Following in its tradition of overly impressive reading events (such as Pulitzer-prize winner Michael Chabon), the Belmont library brought Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik--creators of the Penny Arcade webcomic--in to promote their 11 1/2 year anniversary book. (It's one of those important anniversaries.)
Check out Penny Arcade 4: Birds Are Weird
Penny Arcade, with its intense (almost exclusive) focus on the video game culture, inevitably drew one of the more interesting cross-sectioned slices of humanity.
An, Um, Diverse Crowd
Out came the Dungeons&Dragons crowd; comic book readers, writers, sellers, and collectors; people who take militant, hardcore stands along different lines in the console wars; fanboys; not so many fangirls; and people who hide yo-yos in their bras for some pre-show entertainment. And then mixed with these, because it was a library after all, came the literary types who just like to be in the library for no particular reason at all. Cats. We seem to like cats.
Talented With Many Interests
Mike and Jerry do more than poke fun at the video game industry, hard as that may be to believe. They also run a gamer convention called PAX, as well as a children's charity called Child's Play, which unites the gaming community into supporting children's hospitals around the world.
Not too bad for two guys whose jobs are to buy every single video game the minute it comes out and then draw funny pictures about it. Not bad for two guys, one of whom worked as a clerk at Best Buy.
Take That Question
They spent an hour answering questions from a standing-room only audience. More than standing room, there were people climbing the bookshelves and book stacks in order to poke their heads over and get a glimpse.
Free cookies were offered, to better keep your blood sugar from dipping to dangerous lows once the conversation topic got mired in the finer intricacies of assorted D&D releases. Other topics included "How to please your gamer boyfriend" and "Yes, I have a Pac-Man tattoo." They signed stuff: Jerry leaving a signature that I initially mistook to be the date, Mike generally leaving his mark in the form of a sketch.
This Is Real
Here, Mike has drawn an adorable little robot in my notebook! They also answered my question, which was, "Can you please talk more about how bad a writer James Patterson is?"
Funny About More Than One Thing
Jerry said, "Well, go to the section of the library where the books have torn a hole in the fabric of the universe and opened a direct portal to Hell, and you'll see." I had pushed his buttons on purpose. He had ranted before, on the website, against James Patterson: "The description for Patterson's Maximum Ride, Book One: The Angel Experiment suggests that " 'Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, and Angel are pretty normal kids--except that they're 98 percent human, 2 percent bird.'
Gabriel read this aloud from the site, and I must have hit my head on the corner of my desk when I was gripped by a black sleep, because when I woke up there was blood."
God bless him.
Josh Pearce is a small, robotic juicer with an unusual means of extracting juice