Monday, May 12, 2008

Graphic Novels and other Monday Musings

The Bay Area is in the midst of a love affair with graphic novels. The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco is hosting a series of talks by authors called Serial Boxes. Ben Katchor will appear May 12 in conversation with monologist Jesse Kornbluth. Marjanne Satrapi, the author of the Persepolis series, has already appeared, as well as Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware, and Peter Kuper. On May 20 there will be a panel discussion with “up and coming” graphic artists Miriam Libicki, Jaime Cortez, Keith Knight, and Ariel Schrag.

Even Stanford students are getting into the act. Students in a class taught by Tom Kealy and Adam Johnson wrote and drew Shake Girl, which the Chronicle describes as "based on the true story of a Cambodian karaoke performer named Tat Marina who was the target of an "acid attack" after she had an affair with a married man.”

Michael Lewis, the author of Moneyball, has sold a book on fatherhood, an outgrowth of his columns on Slate. This Berkeley-based author (living for a few months in New Orleans) has sold a “humorous and poignant memoir on the tribulations of fatherhood, again to Star Lawrence at Norton, in a major deal, by Al Zuckerman at Writers House ” according to Publishers Marketplace.

I’ve become enamored of a new web site called ALLTOP, which aggregates news stories and magazine articles and web sites into different topic areas like journalism, movies, wine, politics, the environment, celebrity gossip, etc. I love the site that focuses on books.

It’s a site new web site backed by Guy Kawasaki, the Silicon Valley guru.

California Authors is a website that trumpets literary news and achievements by, you guessed it, California authors. The creators have revamped the website including a page that lists what they consider California authors. It’s a great read and an easy way to find out about books and writers you may not know. Sine the website is run from Los Angeles, there are more southern than northern California authors.

Here are a few gems I found, people I have never heard of but who are quite accomplished:

Joel Drucker This Oakland-based writer is one of the world’s leading tennis journalists. First book, Jimmy Connors Saved My Life (2004), set largely in LA. Wrote five major cover stories for San Diego Reader, including “A Jew & The California Dream” and “San Diego’s Tennis Curse.” Work cited in Best American Sports Writing.

Elaine Flinn A California native, and former San Francisco antiques dealer, Elaine Flinn’s debut novel, Dealing in Murder, A Molly Doyle Mystery (Avon) was published in 2003.
The antiques game is a killer, and it takes an antiques dealer to tell the tale.

Jessica Barksdale Inclan is the author of five novels — Her Daughter’s Eyes, The Matter of Grace, When You Go Away, One Small Thing and Walking With Her Daughter — and co-editor of the textbook Diverse Voices of Women. She lives in Orinda and teaches at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill.
“Inclan never condescends and never judges, preferring to let her subtly drawn people speak for themselves” — Kirkus Reviews


James G. Leventhal said...

love the alltop tip...interesting. I like:

jessica said...


Thank you for mentioning me on your site--CA Authors is great, though they won't bring up the fact that I sometimes write romance novels (a form of prejudice, at least as far as I am concerned). When I tried to submit those novels, they did not appear. But I do like their site very much, and can only hope when lowly forms of genre are included in all author talk.

Jessica Barksdale Inclan