Aw Yeah: Meeting Brian K. Vaughan; or: Attempts to not completely embarrass myself

15 April 2015

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?

Brian K Vaughan: Saga and Y: The Last Man


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.

Brian K Vaughan and Rini - Aw Yeah Muncie signing

So. Have you ever acted awkward around a celebrity or a hero of significance?

  • Ari Carr

    Aww, that’s such a great story! I love Saga too, even if I am woefully behind right now. I geeked/freaked out when I met Kelly sue DeConnick 2 years ago at a con in England. She knew me from my reviews and it was the greatest thing ever! I had butterflies in my stomach pretty much every time I walked past her table, and it took 3 circuits to actually get chance to meet her. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life!

    • Omg, that is awesome that she knew who you were! I sort of squealed when Gail Simone followed me on twitter, I was hopeful she’d somehow recognize me at C2E2, but yeah.. didn’t happen. And I was also sort of aw-struck into mumbling when I met her. I’ve got to say, there are some absolutely amazing and nice people making comics right now. 🙂

  • Kay

    SO amazing that you got to meet him!! I am so head over heels for
    Saga…it is so painful waiting for the next trade to come out! I’ve yet
    to borrow Y: The Last Man from my brother, but I’m dying to read it.
    I feel like I’m terrible at meeting people I have huge creative admiration for, even though I’ve only done it once. When I met Pentatonix, I had the same problem of babbly word vomit then silence to not make a fool of myself further haha. But hey, at least I met them!

    • I’m definitely going to try to catch up with Saga this summer. I was eyeing that huge hardback book that just came out, but it’s $50. Maybe for my birthday. I also want to get the trade volumes of Y sometime. I love the convenience of digital comics, but certain titles you just need to own. And that’s awesome that you got to me Pentatonix! They are so amazing!

  • YUP! I met him in SF a couple of months ago and was totally awkward as well. I think I posted a picture on Instagram, but yeah — I went alone and he was so amazing and nice. 🙂
    xx Abby / a geek tragedy

    • I remembered you getting to meet him!! I was actually thinking about that when I was in line. 🙂

  • Aw so glad you got to meet one of your heroes! I’m constantly nervous around celebrities i love. I work in morning radio so we bring in a lot of comedians and I have to try my hardest every day not to act like a fan girl.

    • Trying not to fangirl while working can be hard. I had that a couple of times doing shows with Mucca — some of the band members are good friends with Andrew Bird, so we’ve done some shows with him. And I continually caught myself staring awkwardly at him. (And unfortunately he caught me a few times too.)

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