WE ALL DIE ALONE. Last week I visited the Strand Bookstore for a promotional event for Mark Newgarden's humor collection We All Die Alone. I know Mark (pictured) through his sister Anne (The Belle of Blog About Town) and I also played a small role in the book's creation. I was The Hired Typist Who Was Paid a Pittance, so I felt free to lean over to Mark before the event and let him know that I expected to be entertained. (I also apologized for not showing up in a dress, but that's another story.) Ever-cautious, Mark tried to lower my expectations, but I managed to enjoy the event anyway (despite all the chirping cell phones). It was amusing and informative to watch Mark's mock filmstrip about the mock flock cover of the book. Apparently the mock flock attracts dust that can bring about the end of the world! The presentation brought this point home with lots of scientific talk. Afterwards there was a brief interview and a Q&A session during which Mark and his adoring flock of fans chatted about his interest in garbage, his work with Art Spiegelman on Garbage Pail Kids, his strips for New York Press (which for a time involved the reproduction of toilet tissue wrappers), and so forth. All that garbage was really interesting, but my favorite stuff was the stuff about so forth, especially the references to Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy.
At one point, an audience member mentioned a certain cartoon controversy that had resulted in numerous deaths. Mark said something to the effect that it was okay with him--so many cartoonists had killed themselves over their work that it was about time that everyone else got a piece of that action, too. Of course, no one had to identify the controversial cartoon--it's amazing that Ziggy has had such an impact!
It was a good night for Newgarden watching. Besides Mark and Anne, there was a David plus at least one other Mark as well as other family members and loved ones, including Mark's beloved Megan Montague Cash. Also present were Ben Katchor, Stephen Kroninger, Frank Santopadre, and David. Afterwards, I got a free Personal Book Groomer (pictured)!
Tonight you too can get a free Personal Book Groomer at a similar event for We All Die Alone. This is one is in Williamsburg, so it's very convenient if you happen to hang out in Williamsburg. It's at 7 pm at Spoonbill & Sugartown, Booksellers (218 Bedford Avenue).
Photo and Scan: David Marc Fischer