I was recently on Ireland's Following the Nerd podcast talking about A Long Time Ago. It was a great time. Check out the Following the Nerd web site, and click below to listen to the podcast. My interview starts at around the 8:30 point. Thanks to Marc and Jay for having me on!
Entries in My book (37)
Andrew David Barker, author of The Electric and ardent supporter of A Long Time Ago (thank you thank you), has published an interview with me on his blog. In his introduction, Andy is nice enough to say:
Gib Van Ert’s memoir is a beautifully written book – touching, and very funny; for anyone whose childhood was shaped by George Lucas. It will bring back many happy memories for any fan of the original Star Wars films, and have you saying, ‘Oh, I remember that!’ over and over again. It is also about how childhood can slip through our fingers, and with it the obsessions of that shimmering age.
If you're interested in Star Wars and self-publishing (as Andy and I both are), I think you'll enjoy this interview.
Look at this beautiful photo of my book--with the two Star Wars figures I always wanted as a boy but couldn't have because Kenner didn't make them! The photographer is also the man behind one of my favourite new Star Wars blogs. If you haven't visited the YASWB Tumblr blog yet, go do it. YASWB puts a lot of thought into his photos and posts. I have sung his praises before here. If you're an old-time Star Wars fan, this blog is a real pleasure.
YASWB posted this terrific picture of my book, together with some very kind words for it, on 4 September, but I've only just seen it now. Here's a quote:
The book is written in a very humorous way and contains many smart and beautifully written statements about Star Wars and its impact on our lives. I consider this book a mandatory reading for everyone who grew up with the original Star Wars and its toys in the 70s and 80s and for everyone who wants to understand and learn about the beauty of the Star Wars of yesterday.
You can read the rest here.
Thanks for the kind words and the thoughtful photo!
I went away to the Okanagan last week for a vacation with the family on Vaseux Lake. Most of the time we were in the Oliver/Okanagan Falls area, but we went into my hometown of Pentiction for a day and happened to drive by the cinema in which I saw Return of the Jedi. It's closed, replaced by a newer facility a few blocks away.
From A Long Time Ago:
I saw Return of the Jedi at the Pen-Mar cinema either on opening night or shortly thereafter. The Pen-Mar was Penticton’s only movie theatre since the drive-in had shut down. (The Pen was for Penticton and the Mar was for Martin Street, or so I assume.) There was a murmur of anticipation as we queued for tickets and milled about the Pen-Mar’s small concession area, full as fire department regulations would allow, waiting for the doors to open. There were only two screens in the complex, and both were showing Jedi. While I remember these moments before seeing the film quite well, I draw a blank on most everything else. I cannot remember who I saw the film with. I cannot remember any immediate reactions I had to it. I loved Return of the Jedi and felt none of the ambivalence about it that I heard other Star Wars fans express many years later. Yet there may be something telling in the fact that my initial viewing of the film was my least memorable film-going experience of the three. But I say that with nearly thirty years of hindsight; though I do not specifically recall leaving the theatre raving about the best movie I had ever seen, I’m sure I did.
Last Thursday artist Chris Woods and I spoke about Star Wars at The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, British Columbia. The Reach is where Chris's terrific Sandstorm oil painting exhibition is on show. Chris treated us to a slideshow presentation about how he conceived of the exhibition, while I read two excerpts from A Long Time Ago.
Much to my surprise, Rebelscum.com contributor Adam Lamping (@adamlamping) was in attendance. After the talk, Adam and I had a great chat (with Chris Hamilton and others). Adam then posted a piece about the event on Rebelscum.com. From the post:
The evening consisted of Woods offering insight into his history with Star Wars as well as explaining the theme of the exhibition, bookended by van Ert reading some highly amusing excerpts from his book. The first excerpt described his increasing obsession with Star Wars, and in particular Kenner action figures, as a child, and then following Woods' talk, van Ert detailed his reaction to seeing The Vintage Collection for the first time, and the internal struggles that ensued as he attempted to resist the urge to fall back into a hobby that he had seemingly put behind him many years before.
Adam then kindly directs readers to my book on Amazon and this great Flickr set from Sandstorm. Thanks, Adam!
Only a few weeks ago, Vancouver's newest Little Free Library (#6034) opened at 2305 McLean Drive. I had never heard of the Little Free Library movement. Wikipedia explains:
Little Free Libraries are a community movement in the United States and worldwide that offers free books housed in small containers to members of the local community.... The idea was popularized in Hudson, Wisconsin when Todd Bol mounted a wooden container designed to look like a school house on a post on his lawn as a tribute to his mother, who was a book lover and school teacher. Bol shared his idea with his partner Rick Brooks who found many efficient ways to spread the word, and the idea spread rapidly.
I live in East Van and my wife and I just set up a Little Free Library in front of our house. https://www.facebook.com/LittleFreeLibrary6034
Right after we opened, a copy of your book appeared (the Star Wars one - I'm not sure if you have others). My brother borrowed it to read. I just got it back yesterday and started reading it. I had read about it on BoingBoing and was super excited to find a copy in our LFL.
At the time, I didn't realise that you, yourself, are a denizen of Vangroovy. So .. what I'm wondering is if YOU put the copy in our LFL. Because a) that would be AWESOME and b) you would be our first author-to-donate-a-copy-of-their-book that I could then brag about on FB and our blog.
I really wish I had been the first author to donate a copy, but in a way it's even more exciting is that it wasn't me--some mystery person, possibly a complete stranger, added the book to LFL's collection. How nice! (I choose to disregard the possibility that someone around here thought my book was crap and preferred to give it away than be in its presence a moment longer...)
Next Thursday, 8 August, at 7 pm, artist Chris Woods and I will be at The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, BC to talk about--you guessed it--Star Wars.
Chris is the artist behind Sandstorm, a spectacular exhibit of original-trilogy-themed paintings showing at the gallery until 8 September. The show has been a big hit for the gallery so far, and it's not even half way through its run. You can watch my handmade (hamfisted?) film about Sandstorm here.
I'll do a couple readings from A Long Time Ago, while Chris will give a presentation about his paintings--which will be right there in the gallery for you to go see. Audience participation will be encouraged. To steal a nice phrase from a guy I met once, it will be "Nerd Church".
Amazingly, the whole thing is free, so if you're anywhere near Abbotsford (about an hour's drive from Vancouver), you really should come out.
Last week Gib Van Ert, author of the recently reviewed A Long Time Ago, tweeted some warm words for my review. You know me, it always warms my heart to hear an author referring to my review. I therefore thought I would pay him back for his tweet. I would do so using his own currency: I would repay the author of a book about growing up in the shadow of the Star Wars franchise through my own previously untold Star Wars story.
Moshe goes on to tell a funny and sweet story about seeing films in Tel Aviv with his favourite uncle, who would always record their exact running time using his fancy new digital watch. He explains how he considers The Empire Strikes Back to be the first film he ever saw (in significance if not strictly chronology) and how Star Wars is the first film he did not see, in part because his mother told him it was "all stupid". It's a great read. Follow the link below.