Arts Desk

Comics Creators at the 2010 National Book Festival

This weekend the Library of Congress hosts the 10th National Book Festival. Yes, that does mean it was started in the Bush administration, by Mrs. Bush no less. This year there are four guests with cartoons in their careers. The festival takes place Saturday on the  Mall  between 3rd and 7th streets.

One is Jeff Smith, best known for his massive fantasy epic Bone. He's currently serializing Rasl, a science-fiction mystery about art thievery and murder across parallel worlds. Smith is signing from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., and speaking at the Tens & Children tent from 2:55 to 3:25 p.m.

Two Washington regulars are appearing. Jules Feiffer visits Washington all the time, and I covered one of his recent appearances. He's illustrated The Odious Ogre, a new children's book with Norton Juster, for their first collaboration in 40 years. Feiffer's speaking twice—in the Children tent from 11:50 to 12:35 pm and at Contemporary Life (for his autobiography) from 12:55 to 1:25 pm. He's signing books 2-3 p.m. Brad Meltzer writes comic books off and on, and he recently penned an R-rated Buffy the Vampire story arc—and a few years ago he killed the Elongated Man's wife in a Justice League of America comic. We've looked at his career here, too, and he'll be signing his Heroes for My Son book of minibiographies 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. after speaking at Teens and Children from 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Diana Gabaldon is a new entry in the Platonic index of graphic novel writers. She's written The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel as part of her Outlander novel series. She's talking at Fiction & Mystery 11 to  11:30 a.m. and then signing from 1 to 2 p.m.

Now, honestly, the Post estimates that 130,000 people are coming to the festival, so don't expect to get your books signed. Good thing that Feiffer and Juster will be at Politics and Prose on Sunday at 11 a.m. Noted science fiction writer William Gibson follows them at 1 p.m. On Monday, Ted Rall will be at Busboys and Poets on 14th Street NW at 6:30 pm to promote his new book, The Anti-American Manifesto. An interview with Rall should appear here on Monday.

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