New York ComicCon / Chappaqua

This past weekend was a busy one. On Friday, Oct 4th, I drove to New York City to sign my books at the Schiffer Publishing booth at NY ComicCon. It’s about a 4 hour drive from where I live, I don’t mind the drive and having lived in New York I know my way around the city pretty well. I got to the Javitts Center in plenty of time for my scheduled Noon to 6pm signing.

Shortly after I arrived at ComicCon of Friday.

I met some great people and signed a lot of books. I love going to ComicCon. Although picture books are not the main thing people come to ComicCon for, a lot of people stop to check them out and are pleased to meet the author/illustrator. I’m always happy when someone new discovers my books and it’s great to stand by while they read them for the first time and occasionally laugh out loud at the funny parts.

I actually signed this on Sunday but I didn’t have time to take any photos on Friday.

After the show I jumped in my car to drive north. I stayed near Chappaqua so I would be nearby in the morning. This was my first time at the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival. I have never seen so many children’s authors gathered in one place, 150 in total.

Shortly after the opening of the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival.

Unlike ComicCon, visitors to Chappaqua were there for the authors. I was busy all day chatting with people, signing books and having a great time. I’m very happy that my friend Chip Kosinski (husband of author Colleen Kosinski) took a lot of photos of the event.

A young book-lover tells me who to sign her book to.

Since I had not been to the Chappaqua Festival before I met some people who didn’t know my books yet. Even better, I met a bunch of people who know my books but have never met me. I was especially pleased to meet an 8th grade teacher who told me that she started every school year by reading I Hate Picture Books! Somehow it recently went missing and she was thrilled to be able to get a signed copy to replace it.

Signing a copy of If You Give the Puffin a Muffin.

I spend most of the day standing up so I can greet people as they come to my table. I often sign the books standing but I occasionally sit if it’s a longer name or it’s a more complicated drawing. (see the previous photo of untitled above.)

Unexpectedly, I actually ran out of books early. I should have brought extra but I was not sure I would do so well with so many authors signing so many books. At the end of the day as I was walking around saying hi to other authors I was surprised by an old friend, Rob Niosi, who I had worked with on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and other projects afterwards. We spent a couple of hours having dinner and catching up after so many years.

When I arrived on Sunday morning there was a stack of books waiting for me to sign. People had bought them on Saturday and were coming back for them on Sunday.

I drove back to Manhattan and stayed overnight in Midtown. When I find myself in NYC for an event I usually find someplace fun to go late in the evening. While deciding where to go I realized I was pretty tired and just stayed in my hotel. The next morning I headed back over to the Javitts Center.

Sunday was just as busy as Friday. It was also family day so there were a lot more kids in attendance. I ended up staying well past the time I was scheduled as I hate walking away when there are people looking at my books.

Thank you Paul for the photo. It was great seeing you.

The highlight of Sunday was getting to say hello to Paul Reubens. I have not seen him since working on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. When I found out he was going to be at ComicCon I got in touch. He gave me his details and I was able to take a few minutes to go down to his table (after getting lost for a bit). I gave him a couple of my books and he suggested we take a picture as he told a mutual friend we would be seeing each other. I completely forgot to have a picture taken with my phone but Paul sent me this one.

It was a fun but busy weekend. This week is slightly less hectic. On Friday I’ll be at the Howard County Showcase and on Saturday I’ll be at the Warwick Children’s Book Festival. Come by and say hello if you are in the area!

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