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My show w/ Hernandez Bros last night...

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Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 1271

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:30 pm    Post subject: My show w/ Hernandez Bros last night... Reply with quote

I was super-excited to do this Brooklyn show with the Hernandez Brothers last night, comix don't get much better than Love & Rockets! As it turned out, the event ended up being not as exciting as hoped... but still kinda cool...
I arrived early, set up all of my merchandise (LPs, comics, zines, CDs) on a couple of tables at the front of bar, next to a couple of tables already covered with Love & Rockets and other Hernandez Bros books from Fantagraphics, a couple guys from Bergen St Comics in Brooklyn were there to sell the Hernandez Bros books, and other than that there was a grumpy sound engineer in the back at the stage and nobody else around. I talked to the sound guy about my set-up, then at some point Jaime & Gilbert Hernandez arrived with their tour-manager/handler Frank, and they were talking to the people in charge of selling their books, I didn't want to interrupt them to meet them but I figured I'd get introduced at some point. I stood around but an introduction never happened, so when I had a moment I introduced myself to the tour manager guy Frank, and then introduced myself to Gilbert... he gave me the weirdest limp/soft handshake I've ever experienced! It was like his hand was cold and soft and dead, like he really wanted to keep his hand in this special condition so that it could be in good shape for drawing, and not have to suffer from shaking hands with people! i don't blame him, i suppose, since he is on tour signing books and shaking hands, maybe he doesn't want to spend all night getting his priceless drawing hand crushed in strangers' handshakes. I didn't get a chance to say hi to Jaime, and none of them seemed interested in meeting me or interested in who I was or why I had all this stuff set out for sale next to their stuff. I just wasn't on their radar at all, even though there were only about 5 of us in the club at that point. Then the doors opened, a lot of people came in, and Frank and the Hernandez Bros got on stage and did their presentation, with the brother taking turns drawing characters that the audience requested. They finished without saying "coming up next there's a set from Jeffrey Lewis," they just finished taking questions and then said "okay now Gilbert and Jaime will be signing books back in the other room at the bar" as if that was the end of the event... like they either didn't know I was supposed to be playing, or just considered it entirely unimportant, or forgot or something. So I got on stage in the now-empty room, and started plugging in my guitar and stuff, even though everybody had basically left to go get books signed and meet the Hernandez Bros. Before I started my set I went over there to see the scene and I noticed that Frank had even totally taken apart the merchandise area that I had set up! My merch stuff, which I had lovingly laid out and displayed before the show, had all been removed and piled in a heap onto a chair behind the tables so nobody could even see it. At that point it seemed so mean I felt like crying, it just felt like they were really going out of their way to act like I didn't exist and wasn't part of the show, or like they were annoyed that I was there at all and were just ignoring me and wishing I would disappear! My emotional state was probably not helped by the fact that I hadn't eaten any dinner. Anyway I took a minute to myself to put it in perspective and not be too upset and just think about what songs to play, and I went back to the stage area and ended up playing a nice little set to a nice little crowd of people, including some relatives (like Professor Louie) and some other people who had come to see me, there were some fans there - even though the newspaper listing for the Hernandez Brother event also didn't mention that I was part of it! At least I was mentioned on the poster an the website. My set was fine, but while I was playing all the Hernandez and Fantagraphics people back at the bar just all packed their stuff and left. At least they put my merch back onto the table before they left. But I never did meet Jaime Hernandez, and I didn't talk to any of them, and they didn't see or hear any of my stuff, oh well. I guess as far as they were concerned they weren't doing this show "with" me, it was just their own event and I was a weird unknown guy that some other organizer had tacked onto the bill without them wanting me to be there, or knowing that I would be there, or anything. Maybe they were just tired after doing a whole American book-signing tour. Really, the organizers should have had me go on stage first to start the night rather than go on stage at the same time as they were doing the booksigning at the bar. Anyway, I had a good set and met a bunch of nice people and maybe made a few new fans and sold some records and comics and zines, and even though I thought I wasn't getting paid for the show I did get $100 from one of the organizers at the end of the night which was a nice little surprise. I just wish I'd had a chance to interact with Jaime & Gilbert a bit, tell them I love their stuff and i draw comics too, maybe I should have shoved myself into their conversation earlier in the night. Not that I have much to say to them, so it doesn't really matter, I'd just say "hi, I'm a fan" I guess, so it's kind of pointless anyway. What can you really do in those situations?
It's still good because if I ever see them again sometime I can be like "hi, I'm the guy who did that show with you in Brooklyn..." (tho that still might not register!!).
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Joined: 07 Aug 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What an unpleasant situation ... its odd to read a fan encounter from someone is usually the subject of attention.

Regarding other meetings with cartoonists - your work appeared in the book 'The Beats' featuring mostly strips written by Harvey Pekar, but did you ever meet him? He certainly seemed to be a unique character.

Also, I noticed you appeared on the same billing as Alan Moore at a recent spoken-word event. I know you're a fan of his. Had you met him before? Did you get to chat? How was it?

Alan makes frequent appearances at literary events near where I live, and he is always an engaging and funny speaker. I must get round to reading one of his graphic novels sometime...
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Joined: 21 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha, yeah it was a really exciting September for me... I was looking forward to meeting Alan Moore AND the Hernandez Bros all in one month!
BUT the Hernandez Brothers night was anticlimactic as detailed above, and the Alan Moore lecture event was even more anticlimactic because it wasn't him!
I was super nervous to do my lecture right before Alan Moore would take the podium to do the following lecture, mine was at 2pm and his at 3pm (at the Bestival festival on the Isle of Wight, UK)... but then when I was there, I discovered it was actually just some other guy named Alan Moore, not the comic book writer at all! His lecture was on the "Linear Nature of Reality" or something like that, which is certainly a topic I would associate with comic writer Alan... but this was some random other guy.
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Joined: 30 Oct 2005
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Location: Rennes, France

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ouch! an Alan Moore lecture would be real great, i saw this video on you tube of him reading watchmen, he makes a cool rorshach voice.
I've read his book the voice of fire this summer, was really a nice book, i'm looking forward to get jerusalem.
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Joined: 21 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't read Jerusalem or Voice of the Fire...

What's the footage of Alan Moore reading Watchmen?!? Does he read the whole book? That sounds crazy... it would be pretty interesting to hear how he imagines the voices sounding!

I just today bought the most recent League of Extraordinary Gentlemen "Century" story, which is 2009... but I haven't read it yet.

Oh yeah, and to answer the question above that I forgot to answer, no, I never met Harvey Pekar.

The recent Pekar book "Cleveland" is really good, the art is by this young new comic artist who's really good, I think his name is Josh Remnant. (And Alan Moore writes the book introduction!)
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Joined: 24 Jun 2015
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Location: Grimsby, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoa shit, what a sucky experience! Like you say, maybe Los bros were just tired, or something...still, the whole thing with your merchandise was well shitty. This handler guy, I don't suppose it was the cartoonist Frank Santoro, was it?! He did a great comic called Storyville and more recently Cold Heat...I know he's sorta friends or at least close acquaintances with the Hernandez Brothers. Little guy, long wavy black hair, not bad looking, about 40? It's making me think it COULD have been him, I know he lived in New York at that time, he worked closely with Picturebox Books who put out his work. And...I know this isn't really a cool thing to say at all, so I'm sorry for bringing any kind of negativity over here...but...he's, er, supposed to be a bit of a douche (I'm in the UK but I heard this from two American alternative cartoonists who had dealings with him who came over for events) and he made some kind of petty comments on various sites, d'ya remember the old comicscomics site? Oh, of course you'd know Picturebox and comicscomics, I momentarily forgot that Dan Nadel and Tim Hodler now edit the online iteration of TCJ!!! So, yeah, I wonder if that was him...

Jaime came over to the UK in 2013 and did a talk and signing in London that I was fortunate enough to attend and, well, he was WICKED! Woodrow Phoenix, the UK cartoonist interviewed him, he was animated and lively, did some drawings onstage that were projected on screen, the theatre space (it was at the Institute Francais) was totally PACKED! It was the most diverse crowd I've ever seen at a comics show, too, there were loads of women there, it was almost half men half women which I thought was very cool. I dashed out straight after the talk so I got a good place in the queue, I was pretty nervous but Jaime was SO NICE! He signed three things for me and did a little Frogmouth sketch in his big art monograph, y'know the Abrams book, and I had the foresight to take the first ish of L & R I ever bought (the mag sized, not comic sized iteration, I forget the issue number but it's the white Jaime cover with Maggie and Hopey walking past the riot cops? Great cover!) to get signed...I asked him if any new cartoonists have caught his eye, he couldn't remember her name at first but I prompted him and he was like: "yeah! Lisa Hanawalt! She has a really filthy sense of humour!". I inadvertently kept interrupting him (NOT like me AT ALL!) and ended up having to apologise, Jaime just smiled and said: "hey, it's no problem, man!". I shook his hand and thanked him for all the great comics, then shook Woodrow Phoenix's hand and thanked him for being a great interviewer (he was really nice) and bounced! Oh and Jaime didn't exactly have a WEAK handshake but it wasn't the firmest, nor was it wet/clammy/cold!

(I've met a few cartoonists, I reckon Dave Gibbons would be the most famous back in '91....I hadn't read Watchmen, it was at UKCAC '91 and he was just supposed to be signing, anyway one of the organisers sort of bent over and whispered to him about doing some sketches and he literally looked up and went: "yeah, no problem, so, I'll do something for him, him, him,him, him,him, him, him...(points AT ME)and him". I couldn't figure out why all the guys ahead of me were asking for all these characters I'd never heard of! Like: "who the hell are these people?" Gibbons did a SWEEET Comedian sketch for the bloke in front of me, I thought it was cool even though I didn't know who it was...he was promoting Give Me Liberty so I got a sweet Martha Washington head shot, which I still have framed on my wall.)

Can this be a: "Time You Met A Famous Cartoonist" thread?!?! Hahah!
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