Friday, July 30, 2010

Comic Con 2010, artist signings

AUG 14th... I've just added a new post w/ pics of our booth from Comic Con 2010....Visit our showroom in Torrance on WESTERN AVENUE to see the many sketchbooks Stuart hand selected at Comic Con!

Here are some snaps of Stuart with our artist guests... all taken on the same day (Stuart does own other shirts!)...

Here's Stuart w/ Peter de Seve..

... Ciia ....

and Beth Sleven and Mari Inukai.

Artists signing at Stuart Ng Books at this year's con included Peter de Seve, Ciia, Beth Sleven and Mari Inukai. Our signings take place at the booth next to ours; our gracious Comic Con neighbor and colleague Tina Price of Creative Talent Network (CTN) and the Creative Talent Network Expo (CTNX).
Ciia joined us from Paris, hand carrying the stock of her very popular Comix Buro sketchbook to sign, as we had sold out of it months ago. NEWS FLASH.. more copies of her book now in stock (our new French shipment, which was supposed to arrive in time for Comic Con but didn't, has arrived.... check "NEW ARRIVALS" on the SNB website for pics and details).
We have a limited number of signed books by Beth and Mari available now on our website and at the showroom. Peter will be appearing at CTNX in Burbank in November.

The fun part of comic con.... HOOPS & YOYO

This post added Aug 2010.
Here are the costumed characters of HOOPS & YOYO outside the convention center, being interviewed for TV....

Here's the Hoops & Yoyo booth on the exhibit floor (this pic taken during morning set-up, before exhibit hall was open for attendees)

Here's the booth during one of the Hoops & Yoyo signings...

The characters also in attendance (they get around for 2 big puffy guys...)

This year, we spent quite a bit of time trying to remember how long we had been attending and exhibiting at comic con. I wish we had taken pictures of the booth each year! My first years at comic con w/ Stuart we weren't exhibiting... we were attending and still collecting items. We didn't have the perks of an exhibitor badge back in those days.... but I'm glad we got to enjoy comic con from the perspective of giddy fans eager to be there, and attend the show "back in the day" before it morphed into the colossus it has become (for better.. and worse).

Our amazing Peggy joined team Ng 3 years ago... and her first week on the job was at comic con. Talk about being tossed into the deep end of the pool. Peggy has never been to comic con "just for fun." One morning on the way into the booth at this year's con, we were all talking about "the fun" of comic con from years past and Peggy's comment was: "I have yet to know what the fun part of comic con is." I feel bad that Peggy hasn't had a giddy fanboy moment... but one of the things I love and admire most about Peggy is that she's so sensible and a sensible person wouldn't normally find themselves at a comic convention.

The fun of comic con today for most of the attendees seems to be the movie panels and all the free "swag" dispensed at the studio booths.
For us old timers... the fun of comic con was trolling the many small mom and pop booths on the exhibit hall floor and finding that one item you wouldn't find anywhere else (this was BEFORE the internet, dear reader... back in the stone age that is MY era....).

Also fun.... meeting the artists and actors... not in a hall with a million other exhausted-to-the-point-of-zombie-status fans... but up close at small panels or autograph sessions where the line didn't stretch to Alaska. My favorite autograph from those days... Julie Newmar (the real catwoman...meow!). One year, there was a "Batman" signing scheduled w/ Julie Newmar, Adam West and Frank Gorshin. There is a strict policy at the con... no PA announcements... so if you hear an announcement you know something's up. Well that year, the PA announced: "Julie Newmar. Adam West. Frank Gorshin. Please report to the Autograph area. Your fans are waiting to meet you." I LOVED the idea that the stars of Batman had es caped their handlers and had gotten so caught up browsing at all the booths on the floor that they were late for their autograph session (probably not what really happened... but I love the idea all the same).

but I digress..

The fun at comic con for me for the last two years has been Hoops & Yoyo!! If you aren't familiar w/ these flash animation ecard characters from Hallmark... check out their website at

A few years ago my dear friend Paul sent me a Hoops & Yoyo ecard and I've been a fan ever since. You can also see the cards & other Hoops & Yoyo videos on You Tube.

I had my own fanboy moment last year when I was returning a patrons backpack at our booth's bag check. You have no idea how many people tote black backpacks until you work a bag check. In this case, I was helped out by the bag's bright pink "Hoops" luggage tag, which I instantly commented on... ("oh you have Hoops! I'm such a fan" yada yada)... only to learn the backpack belonged to more than a fellow Hoops and Yoyo fan... It belonged to Hoops! There's more to the story... but too much to type so you'll have to ask me about it sometime.
Meanwhile... Hoops and Yoyo were such a hit as part of the Hallmark booth in 2009 that this year they were the headliners at the Hallmark licensed character booth. Hoops and Yoyo artists Mike Adair and Bob Holt did signings.... Plus there were Hoops and Yoyo costumed characters. I was happy because the Hoops & Yoyo booth was located on the route I used to get across the hall, so when I was out of the booth for various errands, I often was able to swing by. Where else but Comic Con can something like that happen (no where).
You can also find fun videos of Comic Con on You Tube... these short clips are probably enough comic con experience for most people these days...

Comic Con 2010, views of our booth

New Post AUG 14.... In case you've wondered what it takes to get 7 tons of books and fixtures down to comic con to set up our 50 foot long booth, here's a look...

First it takes STEVE... Stuart's brother, who joins us every year at comic con and drives the (ever bigger and bigger) rental truck Stuart picks...This year's truck was a 24-footer. That's a big truck kids...

Now when we get to the convention center w/ our truck, we have a team of friends who help us move the boxes and fixtures from inside the truck onto pallets. Teamsters at the convention center then shrinkwrap and fork-lift the pallets to our booth, where we get to unwrap the shrinkwrap, move everything inside the booth and start the set-up. And the whole operation works in reverse for load-out on Sunday night...

All this labor is provided by team Stuart Ng (Stuart, Mary, Peggy and me)... and our "andy hardy puts on a show" group of bookseller and convention buddies who pitch in to help us. There's a romantic idea of being a bookseller w/ your quiet little store and your smoking jacket...and then there's the reality that books are HEAVY and there's actually a lot of lifting and moving involved in the job. I'm lucky that Stuart buffers me from most of that these days, but I've done my share. But there are times (usually Sunday afternoon at comic con) when I wished we sold feather boas or Styrofoam instead of boxes of books for a living...

So kids, when you think about all the man0power it takes, just remember how hard Stuart works to price the books fairly for an event like this. Our prices are the same if you buy the book at the convention...or from our website. The service we provide you is bringing you the books so you can see them in person and make your choice for which books suit your needs. But just like you had to pay a fee to get into the convention... we have expenses for the cost of the booth space, transportation, lodging... etc....Which is why I like the quote from Liz Ohanesian in her LA Weekly "Best of LA 2009" review of Stuart Ng Books as the Best Comic/Art bookshop: "Stuart Ng Books isn't cheap, but it is reasonable."

My favorite customer comment from the 2010 con.... when he looked at our 50 feet of French comics (the largest inventory of this type of material on the convention floor) and said: "Oh wow you have French comics!..... Is this all you brought."
Below are views of the booth before the show is open to the public, so you can see the size of the space and the variety of the material....

This year, as last, the rare books were on the wooden shelves near the cashiers. We bring all this shelving material with us, and most of the tables that you see in the booth. We also bring and assemble the heavy metal grids and shelves that display the French albums. Our friends Long and Brandon help us build those during set-up. There are pics of them in action in the 2009 comic con posts.

Stuart designs all our display banners. They are quite popular, and we've even been asked if they are for sale...

Here's a good view of the interior of the booth and the grids and tables. We also bring and assemble the rows of flip boxes for the French books....

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Comic Con 2010, New Wendling item

Here are views from our Comic Con booth of our brand new Claire Wendling item: a set of 12 postcards of the Chinese Zodiac. These images are unique to this postcard set (published by Stuart Ng Books) and do not appear in any of the Wendling books.