Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Meetings at geek prom

Just some of the folks I crossed paths with last weekend...

Redhead Fangirl recognized me from the photo I posted on this very blog. I knew she'd be there, and had been keeping half an eye out hoping to spot someone who looked like the picture on her blog -- there wasn't anyone else I was expecting to run into that day -- but in the end, it happened the other way around. I'd actually looked right at her and assumed it wasn't her; I didn't even take a second look. being the guy who walked up to every redheaded woman in the place and saying "um, er, are you the redhead fangirl?" had seemed like a bad idea.

Randy Hoppe, chief trustee of the Jack Kirby Museum -- a cause I'd be happy to support if it didn't require large sums of money -- is exactly the sort of person you want to be with at a convention. He knows everyone and has a plausible reason for starting up a conversation with anyone. Hang with him and you'll end up in conversations with people you'd never have occasion to meet otherwise. As soon as I spotted him, I attached myself to his side like a limpet and he could not shake me loose.

Brian Cronin organized a Comics Should Be Good dinner party at the Empire State Building branch of the Heartland Brewery. As a result, I became a star of the comics blogosphere for fifteen or so minutes, all of which I spent offline and therefore missed it. Just an immensely great guy to hang out with. Those who are expecting dish and backstabbing about my friends in comics fandom have come to the wrong place.

I walked up to Peter Scolari and said, "Mr. Scolari, it's an honor to meet you. I've loved your comics for years." Thank heavens he got the joke immediately, and thanked me equally seriously but with a twinkle in his eye. His sense of humor turns out to be much like that of his most famous character -- dry and understated. I however was giddy at meeting a childhood icon of mine, no matter how bizarre the circumstances. I also told him that while Tom Hanks may be a big star and all, the fans all knew Peter was the better actor. He said "I can't possibly agree with that, Richard." And I said "You shouldn't," and looked around conspiratorially before continuing, "but we all know it's true." And it is: good actors disappear into their roles; you don't think about the actor you're watching, you think about the character. "Stars" are people who don't disappear when you see them on screen; you're always aware "Hey, that's Harrison Ford!" or "What's Tom Hanks doing?" My buddy Peter is a great actor, and anyone who has anything terrible to say about him can step outside right now.

I used to know Colleen Doran before anyone else did, before her first published work...before she was, you know, Colleen Doran. It was a trip and a half to actually see her and speak to her for the first time in all these years. Even before she was "discovered" it was obvious to anyone who saw her work that she was destined for stardom; her other main characteristic back then was being immensely poised and outgoing in social situations...which is not always the case among people whose careers are based around sitting in a room by themselves for long hours and churning out work. All these years later, she is still that same person, only more so. I heard several people at the convention rave about meeting her, and it's easy to see why. I was pleased to watch her table for a bit when she had to step away to visit the CBLDF booth; I was equally pleased to accept an apple danish from her as my payment. Colleen apparently spent the whole weekend giving away free danish left and right...but the one she gave me was special, so there!


  1. Peter Scolari writes comics? Michael from Newhart, that guy??!

    Wow. Looks like I've got a Google search to do.

  2. Hm, guess not. Still, nice to know he's still alive.

  3. What made Peter Scolari's otherwise inexplicable presence at a comic book convention even funnier was that he had a sketchpad and was drawing something -- I didn't see what and didn't think to ask, darn it -- so a passerby who didn't know who he was might actually have assumed he was a comics artist. Which is precisely what inspired my opening quip...

  4. Yep, as I figured out two minutes after my first comment, and hence my second one. Never let it be said that I'm quick on the uptake.


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