This past Friday I had a booth at First Friday which this year was tied in with the Sixth Annual Vegas Bookfest. First Friday is an arts event held in the downtown area of Las Vegas the first Friday of every month. It's been a while since I've gone, but I had a blast and will definitely be going back more often.
My booth was right next to the stage so I got to hear local band Clydesdale play (I've had their cd, but haven't gone out to see them live before last Friday). They played two sets and put on a fantastic show. Their sound is kind of in the country and western vein (and not that pop country crap they play on most radio stations) with a rock edge and sultry vocals by Paige Overton. Check out: www.myspace.com/theclydesdale for upcoming local shows updates and to listen to some of their songs.
One of my favorite things about having gone out to First Friday was seeing my old friend Keir (who designed / drew my store mascot Epstein). It was good catching up with him and meeting his friends Jennifer (who reads this blog at least semi-regularly - thanks and it was good seeing you again), and two other of his co-workers (whose names I'm spacing on - damn my vanishing brain cells - oh well at least I remembered Jennifer's name!).
Gilbert Hernandez, with his wife, Carol, and their daughter Natalie, at my booth. Gilbert, is of course, one half of Los Bros Hernandez, creators of Love and Rockets, the grandaddy of alternative comics (and still going strong!). Gilbert also released the graphic novel Chance In Hell recently and has a mini series through Dark Horse called Speak of the Devil. Across the street from where my booth was, in the Arts Factory, there was an exhibit of comics art and Gilbert along with Andy Hartzell and Kim Deitch had art pieces on display.
Andy Hartzell, former cartoonist for CityLife and Las Vegas Weekly (now living in the Bay Area), former self publisher of mini comics including Monday and Yip, the Wonder Dog, holding his display sign for his new graphic novel Fox Bunny Funny published by Top Shelf. Fox Bunny Funny is dialogue free, told entirely in sequential drawings, and is about "what happens when a secret desire puts you at odds with your society?" Andy also was at my store this past Thursday for an evening signing and that was a good time.
I would have been happy being at First Friday even if I didn't sell any books, but I did find some good homes for good comics so that was an extra bonus. I saw a good number of people who come to my store, saw some old and new friends, and heard some good tunes - further proof that Vegas isn't the cultural wasteland that some would have people believe! I thought it was a good idea to tie in this year's Bookfest with First Friday because it definitely reached a new audience.
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