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Monday, May 16, 2011

MAY 2011 TOUR DIARY, Pt. One: Urbana/Toronto Book Launch

A new book project I'd worked on (The Next Day) was coming out, and debuting at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, so the publisher and I made some plans for a short Canadian tour.

Then, a week before leaving, Stephanie and I were in Chicago for the Jim Nutt exhibit at the MCA, and I stopped in to Quimby's to drop off some comix.  Turns out there was a "Midwest Zine Fest" happening the following weekend in Urbana, IL, so I promptly dropped them a line and managed to snag a table.

Spit and a Half table, Midwest Zine Fest.


Zine Fest presentation.

Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center.

Zine Library.

All day long I only managed to eat some chocolate and a Diet Dr Pepper, and driving home I was overcome with the most awful hunger pangs.  I got back and ate some food, only to have the pain grow worse.  Turns out I was developing the stomach flu.  Hooray! (I was supposed to leave for Toronto in 36 hours...)

I spent all day Sunday laying in bed bemoaning my fate.  Monday I was feeling a little better, but not better enough to get in a car and drive 12 hours.  The Next Day book launch was Tuesday night in Toronto though, at 7 PM, so I packed up the car, set the alarm for 5 AM, and went to bed to see what would happen.  I finally fell asleep around 3:00 in the morning.

5 AM rolled around and I felt even better than the day before, with just a little bit of pain left.  So I got in the car and headed out, hitting Chicago at 6:30 for the start of rush hour, then through NW Indiana, and into Michigan.  In no time at all I was at the Canadian border and on my way to Toronto.

Outside the city, the rain and traffic got more intense but I only got lost once.  I found the venue and parked in the garage across the street, ate a can of beans, and headed over.  It was 6 PM.  I had made it by one hour!


First thing I saw upon exiting the garage was this wonderful three-window-wide handpainted image from the book, on the side of the National Film Board of Canada's offices!



Inside, there was a display of original artwork from the book.


Video stills from the animated website.



Trailer.



Launch reception.


After the launch I went over the University of Toronto, where I had a dorm room waiting for me.  I promptly fell asleep for 14 hours.  The next day (*ahem*) I woke up at 5 and went over to do another talk at the Toronto Animated Image Society.  Afterwards I wandered around Bloor Street for a bit and went back to bed.  But I was wired and didn't fall asleep until 7 AM.  So I spent all day Thursday in bed too.

Pretty cool, huh?

NEXT: TCAF!



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