Conventions like today’s Boston Comic Con, or like June’s Book Expo America, are all the same. Long lines to get in. Clumps of people unsure in which direction they want to go. Talkers. Lots of talkers. And most of these talkers ignore the people patiently (and not so patiently) standing behind them. Clean bathrooms, because who has time to go, but 20-minute waits for the ATM.
I skipped last year’s Boston Comic Con, mostly because I didn’t have childcare, and the year before, I went with D, who pushed Avery around in a stroller while I met artists and writers and got them to sign the comic books on which they worked that I own. The year before, Boston Comic Con was a much smaller version of itself. And something about that year’s con, when no one really knew about it, and when there was no one waiting in line when the doors opened, has been lost.
Not that I’m complaining, because the chance to meet as many people as I met today, in one place, especially when that place is the city where I live, is amazing.
Shaun had me get some books, and a poster that hangs in his dining room, signed, which I did. And I got more than 200 comic books signed. And bought a sketch. And talked to a couple of my favorite artists for a few minutes, hearing war stories and ideas that were turned down or retconned. Four hours. That’s how long I had today until my babysitter needed to get somewhere, and in an hour, maybe a bit less, I’m driving the kids and Holly to Buffalo, for a 72-hour vacation of sorts with Shaun.
Today’s favorite experience had to be with Clay Mann, whose work during the Age of X series was probably more breathtaking than the story itself. He signed my books, and a hardcover that Shaun had, and while signing the hardcover, Clay asked if I wanted a sketch.
Of course, I did.
Most artists, like Clay, charge for sketches. Who wouldn’t say yes to a free sketch?
Clay asked which character I wanted him to draw, and I named a couple of Shaun’s favorites, since the hardcover is his. And within a few minutes, Clay had drawn that character.
I bought a sketch from Clay, too; I needed something of his to hang in my room.
Next year, Shaun says, he won’t miss it. He’s never been to a con. Or to a convention with me. We’ll see if he survives the experience.