Last week, I got a chance to interview Bruce Campbell over the phone. Amongst our topics of conversation were his new memoir, Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B-Movie Actor, a sequel to his 2002 book, If Chins Could Kill, and his upcoming 35-city book tour. Well, yesterday in New Jersey the tour commenced, and I was there with my son to meet the man, the chin, the legend, Bruce Campbell and get my copy of his book. The book signing took place at Bookends, located at 211 E. Ridgewood Ave, Ridgewood, New Jersey.
My son and I arrived and parked at 3:30 in the afternoon. The signing was scheduled to begin at 6:00pm and there was already a respectable line when we arrived. The folks at Bookends could not have been more easygoing and accommodating. Books were available for pre-order, and you went in to pick up your book before heading to line up outside the building in the parking lot. As is usual, when you get a bunch of geeks together, it was a friendly atmosphere, where strangers act as friends. Fans compared t-shirts and tattoos. One kid was cosplaying with a chainsaw hand (see images below). Many were reading snippets of the new book, many showing off their selected memorabilia for Bruce to sign. Lots of fans had huge full-size movie theater posters of the Evil Dead films. The guy next to me on line had an Army of Darkness laserdisc (!!!) and another woman had… a plastic severed head.
I went to the front of the line to ask Bruce fans when they got there. The man at the front of the line arrived just before the store opened… at 8:30 AM!!! The couple behind him drove over 5 hours to get there and were there by 11:00am. The highlight was when Bruce Campbell, ever the gentlemen, began the signing early. We were escorted into Bookends at about 4:30 PM, and funneled downstairs where Bruce emerged in front of a banner for Hail to the Chin. The Bookends employees expedited the signing, by taking your item to the table and another taking pictures with your phone/camera. Bruce was classy as ever, donning a very Sam Axe-like Hawaiian shirt. He shook hands, and gave everyone a small dose of his natural charisma and charm. By 5:00 PM, I was out and we were off to dinner, happy and content, and of course, a bit star-struck.
Bruce Campbellâ€™s Hail to the Chin book tour continues in the northeast with stops in Long Island (8/15), Philadelphia (8/16), and Boston (8/18-8/19) before heading into the middle of the country. You can find the location nearest you over at his official website. Hail to the Chin is available in stores everywhere today. My review is coming soon.
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