Tucked away just south of South street on 4th street, Brickbat Books inhabits a narrow but deep space where the shelves are lined with literary ephemera as pedestrian as... well, it's really not pedestrian at all. After introducing myself to Patrick (who I had bothered via email for so many months now), I immediately sought out the "pulp" section where I was greeted with both detective and sci-fi fiction that fit in this wonderful category. Seeing a Robert Heinlein sit a few cubbyholes away from a David Goodis made me smile. In my short time of browsing I found quite a few treasures that I had to quickly put down for fear of making a purchase. I wanted to walk out of Brickbat with a little cash in my pocket and without a stack of books.
Luckily, Chris Cummins saved me from the temptation. When he introduced himself I was a bit taken aback. Chris wrote for Cashiers du Cinemart for years (since way back in Issue 10) with writing so polished that I had assumed he was far older. No, he explained, he's just a bit anal retentive and a perfectionist about his writing. I could completely understand.
Chris and I pulled up a couple of chairs and shot the shit for a while before folks started trickling in. Chris's friend Dom Chacon, Sharyn Pak and Larry Withers (director of David Goodis: To a Pulp), John Weber, Edward Pettit, and Duane Swierczynski were first on the scene with many others to follow. We mingled for a good while before I finally decided to get the show on the road.
With my typical manic behavior I started prattling about the early days of Cashiers du Cinemart and how it evolved from the shitty little zine I wrote in my parents' basement to the shitty big magazine I had professionally printed. I turned the "stage" over to Chris who proceeded to talk a bit about the history of Gremlins and read a bit out of the absolutely insane novelization by George Gipe. Mind-blowing.
Taking a cue from Chris, I proceeded to read my "Theater Daze" piece which I had massaged to a ten minute length. I feel I need to do a bit more massaging on this and fear for the published version which you can really tell I wrote in Issue 6. This is one of the pieces that I didn't change much before it went into the book (not part of the 13.2% new stuff). It's rough around the edges (to say the least) but I hope it's a quaint remembrance of things past.
Looking up at one point (I need to make better eye contact at these things), it looked like there were about twenty people in the store (might have been less, but I'm sticking with 20 as my final count). This was a much better turnout that I had anticipated. I got a lot of support from my fellow Noircon participants and there were quite a few unfamiliar faces in the crowd as well.
We did a little Q&A after the reading where Chris turned me on Breaking Glass as a flick he'd like to see get more notice. I've been fairly lucky in this regard as I can point to Impossibly Funky as a platform for a whole sheaf of flicks that I think deserve more attention. And here's hoping I can bring more attention to other movies that really need further appreciation.
Big thanks to everyone for coming out to the event and, especially, to Brickbat Books for having it. It was a blast!