Lucy Bellwood Launches 100 Demon Dialogues Book Tour

Monday night I had the distinct pleasure of attending the official book launch of Panel Pal Lucy Bellwood's 100 Demon Dialogues book tour, held at Ford Food and Drink in SE Portland. I arrived a little after the party started and after speaking briefly with Lucy, I watched her signing line grow and grow, and it was like that the whole time she was available.

What impressed me most was that there were a sizable number of kids at the reading. And they clutched their books and plush demons just as hard as the adults. Lucy's expression of her fears and insecurities don't have an age barrier.

The book party itself was extremely cool. Lucy had custom name tags that allowed everyone to share what their own demon says and a table set up for people to draw a demon. Those pictures then went into a traveling guest book. Here's mine, with its dialogue to me adapted due to being in the presence of so many great artists, like Steve Lieber, Erika Moen, Lucy of course, and several others from the Helioscope studio.

There were also decorated balloons, which indicated what was where. Hard to get a perfect photo, but here's an example:

Lucy enlisted the help of Katie from Books with Pictures for the merch table, which I thought was extremely smart. It was nice to stop and talk with her a bit about things. and this is a good reminder that Portland comics lovers should make sure they go to her store on a regular basis. I also talked to Steve and Erika, and several times found myself taking pictures at the same time as Steve, who I think was doing the Helioscope coverage that night.

After a bit, Lucy was interviewed about the book, her career path, and several other questions. She is very open and honest, and one of the things I thought was really compelling was when she shared that since so much of her creative work comes from her life, it feels like she can only do something if it can be made into a comic later. That's a pressure I never really thought about. Lucy also spoke about the history of her demon, who began with a drawing in 2008, if I heard her correctly.

I've had the pleasure of watching Lucy's career grow over the years and this feels like a real moment in time where an audience beyond comics can tap into her work. 100 Demon Dialogues may focus on the life of an adventure cartoonist, but it's also relevant to anyone whose inner voices often tell them either they can't do things or that anything they do will be wrong. It's a powerful expression of sharing--one that I don't think I could ever do in the way that Lucy has--and a way to remind us that we are not alone in our fears. Given the world we live in right now, I think that's extremely important.

When the interview was over, Lucy returned to her chair to sign more copies of her book, and the line kept right on going, ranging in age from about 7 to 70. I left feeling like there was a sense of community between all of us, a sense of sharing that happened in a coffee shop, even though most of us were strangers to each other.

It was such a great experience, one of the best I've had with a comics debut outing like this. And best of all, Lucy may be sailing her way into a city near you! Here's her current scheduled events:

  • June 8th: 7:00PM Brick & Mortar Books, Redmond, WA
  • June 9th: 2:00PM Outsider Comics, Seattle, WA
  • June 12th: 7:00PM Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Minneapolis, MN
  • June 14th: 6:30PM Secret Chicago Illinois Show, Chicago, IL (!!)
  • June 16th: 11:00AM Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival, Ann Arbor, MI
  • June 20th: 1:00PM Escape Pod COmics with Joshua Hixson, Huntington, NY
  • June 23rd: 7:00PM Eight Cousins Books, Falmouth, MA
  • June 24th: 4:00PM McNally Jackson Books, New York, NY
  • June 29th: 6:30PM East City Bookshop, Washington, DC