ABFFE's BEA Highlights Include George Carlin Concert and Patriot Act Panel

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The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) will have something for everyone at this year's BookExpo America (BEA). Events range from a panel on free expression issues to award-winning comedy to ABFFE's ever-popular silent auction.

Comedian, actor, and author George Carlin will perform on Saturday, June 5 at 9:00 p.m., at the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom, Chicago.

"ABFFE is eagerly looking forward to BookExpo. At our booth in the North Lobby, we will be offering several limited edition products, including a new Harry Potter T-shirt and button and two posters based on New Yorker cartoons," said ABFFE President Chris Finan. "Our annual Silent Auction will once again feature the biggest bargains at BookExpo on new books, sidelines, posters, editorial cartoons, travel bargains, and tickets for sporting events and concerts. But the ABFFE highlight of 2004 will undoubtedly be the George Carlin concert at Navy Pier on Saturday night. Carlin has been a target of censorship on more than one occasion, so it is wonderfully appropriate that he is helping raise money for the Book Industry Foundation, which includes ABFFE."

On Saturday, June 5, from 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., booksellers' and librarians' efforts calling on Congress to amend Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act will come to the fore in a panel discussion, "Amending the PATRIOT Act: The Fight Continues" in Room 404A. This event is free and open to all BEA participants.

On Saturday evening at 9:00 p.m. at the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom, noted comedian, actor, and author George Carlin will perform for booksellers and other book industry professionals. Proceeds from Carlin's performance will benefit the Book Industry Foundation (BIF), which is comprised of ABFFE and the Association of American Publishers "Get Caught Reading" campaign. Carlin will be at BEA to promote his new book, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? (Hyperion), an assortment of short- and long-form observations, essays, complaints, and routines.

Among his numerous achievements, Carlin has released 18 comedy albums, won three Grammies, received the American Comedy Awards Lifetime Achievement Award, and starred in 12 HBO comedy specials. His previous books, also published by Hyperion, are Brain Droppings, which sold more that 850,000 copies and was on the New York Times bestseller list for nine months, and Napalm and Silly Putty, which was a #1 New York Times bestseller.

Prices for BEA's Evening With George Carlin are $25 for one ticket; $45 for two, and $100 for five. Attendees may purchase tickets in advance as part of their BookExpo registration or at the trade show.

Also at BEA, ABFFE will be holding a Silent Auction adjacent to the ABFFE booth, which is located in the north lobby of Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center. Every year, ABFFE auctions books, book sidelines and services, tickets for concerts and sporting events, and more to raise funds to support its efforts to protect First Amendment rights. The Silent Auction offers great bargains on hundreds of items of interest to booksellers and other book industry professionals.

This year's auction will include a World War II poster celebrating free speech that was donated by Deacon Maccubbin of Lambda Rising Bookstores and 24 signed first editions of The Da Vinci Code, donated by Random House. For a full list of items available at this year's silent auction, go to http://www.abffe.com/silentauction.html.

Another highlight of ABFFE programming will be the appearance of The New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff who will be signing two book-related posters at the ABFFE booth on Friday at 3:00 p.m. and on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. BIF is selling the posters, which are based on cartoons featured in The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker, coming from Black Dog & Leventhal in September. The 14" x 20" posters will be sold for $10 each during the three days of the convention and on the ABFFE Web site after the show. The cartoons can be previewed on the ABFFE Web site at www.abffe.com/BIFposters.htm.