Omnibus Book Tour

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Went APE

I had a great time at APE. Didn't sell much, but got to meet a lot of people whose art I respect, like John Marr (of the zine Murder Can Be Fun) and Jaime Zollars (a great artist who also does the blog Paper Forest).

Here's my merchandise, which didn't sell all that well.

You know what sold well there? Zombies.

The place was lousy with zombie-related products. Zombie comics, zombie t-shirts, zombie stickers, zombie plush toys... I actually saw a zombie sock monkey at one table.

And boobies. Boobies always sell.

I decided next year, I'm gonna make a totally cynical zine about an undead stripper named "Zomboobie!"

Then there are the weirdos. San Francisco has a lot of them. One guy returned repeatedly to a cookbook on our table that had spicy recipes "for Hungry Banditos." He kept pointing to that part of the cover and asking, "So, this is for... banditos?" (He bought two copies. He must know some banditos.)

Another guy said, totally out of the blue, "The one good thing that came out of Hitler was that white people learned a lesson." Then he paused, looked up at me, realized I was a white person and added, "No offense!"

A third guy asked me if I had anything with characters in it. I had no idea what he was talking about, so I said, "What kind of characters?" He replied, "Oh, you know, marketable characters, like the kind you could make toys out of to sell at Hot Topic."

Okay, that last one was more cheesy than weird, but I should have tried to sell him on the image of myself on my business cards, which show me as a portly carnival barker -- "Oh yes, portly carnival barkers are the big thing in Japan these days!"

And then there were TIKIS!

Went with friends to San Francisco's fabled Tonga Room tiki bar. Located in a posh hotel, it's a perfectly preserved example of 1950s exotica. There was a band playing in a boat that moved back and forth in a lake in the middle of the room, and every twenty minutes or so, an indoor thunderstorm would break. Oh, the gods must have been angered by all the celly-bratin'!

Did I mention that those were virgin drinks? I'm just high on life. And tikis. Oh, and by the way, that's not a Hawaiian shirt I have on, it's a "How-Ah-Ya?" shirt from the New Orleans Jazz Festival. The pattern is red beans and rice, and it has bean-shaped buttons. Oh, I am a goofy man.