The Miami Book Fair was terrific! I’ve been to a fair number of comic book conventions over the years, but this was my first book fair. Naturally, I hung out with other cartoonists virtually the whole time.
Still, it wasn’t really like a comic book con. At comic book cons, there are so many cartoonists that we tend to divide ourselves by brow height — the allegedly “lowbrow” superhero cartoonists hang out mainly with other superhero folks, the highbrow Fantagraphics and Drawn and Quarterly people hang out mainly with each other, and I mainly hang out with other “middlebrow” cartoonists. But because there were relatively few cartoonists at the Miami Book Fair, I hung out with all sorts of cartoonist. and it was loads of fun!
I have the world’s worst memory for names (really, it’s amazing), so I can’t list every cartoonist I hung out with. But I spent lots of time kicking with Amy Ignatow whose very funny graphic novel is The Popularity Papers. Amy and I did a panel with Chris Schweizer (the cartoonist behind Crogan’s Vengeance and Crogan’s March, both of which are super fun adventures) and Raina Telgemeier (whose amazing graphic novel Smile is on everyone’s “year’s best” list).
I also got to talk with Vanessa Davis (Make Me A Woman, another frequent resident of “years best” lists) and her gentleman friend whose name I can’t remember (I suck!), but I hope they’re serious about moving to Portland; Dave Roman (Astronaut Elementary); big-time superhero cartoonist Amanda Conner, who recommended I read her comic book The Pro; I did read it, and thought it was utterly hilarious and very well-drawn (although definitely for grown-ups only). Jimmy Palmiotti (writer of Power Girl, Jonah Hex, and about a zillion other comics); Lars Martinson, whose graphic novel series Tonoharu is almost painfully gorgeous; and other folks whose names I’m blanking on.
Plus, a wonderful breakfast with Abrams editor Charlie Kochman, where we sort of discussed business (he told me about an upcoming Abrams book that I’m just drooling to see) but mainly just geeked out about comics together. Charlie later snapped this pic of me and Amanda discovering we attended the same high school:
Last and not at all least, I was interviewed by my fellow Oberlin alumni Heidi Estrin, who interviewed me for her podcast The Book of Life; it was a really fun interview, and I can’t wait to hear it.
After Miami, I went off to Orlando for the ALAN workshop! I’ll post about that later.