by Hiko Mitsuzuka
Crowds by the thousands. Long lines for autographs. Insightful discussion panels in huge halls...
Sure, we've had our fair share of Comic-Con in San Diego, but the upcoming 20th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (April 18-19, at USC) is promising to be its biggest gathering of geeks and bibliophiles.
Whether you call it #bookfest or #bookpride, FOB is making some pop culture pundits wonder: is it the next Comic-Con?
If you ask us, the answer is YES. And now's the time to jump in because, over the years, the crowds have gotten bigger -- and more fervent. Much of this could be attributed to the ever-increasing popularity of YA fiction in popular culture, thanks to successful blockbuster franchise adaptations at the box office. #LAtimesFOB is known for showcasing the next big things in the genre and inviting current literary heavyhitters to meet fans.
Maria Bello, Octavia Spencer, Jason Segel, Keegan Allen (Pretty Little Liars), Billy Idol, Kate Mulgrew (Orange is the New Black), Patton Oswalt, and Candice Bergen are just a few of the famous names appearing on the various stages throughout the festival grounds.
And don't forget the Festival After Dark events like...
THE SPOKEN WORD - An interweaving of text and movement that journeys through African American fatherhood, planet hip hop and environmental justice. Performed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph.
BOOK DROP BASH - The official after-party of the LA Times Book Prizes. here’s your chance to rub shoulders with authors and library lovers alike, participate in the legendary book swap, and enjoy music and drinks. This event is open exclusively to Library Foundation Members and invited guests of the Book Prizes.
LITERARY DEATH MATCH - Called "the most entertaining reading series ever" by the LA Times, the live show brings together four authors to read their most electric writing for seven minutes or less before a panel of three all-star judges. After each pair of readers, the judges take turns spouting hilarious, off-the-wall commentary.
Will we see you there? Give us a shout/tweet.