January 18, 2008 -- Friday evening -- #1,000

Waiting for his ride outside of the 111 Minna Gallery and reading Into the Labyrinth, by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. He likes to read--mostly in the sci fi, fantasy and detective genres--because it helps him with his work. He's editor in chief of National Press Comics in Oakland.

The difference between Harry Potter and what you read and throw away, he said, is the intricate world that is created. People who read Harry Potter talk about it and go off on a tangent about things (fan fic aside). It's what differentiates Tolkien from whomever.

A transitional book in his life-- Dragon Reborn, by Robert Jordan. It's the third book in the Wheel of Time series. When the main character embraces his destiny and it's like a big boulder...once it gains momentum it really goes. He remembers the last hundred pages just flying by. He read it for the first time when he was seventeen and remembers thinking about how to apply it to making comics.

Comics, he said, used to be like a good ol' boys club--women were sex objects, Mexicans lived in the barrio and there was shame in being African American. But, nowadays things are different. National Press lifts comics out of this realm, but they're no trail blazer. Milestone Comics made some good ones, like Icon about a black superman who crashes into the planet earth in 1839, grows up as a slave and later becomes a superhero/lawyer with a teen mom sidekick who the hero met when she was breaking into his house.

Milestone Comics went out of business, though, trying to overcompensate. People thought, oh, those comics are for black people. They made the same good ol' boys club mistake, but in reverse.

This is my thousandth reader posting, including posts in both San Francisco and across the United States (not including photos of statues and murals of people reading).

It being my thousandth interview, I needed to celebrate. When his ride came to pick him up I walked into the 111 Minna gallery, ordered myself a gin and tonic, opened up my book and prepared myself to revel in the number 1,000. The people inside, though, were reveling over a different number--111. Not only is 111 the name of the gallery and the address, it was also the opening date for the show of artwork you can sort of see through the window of the brick wall-- 111 rock-and-roll inspired supermodel nudes lounging on sofas, by San Francisco photographer, Merkley, all being sold for $111.

I wasn't particularly interested in the show--though the photos are beautiful and have amazing technical merit...until I saw the books. There are books in most of the 111 photos, on bookshelves and scattered beneath plates of cold pizza and boxes of Rice Crispies. Though some of the titles are hard to read, represented among the authors are Tom Robbins, Charles Bukowski, and Jules Verne. In front of a nude jumping on couch with electric guitar with orange cat leaping through the air, is, resting demurely on an amp, Jean Paul Sartre's Being and Nothingness.

And, that's the reason I've been able to make it to 1,ooo readers --books are everywhere. It's more difficult, I guess, to get people take their clothes off.


merkley??? said...

the pictures were taken in the girl's own houses with their own stuff. you'll have to ask them why they chose the particular books in the photos.

re:"I wasn't particularly interested in the show"
no need to act uninterested in nudity. it's ok to like naked girls. liking books doesn't make you smarter or less creepy than people who like a nicely composed nude.

Sonya said...

Thanks for commenting.

I didn't mean my "I wasn't particularly interested..." comment to be a snub against people who like nudity. The show was great, I just wasn't drawn to it until I saw the books....I was busy with my drink and reading my book. After I got out of my chair and began studying the photos, I was really impressed. The pictures were really fun and the symmetry that you created, both by manipulating the images and naturally, was lovely....as were the women.

Would you let them know the post is up so that they can comment on their books if they want?

rosie said...

Hey Sonya, small world but, I was hanging on the wall of that art exhibit! You photographed me last week in the Haight reading the Sound and the Fury, a few entries down.

I'm Rosie, Girl #4, with the tattoos and puses in the shots. Merkley shot me on my birthday, 2006. Ironically, so many people came to that art show, I couldn't even get in!

Sonya said...

Hi Rosie,
What a coincidence! The only thing that tops that so far is finding out that I interviewed the wife of a guy I dated.... I'd heard about his wife (and baby!) and had been wanting to meet her.

I hope to stop by the store and catch you again sometime.

colleen said...

Hooray, Sonya! What an accomplishment.

rosie said...

Sonya - I wonder if someone bought my photograph, I mean it was only $111.

On the other hand, I kind of hope they didn't so I can go buy it for myself!

Did you ever make it out to Green Apple on Clement? As for me, I'm at the shop in the Haight on weekdays. I'm sure I'll have some new material for you by the next time you pass by. I'll even give you a book mark!

heather said...

congrats on post #1000! you rock, i adore this blog, have for a long time now. keep up the good work!