Last week was San Diego Comic-Con the Mecca of geekdom that happens once a year. In addition to the glitz and glamour, the comics and cosplays, there are a lot of books. At its heart, Comic-Con is about just that: comics.
They aren't just the superhero publications you're used to, though those are definitely fun. There are also a lot of independent, self-publishing comic writers and artists out there, and I think I stumbled on a gem while wandering the exhibit hall in an exhausted daze later in the weekend.
It's no surprise that I have a weakness for all things book, right? I mean, they are pretty much all I talk about, and it shouldn't shock anyone that I came home with about a dozen pins with various forms of "READ MORE" written on them after last weekend. I managed to control myself though. I only came home with three new books.
One of the great artists/writers I stumbled upon really drew me in because they write about books. Librarian Gene Ambaum and cartoonist Bill Barnes write about books and libraries in their great comic series Unshelved. I mean, come on? A series of comics about books? Their booth sang to me from across the crowded sea of nerds like a siren in the swamp.
But when I got up to the booth, I discovered they weren't just about books. Ambaum also collaborates with writer Sophie Goldstein on two family-friendly, pet-friendly graphic books about messy pets. I grabbed a copy of Poopy Claws because I am, at heart, a cat person more than a dog person.
And yes, the book is about exactly what you think it's about: cat poop. Well, it's about a little boy and his cat that are messy enough and irreverent enough to drive their Monica Geller-esque neat freak mom nuts.
The cartoons are great. The story line is cute and completely relatable if you've ever dressed a child for the day, sent them off into the world with a bright smile and clean hands, only to find them covered head-to-foot an hour later in something smelly.
If you're looking for something fun to read with your kids that's not yet another princess story or superhero story, look these guys up. I really enjoyed both things I bought from them!