Adventures in Marketing — Week 340

Swapped one book and sold three – a package deal.
For a few months, an elderly couple, emigres from Panama, have been living in the hotel of which the café is part. Her grandfather had come from Denmark in the 18th century to help drill for drinking water. Her husband was in the US military in the Canal Zone after two tours in Vietnam. When the current dictatorship took over their home, they left to join a daughter and grandchild here.
Her book about their experiences, “Gringo Cabron,” sold well in Panama. The English translation, “Deported Colonel,” is available at Amazon. I traded an “I Will Keep You Alive” for it, and since she wanted the others I had on display too (“The Schiz,” “Lollipop,” “Cheesesteak”), I gave her a bulk-purchase discount.

In other news…
1.) As expected, my article on “Strange Death of Alex Raymond” drew more comments than my usual at They ran from “great review of an incredible book” and “it’s always a pleasure to read your work” to “masturbatory writing… it’s like, dude, you can write for OTHER WRITERS or you can write for a GENERAL AUDIENCE, always go with pick #2, jeez.” (All capitalizations of INDIGNATION in the original.)
I think the lesson here is clear.
2.) A few weeks ago, my S. Clay Wilson “Buy Bob’s Books” sign caught the eye of a lanky, long-haired fellow, late 30s/early 40s. He didn’t buy but the couple times he’s been in the café since, he’s given me a “How’s it going, man?” He’s usually with an older, balding man, and they seem to bounce back and forth between Berkeley and L.A. The other morning, we talked.
The older man knew Terry Zwigoff through The Cheap Suit Serenaders so we opened with the Crumbs and old record collecting – having to explain to the younger fellow what .78s were. I didn’t learn more about him, but the younger guy is a surfer/graffiti artist/fine artist (or as he put it, “mantlepiece” artist). He seems most serious about graffiti art, about which he has significant thoughts, but which he has given up because of the danger. (One practitioner was shot by an aggrieved property owner.) He circulates around the Pacific, spending what money he has, living “wild.” (The one painting he showed me a photo of – a mix of psychedelia and Javanese batik patterns was splendid.)
We talked graffiti artists I didn’t know and Banksy, whom I did, and whom he reveres. I offered Vaughn Bode, which gained me no traction. Big Daddy Roth came along, whom I grabbed hold off, but I was in real danger of falling out of the conversation entirely when I tossed out Rick Griffin. “The G!!!” he exclaimed. We connected on Robert Williams too.
Then they were off on a six-hour drive south.
I am hoping to resume.