Doug: This one's inspired by a comment frequent reader Redartz posted on our Walt Simonson Spotlight last week. He related a short anecdote about meeting and visiting with Simonson at a con when he was 16 (Redartz, not Walt). Today we'd like to hear more of that sort of thing, because let's face it -- meeting one of your idols and actually spending some time with them is way cool and never gets old.
Karen: Doug's asked me to kick this off, so I'll start with my meeting with Jack Kirby. It was at the San Diego Comic Con in 1975 -I was 10 years old, and a pretty quiet kid. I saw Kirby sitting at a table, with relatively few people around. Even though he had left Marvel before I started reading comics, I knew very well who he was from all of the reprint books Marvel put out. So I was, of course, in awe of him. Mom encouraged me to go get his autograph. He was very friendly, asked me my name and if I was having fun. I probably gave him just a word or two in response. Then he asked me who my favorite comics character was. Now I was ready to talk! I enthusiastically told him that my favorite was the Thing. He said the Thing was his favorite too! He was really wonderful and left a great impression.
Karen: In recent years I've had the opportunity to interview several comics creators that I grew up reading. I've spoken with Gerry Conway twice and he's just been a great guy both times; funny, easy to talk to, and very generous with his time.
Doug: As I posted a loooonngg time ago, I've gone to the Chicago Comicon (later Wizardworld Chicago) and various other shows and appearances meeting creators and getting some autographs. Four legends stick out in my mind: Stan Lee, John Romita, Sal Buscema, and Alex Ross. I met Stan only briefly -- if you've ever been to a con where he's been the guest-of-honor, then you know the lines that form when he is going to sign. Even though I waited for a long time, and only got to exchange a pleasantry or two (mainly I just thanked him for everything he'd done for me -- and I mean that), I was just so amazed that the guy we now see on television, that boisterous huckster, was evident even at the signing table. Stan just seemed genuinely excited to be there and to meet his fans. A great experience. At the same con I met John Romita and Sal Buscema. They were at a table at the Marvel booth, seated next to each other. What a couple of gentlemen. I can't say enough about how kind they were, like a couple of grandfathers (which they were) -- very warm. At the time, which was maybe 2-3 years before John Buscema passed away, I ribbed Sal about bringing his big brother with him next time.
Doug: I later met Romita at an art gallery in the Gold Coast neighborhood in Chicago. He was appearing in promotion of the Spidey/Green Goblin lithograph that he had drawn and Alex Ross had painted. My friend Don Kramer and I went up to meet John. Again, he was just such a warm guy. Don and I were the only fans there at the time, so we had John's full attention, and he had ours. I bet we chit-chatted with him for 15 minutes, and it was just a great, great experience. And speaking of Alex Ross, Don and I first met him at a small show near O'Hare airport right after Marvels #1 was released. That was back in Alex's longhair, long beard days! He was very humble, and who knew at the time the superstardom that was about to be his. He signed a few things and Don and I visited with him for a few minutes. Years later, Alex had a gallery show in Chicago and Don and I went. By this time I'd met Alex several times, and Don had even been to the Halloween party that Alex hosts every year. So it was a bit more personal. Maybe the coolest thing about that trip was the presence of Alex's dad, Clark -- the model for Norman McCay in Kingdom Come. I'll admit, that was a little weird, seeing a 2-D character come to life!
Doug: Share an experience you've had -- and I suppose if you had a negative one that disappointed you, add that in as well. Thanks in advance, and again thanks to Redartz for the idea.
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