Jim Salpicrup and Stefan Petrucha at the Papercutz booth. Jim celebrated his 50th birthday at MoCCA during the show. Happy birthday, Jimbo!

Ross Richie at the BOOM! booth.

Reading at the Fantagraphics booth.

We passed on a chance to see Les Claypool for dinner. Yes, we are getting to old for this shit.

Mark Haven Britt and Kyle Baker

Now two photos by Diamond’s Doug White, who has a huge Flickr set of the entire BEA.

Kyle Baker, Scott(?) from Diamond, and Robert Kirkman.

Liz Glass, Diamond’s Janna Morashima, Colleen Doran and The Beat.

And now back to our bad photos:

Chris Staros and PWCW’s Laurel Maury

Youuuu belong to the ciiiiity…

  1. Um, those angel girls are standing in front of a poster for something called “Prophecy.” That’s just my interpretation by looking at the photo….

    P.S. I love Carmine’s. I ate there on my only trip into the city and I ended up pissing next to Tom Hagen himself, Robert Duvall. I nearly made some crack along the lines of “I love the smell of napalm scented urinal cakes in the morning,” but wisely thought better of it.

  2. Heidi, the one person I asked at Harpercollins had no clue about Fox Atomic.
    Yes, no GN pavillion, as their is no need. Most everyone not distributed by Diamond is part of a bigger company, and thus gets better traffic. But there was so much GN programming that I almost failed in walking the entire show floor!

  3. The girls in question weren’t mini “booth babes”; they were Brittany and Brianna Weiner, co-authors (with their father) of the book being self-published and promoted, The Strand Prophecy. The project began as an attempt by their dad to help them work through some mild learning difficulties, and has apparently taken on a life of its own. Read more about them and the work in question at this link.

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