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Book Week! BookExpo America, BookCon Bring Biblio-Graphic Excitement to the Big Apple!

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It’s that time of year again!  Publishers, retailers, and readers are gathering in New York City to explore and celebrate the latest in books!

From Tuesday until Sunday, the Javits Center will host thousands of attendees with a four-day trade show, and then a two-day consumer show on Saturday and Sunday!

Last year, Reed Exhibitions partnered with their pop-culture branch ReedPOP to organize what had previously been a half-hearted attempt to add some liveliness to otherwise dwindling attendance figures.  This was a bit of a no-brainer…Lance Fensterman, the mad genius behind ReedPOP, once ran BEA.

So, what happened last year?  The usual at BookExpo… famous celebrity authors promoted their memoirs, author breakfasts and lunches were attended, lots of business was done, tons of free books were shipped home.

BookCon…?  Many of you will recall the inaugural New York Comic Con in 2006, a party so epic, the cops showed up.  That’s what happened last year at Javits.  10,000 tickets sold out for the one -day event.  The fire marshal forced attendees to wait in line to access the panel rooms downstairs.  And while there wasn’t a room similar to Hall H in San Diego, BookCon still had their celebrity moment, as John Green, internet maestro, hosted a panel to promote the release of “The Fault In Our Stars” at theaters the next weekend.  Here’s a sample of what occurred:

When Vilkomerson opened the panel up to questions from the audience, there was an immediate scuffling of chairs and shoving of tables as attendees – most of them adolescent girls – began crushing toward the microphone in the center of the room.

It was so intense, and so sudden, that a panic began to break out and Green himself began calling from the stage: “Stop. Stop! STOP!STOP!!”

He ordered everyone pushing into the line to, “Go back to your seats,” saying there were already more than enough people to close out the hour-long event.

and…

No doubt the biggest, funniest, and most emotional reaction during the BookCon panel came near the very end, when a young man wearing shorts that revealed his prosthetic leg got his turn at the microphone.

The lead male character, Gus (played by Ansel Elgort) has had one leg amputated due to his cancer, and the questioner first wanted to make a comment about the book’s famous love scene between Gus and Hazel.

“As an amputee myself, I just wanted to say thank you, John, for answering a lifelong question of mine, which is: whether, during sex, to keep my leg on or off,” the young man said, to deafening squeals of delight from the mostly female audience.

Green rocked back in his chair laughing, then brought everything to a halt by jumping off the stage to give the man a hug. When he returned to stage, Green said: “That didn’t go the direction I expected!”

A woman who had a question immediately after that noted: “I think he’s got a roomful of dates already,” while Green scanned the crowd and pointing out various girls swarming him.

“He’s not going to be able to walk out,” Green said. “He keeps getting stopped!”

Is it any surprise that there will be a repeat this year, for “Paper Towns”?

What does this mean?  Well, I’m not sure who will show up this year, but if it’s anything like 2014, it will be the bizarro-comic-con.  How so? First, lots of teenage (and pre-teen) girls will be there, partly because of John Green, partly because they read. Then, there’s the focus of the the show… it’s part of a trade show, so there are no retailers (aside from the publishers themselves, if they wish to sell). Everything will be geared towards the Fall list, stuff due in September, October, and November.  Certainly, authors will be there because of their backlist, but they will also have a new title to promote.  Thus, no dealers selling first editions, signed copies, or variants. Nothing slabbed (or in this case, clam-shelled). There will be children’s book authors, and authors covering every genre and demographic. (Harlequin is a master of this, putting any Wednesday Crowd publisher to shame. Some of their paperback series are weekly.) Quite a few families as well, as BookCon sells a $5 kids ticket (ages 6-12) along with the $30/$35 Saturday/Sunday tickets.  

As with last year, Halls 3D and 3E are reserved for the BookCon exhibitors.  These grey booths above are exhibitors who will also be there during the trade show earlier in the week. (Diamond has their own aisle.)  The blue section towards the back contains pop-up booths for publishers who are exhibiting over in Halls 3A-C during the trade show.

Here’s a big map of the entire BookCon layout.  (It’s a PDF, otherwise, I’d insert it here.) Panels are in 1-A.  1-C hosts the autograph area, as well as the “stockyards” queue hall.  1-D is the events hall.  It will be cleared after each event, and you need a wristband.  (Just like NYCC.)

You’ve read this far, so I know you’re a power reader!  What’s scheduled, you might ask?  Well, here’s the comics-centric list!  I’ll include events held during BEA as well as BookCon, since we have some industry insiders amongst our readership, and it’s nice to encourage comics publishers to exhibit as well as schedule signings and panels.

As always, this is just what’s available via the official websites.  Many publishers will host in-booth signings as well, so if you’ve got a favorite publisher like Andrews McMeel or IDW, stop by their booths first thing each morning, and update your agenda.  Also, times and situations might change.


  • In-Booth Signing with Derf Backderf

    Wed. May 27| 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM | 2827  Abrams

    In-Booth Signing of Trashed by Backderf, Derf

  • Marvel Presents: Star Wars

    Wed. May 27| 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM | Downtown Stage

    In 1977, a few months before the release of Star Wars, Marvel Comics debuted their very own adaptation of the film – which kicked off nearly a decade of stories set in a galaxy far far away, told in the Mighty Marvel Manner! Now, nearly 40 years after that historic debut, Star Wars has finally returned to Marvel with an acclaimed line of all-new comics and graphic novels! Marvel Editor Jordan White is joined by the superstar writer & artist duo of newly-announced series Star Wars: Lando, Charles Soule and Alex Maleev, to discuss all things Star Wars at Marvel!

  • In-Booth Signing with Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi

    Wed. May 27| 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM | 2757  Disney-Hyperion

    In-Booth Signing of Willems, Mo and DiTerlizzi, Tony

There’s also Thursday and Friday, but I don’t see anything of note for comics.  Check your favorite publishers… they might in-booth signings planned which typically don’t appear on the show planner.


BookCon?

Well, the big event, as reported here many months ago, is the “Comics Are Awesome” panel!

    • COMICS ARE AWESOME!

      Sat. May 30| 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM | Room 1A10

      Join comics superstars Ben Hatke (Little Robot), Jenni Holm (Sunny Side Up), Jeff Smith (Bone), and Raina Telgemeier (Sisters) as they talk about how comics work, how they make their own comics, and what makes comics so completely awesome. If you’re a fan of comics, don’t miss this great discussion – it’ll have amazing authors sharing their latest work and exciting art drawn right before your eyes!

    • MARVEL Presents: Star Wars

      Sat. May 30| 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM | Room 1A21

      In 1977, a few months before the release of Star Wars, Marvel Comics debuted their very own adaptation of the film – which kicked off nearly a decade of stories set in a galaxy far far away, told in the Mighty Marvel Manner! Now, nearly 40 years after that historic debut, Star Wars has finally returned to Marvel with an acclaimed line of all-new comics and graphic novels! Marvel Editor Jordan White is joined by the superstar writer & artist duo of newly-announced series Star Wars: Lando, Charles Soule and Alex Maleev, to discuss all things Star Wars at Marvel!

    • Meet Garfield!

      Sat. May 30| 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM | Booth # 3119

      Get your photo taken with with America’s Favorite Cat— Garfield! And pick up your FREE copy of Garfield The Big Cheese. Classic Comics from America’s #1 funny feline!

      Cost: Free

      Track: In-Booth Signing

    • Jeff Smith and Raina Telgemeier Autographing

      Sat. May 30| 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM | Autographing Table 5

      A purchase from the WORD bookstore is required for this autograph session. However, purchasing the book does not guarantee an autograph as space is limited and on a first come, first serve basis.

      Cost: Book Purchase Required

      Track: BookCon Autographing Area

    • Women of MARVEL: An In–Conversation with Margaret Stohl and Adri Cowan

      Sat. May 30| 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM | Room 1A06

      Join #1 New York Times bestselling author Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures series; Black Widow: Forever Red) and Social Media Manager for Marvel Entertainment Adri Cowan as they discuss women tackling the superhero genre in new and interesting ways, the rise of female-followed protagonists by both male and female readers, and possible tricks for writing one’s way out of in-universe, long-standing character conflicts.


  •  Snoopy Photo Op

    Sun. May 31| 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Autographing Table 4

    Cost: Free

    Track: BookCon Autographing Area

  • Meet Garfield!

    Sun. May 31| 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Booth # 3119

    Get your photo taken with with America’s Favorite Cat— Garfield! And pick up your FREE copy of Garfield The Big Cheese. Classic Comics from America’s #1 funny feline!

    Cost: Free

    Track: In-Booth Signing

  • MARVEL Presents: Max Ride, Dark Tower and More

    Sun. May 31| 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Room 1A21

    If the World’s Mightiest Heroes and the denizens of a galaxy far, far away weren’t enough for you, then Marvel’s got you covered! Jake Thomas (Editor, Empire of the Dead) and Mark Basso (Editor, Marvel’s Disney Kingdoms line) are on hand to discuss the myriads of non-superhero properties being given the Marvel treatment, along with author James Patterson (Maximum Ride), Marguerite Bennett (writer of Max Ride: First Fight), and Peter David (writer of Marvel’s Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three)!

    [WAIT, WHAT TH?!  James Patterson?! On a comics panel? We have won.]

  • Graphic Novels: In the Studio

    Sun. May 31| 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM | Macmillan Meeting Room 3139 on the Show Floor

    Jonathan Fetter-Vorm (BATTLE LINES), Pénélope Bagieu (EXQUISITE CORPSE), and Ben Hatke (LITTLE ROBOT) will share a behind-the-scenes look at how they create graphic novels, from idea to finished project. Moderated by Calista Brill, editor at First Second Books.

    Ticketed Event: go to booth 3056 starting at 10 AM for a free ticket. Signed copies of panelists’ books will be raffled off.

    PLEASE NOTE: Event will take place in Macmillan Meeting Room 3139 on the Show Floor

  • Crafting Illustrated Stories for Kids: Julianne Moore in Conversation with Brian Selznick

    Sun. May 31| 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM | Room 1A10

    New York Times Bestselling author and Academy Award and Emmy winning actress Julianne Moore (Freckleface Strawberry) joins acclaimed and bestselling author and Caldecott Medalist Brian Selznick (whose novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret was adapted into Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award winning movie, Hugo) in conversation about the inspiration behind their beloved books and characters, their artistic process, and offer a sneak peek at their latest upcoming projects. Moore’s new Step Into Reading books Freckleface Strawberry: Backpacks! and Freckleface Strawberry: Lunch, or What’s That? are due out June 23, 2015. Selznick’s The Marvels, will be published on September 15, 2015.

  • Author Panel: Write What You Know

    Sun. May 31| 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM | Macmillan Meeting Room 3139 on the Show Floor

    Maria Venegas (BULLETPROOF VEST), Adrian Tomine (NEW YORK DRAWINGS and KILLING AND DYING), Jamie Brickhouse (DANGEROUS WHEN WET). From Mexico to Texas to NYC, three authors with wildly diverse backgrounds and stories discuss how they drew from their own experiences to write a book that reflects their life. Moderated by Martin Quinn, Macmillan Sales Rep.

    Ticketed Event: go to booth 3056 starting at 10 AM for a free ticket. Signed copies of panelists’ books will be raffled off.

    PLEASE NOTE: Event will take place in Macmillan Meeting Room 3139 on the Show Floor

  • Jenni Holm Autographing

    Sat. May 30| 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM | Booth # 3119

    Cost: Free

    Track: In-Booth Signing

  • Brian Selznick Autographing

    Sun. May 31| 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM | Autographing Table 2

    Cost: Free

 Plus numerous guests!

  • Adrian Tomine

    Best Known For: Scenes from an Impending Marriage
    Day(s): Sunday
    Location: Panels

    Adrian Tomine is the author of Scenes from an Impending Marriage, Shortcomings, Summer Blonde, Sleepwalk, 32 Stories, and the comic book series Optic Nerve. He is also an illustrator for The New Yorker, Esquire, and Rolling Stone, and his stories have appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading and An Anthology of Graphic Fiction,Cartoons, and True Stories. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Tomine lives in Brooklyn, New York.

  • Alex Maleev

    Best Known For: Star Wars: Lando
    Day(s): Saturday
    Location: Panels
  • Ben Hatke

    Best Known For: Zita the Spacegirl
    Book Title: Little Robot
    Day(s): Sunday
    Location: Panels

    Ben Hatke is the author of the New York Times Best-Selling Zita the Spacegirl trilogy as well as the picture book Julia’s House for Lost Creatures. In addition to writing and drawing comics, he also paints in the naturalist tradition and, occasionally, performs one-man fire shows.  Hatke lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and their boisterous pack of daughters.  His next graphic novel is the delightful Little Robot, which will be on sale in September.

  • Brian Selznick

    Best Known For: The Invention of Hugo Cabret
    Book Title: The Marvels
    Day(s): Sunday
    Location: Panels, BookCon Autographing Area

    Brian Selznick grew up in New Jersey and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Art and Design in 1988. He worked for two years after graduation at Eeyore’s Books for Children in New York City. His first book was published while he worked there.

    Selznick has also designed theater sets and worked as a professional puppeteer. His first book, The Houdini Box, was inspired by a fascination with the famous magician. He has illustrated both novels and picture books for other writers, including the Sibert Honor books, When Marian Sang by Pam Munoz Ryan and Walt Whitman: Words for America by Barbara Kerley. His illustrations for Barbara Kerley’s The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins won a Caldecott Honor Award in 2002; and in 2008, his groundbreaking book The Invention of Hugo Cabret was awarded the Caldecott Medal. It was nominated for a National Book Award and was the basis for Martin Scorsese’s Oscar winning film Hugo. His follow up illustrated novel, Wonderstruck, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. His newest novel, The Marvels, will be published on September 15, 2015.

    Selznick divides his time between Brooklyn, New York, and San Diego, California.

  • Charles Soule

    Best Known For: Star Wars: Lando [I’d say “Death of Wolverine, if we’re talking Marvel titles, otherwise, “Swamp Thing”.]
    Day(s): Saturday
    Location: Panels
  • Jeff Smith

    Best Known For: Bone
    Book Title: Out from Boneville: Tribute Edition
    Day(s): Saturday
    Location: Panels, BookCon Autographing Area
  • Jennifer L. Holm

    Best Known For: Babymouse
    Book Title: Sunny Side Up
    Day(s): Saturday
    Location: Panels, BookCon Autographing Area

    Jennifer L. Holm is the New York Times bestselling and three-time Newbery Honor-winning author of multiple novels for young readers. With her brother Matthew, Jennifer created the graphic novel series Babymouse and Squish. Together they have teamed up for Sunny Side Up, a semi-autobiographical graphic novel from Scholastic coming in September 2015. Jennifer lives in California.

  • Jonathan Fetter-Vorm

    Best Known For: Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb
    Day(s): Sunday
    Location: Panels

    Jonathan Fetter-Vorm is an author and illustrator. His Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb was selected by the American Library Association as a Best Graphic Novel for Teens in 2013. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

  • Jordan White

    Best Known For: Marvel Editor
    Day(s): Saturday
    Location: Panels
  • Margaret Stohl

    Best Known For: Marvel YA: Black Widow
    Day(s): Saturday
    Location: Panels

    Margaret Stohl is the #1 New York Times Bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures Novels, which were also USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Los Angeles Times, Indie-Bound, Wall Street Journal and International Bestsellers. A graduate of Amherst College, where she won the Knox Prize for English Literature, Margaret earned a MA in English from Stanford University, and completed classwork for a PhD in American Studies from Yale University. Margaret was a teaching assistant in Romantic Poetry at Stanford, and in Film Studies at Yale. She attended the Creative Writing Program of the University of East Anglia, Norwich, where she was mentored by the Scottish poet George MacBeth. She currently lives in Santa Monica with her family.

  • Marguerite Bennett

    Best Known For: Max Ride: First Fight
    Day(s): Sunday
    Location: Panels
  • Mark Basso

    Best Known For: Editor, Marvel’s Disney Kingdoms
    Day(s): Sunday
    Location: Panels
  • Pénélope Bagieu

    Best Known For: Exquisite Corpse
    Day(s): Sunday
    Location: Panels

    Pénélope Bagieu was born in Paris in 1982, to Corsican and Basque parents. She is a bestselling graphic novel author and her editorial illustrations have appeared all over the French media. She blogs, drums in a rock bank, and watches lots of nature shows. Exquisite Corpse is her first graphic novel to be published in the United States.

  • Raina Telgemeier

    Best Known For: Smile
    Book Title: The Baby-Sitters Club Graphix #2: The Truth About Stacey
    Day(s): Saturday
    Location: Panels, BookCon Autographing Area

    Raina Telgemeier grew up in San Francisco and moved to New York City, where she earned an illustration degree at the School of Visual Arts. Her most recent graphic novel Drama was published to rave reviews and quickly became a New York Times bestseller. Smile, her critically acclaimed graphic memoir based on her childhood, was a #1 New York Timesbestseller and winner of the Eisner Award for Best Publication for Teens, and received a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor. Raina also adapted and illustrated The Baby-sitters Club graphic novels. Sisters, a companion to Smile, will be published by Graphix / Scholastic in Fall 2014. She lives in Astoria, New York, with her husband and fellow comics artist, Dave Roman.

  • Sam Maggs

    Best Known For: The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy
    Book Title: The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy
    Day(s): Sunday
    Location: Panels

    Sam Maggs is a writer, televisioner, and geek girl, hailing from the Kingdom of the North (Toronto). Despite her MA in Victorian literature, Sam’s writing focuses on geek culture and (sometimes) how it intersects with being a lady.

    Sam’s first book, THE FANGIRL’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, a handbook for girl geeks, will be published by Quirk Books in May 2015. Named “Awesome Geek Feminist of the Year” by Women Write About Comics, Sam is an Associate Editor for The Mary Sue; talks pop culture on TV and movie screens; and her writing has appeared everywhere from the Internet, to books, to national newspapers. She loves YA lit, Pacific Rim, BioWare games, Carol Danvers, and Jeff Goldblum.



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