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Friday, May 27, 2011

MAY 2011 TOUR DIARY, Pt. Five: Walden and Home Again



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I left Montréal Tuesday morning at 5 AM, so I could make it to my next signing, at the Thoreau Society in Concord, outside Boston, that afternoon.  It was a rainy, grey day.

Montpelier, Vermont in the early hours.


Vermont State Capitol.




I finally made it it to Concord, in a pounding rain.  Here's my set up.  If you could see out the window behind the screen you could almost make out the eastern shore of Walden Pond.

Photo by Fred J. Robertson.

The turnout was small but enthusiastic.  Just be be there was an incredible honor to me.

I stayed that night at the studio of artist/teacher Cara Bean.  Above:  Looking down on Moody Street, WalTHAM, Massachusetts.

An illustrated box by Ms. Bean.

The next day I had a lecture on Thoreau to give at a Lynn, Mass. High School.  Here is the large (200+ people?) crowd filing in.

Luckily, only a few of the students taunted me during the lecture!

Hooray.

Afterwards, I stopped by the Science Lab, where I met these adorable Blandings Turtles (one of Thoreau's favorite animals...).

(For more on my visit to Lynn Classical HS, click here!)

Bay outside Swampscott, cloudy day.

The Boston skyline gradually emerges.

The next morning I hit the road for Albany, NY, a place I'd never been, to visit one of my favorite people in the world, Patrick Porter.

The first thing I did in Albany was step in this puddle.


Washington Park bandshell, Albany.




Tricked out chrome Saturn.  The picture doesn't do it justice.



New York State Capitol Building.

Porter: The Halls of Power™.

View from the Egg.


Can someone please let me know what these mysterious stone holes are, just east of the The Egg?

Allegedly the red brick building in the center of this photo is a veritable museum of graffiti inside.

Patrick in the Concourse, below the Capitol, featuring artwork from the Nelson Rockefeller Collection.

Detail of one of Patrick's paintings.

Porter sketch.

Home Decor®.

"I'm scared.  I wanna go home."

Porter Stylee Sweater Rack.

Bright eyed and bushy tailed, after a night of sleep in an upstate NY rest area.

Lake Eerie.

Before long I was once again in Mysterious Cleveland.  And once again I just passed through without stopping. Can someone please explain the Cleveland underground scene to me?  There must some zine-friendly/comix-friendly shops there, right?

Downtown Cleveland from the interstate.

Back in the midwest.

Dan Ryan, Wednesday night. (Everyone's at the Bulls game.)



Home Sweet Home.


TOTAL MILES: 2,530.1

Special Thanks to Alex and all at Pop Sandbox, Chris Butcher and Peter Birkemoe (TCAF/Beguiling), Kingston Homies, Julie D., Chester, and all at D+Q, Mike Frederick, Cara Bean, Kelly Hourihan and all at Lynn Classical, Porter and Amber, and Price Chopper for the place to pee.


Monday, May 23, 2011

MAY 2011 TOUR DIARY, Pt. Four: Montréal (2)


* * *


Friday in Montréal was a busy day.  I went down to the D+Q store to meet longtime zine-writer Jeff Miller (Ghost Pine), and pick up a few of his beautiful new books for the distro.  We had coffee (or Limonata, in my case) and shot the breeze for a bit on a summery morning.  Afterwards I met my Belgian cartoonist pal Max de Radiguès for lunch.  Max and I keep following each other around North America-- This is the second time I've run into him unexpectedly in a different city.  We got some health food, sat in a park watching a schoolful of kids playing, and talked about comics and politics.  On the way down to the park we ran into Billy Mavreas, who informed me he was having an opening at his gallery/book/junkshop Monastiraki that evening, so I said I'd come by.

Then back to D+Q, where I met Tom Devlin. We picked up his daughter Gigi at school, had a quick bite to eat, and went down to Billy's shop.

Fish 'n' Chips at Comptoir 21 on Saint-Viateur. (Gigi and John in the funny mirror.)

Just some of the wares on display at Monastiraki.

Billy and Tom haggle over prices.

Some of Billy's brilliant drawings.



Shop scenes.

Zine rack.



More zines and books.

Perro Verlag publications.


Afterwards Tom and I braved paradoxical Montréal roadsigns to pick Chester Brown up at the airport.  He was doing a signing at the D+Q store the next day.


Chester's childhood home in Châteauguay, Québec, in the Montréal suburbs.

Saturday morning, Tom, Chester, Chris Oliveros, and I drove out to Châteauguay, the town where Chester grew up, and immortalized in such classic comics as The Playboy, The Little Man, and I Never Liked You.

(I highly recommend you check out Chris' great post about the trip, on the D+Q blog.)

I wonder what the people inside were thinking!

The great Chester Brown.

Chester, John, and Tom. (Photo by Chris O.)


Mr. Brown and his childhood school.

We had lunch at a funny little Resto in the same strip mall where Chester had purchased his very first Playboy, all those years ago.  Then, on to the signing...

The SRO crowd waits in eager anticipation.

Julia, Chester, and  Peggy Burns.

John P., Julie D., and Chester Brown.  (Photo by Peggy.)

The next morning I had to get up at 5 AM in order to make it to Boston on time for an afternoon signing.  It's hard to describe my feelings for Montréal.  When I have to leave, it's almost physically painful.  Ah, well... au revoir!









NEXT TIME: Walden Pond and home...

(Thanks to Chris Oliveros and Peggy Burns for some of the photos!)