So this week’s topic is a little, um, open. So listen, my children, and you shall hear about the time I totally embarrassed myself by being a total fangirl.
Let’s go back to June 2010, my first HeroesCon. I was ecstatic to go as press for Pendragon’s Post, since this was my first big convention. I had memorized the guest list, mapped out the tables I wanted to visit, and packed my sketchbook. I was ready to go. But nothing prepared me for the experience of meeting people I totally admired.
I love art, specifically comic art (in picture and prose), so being in the presence of the likes of Mike Mignola, Steve Niles, and Frank Cho was overwhelming to say the least. (Though, I have to admit, having a conversation with Steve Niles about how his characters in Mystery Society were directly influenced by Nick and Nora Charles and that I was one of the first to actually get that was to this day one of the coolest conversations I’ve been a part of.) I didn’t think talking to these people would be so hard, but I got all kinds of nervous approaching some of the tables, especially one in particular.
I’ve loved Jim Mahfood’s art since I discovered it after winning Stupid Comics #1 from a local comic store giveaway. I sought out his work on Clerks comics and Grrl Scouts. His mix of comic art with graffiti style appealed to me. And when he made an appearance at that HeroesCon, I knew I had to meet him to tell him how much I dug his art. In my head it went like this: I’d casually stroll up to his table, tell him hello and ask for a sketch. Here’s how it went: First, I made Mr. Geeky V go with me. He opened the conversation and introduced me.
Mr. Geeky V: “Hi, Mr. Mahfood? My wife, Stacey, is a big fan of yours.”
Jim Mahfood: “Wow, thanks. Hi there.”
Me: (GIGGLE GIGGLE GIGGLE) “Um, hiyesIreallyloveyourartandIwasexcitedtomeetyouwouldyoupleasedoasketchformeorsignsomething? IreallyloveyourartdidIsaythatalreadyyouareoneofmyfavorites.” (In my head, I’m thinking, “SHUT UP, IDIOT. BITCH, BE COOL!” Sometimes Jules Winfield is my inner voice.)
JM: “Sure, I can do a sketch for you. Always love to meet people who dig what I do.” (Or some approximation of that–Jim Mahfood is super nice and gracious and mondo casual. The coolest.)
Me: (GIGGLING NERVOUSLY) “OK, that’s cool. I also brought this blank Munny. Would you draw on it for me? Nothing fancy, but I’d love to have a custom Munny by you.” (I’m totally thinking he’s going to say no.)
JM: “Really? That’d be cool. Yeah, just leave it and come back for it later.”
And he did, despite my being a manic, fast-talking mess. For free. He also sketched in my sketchbook and drew a turntable on the cover. (This all made up for my being mortified for being so nervous.)
He was so super nice and one of my favorite people I’ve met since going to HeroesCon. I wasn’t as nervous going to retrieve my Munny, and I even laughed at myself a bit with him for being so nervous. He’s a rad human being, and I’m excited that he’s heading back to Charlotte for Heroes this year.
So you may be wondering, “Is this the only time you’ve geeked out in front of a comic creator?” Nope. I was super nervous to talk to Jim Rugg the first time. (But last year I shared with him a picture of the Kill Bill inspired Battle Babies piece I did, and he said it was cool and I didn’t faint.) Also last year I was so nervous to meet Jaime Hernandez (he of Love and Rockets fame) that I sent Mr. Geeky V to get a sketch. I later talked with Jaime, and again, he’s an amazingly kind and gracious guy.
I’ve also learned what it’s like to be on the other side of the table, helping out with Mr. Geeky V’s Battle Babies. One of the coolest moments from the con last year came when several people came up to our table and were fans of his art, actually nervous to meet him. I even had someone come to our table to meet me because they said they were a fan of the pics I post on Instagram and what I say on Twitter. (That was a little surreal.)
So the moral of the story, I guess, is that people are people, but sometimes when you’re a fan of their work, you forget that. And also, I’m sure I’ll have an enormously embarrassing story to share with you guys when I meet Mike Allred, whenever that is.
Check out these other cool stories from bros around the League!