It’s oftentimes very easy, in
the book world, to focus on the books themselves and forget about all of the
behind-the-scenes players. So much of the excitement around a new book is
generated based on the factors it takes little work to see: a talented and dynamic
author, a bright, colorful book cover, some artfully arranged cups of coffee or
vibrant flowers in a gorgeous Instagram shot. As much we appreciate these
things, being reminded of what happens on the flip side makes the final product
that much more meaningful and rewarding.
I was fortunate enough to
travel with Brit Bennett to Westminster, Maryland to accompany her while she
signed books. If you didn’t already know, Westminster is where the Penguin Random House warehouse is located - where
tens of thousands of books are assembled and packaged before being shipped to
your local bookstores.
Now, we all know that authors sign their books: sometimes, in person, at a reading or meet and greet; sometimes, in bulk, so that bookstores can sell books with an added personal touch. What we often don’t get to see is the sacrifice of time and comfort that makes this a reality.
On a brisk September morning
in Westminster, Maryland, Brit Bennett prepared herself for a day of intense signing. The
Mothers, her first novel, has already enchanted the literary world, including
the judges at BEA: she was asked to sign around 300 books in one sitting at the
conference. Sounds exhausting, right? Now, imagine signing over 4,000.
You read that right. In order
to meet the needs of booksellers who were already overwhelmed by demand for the
book, Brit sat down at a table in Westminster at 8:00 AM and readied herself to
sign 4,128 books by 5:00 PM.
Sound impossible for one day? One would
certainly think so. According to some hasty calculations, Brit would need to
sign at a rate of 800 books per hour to meet her goal, factoring in time for
the occasional break. But the mind-numbing tedium of signing your name over and
over and over again, even if she met that goal - wouldn’t it be enough to drive anyone crazy?
Probably. But luckily, the
staff at the warehouse were a dream to sit alongside for the day. They formed a
human assembly line, pre-folding the book’s flap into the signing page, sliding
the book over to Brit, collecting it as soon as she’d signed, and packing them
into boxes to be shipped to the indie bookstores that requested them. They also kept the conversation lively - we discussed everything from celebrity gossip to best concert experiences to favorite foods. Oh yeah, and books.
Meanwhile, yours truly was on the 1s and 2s (okay, Spotify) doing my best to keep everyone sane with some tunes. Together we formed a well-oiled machine, and Brit finished signing with a few hours to go (and an extremely sore wrist and arm)! Look at that relieved smile!
Ok so Mother birbs. I saw this post a while ago of the 3 mother protags as birds and it just happened to inspire me now. Credit to you if you find this, haha. I also added Travis. What is pathetic is that I’ve never drawn him before and the first time I do draw him is as a bird.
If all of THIS didn't bother you, STFU about Nygma and Cobblepot, bitch.
Gotham, vs. Batman Comic Books:
-Set in a multi-decade world of its own rather than within our own universe or any DC crossover universe.
-Penguin is American instead of British.
-Penguin’s mother is Gertrud Kapelput not Miranda Cobblepot. She’s also a central/eastern European immigrant.
-Barbara Kean being pseudo-Harley Quinn AF and hella bisexual.
-Barbara dated (and cheated on Jim with) effing Montoya.
-Jonathan Crane is basically just a messed up kid that’s always fucking scared because of his douche dad’s experiments.
-Hugo Strange is Asian American.
-Penguin never knew his father, when in the comics his dad died from pneumonia.
-You know what, just basically everything about Penguin’s childhood and family except for the overprotective mom and the bullying.
-The Joker is a matricidal circus nomad named Jerome Valeska.
-God, the fact that the Joker even has a back story at all.
-The Penguin is the mayor of Gotham City.
-The Mad Hatter is incestuous AF and dark as shit.
-Alfred is a badass military AF mofo who hits little girls sometimes.
-Lucius Fox is GCPD now I guess.
-Who TF is Fish Mooney and why is she so OP.
-Silver St. Cloud is Galavan/Dumas AF.
-Firefly is a FUCKING GIRL.
-Edward Nygma does forensics for the GCPD and later is chief of staff for the mayors office.
-The Vale family I guess is Asian-American now.
-Penguin is, like, not ugly. Like he’s actually handsome? WTF, actually.
-The Ogre died in like two episodes and was basically an uggo butthurt kid with mommy issues who was also fond of plastic surgery.
-I guess Hugo Strange is also not a bank-robbing petty criminal anymore, and just freaking loves mad science for the sake of mad science. Go figure.
-Nygma wears glasses, since when.
-Eddie’s birth name seems to be actually be Nygma, not Nashton. And it is spelled Nygma instead of Nigma.
-Penguin limps from a leg injury instead of waddling from being a fatty.
-Clayface…just what’s even going on with that.
-Mario Falcone is, like, not a criminal. Like at all. He’s a medical doctor. He’s also engaged to Leslie Tompkins. It’s weird.
-Jim the bounty hunter.
-Azrael’s first identity is some bitch nobody liked named Theo Galavan.
-Jim and Bruce being pseudo-Batman/Robin bros AF.
-Victor Zsasz is a moderately sane hitman instead of a rock-bottom manical serial killer.
-Sarah Essen is African American. And not married to Jim Gordon. And is his professional superior. And is dead.
-Matches Malone is the hitman who murdered momma and papa Wayne.
-The Flying Graysons travel in the same circus as the Joker, and one if the Grayson’s banged the Jokers mom. Yikes.
-Baby Batcat is an actual thing.
-So is baby SilverBat.
-Basically every fucking thing about Leslie Thompkins.
-Also basically everything about Poison Ivy. Like, she literally doesn’t even have the same birth name. WTF.
-Basically most of Gotham. Almost all of it. Seriously.
If you stayed with the show through ALL OF THIS, don’t fucking open your fuckboy mouth about “not in the comics,” because you don’t give a shit about whether or not ANYTHING is comic book canon. The fuck outta here with that weak shit.