East Coast USA
Signing Tour Diary
September 10th Wednesday
On the way to his job mapping the brain Joe takes me to The Military
Bookman, where despite the service I find a book Id
been searching after for years: "Railways and War since
1917." All right, I know youre not impressed but
I was pretty excited! Alone I brave the New York Subway (its
a very good system) to meet my travelling companions at D.C.
Comics on Time Square for lunch with some editors from D.C.
and several cartoonists including Ivan Velez. (Time Square
itself is something appalling, crowded with tourists, garish
and dripping with tasteless glamour. I loathed it.) Briefly
tour the offices of Vertigo, say hello to a couple of editors.
I notice the editors tend to decorate their offices with comics
paraphernalia from hipper, alternative comics they dont
actually publish, like a Bone Red Dragoon miniature on one
desk. Ivan tells me that the fact Im wearing shorts
past Labour Day in New York betrays the fact I am a tourist,
if the camera and my gormless expression hadnt already
done so. I had no idea the dress code was so strict. Theres
some black people in Times Square dressed like Bedouin from
Lawrence Of Arabia, claiming to be the true Jews, the chosen
people and Aids is "Gods punishment for homosexuals".
Theyre horrid but people just laugh at them.
We make it to St.Marks Comics slightly late; the shop is a small walk
down and crammed with comics from floor to ceiling. We sit
behind a tiny table as the readers arrive, get a fairly good
crowd I thought. It seems that Ive got a reputation
as a anarchist cartoonist, certainly political, judging from
the folks who come to see me in particular. Its not
surprising, after all, anyone in America left of Pat Buchanan
is likely to be labeled an anarchist. (Personally, I find
anarchy an appealingly romantic notion without a hope in the
real world.) Studious looking college professor types mostly
with a tendency to mumble. My old right-wing-we-never-agree-on-anything-but-get-along-famously
pal "Gunner" Michael Graham from Staten Island drops
in to say hello. If youve ever wondered what a signing
is like its mostly chatting with readers, signing books
and doing sketches for fans. I drew a Wobblie at one readers
request. This time we leave the business of selling the actual
comics up to the store. Afterwards we go back to the Pierces
for repacking and
Japanese curry! We are leaving New
York far too quickly, I want to go back soon.