Michael Scott Author of The Secrets of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series signing at Vromans June 6, 2012

June 25th, 2012

Michael Scott speaking

When Bill and I arrived at Vroman’s to see Michael Scott, Author of The Secrets of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series, we were surprised. The large upstairs room was packed with people lining the walls. Wow has his popularity grown from a few short years ago when we saw him in Long Beach.

Michael Scott is an authority on folklore and mythology. When we saw him in 2009, he explained that even though America is a relatively new country, here can be found some of the oldest folklore in the world. Why? Well, because of a combination of immigration and preservation. Villages in Ireland were almost wiped out by disease, and some of the oldest folklore that no longer exists in Ireland is preserved with the Irish who survived here in the States. The same is true for other nations. He drew interesting comparisons between folklore from different cultures, pointing out how they are exactly the same story but influenced with the flavor of each country. Like the tales where children are turned into animals, then back into humans. In China they became dragons, in Europe they became swans, in Africa they became wild hogs, etc. Scott travels extensively, evident by his detailed descriptions in the series.

His enchanting, globally popular young adult series incorporates characters which are based on real people. For example, Nicholas Flamel was a real alchemist who lived in Paris (like, hundreds of years ago). Now, the “immortal part” is where the best selling Irish author takes that large leap into fantasy with this outrageously fun story. Flamel and his wife, sorceress Perenelle Flamel, race against time to save our world from the (evil?) plans of Dr. John Dee, Machiavelli and the Dark Elders with the help of other immortals (such as Joan of Arc!). This signing celebrated the release of The Enchantress, book six in the series.

Michael Scott

Click here to see all the photos from this signing…

Click here to see Michael Scott’s 2009 signing in Long Beach

Until our next mythical adventure…

Tony DiTerlizzi signing in Santa Monica
May 8, 2012

June 24th, 2012

Tony DiTerlizzi reads Where the Wild Things Are

This dramatic pose of Tony DiTerlizzi reading “Where the Wild Things Are” has more meaning when you realize it occurred on May 8, 2012… the day Maurice Sendak passed away. :( Mr. DiTerlizzi was already scheduled to speak and sign books in Santa Monica. But when he first stepped in front of the crowd, he said nothing, jumped up on the desk, opened the book, and read it to us. When I made the connection, I started to cry. Just beautiful.

Tony DiTerlizzi

When Tony finished the story, he hopped down and launched into his delightfully entertaining talk, drawing along with his hilarious stories, creating little contests to see who wins said drawings, and all around making everyone happy before signing many books for us. He announced… I’LL SIGN ANYTHING! Oh yeah, Baby, music to our ears! :)

Tony DiTerlizzi signs Bill's books

This signing was a debut for A Hero for Wondla. I LOVED book one The Search for Wondla… Click here and check it out. Okay okay I’m a big ‘ol slobbering DiTerlizzi fan… luv Spiderwick, luv Kenny and the Dragon, Spider and the Fly, luv them ALL. He rox. He “gets it”.

Click here to see all the pix of Mr. DiTerlizzi… we took many of him reading “Where the Wild Things Are!”

Until our next wild wonderland adventure…

Tony and Maurice

Maurice Sendak

Free Comic Book Day 2012

June 24th, 2012

Click on SPIDERMAN to see our You Tube video of
Free Comic Book Day 2012.

Golden Apple

House of Secrets in Burbank

Golden Apple

Meltdown Comics

You’re serious? Comic books… FREE? Yep. Every year, on the first Saturday of May, comic book stores nationwide participate in Free Comic Book Day.

There are tons of local comic stores in the Los Angeles area, but three Bill and I visited were Golden Apple, Meltdown Comics and House of Secrets in Burbank. Golden Apple went all out with a bounce house, food vendors, as well as, of course, comic book artist and illustrator signings. Loads of fun and free stuff!

The Guild

Above and below talent from The Guild including Felicia Day who works with Joss Whedon

The Guild

Click here to see all our photos from Free Comic Book Day 2012…

Click here to see photos and video from 2011 with Walter Koenig!

Until our next graphic novel adventure…

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC
April 21-22 2012

June 23rd, 2012

This is Rex! Click on his photo to see his video…

LAT Festival of Books 2012

LAT Festival of Books 2012

This was year two of the LA Times Festival of Books taking place at USC instead of UCLA. This year, we had a better idea of what to expect (bad traffic on the 110, how to better approach the parking structure, etc) so we had a nice time and got lots of books signed. I LOVED the Rex the dinosaur! He was representing the Natural Museum of History. Roar. The Festival Logo for this year featured a dinosaur as well (reading, of course). Tooooo cute.

Michael Buckley
Michael Buckley

It was great to see Patrick Carman who we met for the first time at this book festival back in 2009. Flim ties, eh? ;)

Patrick Carman

Greg Bear and Ray Feist
Greg Bear and Ray Feist

We also got books signed by Wil Panganiban, Richard Kadrey, Cecil Castellucci, James Burks, Gris Grimly, Frank Beddor, Lev Grossman and JV Jones.

Cornelia Funke (Inkheart)
Cornelia Funke

Seth Grahame-Smith (Lincoln Vampire Hunter)
Seth Grahame-Smith

Bill grew up in San Diego and has known Nancy Holder and Nathan Long for many years. And THEY both know he always has a deck of cards handy and can entertain them with a quick magic trick. Or five. :)

Bill shows Nathan Long and Nancy Holder a little magic

Click here to see all of the book festival photos…

Until our next dinobook adventure…

Dinosaur reading

Peter Lerangis signing in Huntington Beach
April 17, 2012

June 12th, 2012

Peter Lerangis signs our 39 Clue box set

YAY! I finally got to meet Peter Lerangis, my Facebook friend! Because of our “other blog”, which reviews young adult multimedia books, I’ve gotten pretty familiar with The 39 Clues website and adventure books. So much fun! Mr. Lerangis is not only one of the original 39 Clues authors, but is continuing with the next series of books The Cahills vs The Vespers (hint: Vespers are major bad guys).

Peter Lerangis answering questions from his fans

A lively speaker, he has a wonderful connection with his kid fans, telling silly jokes but also teaching them what it’s really like to be a writer. One special fan made him a sign – out of little chocolate bars! Cute – that photo was posted on Facebook faster than he could eat the chocolate. We had a blast!

Peter Lerangis receives a chocolate bar sign

The 39 Clues is a big deal in the Scholastic world of independent readers, but I love, love, love his Watcher series, which are imaginative, and a little unsettling (!!) science fiction stories. He also wrote the Spy X books, in which a brother and sister receive secret messages from their spy mom, who has gone into hiding. Clearly, he was destined to be on The 39 Clues team.

I had a large (eh-hem) pile of books for him to sign, some shiny and new, some out of print, so we waited until the end. He was so generous and cheerfully signed everything for us! Hey, he’s not in Los Angeles that often. :)

Click here to see all of the Peter Lerangis photos from this signing…

Until the next spy watching adventure…

Joe R and Kasey Lansdale at Dark Delicacies March 26, 2012

June 3rd, 2012

Kasey and Joe R Lansdale

Horror writer Joe R. Lansdale, and his daughter, Kasey Lansdale, paired up like the dynamic duo, entertaining their fans with their diverse talents at the Home of Horror… Dark Delicacies. Mr. Lansdale naturally accomplished this feat by reading from his latest novel, Edge of Dark Water, while beautiful Kasey sang a few country tunes. We don’t usually enjoy live music when we go to book signings, but then, anything can and does happen at Dark Del’s!

Joe R. Lansdale reading
Kasey Lansdale ready to sing

Del gives me serious hair envy any day but wow, look at Kacey and Del together… I’m in awe stuck hair heaven. O.O

Kasey & Del

And there’s the shopping… clothing, accessories, toys, sexy scented oil, kitchen wares, kid stuff, and of course, tons of books and DVD’s.

Click here to see all the pix from this signing…

Until the next country horror adventure…

33rd Annual Los Angeles Vintage Paperback Collectors Show March 25, 2012

June 2nd, 2012

Paperback Show 2012

These paperback shows are just major FUN! Many local authors make their annual appearance, but several “out of towners” rolled in from the woodwork this year as well. Par-tay! It was POURING rain but we all managed to keep our books dry with umbrellas, plastic bags, and dashing back and forth. A lot.

John King Tarpinian (aka Author Wrangler) did an awesome job of organizing tables and signing areas in the sort of strangely laid out space we get for this show. Bill and I had dropped by the evening before and he was running around working hard to get things ready for the next morning (and the tables had not arrived at that point! Yikes!). John is a hard worker, knows how to run book events, and is fair to people when managing signing lines and dealing with crowds. And he’s a fun guy! I was glad to hear that “the powers that be” chose him to help the past two years. Watch out John, people have figured out that you can DO stuff… WELL. Dude, it’s all over!

Bill Nolan and George Clayton Johnson
Bill Nolan and George Clayton Johnson

Tim Powers and James Blaylock
Tim Powers and James Blaylock

Jason V and Sunni Brock signing their new book The Devil’s Coattails
Jason V and Sunni Brock

Speaking of the aforementioned “out of towners”, we were thrilled that Tim and Serena Powers attended the show again this year as well as Bill Nolan, Jason and Sunni Brock. It was book reunion overload! (Which started the day before at Dark Del’s). It’s difficult to spend quality time with everyone in the short window but we were able to share a meal or two with friends, and to my delight, Jason and Sunni (Walter’s “God Parents”) got a quick chance to meet him. Or as John DeChancie phrased it… asking, “Wait, aren’t the Brock’s atheists?” (Yes) “Well, then, aren’t they Walter’s “God-less Parents?” Heh heh. True.

We got a big kick out of watching Serena Powers receive her special gift. Like last year, she got so excited she started jumping up and down. And weeping. So this year I was quick to offer her a chair. Except, instead of sitting down, she danced on it. Sigh.

Dennis Etchison
Dennis Etchison

Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (left)
Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

Mr. Powers checking out Jason & Sunni Brock’s new book
Mr. Powers checking out Jason & Sunni's book

Click here to see all the pix from the paperback show…

Until our next vintage adventure…

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Amber Benson signing at Dark Delicacies March 24, 2012

May 30th, 2012

Del and Sue of Dark Delicacies hosted another great signing in the Home of Horror. Bill was excited that Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Amber Benson signed their latest books, and gave me a chance to go shaw-PING! Buh-wa-ha-ah!

And since it was the day before the Vintage Paperback Show (see next blog) there were other writers lurking in the shadows! Here is Chelsea Quinn Yarbro with Mr. William F. Nolan.

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and William Nolan

The sweet and lovely Amber Benson
Amber Benson

And look who else dropped by… DUDE it was a par-tay at Dark Del’s that day!

Bill with Sunni Brock, Jason V. Brock, Dennis Etchison & Bill Nolan
Sunni Brock, Jason V Brock, Dennis Etchison, Bill Nolan

And the cutest drop in… Dennis’ puppy…
Dennis's doggie

As always Dark Del’s has fun, trendy horror and Gothic clothing, accessories, toys, sexy scented oil, kitchen wares, kid stuff, and of course, tons of books and DVD’s. Not to mention, you get a chance to rub elbows with actor and writer Del Howison. :)

Click here to see all the pix from this signing…

Until the next horrific adventure…

WonderCon in Anaheim March 16-18 2012

May 28th, 2012

WonderCon 2012

WonderCon decided to hang its hat in The Anaheim Convention Center this year instead of in Northern California. Apparently, their usual hang out was undergoing construction, so they flew south for 2012. From what I heard, it was also a quasi-experiment to see how well the accommodations, traffic, parking, etc worked for a possible future permanent move. Lots of different opinions about that bouncing around but when Bill and I tried to go down on Saturday mid-morning WE COULD NOT PARK. We drove the hour plus journey to Orange County on the wonderful interstate 5, in the rain, then circled around and around and around the convention center area for about 45 minutes until Mr. Wu announced, “ENUFF. We will come back tomorrow. Early.”

Marv Wolfman
Marv Wolfman

Signage both inside and out were confusing in that, outside, the City of Anaheim had flashing lights directing con attendees to park in the stadium… like far away. Not true. Anyone could park closer in the convention center (if they arrived early) or in the Disneyland lots (a walk, but doable), so that was… weird. Inside the center, not only were there no obvious signs that said “WONDERCON HERE” but there were hundreds of teenage girls there for their volleyball and cheer leading tournament. Not a bad mix, considering each under-aged girl seem to have a pit bull mom attached keeping gawking fan boys at a safe distance. Sure. Go right ahead and do back bends and splits in french cut body suits directly in front of the comic book guys who have never kissed a girl. Not a problem. But by the end of the day, the more awesome comic costumers were taking group shots with the girls. It was funny. No. Really. :)

Michael Golden and Art Adams
Michael Golden and Art Adams

Once inside however, WonderCon so had the look and feel of a mini-Comic Con. It was AMAZING. Bill spent a lot of time in artist alley. Like Indiana Jones, he recently uncovered a couple sketch books from his younger fandom years in storage and was able to share them with many artists. Some, like Paul Guinan, even said they were happy to “not have to cringe” at their 20+ year old drawings!

Paul Guinan
Paul Guinan

I was touched when William Stout drew a sketch of Walter daydreaming about being a big dinosaur… awww iguana dreams…

Walter looks at Bill Stout's drawing of him

Of course we dropped by and said hello to Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman. Corinna and I used to work together at the LA Zoo so we have many shared memories of “those daze!”.

Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman
Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman

Max Brooks
Max Brooks
Max Brooks, son of Mel Brooks, was signing copies of his zombie books and posters where we hung out in the long line with fellow bookhunters Max and The Ogre. Just gotta say, our bookhunter friends are just awesome. You would think we would be in competition with each other, but it’s so not like that. Those guys have always had our backs and we have theirs. It can get ruff out there in the book jungle, long lines in 100+ degree weather with no shade, freezing cold under a dripping umbrella, late nights, early mornings, having to be on your toes to figure out sometimes confusing rules, where to get tickets, where to find books, how to find a train to ship boxes of books back to LA from NY Book Expo… daunting. But I don’t know how many times The Ogre has quietly slipped me a ticket and tucked me protectively in line in front of him, or how when our only copy of a signed book got lost in the mail Max saved our rep and mailed our customer his copy, or how often J&N call to give Bill tips on important signings they caught wind of, or how Dr. Dave has stood in line with us to help us get extra books signed… serious trench buddies. All of them.

Bill Wu and Jon Armstrong
Jon Armstrong

Bill is not only a book guy, but a magician. So it was super fun for him to spend a lil quality time with Jon Armstrong toward the end of the con. He worked on the illusions in the comic Smoke and Mirrors so we got some signed. Ah-sumness.

Just to name a few, we also saw Art Adams, Michael Golden (signing a card), Renae De Liz and Ron Lim.

Somehow, we managed to miss our friend Ken Estes the entire con so as we were leaving we finally found each other. He had the longest face I have ever seen, like, seriously, you gyz are leaving NOW? No, of course not. So we relaxed in the nearby hotel lobby with some Starbucks drinks for a while. That was one of the best parts of the con for me… sipping a latte and watching those two do magic tricks. We actually have adopted Ken, we just don’t have his room ready yet. ;)

Click here to see all the photos from Wondercon…

Until our next wondrous adventure…

Nathan Long signing at Bookfellows
March 11, 2012

March 17th, 2012

Nathan Long signing at Bookfellows

Nathan Long is known for his Warhammer (game) novels but with John Carter of Mars hitting the cinemas, the time is ripe for Jane Carver of Waar! Bookfellows aka Mystery and Imagination hosted Mr. Long’s signing last weekend (there were cookies)!

This was fun for Bill since he’s known Nathan for many years. We hung out with him at the World Fantasy Convention a few months ago, where we remembered good ‘ol times… like the BEA where Nathan was attacked by a toucan. Seriously. I saw the battle wounds. Could it have been a female toucan and Mr. Long was emitting tantalizing pheromones? We’ll never know, but the large colorful bird, who was promoting pet manuals in a booth across from Nathan’s, suddenly flew right at him, cutting his face. The poor bird was like, enough of this book expo and thousands of people… freaking take me home! Well, after the bleeding part was over, Nathan had a sense of humor about it. So did his publishers, who referred to him as “Toucan Slayer” for a while (Really? Who slayed who?).

Click the photo below to see a brief video…
Nathan Long signs Bill's books

Reviews of Jane Carver of Waar:

Nightshade Books
The Founding Fields

Click here to see all the photos from the Nathan Long signing…

Until our next warrior adventure…