One more, then I promise I’m done for the night.
This was at a rocking con near Memphis called the Mid-South Con, that I absolutely loved. It was an old-school con, I gather, run by people for the sheer love of what they do. Everything was designed to make people feel welcome and to have fun.
And good lord, were they wonderful hosts. They took us to see Graceland (interesting) and the Sun Records studio (REALLY interesting) and best of all, to Gus’s Fried Chicken, the best fried chicken I’ve EVER HAD bar none.
There was an awards dinner of some kind, for the life of me I can’t remember what it was about. But my husband and I had the good fortune to be seated at a table with these two folks. I will remember them forever. Invited guests were free, I think the attendees paid an extra fee to sit with the invited guests.
It’s a woman and her nephew. They were both incredibly quiet and polite. I kept trying to draw them out, as they both spoke very quietly and seemed very shy. My husband is amazing at getting strangers to feel welcome and join in but even he couldn’t really get them to talk. Salad came and went, they barely talked. Main dish, similar.
Finally, I asked why they wanted to come to the convention, what was it that they were interested in?
And, I love this, they BOTH wanted to make their own comics. No fooling around, no pipe dreams, they each wanted to write, print and sell their own comics.
That opened the floodgates. The reason she had been so shy is that she had a million questions and didn’t know where to start asking me. The reason he was so shy is that he’s just a super polite kid, I think he was waiting for his aunt to start talking.
So we sat for maybe two hours, if I remember right, me trying to answer every possible question about craft, every question about character, plot, dialogue, how to work with artists, how to distribute, everything. The aunt asked EVERYTHING and I could see she was taking it down in her head, she wanted to learn it and use it. Which I LOVE. Many times, someone will ask a huge question, “How do I make comics?” and then their eyes glaze over, not here. She was listening.
Then, I asked the young man what his comic was about and I swear, he just BLOOMED. He went through the entire plot, telling me all the characters and all the story and how it would look, I thought it was the most fun, thrilling thing I’d ever heard.
I looked over at the aunt at one point and my eyes must have had a little bit of skepticism or something, it seemed pretty ambitious for such a young guy.
She said, “Nope, he’s not kidding. He’s drawing it himself and he works on it every day.”
Dude, I MYSELF don’t make comics every day.
The best dinner ever. I loved it. I had their email, we kept in contact for a while, but I haven’t heard from them for a bit. I hope they have made their comics. I hope they are telling stories. I hope, the next such dinner I’m at, they are sitting with attendees telling THEM how to make comics.
All I know is that they inspired me, I ran right to my room after and wrote half a completed script.
Again, coolest job EVER.