Last Tuesday night, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund held a party/fundraiser to welcome the BEA (book expo of America) to the CBLDF's home, the wondrous isle of Manhattan. Using several incriminating photographs involving lightsabers and a microwave, I managed to blackmail Rick Lacy into attending the party with me. To keep some sense of structure with this lil' "in the field" report, first we'll go with the good, followed by the bad, and then we'll round it out with the completely inane.
The GOOD: First off, when they said it's a party sponsored by Image and DC, and that there's a gift bag involved, I expected to get some sort of free promotional material that would end up at the bottom of my "to-read" pile, where it would stay for several years. I was wrong. First, there was the $1 reprint of Walking Dead #1; alright, pretty cool, but nothing to pitch a tent over. The second gift in the bag? The recently released hardcover collection of Morrison's Batman & Robin #1-6. Shit, really? I had to double check to make sure I wasn't being duped. Like most fans, I have them all in single issue format, but damn, this HC collection goes for about 25 bucks retail. So yeah. The gift bag was a spoonful of sweet gravy.
As you can tell by the picture above, the Hudson Terrace is pretty fancy, which was both good and bad (more on the bad in a second). We saw some notables (Paul Levitz for about a minute, Ivan Brandon modeling the latest in cargo shorts), talked to some WC friendlies (Hi Nikki Cook!), saw another WC friendly (Hey Amy from Bergen St!) and ate some delicious mini-burgers (screw you Lacy, them shits was tasty). Plus, we were supporting CBLDF, and that just feels right, like arm-wrestling Communism (and winning).
Like I said before, the Hudson Terrace is a pretty fancy place. And if you live in NY, you know that a pretty fancy place = overpriced drinks. $9 for a gin & tonic? Lady bartender, you're lucky I just got a free Batman & Robin hardcover. I wouldn't have a problem if there was any chance that part of the bar tab went to the CBLDF, but I'm almost 100% sure that was not the case. I guess I'd have to say that in general, I'm more inclined to say that comic book fundraisers are better suited for low-rent dive bars or comic book stores. That way I can spend my extra cash on buying books instead of booze cause we all know books > booze, right? Right...
As my cowboy compatriot and I were about to find out, having a CBLDF shindig in such lavish surroundings meant that we'd be occasionally joined by confused club-bunnies from the party outside, a gathering Lacy lovingly referred to as the "pretty lady" party. Now, as you can see from that picture above, there were quite a few comic book ladies around (such as the lovely Ms. Cook and Bergen Street's own amazing Amy Adams), but every few minutes, a rail-thin waif in a cocktail dress and cringe-worthy heels would aimlessly wander into the CBLDF party, no doubt surpassing the donation table. These lost lilies were greeted by a bevy of drunken 1st amendment fighters, which was at times amusing, and at other times downright awkward, like having the high school cheerleader walk in on your Halo party (if only that happened).
After an extended period of Bogarting the bar, me and my comic book cowboy started talking to other people, namely people we did not know. We met some fun people, and one or two straight up dickheads. Here's a tip: if somebody at an industry party ever asks you, "is there anybody here worth knowing?," you are required to stop talking to that person. Why? By asking that question, they have proved that:
A. he/she is an asshole, and therefore
B. he/she is not worth knowing.
Sure, I get it: this is an industry party, so you want to make contacts, but it's also a party, so you should just shut your yap and get to know anybody who will talk to you at all. Nobody likes that kind of bare-faced networking, especially when the party is also a fundraiser. One good thing did come of this conversation though: while I desperately tried to get away from this guy, Lacy overheard somebody mention a "Taco Party" that was happening upstairs. As you can imagine, there's not much in this world that sounds better than a Taco Party, so we quickly absconded up a flight of stairs only to find this:
That is not a Taco Party. That is a Vodka Party. Nice hair-flower though.
Somewhere along the line, we were duped. Lacy's reaction looked a bit like this.
Cowboys don't drink Vodka. Never promise a cowboy Tacos and then not deliver. This makes a cowboy sad.
Faced with an existensial meltdown brought on by a lack of tortilla shells, we did the only thing that made sense: fled the Hudson Terrace, highjacked the Intrepid, and took our personal brand of lawless stank to the high waters of the Hudson River.
Ever since then we've been living a life of Top Gun shenanigans, complete with singalongs and nearly constant high-fives.
See you next time CBLDF...