RASL launch party @ Coolture Spain

It's New York Comic Con time, and that means there's lots of geeky fun to be had around the city. Last night, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund hosted a launch party for Jeff Smith's new series, RASL, which chronicles the adventures of a surly, dimension-hopping art thief. (Smith is probably best known as the creator of the long-running and immensely entertaining all-ages-friendly Bone series.) First clue that you've stumbled into a capital-e Event? You have to squeeze past Frank Miller on your way to get another beer.

The party was held at Coolture Spain, a smallish, gallery-ish place on 39th Street. Smith himself was gracious and outgoing, taking time to talk and take pictures with any idiot who asked.

Transient

During one conversation, he gave us a little Bone-related trivia: The books' "rat creatures" were originally kind of a monotone and personality-free enemy. After seeing reports about the book Real Men Don't Eat Quiche, Smith got stuck on the phrase "real monsters don't eat quiche." If you've read the series, you'll probably get a chuckle out of that. If you haven't, I can't recommend it highly enough - it's available in a 1,400-page single-volume edition that has been straining my biceps for the last week. (Think Looney Tunes meets The Lord of the Rings and you'll have the basic idea.) I'm not sure if I own a more entertaining book - comics or otherwise.

I also got a chance to talk with Kazu Kibuishi for a few minutes. Kazu edits the fantastic Flight anthologies, and his new all-ages series, Amulet, is going to be huge. He'll get his own post here in the near future - he's a phenomenally talented artist and writer, and he's at the center of a pretty remarkable group of young creators. He's also gonna take a beating at Halo 3, just as soon as I figure out how not to suck at multiplayer.

It was a great night out, made even better by a kick-ass selection of swag, including signed prints and a Bone hoodie, which I can't wait to wear. Damn seasons.

Heidi Macdonald has more details and photos over at The Beat.

I also want to say a quick hello to Karen (her column), Tara (her gallery), and Antonia (currently linkless). They're the kind of people you want with you in a foxhole, if by "foxhole" you mean a comic-book party with an open bar.