If you’ll remember, one of my trivial but valid concerns when I moved back to Indiana was where the heck am I going to get my comics (and, you know, not feel alienated at the store). I mean, I’d like to say that overall, most comic book stores are great and welcoming to any and all. But all it takes is one employee to ruin an amazing store and the experience one has there.
I had just gotten over my fear and found an amazing shop in Chicago — Third Coast Comics — and I wasn’t sure how welcoming any shops could be in small-town Indiana. Well, lo and behold, one of the local shops partnered with a well-known and respected shop from the greater Chicago area: Aw Yeah Comics. Interestingly enough, they’re both creator-owned shops. Nearly two years ago, Mark Waid (Daredevil, S.H.I.E.L.D.) became a co-owner of the local shop, Alter Ego, and Aw Yeah is the child of Art Baltazar and Franco (Tiny Titans, Itty Bitty Hellboy).
Anyway. I was excited to check out this shop. And what better time to do so than when writer Brian K. Vaughan is there! Ok. So. Brian K. Vaughan is one of my top three favorite comics writer ever. Like, ever ever. The first book I read of his was Pride of Baghdad, which is about a pride of lions at the Baghdad zoo when we bombed the city in 2003. And then, someone wisely introduced me to Y: The Last Man. I devoured that series. And I did it the most expensive way, buy buying each issue individually rather than getting trades. That’s was back when comiXology would let you purchase in-app on iOS. I’d finish one and immediately buy the next. From Y, I moved on to his newest endeavor, Saga.
Saga is, well, amazing. Warring planets (ok, one’s a moon). Two people who’ve fallen in love regardless, and now have a baby. And just so much more. And it’s totally not kid-appropriate, FYI. But it is definitely beautiful and you should go check it out right now.
One thing about these series though… I only had them digitally. Well, except for Pride of Baghdad, but I lost that who knows how long ago. And as amusing as it might be, it wasn’t really the best idea to have Vaughan sign my iPad mini. So I went and picked up some first volume trades. Voilà! Stuff to sign. All good, right?
So. Yeah. I was completely fine when I got in line. Even when my part of the line entered the store. And then suddenly I was 3 people away and OMG NERVES. And I start internally freaking out a little because what in the world am I going to say to this guy? It’d been a while since I read either of those series. And though Saga is current, I’m way behind on it.
So it’s finally my time, I get up there still sort of feeling majorly awkward… “Should I make it out to someone?” “Yeah, Erini. E-R-I-N-I.” “Wait, what was that?” “Erini. E-R-I-N-I.” “E-R-A… wait, one more time.” Basically, I should never worry about what to talk about at signings because 100% it will turn towards my name. (Tim Gunn was the cutest with that. “You’re my first Erini!”) So, all should be fine, right? But then… well, I’m a doofus and when he asked how I was, I made some comment about how the day’s going to get even better because I was going to hang out with my nieces… Which to me was just word vomit that came out. Flash forward to that night when I finally get home and am able to process everything… and then OMG I JUST TOLD ONE MY FAVORITE WRITERS THAT I WAS MORE EXCITED TO HANG OUT WITH BABIES THAN HIM. *facepalm* I’m likely overreacting. Because afterwards we talked about how kids are the best when you can give them back to their parents. But yeah. I felt dumb.
I’m just glad that slight didn’t seem to register with him. He was crazy nice to everyone in line. I over heard a couple people and this was the very first signing they’ve ever been on, and really the first series they’ve read. And outside of a car crash at the intersection near the comic book store, it was a really amazing day for all — or so I’m going to just make that assumption for everyone. And despite my weird moment, I had a really great day too. I meet a creative hero. I got comics for one of my nieces. And got to check out and feel safe about my local comic shop.
So. Have you ever acted awkward around a celebrity or a hero of significance?