If you are a collector of vintage comic books, those going back 25-50 years this is the place to be this Sunday in the Valley. Oic your favorite super hero and or action figure comic character and find them in the stacks of goodies at this show.
There will be numerious vendors and exhibits as well as 8 comic book celebrities and/or Hollywood types gracing the show with their expertise in the minutiae of that business. Make not mistake about it, this is an art form and is celebrated at this convention.
They have a facebook page that the randomly update with information on the happenings that will take place Sunday at the convention. With nearly 2.5K followera this is shaping up to be a do not miss.
Deets: San Fernando Valley Comic Book Convention. Sunday March 13, 10AM-4PM 11128 BALBOA BLVD, GRANADA HILLS, CA 91344 MAP HERE Admission: $5.00 Children 12 and under FREE!!!
This is a biggy for me. Something that I, as a board member, have been all but consumed with the last several weeks. Celebrate the Arts is in its 52nd year and its going to have quite a few firsts on top of the already terrific fine artists populating the park with their art.
Celebrate the Arts is held in Monrovia’s Library Park from 10AM – 6PM both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. There will be a lot of firsts at this show that we are really excited about on top of our usual host of Food Trucks, live music, extremely talented artists. Among our firsts this event:
ChalkFest – a competitive street art event with Lori Escalera as our celebrity judge.
Children’s Chalk Experience -designed for the 12 and under set to experiment with chalk
Featured Artist Elizabeth Butterfield…her collage work is simply stunning
By now most of you should know that I’m a complete and utter fool when it comes to Raymond Chandlers works. I’ve read so many of the books and loved how they incorporated Los Angeles history and places into their fictional story.
I caught wind of the operetta a few months ago at a LAVA meeting. Its titled “The Princess and the Pedlar” and is co-authored with pianist Julian Pascal. Sounds pretty cool and should be easy to bring to the stage, right? Not so fast, the estate of Raymond Chandler say its insignificant and won’t grant release of the work. It will have to wait until 2029 at the earliest when its released to the public domain. Sad.
But all is not lost, Kim Cooper of Esotouric and author of the “The Kept Girl” isn’t taking that hard no as a final answer. She has a petition on change.org asking the Estate to reconsider its position. Please sign. I have, its an important bit of the Los Angeles story by one of our own authors that deserves to be seen.
The beloved all-ages venue in the far west Valley that has given thousands of local kids their start in music, tens of thousands of poets a chance to read their work, and probably millions of young people to tag/sticker bathrooms (and hallways…and sidewalks…and rear exterior walls…and everything else), and just generally get the F outta the house without having to go to the mall–will be closing at the end of the month. I regret to pass this news on so late but I only just found out myself.
Extremely patient and awesome owner Dave Politi founded the Cobalt Cafe coffeehouse in 1991. Grunge was a rising tide, emo was in its early stages, weird ska/funk/pop-punk hybrids particular to the Valley and south LA in general were bubbling up from high schoolers’ garages, and Starbucks wasn’t here.
I was a high school goth chick, shy as hell and loathe to speak to anyone. My friends’ bands played the shows. Seeing them, their openers, and those for whom they opened, up close and personal on a stage about a foot off the ground and approximately three feet from my face so their sweat flew in my eyes, lit off a fuse within myself that altered my DNA, transformed my passions and creative dreams forever. I got up the guts to read my mediocre emo high-school-girl poetry at the weekly poetry readings.
I got to know people. I became a regular. I met my first long-term boyfriend there, played chess there, bought punk records from unknown bands there from small private presses before records were collectors’ items, met some of the folks I’d run into long, long down the line ten years later in Silver Lake at Spaceland (and in other rooms), watched the comfy overstuffed furniture go the way of the dodo (too many episodes of puking, sweating and cigarettes leads them to an early grave), giving way to a more Spartan interior. People liked my poetry enough that I got a featured reading at a coffeehouse on Sunset Blvd, and I kept writing long into my late 20s. I sometimes wonder if all that writing didn’t lay the groundwork for my public blogging and journalism career, which itself has led to experiences and interactions that could never have been imagined by the mind of a repressed, shy 17-year-old black-lipstick-wearing girl in 1996.
Every time I have returned to the Valley to see a line of self-conscious green-and-black-haired high schoolers goofing off with each other in front of the venue, or bros in short pants and Deftones t-shirts unloading a 350 Ford, I have smiled to myself, grateful that sometimes, good things don’t change, and that there’s a place for us weirdos to go–still. Yeah, sometimes the music sucked. Well, usually it does when people are that green. But it was music, and we–now, they–were and are making it. Some of them got really, really good. Some of the poets went on to long careers as luminaries in the poetry arts scene throughout the US. Records were make, books published. Creative dreams came true.
The place reeked of sweat, coffee and cigarettes; the bathrooms are an archaeological dig though layers of paint, Sharpie, and stickers; sometimes the baristas were overwhelmed or had a ‘tude (as is proper, whiners!), but that all just made it better. I have been everywhere, man, and seen a lotta shows, but the Cobalt was the most genuine, unprepossessing, free-spirited creative fermentation machine I had ever seen. You did not have to be hip to walk in. You did not have to wear the right clothes. In fact, it’s still pretty hipster-repellent.
Sadly, Dave’s got his own Life S**t going on these days, and there’s less and less money coming in the doors with promoters and bookers being less supportive than they used to be; and let’s face it, non-Starbucks-priced coffee will never keep an indie business afloat, especially when your clientele is allowed to just hang out and buy nothing the entire time they’re there.
Dave Politi should be lauded for giving so much of his life and energy to a cause–“the kids” and “the music” and “the words”. The longtime host of Tuesday Night Poetry–he’s been doing it almost as long as the Cobalt was open–Rick Lupert–should be thanked, and I encourage you to see him read his funny and thoughtful work at other venues around town. All the hosts of Monday night open mics, all the baristas who endured patiently for many years, every doorman who had to bust kids doing the things that kids do–thank you, one and all. Here’s to the Cobalt Cafe. From such a humble little corner of the West San Fernando Valley, her influence has already spread around the world. Dave and the Cobalt are studies in how simply making space for others to be themselves, can ripple outwards in a quietly irresistible wave of transformation.
Hover over photos for Creative Commons/other photo credits.
Los Angeles book launch party/reading! Amy Alkon’s “Good Manners For Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck”. Tuesday, June 3, 6:30p-8pm at Diesel Books at the Brentwood Country Mart (address/map below). Wine and snacks will be served.
And Wharton School’s Adam Grant called the book “outstanding work” and wrote this:
This book is a gem, hysterically funny and grounded in science. Amy Alkon explains why so many people are rude and how it’s possible to be courteous, even if you’re foul-mouthed and clueless about etiquette. If anything will convince my wife that my manners are better than she thought, this is it.
~Adam Grant, Wharton professor and bestselling author of Give and Take
Amy Alkon aka The Advice Goddess is syndicated columnist in about 100 newspapers. She is also all over the web at blogging daily: http://advicegoddess.com. She also has a weekly radio show: http://blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon (Nerd your way to a better life! with the best brains in science) 7-8pm Pacific Time, or available at the link and on iTunes or Stitcher
If you can’t make the reception but really want the book NOW, you can get it on Amazon HERE.
Details. Diesel Books, Brentwood Country Mart, 225 26th Street, Suite #33, Santa Monica CA 90402 (310) 576-9960 MAP HERE
If you know me, by now you know I’m a total fan of Raymond Chandler. Angeleno and author Kim Cooper has a wonderful book that stars him and and is set in 1929 Los Angeles. Its told in the tone of his books which makes it a very easy and entertaining read. Its centered around the Great Eleven cult that was active in Los Angeles that year. Its been historically researched and based on several characters that may or may not have met in real life. For the sake of this piece of fiction they all crossed paths and their tale unfolds in “The Kept Girl“.
Kim Cooper and Richard Schave also run the Esotouric Tours. These social historians research a topic or person then put together lively bus tours on that theme around historic Los Angeles.
Authors and Artists, I have them both for you here in the SGV.
First up is a person I feel tickled to know, actor, writer, blogger and photographer Petrea Burchard. She released her novel, Camelot & Vine this spring. She’ll be at two, count ’em two book signings today. Petrea will be at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena from 11AM-1PM today. Then she will move to Websters Fine Stationers in Altadena around 2PM for a few hours.
After that I think you would enjoy Old Town Monrovia, especially the area in front of Paint n Play 2 Art Studio and Gallery. Several artists will be there from 6PM-10PM for an evening art walk. Among the artists there will be author and photographer Steve McCarthy. Steve has written a few books that he will have there and sign for you. First is “Road Trippin'” and the other is his first novel, “Old Farts Spy Club”.
I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping your shopping dollars in the hands of the small businesses in the community. These small businesses keep their money in the community and help keep us strong and vibrant. Whether it be my little corner of L.A or yours we all benefit from getting to know them, shop with them and make them strong as they give so much back to our communities.
Let me be up front, I see this car often as it belongs to a friend and fellow photographer, author and general bon vivant, Steve McCarthy.
The car is a 1960 Triumph named the Blue Meaniel. Its a driver, more specifically a Road Trippin‘ car that he goes on excursions with and jots every twist in turn for his blog and in books. Blue Meanie made it to Seattle and back last year, this last month it made it to Yellowstone and back.
I love living in the land that rust forgot, you see great little sports cars like this still in use and well loved.
Sometimes it can be tempting to think there isn’t a great deal of literary activity happening in LA, with all these film-related happenings taking place all the time. (Ahem – Academy Awards, anyone? Sorry, get your list of winners somewhere else.) Don’t get me wrong, I love film, but it can be a little frustrating when LA’s persistent film culture serves as a distraction from the fact that there are, indeed, literary events happening here in our fine city on a regular basis.
I don’t own a Kindle. Or a Nook, or any of those other digital book-reader things. Maybe they’re more awesome than I think – I’ve actually never really even tried one – but nothing beats the feeling of walking out of a bookstore with a book in your hands.
That’s why I’m glad The Last Bookstore in LA had its grand re-opening last week, after vacating its former (and much tinier) spot at 4th and Main. Los Angeles may not be Seattle, but we’ve got our fair share of great little bookshops.
Lately, your life has been falling into place along a strange Los Angeles logic. That morning you got a $50 parking ticket, but last night you went to a party at Bret Easton Ellis’ house. The party was exactly what you expected, down to the minimalist monochrome décor, the celebrities famous for reasons no one could define. In an apartment overlooking Beverly Hills, you lived out the wildest dream of the college sophomore version of yourself. A gleam hovered over the fading film stars, the impeccable bartender, the party guests caught up in Bret’s orbit as he circled the room, glass in hand, imitating perfectly the person everyone assumes he is.
Step aside Chelsea Handler, there’s a new IT girl on the street and her name is Hilary Winston. Formerly head writer of the Emmy®-award-winning “My Name is Earl“, and currently a writer/producer on “Community“, the incredibly funny & talented Ms. Winston wrote a book. Well. Wrote a book in response to her boyfriend writing a book…
What? Who are these people who have enough time in their lives to have a full job, AND write a retaliatory book to the book their boyfriend wrote about them? Oh, no sorry, you’re still confused about the whole “book being written in retaliation to a book” part.
Let’s start from the beginning. Hilary, having just gotten out of a semi-serious relationship, and putting the piece of her life back together gets sucker-punched when she wanders into a bookstore to find that her Ex has written a novel. A novel about their relationship. One in which she’s referenced throughout as the “fat-assed girlfriend.” True story.
From the ashes was born a phoenix. A hilarious book of a phoenix with, albeit one with a broken vagina.
You know what? Hilary could do a much better job making sense of the absurdity that is her life… and wouldn’t you know it, you’re in luck! She’s doing a book signing on THURSDAY MAY 19th at the Grove Barnes & Noble, where you can ask her any and all of the questions you have about her fat ass, broken vagina, bikini waxes & community paintball.
Hilary Winston Book Signing Thursday May 19, 2011 7:00 PM
Barnes & Noble @ The Grove at Farmers Market
189 Grove Drive Suite K 30
Los Angeles, CA 90036 http://hilarywinston.com/home/
And you can buy the book HERE. Perfect for that book club you’ve always been meaning to start…
Since 2002, the first Saturday of May has been a special day for comic book fans everywhere. Free Comic Book Day is a worldwide event in which participating independent comic book specialty shops do what the name implies and give you free comic books. No, this does not mean that you can take any book off the shelf. There are designated titles up for grabs. Some locations also have special guests, signing, giveaways and other activities throughout the day. Not surprisingly, food trucks seem to be a popular addition this year!
There are many participating comic book shops in Los Angeles and surrounding cities. A few of my personal favorites are:
House of Secrets, 1930 W Olive St. Burbank, CA 91506. Appearances by Tom Kenny and Walter Koenig.
Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90046. Original statues from The Dark Crystal will be on display and The Grilled Cheese Truck will be making a special appearance.
Golden Apple, 7018 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90038. Lots of special guests, sales, giveaways, free food and even a bounce house for the kids.
Check out the Free Comic Book Day Store Locator to find out if your favorite shop is participating. Insider tip: Go early if you want to choose from a good selection of books.