We look forward to sharing lots of fun and unique news, events, profiles and updates on what’s happening in the NoHo Arts District.
Author Lisa Unger makes her West Coast literary premiere at NoHo’s Blastoff Comics for her new novel “CRAZY LOVE YOU,” a psychological thriller that Booklist called "Superb, complex and riveting."
“Well, it's actually "Romance" that we're focusing on this month on our website! I'd say that "Crazy Love You," while frightening in its dark and obsessive characters, is, at its heart, a pitch-black romance.” – Jud Meyers, owner of Blastoff Comics
In addition to a reading from the novel, guests can look forward to a conversation between Lisa and crime novelist Gregg Hurwitz!
WHAT: An evening with Lisa Unger, author of “CRAZY LOVE YOU”
WHEN: Saturday, February 21 at 7:30PM
WHERE: Blastoff Comics. 5118 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, California 91601
Love hurts. Sometimes it even kills… Darkness has a way of creeping up when Ian is with Priss. Even when they were kids, playing in the woods of their small Upstate New York town, he could feel it. Still, Priss was his best friend, his salvation from the bullies who called him “loser” and “fatboy”… and from his family’s deadly secrets.
Now that they’ve both escaped to New York City, Ian no longer inhabits the tortured shell of his childhood. He is a talented and successful graphic novelist, and Priss… Priss is still trouble. The booze, the drugs, the sex—Ian is growing tired of late nights together trying to keep the past at bay. Especially now that he’s met sweet, beautiful Megan, whose love makes him want to change for the better. But Priss doesn’t like change. Change makes her angry. And when Priss is angry, terrible things begin to happen…
“Riveting … This is a complex, intricate story, yet the pages fly by as Ian, the most unreliable narrator since Nick Dunne in Gone Girl, leads us on a wild ride in this superb psychological thriller. Unger is at the top of her game here.” —Booklist (starred review)
Lisa Unger’s writing is unique, inventive, and often experimental, her writing is impossible to categorize. She combines her extensive knowledge of the human psyche with an understanding of trauma and fear to create novels that have earned her a reputation as one of the most skilled practitioners of the psychological thriller around today. Throughout her 12-year career, she has walked the fine line between literary novels and commercial thrillers all the while hitting The New York Times bestseller lists and earning both critical acclaim and millions of fans worldwide.
Lisa's books have named top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Walmart Book Club, Harper's Bazaar, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Washington Life, Publishers Weekly, New York Daily News, Indie Next and Amazon (Top Ten Thriller of the Year.) More than 1.9 million copies have been sold in 26 languages.
We asked our pal Jud Meyers, owner of NoHo’s Blastoff Comics, about the event and some things that are coming up.
Lisa actually suggested to Simon and Schuster that our store would be a great fit for a west coast premiere event. Gregg Hurwitz had sent Lisa to me over a year ago when she was still researching the book. Because the main protagonist is a graphic novelist, she was anxious to make sure the dialogue and syntax were as authentic as possible. It's something I'd never consulted on before and it was a lot of fun. I'm glad to say that the night won't just be about a reading. Another unique element of the evening is that Lisa will be joined by Gregg! Having two award-winning novelists doing an "Iconoclast" style talk where they interview each other about their writing process and experiences in the Crime/Thriller genre adds a whole other level of excitement.
Absolutely. We're selling more and more prose books at the shop, providing the neighborhood with an underserved product. We've reached a point in both mediums where readers don't really care whether a novel is "graphic" and accompanied by stylized art or if it's just words on a page. A great story is a great story and I think readers will always be interested in hearing the creators themselves discuss how they set about developing it.
Get ready for SATURDAY, MAY 2, North Hollywood! It's not only Free Comic Book Day (always a huge event for our city), but Blastoff will take over The Federal Bar for the 1st Annual BLASTOFF COMIC FEST! Stay tuned...
**** For information on Los Angeles theatre, tickets to theatre in North Hollywood's NoHo Arts District, theatre reviews, the NoHo Event Calendar, restaurants, news and local businesses in NoHo, or anything and everything about the NoHo Arts Community, bookmark nohoartsdistrict.com. Follow us on Twitter @OfficialNoHo.
We all know that Blastoff Comics in the NoHo Arts District is the go-to place for all things comics. We also know that they donate portions of their proceeds to various charitable organizations. Last month’s children.org drive was a success and you can see here who your contributions affected. This summer Blastoff Comics has added a special Young Adult reading section.
We asked Harley, Blastoff Comics manager, more about their Young Adult section.
“Over the last month or so I overheard some parents and kids in our shop, saying they wanted to read more "book” books. They especially seemed to have a curiosity for good Young Adult novels. All this got me reminiscing about my days of exploring through books. I remembered all of the amazing novels I'd read when I was young, and how they opened me up to new worlds and expanded my creative thinking. Then it hit me: why not share these amazing stories with my young readers? Let them find the same joy in reading that I once did, and still do.
While we are primarily a comic-book shop, we have always had a large and successful section for novels, and now we will simply be expanding that section. At the moment we have an amazing selection that includes zombies, science fiction, horror, time travel and more. For the Young Adult section we'll be adding a great selection of mainly fantasy novels, but we are mostly just focusing on good stories, as we always have.
If the response from our customers remains as strong as it’s been, you can expect it to stay a part of our shop and continue to grow.”
Start reading, North Hollywood!
5118 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, California 91601
**** For information on Los Angeles theatre, tickets to theatre in North Hollywood's NoHo Arts District, theatre reviews, the NoHo Event Calendar, restaurants, news and local businesses in NoHo, or anything and everything about the NoHo Arts Community, bookmark nohoartsdistrict.com.
Our team always says: "The neighborhood is only as fantastic as its people." So when we come across a group that is doing what they do and doing it well, we jump at the chance to give them snaps and claps. Blastoff Comics came to the NoHo Arts District and opened up shop last year. To celebrate, they're having a shindig on Saturday, January 18. Let's wish them a happy anniversary and many more to come.
What: Join North Hollywood’s Blastoff Comics for their anniversary celebration. HARLAN ELLISON, PAUL CHADWICK AND KEN STEACY SIGNING 7 AGAINST CHAOS!
When: Saturday, January 18 Noon – 3PM
Where: 5118 Lankershim Blvd, NoHo Arts District
How has your year in NoHo been?
Actually, it's been a little over a year in NoHo, but two years since the launch of our website. What made us a bit unique was that we went from an Internet store to a brick-and-mortar location when so many other retailers are doing the opposite. And we couldn't have picked a better spot for our business!
The North Hollywood community has been so welcoming to us and we've quickly become a fixture in the neighborhood as well as something of a landmark on Lankershim Blvd. As far as customers are concerned, the phrase I hear the most every week is, "I just moved into the neighborhood and I was glad to see a comic-book store right by my house!"
What's really surprising is how many kids there are coming into the shop. Families are moving into the area because of the growth and affordability. So now we've got different generations and genders all mingling together within our four walls. For a retailer, there's nothing better.
What do you like about being in the North Hollywood neighborhood?
NoHo is becoming more and more like Brooklyn. You can do everything all within a certain radius without even getting into your car. We've got supermarkets, restaurants, banks, gyms, playhouses, movie theaters and a metro that acts as a vein from downtown to deeper into the valley.
Now all we need is more family retail! But with all of the housing development going on, I think we'll see more and more moving in within the next year or two.
And bike lanes. Oh please, give us some bike lanes...
What are you going to do to celebrate your anniversary?
We've got the legendary Harlan Ellison appearing for a signing on Saturday, January 18th from 12-3pm! Harlan is one of the most celebrated and prolific science fiction/fantasy authors of the last century and almost never makes personal appearances nowadays. It's a very rare opportunity to meet him in person and get his work hand-signed.
Describe for us HARLAN ELLISON, PAUL CHADWICK AND KEN STEACY...for the comic novice
Harlan Ellison has been called “one of the great living American short story writers” by the Washington Post; and the Los Angeles Times said, “It’s long past time for Harlan Ellison to be awarded the title: 20th Century Lewis Carroll.” Harlan is an essayist, screenwriter, and journalist; above all, Harlan is a writer. Harlan has written an original hardcover graphic novel titled 7 Against Chaos, with art by Paul Chadwick and Ken Steacy. We'll have copies that can only be signed by all three creators within that 12-3pm window.
Paul is most famous for his groundbreaking comic book series Concrete and Ken, a talented writer and artist, had his artistic hand in many of the most important comic book stories of the 1970s and 80s. Describe for us their novel 7 AGAINST CHAOS.
It's "Seven Samurai" in space. What more can you ask from a graphic novel by three of our industry's most famous luminaries?!
What should patrons expect from Blastoff Comics in 2014?
We've got huge plans for the coming year.
Our first published graphic novel titled Elizabeth's Canvas will be released through IDW Publishing in 2014 with all proceeds going to an organization devoted to art therapy for cancer patients and their families. With writing and art from Mark Waid, Gregg Hurwitz, Scott Tipton, Chris Ryall, Sara Pichelli, Elena Casagrande, David Messina, Todd Harris and more, this should really shake things up.
We're doing a weekly web series focusing on many different vintage collectibles. We'll focus on their history and role in our vintage world. All of this is currently available on our Web site and our YouTube channel and new episodes are going up regularly.
And of course, the backbone of our business has always been our charitable work. Along with continuing our practice of donating a portion of our profits to a different charity every month, we're working on a major project that will see us building a children's library inside of a series of 1,000 square foot shipping containers and sending them to Africa.
Amazingly, there's more! So keep an eye out for announcements on our Web site, our twitter feed and our Facebook page.
Any spoilers you can give for what's coming up in the comic world?
The beauty of our comic world is that the Internet is exploding with pop culture information on an hourly basis. Everyone wants to get in on the comic-book explosion, which means we have new content to explore every hour on the hour!
Get to know Blastoff Comics!
Harlan's site: http://harlanellison.com/home.htm
**** For information on Los Angeles theatre, tickets to theatre in North Hollywood's NoHo Arts District, theatre reviews, the NoHo Event Calendar, restaurants, news and local businesses in NoHo, bookmark nohoartsdistrict.com.