Director Guillermo Del Toro has been on a book tour promoting The Strain which premiered last night at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles. The new novel by Del Toro and Chuck Hogan prompted people to start lining up hours before the 12:01 AM release time today. That’s right, the book signing began just after midnight and continued well past 4 AM. Why? Because his reps say “he won’t leave the store until every geek who purchased a book and wants an autograph gets one”. Tonight, Del Toro will be at Borders bookstore in Westwood which starts at 7 PM so he might exit at a decent hour. But don’t count on it.
One of those classic fanboy moments came Monday night in Hollywood, where, while most good people were sleeping, more than 100 geeks stormed the neighborhood’s Meltdown Comics for a midnight book signing of “The Strain,” the first of Guillermo del Toro’s vampire trilogy, written by Chuck Hogan.
Del Toro was besieged not only by autograph requests, but also photograph pleas, all of which he obliged as part of what he called a “no geek left behind” policy.
Del Toro said he picked Meltdown as the kickoff for his book tour — which will see him going to New York and then London before returning to the New Zealand set of “The Hobbit” — because of a connection he made during the days when he was a struggling filmmaker trying to make his 1993 movie “Cronos.” Del Toro stayed at a dingy $25-a-night Hollywood motel on Highland and one day met future Meltdown owner Gaston Dominguez-Letelier, the two bonding over their dreams.
Del Toro is one of the few filmmakers that has the critical support of both the geek and artistic communities, and part of that comes from his willingness to spend time with people. It also helps that he himself is aware of other people’s works and can be a fan as well.
“Transformers” actor Tyrese Gibson literally waited hat in hand for del Toro to walk his way, and when he did come up to the low-key actor, del Toro turned the tables by giving the man a bear hug. Del Toro’s line to the actor: He’ll gain some serious points at home, because his kids are huge fans of “Transformers.” Hey, horror auteurs are great, Dad, but we want some Michael Bay.
Guillermo del Toro curses a bit — in Spanish and English — but his fan friendliness may know no bounds.
The director of the Academy Award-winning “Pan’s Labyrinth” and the well-received “Hellboy” films was on hand at midnight last night at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood to autograph copies of his new vampire book “The Strain,” co-written by Chuck Hogan. He stated that he would not leave until “every last geek” was satisfied — and he meant it. I didn’t get to record this bit of video until 3:30 a.m., when he signed his last book.
Throughout the night, the director remained animated and amiable while autographing, taking scores of photos, and giving advice to fans and up-and-coming filmmakers who stood in line. Some exchanges and words of wisdom from Del Toro included:
– “How come you haven’t read more vampire books? I have a list …”
And so on. A person in line commented, “He seems to have something in common with everyone.” That was true, but with his banter, it was more that he found connections with the fans. Despite the popularity of his upcoming project, the director didn’t get an overabundance of questions about “The Hobbit.” He can think about that later. For now, on to New York, London, back to the State