17 August, 2005

American Elf Booksigning One-Year Anniversary

I just realized this, but it was exactly one year ago today that I took my wife and kids to Crow Books in Burlington, Vermont for James Kochalka's hometown booksigning in honour of the release of his mammoth American Elf collection, which compiled the first five years of his American Elf daily diary comic strips.

It seems somehow fitting to publicly launch this blog on this anniversary (yes, I was blogging and setting it up yesterday, but today is the first day the world at large will hear about it), since the booksigning and accompanying musical performance were so exciting and enjoyable for my family. Looking back to that trip to Burlington one year ago today, it was one of the biggest events of the year for my family, and something I know none of us will ever forget.

I wrote up a report on the Crow Books signing and concert for Comic Book Galaxy, and over there you can also see pictures from the Crow Books event.

While you're at Comic Book Galaxy, you might also check out my review of American Elf, my review of the new James Kochalka Superstar CD/DVD set Our Most Beloved, Christopher Allen's reviews of Our Most Beloved and Super-F*ckers #1, Jef Harmatz's review of The Cute Manifesto, Logan Polk's review of Super-F*ckers #1, and a batch of interviews with James, including December, 2004, January, 2004, October, 2001 (also available as an MP3 download) and the very first interview I ever conducted with James, back in August, 2000, which ended up being the first interview we ran on Comic Book Galaxy. Also, check out my March, 2005 Five Questions for James Kochalka at Newsarama.com, which concentrated on Super-F*ckers, as did Tom Spurgeon's James Kochalka interview last month at The Comics Reporter.


Blogger Shane Bailey said...

The only Kolchalka I've read is his Sketchbook Diaries which for the most part I've enjoyed. What would you recommend out of all his works?

10:51 AM  
Blogger ADD said...

If you like the Sketchbook Diaries, American Elf collects five years' worth, including a year at the end that has not been published anywhere except online.

FANTASTIC BUTTERFLIES is a fun GN that seems like a daily diary strip in longform.

The new CUTE MANIFESTO has some of Kochalka's best stuff in it, including THE HORRIBLE TRUTH ABOUT COMICS and REINVENTING EVERYTHING.

It also has SUNBURN in it, and if you read that, you then should try to track down SUNTURD, Jason Cooley's merciless ribbing of SUNBURN.

QUIT YOUR JOB, also excellent.

Let me know if you need more recommendations!

11:28 AM  
Blogger Shane Bailey said...

I think I might check out The Cute Manifesto then. I already own 4 volumes of the Sketchbook Diaries. I purchased them when Top Shelf had that huge sale.

11:48 AM  
Blogger ADD said...

Yeah, then you have 4/5ths of the AE book. I'm hoping Top Shelf releases a Year Five in the same format as the others someday...I think the next release is slated to have two years in it, but I'm not sure if it's Years Five and Six or Six and Seven. Probably Five and Six...

11:54 AM  
Blogger Cole Moore Odell said...

I think James actually said that AE 2 will include years six and seven, meaning that the only place to get year five is in AE 1. The Diaries format is being abandoned for now, because none of this work sells very well, and it just can't support two formats (and barely supports one--luckily, the publisher recognizes the strip's importance.). That's tough, because it's a prety monumental year in the guy's life, and includes some of the strips' best comics, but the financial considerations make sense.

3:53 PM  
Blogger ADD said...

It's so weird to me that the individual yearly volumes don't sell well. They're such great little packages. I bet if they had a spine and were manga-dimensioned, it would be different. DAMN YOU, TEAM COMIX!

4:27 PM  
Blogger Shane Bailey said...

The covers were what originally attracted me to the Diaries. They're beautful. I love the vibrant colors.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Cole Moore Odell said...

Two of the original paintings for the Diaries covers are on display at the Brattleboro Art Museum. As good as they look printed, they're 10 times better in person. The textures of the paint bring out a richness missing in the printed versions.

12:47 PM  
Blogger ADD said...

I'd love to see good-quality prints issued someday of the four "seasons" covers of the individual Sketchbook Diaries volumes...

12:57 PM  

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