by Jas Faulkner It all started with one of those thrift store finds that moves you to dust off and rekindle an old interest. I was there to do my biweekly stuffed animal grab for Niklas Lidstrom -aka- Destructo the Wonder Shih Tzu when I saw they had cobbled together roughly fifty dollars worth of calligraphy supplies into a ziploc bag and with the asking price of five dollars. This is probably a good place to hit the pause button and admit that I’m a big old typography nerd. It was a love of letters and alphabets of all kinds that pushed me to major in graphic design at one point in my overlong undergraduate career. I am still a sucker for typography books
I was adding a book to my pile of ’get rid ofs’ when I glanced at its name. Strange People by Frank Edwards. I realized right then I couldn’t give away anything with that alluring of title. Even if I’d read it. So, I put it aside. Which means it went into a heap or pile or bottomless pit of ’stuff’ teetering by the door to my quote unquote, workroom. This mass of mess accumulates from any thing and everything out of place or cluttering up the downstairs whether it belongs to me or not. It collapses from time to time and various things come to light I thought lost, thrown away, or have no memory of existing. One day recently, the book tumbled out.
by Jas Faulkner Why do people draw in books? A friend of mine borrowed my copy of the script for Monty Python and the Holy Grail for a scene study class. She returned it with thanks but a grumpy rejoinder about the copious scribbling along the margins. After listening to more grumbling, I finally broke it to her that the bizarre creatures were actually printed in the book. They were the handiwork of the film’s animator and co-director, Terry Gilliam. She had every reason to believe that the artwork was mine. However, she had no idea that Gilliam, and for that matter the rest of the artists often still known as Monty Python, had been influences for decades. My father passed his adoration of the Pythons
I’ve not attended an Mystery Writers Of American Edgar A. Poe awards dinner in over a decade. So this article will be strictly about those years when I did attend–from 1994 to 2001. As I’ve written before, the Edgars are the highest honor given to a crime fiction author, like the Oscars, but with far less fanfare and categories. The evening begins with cocktails where everyone smoozes, checking out each other’s attire, and literary agents, guzzling concoctions from the open bar and afterward eating the nouveau cuisine as quickly as the microscopic fare is spooned in front of them. Attendees are assigned tables. The more important the nominee, or publisher, the closer to the awards area. If you are a fledgling author paying your own
Finding desirous books can be quite serendipitous. For example, last Saturday at a very large book and ephemera show in Allentown PA, I found three titles I never dreamed of locating within a reasonable budget, and certainly not in person. Maybe through bookfinder’s ABE., or Biblio, but on a table or shelf right in front of my face? Unlikely. Yet that is just what occurred. Myself, my husband, and my friend took the jaunt to the Pennsy town, not expecting much, or less for that matter. We’d all just been to the NY Antiquarian Book Show and were a little shellshocked at the prices. I’ve been to paper ephemera shows many times, and there is no way to gauge what will be selling within. Tons