The easiest way to blow my mind is to be artistically proficient. I’ve met very few actual professional artists, but that’s partly because the thought of talking to them just leaves me completely tongue-tied and nervous. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, since they’re people just like me, but the things they have the ability to do just seem like superpowers.
David can attest to a time that we went to Megacon when I was still in high school and I failed to meet Fred Gallagher because I was too shy and he’d left before I had the courage to try to say hello.
Determined to overcome that fear, I grabbed Min and we went down to Small Press Expo (SPX) to meet Anthony Clark of Nedroid, Jonathan Rosenberg of Scenes From a Multiverse, Kate Beaton of Hark! A Vagrant, and Roger Langridge of Thor: The Mighty Avenger and Snarked. I was quite lucky to not really know where anyone was or what anyone looked like, so I was able to muster up the courage to talk to these guys while Min and I wandered and searched. The moment of truth arrived when we found the TopatoCo booth where Anthony Clark and Jonathan Rosenberg were stationed.
I tried to keep it cool as I asked about the procedure for sketches and books and posters, but I was just blown away by the fact that I was talking to Anthony Clark. This is the guy who draws the bizarre, but hilarious comics that have me rolling on the floor with laughter (*your response may be different than mine), but here I was complimenting his work and trying to shoot the shit without looking like a total freak.
The funny thing is, these guys, Anthony, Jonathan, and Roger, are all no different, really. They’re more famous than I’ll ever be, but, just to look at them, they looked totally normal (and kind of tired. It was the last day of the show) and they acted/responded in totally normal (and hilarious) ways.
I had a lot of fun chatting with those guys and getting their signatures. If there was any downside, it was that Roger Langridge’s handlers shooed him away from me mid-conversation to someone who was buying something. It makes business sense, but it was kind of an asshole thing to do. I had purchased issues of his work in my hands, so I was an indirect customer at one point.
In an ideal world I would be able to say that I’ve overcome my fears of talking to (very) minor celebrities, but I know that’s not the case. I know I’d act just as idiotic if I were to meet some rookie prospect or an actor or a musician. Maybe one day I’ll figure it out, but for now I’ve just gotta walk around and muster up courage to be able to do it.
PS: I didn’t see Kate Beaton anywhere. There’s a chance that I spoke to her, but didn’t realize it was her when I tried to buy her (sold out) book.
Anthony Clark signing (Photo courtesy Futuregirl_LeahRiley)