Tuesday, April 30, 2019


Here's a 41-minute podcast I did with Nathan Evans for Popzara, which is "a bazaar of pop culture and commentary spanning the worlds of entertainment and technology." Some of our discussion will sound familiar to those who've been paying close attention (and why would you?), but he also covered some territory I've never been asked about before.

Thanks, Popzara!

Monday, April 15, 2019

L.A. Times Festival of Books

I got home from the L.A. Times Festival of Books very late last night. It was a good, successful event and weekend, helped considerably by my sisters Elisabeth and Brenda, who pointed me to Los Angeles gems I never would have found on my own. The festival itself is huge; mid-Sunday I was still discovering new nooks I hadn't visited. They say 100,000 people attend but it never felt that crowded. Beautiful weather. Lots of good conversations with people who love books.

Nice theming throughout.

A representative stretch of the L.A. Times Festival of Books. There were a dozen boulevards like this lined with tents--mostly small publishers or even self-published authors, but also a few big companies. Not a bad showing by comics folks: DC, Marvel, and Oni Press sent small delegations and, again, there were a lot of small-press comics.

The L.A. Times printed a 28-page program that listed speakers, events, schedules, maps. I took up a big chunk of page 16.

The band showed up Sunday morning. Very entertaining.

Weekend highlight: I met writer Cory Doctorow! Cory wrote a really nice review of "Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow?" a few years ago, and his love of retro-futurism is right up my alley. I'd planned to attend a talk he was giving Sunday afternoon in hopes of just getting a chance to say "Hi." Instead, I found him doing a spontaneous, unannounced booksigning Sunday morning, and we got to have a real conversation. And then I bought his latest book.

The panel I was there to do, "Earth, Air, Fire, Water--the Environment in Crisis" (I was "fire"), went great. The other panelists and I got on very well, and I think we hit a good balance of dread and hope. When I scouted out our panel's venue on Saturday, I was worried because it was a long distance from the rest of the festival action. I thought we'd be lucky to draw a dozen people. Instead we got about 150! The booksigning after was fine; they sold all their copies of "A Fire Story," which wasn't many--maybe 15 or 20?--but I was happy with that.

The lecture hall where my panel was held. This was early, when people were still trickling in. We got about 150 (that's what I do while other panelists are talking--count heads).

Before we began: our moderator Alan Zarembo of the L.A. Times and panelists, each of whose books represented one quarter of earth, air, fire and water. (NOT Earth, Wind and Fire--they're totally different people.)

All of the panelists' books for sale near the booksigning tent. A lot of the "Fire Story" copies were already gone.

Probably the best time I've ever had in L.A.! (Anaheim is arguably not L.A.)

Thursday, April 4, 2019

KQED Forum with Michael Krasny

Here's 52 minutes of me with host Michael Krasny on KQED Forum this morning. Originally scheduled for half an hour, I was asked to do a full hour after Mr. Krasny read my book. He was very prepared, and a good listener. We took listener calls and emails, some pretty intense. KQED staff seemed very happy with the program. An hour went incredibly fast!

Preparing to go on the air with Michael Krasny. Blurry; I only had a few seconds until we were live.

KQED's Green Room has years of autographs and doodles covering its walls, including those of several cartoonists. I added mine next to Keith Knight's; figured he wouldn't mind.

KQED's Green Room.
Alison Bechdel was here.

So was Pixar's Pete Docter.

So was cartoonist Joe Sacco.

I found a little open spot between Keith Knight, Gentleman Cartoonist, and physicist Michio Kaku. Seemed appropriate.

Then on the way out I found Kelly Whalen waiting in the lobby for me! Kelly produced our animated Fire Story for KQED TV and I hadn't seen her since Emmy night, so that was a very nice reunion.

Kelly Whalen heard me on the air and intercepted me in the lobby. As I joked in my earlier posts with Farrin Abbott, everybody in this photo has an Emmy Award. Except Kelly has a flock of them. She's the best.

Thanks to KQED and Mr. Krasny for the airtime and a special morning.