Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Separating the Person from the Work...Can we?

Karen: Last Friday I went to the Phoenix Comic Con. I don't have much to report; unlike previous years, there weren't many guests there that I wanted to see (they all seemed to be at the Dallas con held the same weekend), but I did happen to stop at the table of a well-known comic book artist who made his name in the late 60s/early 70s. Even though I was not a huge fan of his, I was considering getting something signed by him, because I felt he was a significant figure and I did like his work.  He was surrounded by a group of eight or so fans who were hanging on his every word -and there were a lot of them, but most of them were "I". As in, "I was the first to do such and such in comics," "I came up with this," etc. I know people love to talk about themselves, but this guy seemed to like to talk about nothing but himself, and in some cases, he also liked to point out how he had "developed" a technique and other artists had gone on to use it poorly or stupidly. During the ten minutes I stood there listening to this, at three different points, people came by wanting to take his picture; the artist thrust out his arm, palm straight up, and barked "No!" He then would follow with, "NO pictures." No explanation, nothing, just him holding his hand up until the person left (usually shaking their heads).

After ten minutes of this, I realized I didn't really need anything signed by this man, and I walked off to look at other stuff.

The point of all this is, I know you folks have had some experiences in meeting comics personalities  (or hey, other artists/performers, let's open it up) where it may have soured you on the person. The question is, does it sour you on their work as well? I think I can still look at his art and enjoy it, but I know I will always have this memory in the back of my head, at the very least. I have friends who cannot watch certain actors because they dislike their political or religious beliefs, or behavior. Generally I can overlook that although there are certain people I just will not support (Roman Polanski comes to mind). Let's hear it -can you separate the person from the work?


Edo Bosnar said...

Karen, I think I know who you're talking about - if we are thinking of the same guy, I've read a number of similar reports of his behavior at cons, ranging from rather overbearing and obnoxious (as you describe him) to kind of creepy (i.e., inappropriately flirting with female fans young enough to be his granddaughters). However, other fans report positive experiences as well. I'm aware of his outsized ego, but I still thoroughly enjoy his work.
So I guess my answer to your question for me is "yes": I can usually separate the work from the individual. I think only something truly heinous (e.g., like being a Klansman or a pedophile or something) would actually sour me enough to avoid their work.
As for personalities in other fields, I generally always assume that, say, popular musicians or actors/actresses are egotistical jerks, so that I can be pleasantly surprised in cases where it turns out they're actually nice people...

david_b said...

Great subject today.., I'm clueless as to the person-in-question, but that's ok. As for 'celebrities', a lot of their self-worth is wrapped up in who you see or his/her body of work, unfortunately.

When I meet 'em, I always turn my 'geek-off' and just talk football or hobbies. Had a great time at the last Detroit Con I attended, talking guitars with Bill Mumy, bringing up some humorous in-joke anecdotes to Loni Anderson ("..So what did Jennifer do with all those toasters...?" from WKRP), or spoke to Dawn Wells about her dating a military officer at the Pentagon. You just slip into non-geek subjects and treat 'em like people.

I remember a hilarious time trying to buy Barry Morse ('The Fugitive', Victor Bergman from Space:1999) a glass of merlot at this Tampa hotel on a Saturday afternoon, before the bar opened. Actually I put ALL the celebrity guests on my tab that day. Got some GREAT accolades from the stage during their talks.

I'm reminded of a quote from Davy Jones once, where he said something along the lines of 'I'm not by nature that rude; sometimes I'm just this guy who arrives at the airport and is desperately searching for a bathroom'.

Interesting topic.

Redartz said...

Yes, I can separate the work from the creator (with the caveat you mentioned, Karen, about extreme cases of personal misbehavior or psychotic nuttiness). Whether it's comic creators of reknown, athletes of great achievement, or talented entertainers, most every person has their idiosyncrasies. Sometimes it is political, for example I've read of fans who can't abide Steve Ditko stories due to his politics. To this I say: we find ways to appreciate each other and the interests we share, despite our differences. Good art is good art, and a fine story is just that. It is unfortunate that some of our heroes exhibit their flaws so publicly as Karen describes, yet we can still admire the good they are capable of...

William said...

Karen, I don't have a clue as to who you could be talking about, but all you have to remember is that usually people who have to constantly prop themselves up by blowing their own horn, do so because they are extremely insecure and probably have something of an inferiority complex. (But they themselves would deny it). Actions like refusing to let people take their picture makes them feel important, and it's probably nothing more than a defense mechanism. And when it comes right down to it, he is probably a person more deserving of our pity than our loathing.

Now, I have a story along these lines that has something of an unexpected outcome. When I went to my very first comic book convention I was awestruck, and couldn't believe my eyes at the wonders I was observing. (Even though it was a relatively small show in Fort Lauderdale, FL). Anyway, I was walking along the guest table, and I came upon a man who was drawing a picture of the Golden Age Green Lantern, (this man turned out to be Martin Nodell, creator of the Green Lantern). And I said something along the lines of "Oh wow! Did you invent the Green Lantern?", and he stopped me short and said (rather curtly) "Yes I did, but we don't call it INVENT, we say CREATED or ORIGINATED." And I was like "Ooookay", and I slunk away, thoroughly chastised and feeling as if my hand had been slapped by a ruler. And for many years after that, I kind of thought of Marty Nodell as something of a rude jerk. (But the story does not end there).

Fast forward several years, to around 1998, and I am working at a graphics house / print shop in West Palm Beach, and who should walk in the door but none other than Marty Nodell (and his wife, who was also with him at that convention years before). They were on their way to Mega Con in Orlando and stopped in to get some color copies of Marty's GL drawings to sell at the show. I told them that I had met them a few years before at a convention (I didn't tell them how they had ruded me out however). And they were just as nice as they could be. In fact they were super nice! And they even gave me a signed copy of one of the color prints I had just made them. (Of which I still have to this day).

I ran into them a couple of more times over the years at conventions in the area (including Mega Con), and we always got along famously. Laughing and joking, and such. And now I have nothing but fond memories, and heartfelt good feelings toward Marty Nodell (and his lovely wife). So, it just goes to show you that you can't always go by first impressions. Sometimes people may just be having a bad day.

Edo Bosnar said...

William, that's a great story, thanks for sharing it. I think you'll be interested in knowing that Martin Nodell's granddaughter, Jacque, has a blog dedicated to romance comics called Sequential Crush. I bet she'd get a kick out of your story, too.

Mike McFarland said...

Hi Karen! I'm a long time reader, but this is my first time posting. I really enjoy your blog! I know EXACTLY who you're talking about and, frankly, I think the larger-than-life personality is part of his charm. I've seen him at several conventions over the years but never got anything signed. I ended up waiting in line for about 90 minutes just to buy a signed print from him at Big Wow in San Jose this year. He must have spent 5-10 minutes talking with each fan in the line! Incidentally, I believe the deal is that he doesn't allow pictures because he charges extra to have signatures "authenticated" by CGC.
On the topic of your post, I generally let the work stand on its own.

J.A. Morris said...

I've never had negative experiences in person with comic book creators. But I used to frequent John Byrne's old board until I saw how rude he was to his fans (including me) and decided to share his views on latina women who dye their hair blonde, among other topics. I bought everything he penciled from X-Men up to 'Lab Rats', but didn't read any of his books for a year after I got to know his online presence. My favorite moment was the time he blamed comic shop owners for the cancellation of his 'Lab Rats' series. They conspired to under-order the series because they hate him and don't want his fans spending their money in their stores...or something like that. 'Lab Rats' failed because it wasn't well-written and his art wasn't that great either, I know because I read the first 3 issues.

But I eventually got over that experience and read Bronze Age Byrne stuff all the time. On my reprints blog, I've praised his art many times, and I pre-ordered the Iron Fist Epic Collection that contains lots of Byrne art. So yes, I can separate the art from the artist in this case, it just took a year or so for me to do that.

Not comic related, but there was a time in the 90s when my hometown became known as a "punk rock retirement community" and members of several punk/hardcore bands moved here after their band broke up. I got to know the singer of one of my favorite bands and couldn't listen to their music anymore due to their unpleasant personality. And I booked a band once that turned out to be major league assholes, making fun of my friends, just generally being rude to fans and treating everyone like they were idiots. Didn't listen to their albums for years after that.

Humanbelly said...

Oh man, I'm having the kind of morning where I'm sure I'm handing out bad impressions like Halloween candy. . . sheesh. William, your anecdote is well-received-- I do need to just take a breath. . .

The first person I thought of (just because it's such an overwhelmingly egregious example) is Bill Cosby, sad to say. In our own household in the past couple of years he'd been having a bit of a re-discovery, esp with I SPY being in heavy rotation on one of our RetroTV type channels. That show was about 10 times better than I ever realized it was as a child-- and Cosby was brilliant. Both my kids were "discovering" his comedy albums. And while I was never devoted to the Huxtable edition of the Cosby Show-- it of course looms quite large as a cultural television landmark (more of a hokey/doofy Fresh Prince of BelAir enjoyer, myself).

And I simply.
Watch or listen to.
Of his huge volume of work. Anymore.

And I guess it has to do with the order of magnitude of the failings of the artist/performer/celebrity. And with Cosby it truly does put an indelible stain on the entire body of his work since the allegations date continuously back to the earliest years of his success. It would appear he was doing evil at the times we loved him the most, which simply takes it miles and miles out of the feet-of-clay realm.

Probably a likelier example (from old Hollywood) would be Cary Grant. There have been few, if any, film stars as innately engaging and charming on-screen and in the public sphere as he was. However, he was a complete nut-job when it came to his relationships and behavior toward his many wives-- esp. Dyan Canon. Selfish, insanely controlling, unpredictable, volatile (though not violent)-- and this became fairly well-known. And yet-- that has never effected my enjoyment of his film performances. It's very much a case of Art/Artist separation.

Now being specifically a COMIC BOOK artist-- I can see how that could tend to exacerbate any less-than-societally-appropriate aspects in an individual's nature. It's an inherently isolated (for hours and hours), focused, mentally exhausting, physically uncomfortable pursuit-- not at all conducive to the regular honing of one's interactive social skills (especially if one might already be a bit of a quirky artist-type, y'know?). A visual artist's physical world can be very, very small even while their imaginative one is boundless. I'm sure that dichotomy can be responsible for a lot unintended rudeness and such.

Hmm-- we have more than a couple of artists around here, right? PFG-- whatcha think?


Anonymous said...

I can usually separate the artist from the work, but sometimes I feel a bit guilty about it; I still haven't read Northlanders because of the sexual harassment allegations against Brian Wood...I probably WILL read it sooner or later (I liked DMZ), but I think I might feel a little icky while I'm doing so. Same with Ender's Game (yeah, I'm WAY behind on my reading!) As for politics or personality, I don't care too much...I don't even understand Ditko's Randian worlview, so how could I be offended by it? :)

Mike Wilson

Garett said...

An athlete that came to mind is Carl Lewis. I'm an Olympic fan and was excited when I heard he might equal Jesse Owens' record of 4 gold medals from 1936. But every time I've heard Lewis talk, he's so boastful and annoying that it soured me on him.

An entertainer that I've been soured on is Rolf Harris. It's hard to take his lighthearted nature now that he's been convicted of assaulting girls. I used to love watching him paint those giant paintings on tv shows, and listen to his songs. I suppose I can still enjoy 6 White Boomers at Christmas, but these things sure get tainted in extreme examples like this.

I've said that I don't like John Byrne's work as much as when I was a kid, but that has nothing to do with his online personality. Just my changing tastes in art.

I knew an actor who hated Charlton Heston's acting because Heston was president of the NRA. That type of right/left wing personality doesn't affect my enjoyment of movies-- I still love Planet of the Apes! I'd judge the film on its own merits.

I don't expect celebrities to be nice, but it's great when they are. Mike Grell at my first comic con was so friendly, telling stories and wanting to chat about everything while he drew commissions.

Doug said...

When Karen told me her tale, it really wasn't hard to understand the way it ended for her. Any of you on Twitter could probably believe her story right away, just based on the air around the creator in question. Pomposity? Perhaps...

I have told this story around here a time or three. Many moons ago I was at the Chicago Comicon (pre-Wizard World days) and asked Julius Schwartz to autograph my copy of The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told. Maybe I didn't chat him up enough, or maybe he wasn't having the greatest of days. It could be that it was because the Internet was new and avenues for selling autographed wares were exploding. At any rate, I didn't find him to be the most pleasant man. A couple of weeks later I wrote into the Comics Buyers' Guide (I cannot recall exactly why), and mentioned meeting Schwartz and several other creators. I high-roaded it, and said what a thrill it was. About a week after publication of my letter, I received a Superman postcard from Julie, wishing me well! I wrote back to the DC offices (Julie had long been retired by then) thanking him for his consideration, and lo and behold in a week after my correspondence I received another postcard with the inscription, "If you liked that first one so much, here -- have another!" Needless to say, my opinion of Julie Schwartz has been high ever since.

William, I also met Mart Nodell a couple of times at Chicago. As you mentioned, his wife was ever by his side. I believe I met him in the last years of his life. He was quite cordial, although visibly slowing down. I asked him quite politely to sign my copy of Les Daniels' "DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Super-Heroes". He smiled and obliged, not only signing but also sketching a 2"x4" Alan Scott-era green lantern! Very nice man. Another gentleman who was incredible was Dick Sprang. Unfortunately the company he was representing would not allow him to sign unless it was on the quite-expensive lithograph they were peddling. But Mr. Sprang and I chatted for about 10 minutes and he was wonderful.

Last summer my oldest and I attended Wizard World Chicago and visited with a late Silver/early Bronze icon at his table (like Karen, since the person in question is still active, I won't name him here). He was cordial and we visited for several minutes. My son and I each bought some of his prints, which he signed. But the whole time we were at the table there was just an air that made my impression of the man sag just a bit. I've been able to separate the feeling I had from the incredible body of work this fellow has allowed me to enjoy. But I will say that there was just a bit of smarminess in the moment.

I have met Johnny Romita on two separate occasions, and if allowed I'd have talked to him for hours. What a phenomenal human being -- so humble and gracious. A true gem of a man. Sal Buscema -- same way.

I am really enjoying this conversation, both the positive takes as well as the negative experiences.


Karen said...

As usual, great conversation today. I knew you all would have interesting things to say! I wasn't particularly affected by my encounter, since I wasn't strongly interested in the artist. If he had been a favorite of mine, though, it would have been very disappointing to see what I considered to be rather boorish behavior.

But there is one celebrity that I seem to always forgive for sometimes boorish behavior, and that is The Man, William Shatner. In my encounters with him he seemed indifferent; I've met him four times (once I actually shook his hand and got a photo taken with him), and he was never rude but never exactly friendly either. So I have no reason to complain. But of course, I have heard all the negative stories about him, from fans and celebrities alike. And I have seen him say some pretty bad things. I have no doubt he has an ego. But then, I've also heard stories that he can be a very pleasant and kind person. I don't really know him or what to believe. Unless he's convicted of some horrible crime, I think I will continue to enjoy his work and his zest for life.

HB, the Bill Cosby thing is devastating. My Dad loved his work and we used to listen to his records as kids. Like you, I cannot disconnect the work from the current allegations (which now seem much more likely to be true) and it is painful because I had so many good memories of my Dad doing things like the "chocolate cake for breakfast" routine. So awful.

Garrett, I met Mike Grell last year and agree completely with you. He was a pleasure to talk to and very down to Earth. Other folks I've enjoyed meeting were George Takei, Mark Hamill, and Peter Mayhew -I had a great discussion with him about his work in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. What a fun man to talk to!

I do think that sometimes you just catch someone at the wrong time. We all have moments when we just don't want to be bothered, or we have gotten bad news, and we aren't approachable. I'm very glad that my life is not under a microscope.

Anonymous said...

I've never had a bad experience meeting a comic book pro at a con or signing. Some were more talkative than others, some more awkward (and God knows I'm no social butterfly), but all were polite at the very least. I've met the artist I think Karen is talking about and had an enjoyable conversation with him, but there was definitely an air of pomposity about him. I think he suffered from big fish/small pond syndrome.

When I hear of comic book creators behaving badly, however, I avoid their work. This applies to the aforementioned Byrne and Brian Wood. The opposite is true, fortunately. Take Barry Kitson, for example. I've always liked his work, but never sought it out. At a con a couple years ago, he did free watercolor head sketches. While drawing, he talked to us fans one on one. After such a great experience, I'll seek out anything he does.

- Mike Loughlin

Unknown said...

neal adams?

derek marrero said...

Great topic!This is my first time posting as well. I've been fortunate enough to have very positive experiences with famous types. At my first convention, many, many years ago, my father and I spoke with Neal Adams for about an journalist everything under the sun and he couldn't have been nicer. He was super pleasant and very engaging. It probably didn't hurt that he was there with his kids who were around my age. Another favorite was Michael Golden whom I met a few years ago. I was very nervous, but he was so down to earth and it immediately made things easier.

Redartz said...

I have been fortunate, in the respect that all the comics pro's I've met have been open and friendly. Some more so than others, but no negative experiences. One year at Wizard World Chicago I had the opportunity to meet Todd McFarlane; he was very gracious and signed a couplw books. He also spoke at some length admiring my shirt!

Another good experience was at Motor City Con with my youngest son. We got to chat with Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz, who were sharing a table. They signed books for us, and really encouraged my son in his growing interest in comics. They really made our day...

Doug said...

By the way --

To Mike and Derek -- don't be strangers, fellas! Now that you've taken the commenting plunge, we expect to hear from you again!


Humanbelly said...

Let's see, I was in grad school w/ John Carrol Lynch (Frances McDormand's husband in FARGO, and about a zillion evil prison guards, killers, psychopaths and such in other films). . . and he was a good guy, but definitely a huge, supremely self-confident personality. Definitely a fellow who filled the room.

And Siobhan Fallon (the Mom in HOLES; the school bus driver in FOREST GUMP; the battered wife in MEN IN BLACK)-- funniest young woman on the planet; comic motormouth; and was twice as attractive as she believed herself to be. I. . . I asked her out at one point. . . and then had to renege for an audition. (*sigh*-- I wonder if she ever got over it--?)

And Johnny Johnson (the sort of "regular guy" agent in both HELLBOY films-- the guy w/ hairplugs). Incredibly talented instinctive actor who always seemed to be just on the edge of awareness-- but was as nice as could be to anyone at all, regardless of where they were in any hierarchy.

Also met Helen Hayes briefly in 1988, and OMG, she was just the absolute portrait of Sweet, Kind, Attentive Little Old Lady that you would picture her to be. She was one of those people that truly preferred to have other chat to her so she could listen to their thoughts and stories. Hardly bigger than a leprechaun, too.

Nah-- the vast, vast majority of actors and theater folks are no more or no less quirky and flawed than anyone else in society-- I think those qualities just tend to broadcast themselves at a bit higher wavelength or something--- and are a lot more noticeable.

(Sal Buscema, btw-- folks that did community theater w/ him a few years ago?-- unanimously GLOWING reports of what an unfailingly terrific guy he was to work with! And many, many of them had no conception of his standing in the industry!)


Dan Toland said...

There's a very well-known artist of the late Silver/early Bronze Age who legitimately has earned every shred of fame and success he's got, but every time I see him at a con he just rubs me entirely the wrong way on a personal level. Yes, he is incredibly talented and did a lot to further comics as an art form and as an industry, but when he talks about how he invented blinking and before he came along artists just walked around with their eyes open all the time and couldn't draw because their eyes stung too much but then he came along and revolutionized the industry with his ability to close and then open his eyes rapidly... I just can't look at his work without hearing him patting himself on the back. It shouldn't matter, but I can't deny it does.

Doug said...

Better magician than Houdini, too.


Dan Toland said...

Ha! I actually wasn't referring to him, but yeah, exact same reaction.

Anonymous said...

Hmm I think I know who Karen and some others are talking about but I won't mention any names. Well, first off I have to say that yes, you can separate the person from the work. It's the usual scenario - we as fans gush over the talent of an artist or other creative person but when we meet them they are total ***holes. I read somewhere that a survey of published writers revealed that many of them suffered mental illnesses to differing degrees.

While not as extreme as Hemingway's suicidal tendencies, the point is that creative types sometimes display behaviour that is, well, not normal. While it's true that the vast majority of creators thankfully are genuinely nice people, it's also true there are some in the minority who really are quite arrogant/boorish/unpleasant.

Bobby Fischer was one of the greatest chess champions of all time, yet he frequently displayed obnoxious behaviour due to mental illness; Diego Maradona is one of the greatest soccer, er, I mean, football players but he got kicked out of the 1994 World Cup because he tested positive for drugs. So, it's not just our beloved comic creators who can be mean.

I love Big John Buscema's supreme art, but I always heard he was kinda gruff - I always imagined me saying "OMG Big John I love your work!', and he might reply 'Um, yeah, OK kid, good for you.' Just sayin'.

- Mike 'heroes have feet of clay' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Edo Bosnar said...

Man, sometimes it really sucks being so many time zones away from everyone else here. This conversation really took off while I was asleep.
Dan, now I'm curious as to who you were talking about, because like Doug, I thought you were talking about the guy Karen and everyone else mentioned. Anyway, I *think* I know who you're talking about, but I'm not sure (damn, that might not make any sense at all, maybe I should go back to bed...)

Nice to read everyone's stories. It's especially nice to see that one of my personal favorites, Sal Buscema, is indeed a nice guy. Which reminds me, there's an interview with Sal (done by a fan) posted online, which mainly focuses on his time on the Incredible Hulk. He comes across as a really sweet guy - and he also clears up the oft-repeated question of just how Buscema is supposed to be pronounced.

As for myself, I haven't met many comics creators, but I've always had positive experiences with the ones I have met. I've mentioned here several times that I met Howard Chaykin here in Zagreb a few years back, and he can be described pretty much as Garett described Mike Grell, i.e., friendly, outgoing and genuinely interested in the people around him, and talking up the room (or filling it up as HB said about that actor) while drawing sketches for everybody. Otherwise, most of the other creators I've met are local, but those of you who read more current comics might be familiar with some of their names, like Croatian artists Goran Sudzuka, Dalibor Talajic, Miroslav Mrva and Ive Svorcina, and Serbian artist R.M. Guera (Talajic, Sudzuka and Mrva are the art team on the new Master of Kung Fu mini coming out right now, while Sudzuka and Svocina did the art in a back-up story in the most recent Wonder Woman Annual). All of them are super nice and fun guys - in the case of Sudzuka and Talajic, we're all about the same age and have a lot of the same tastes in comics, so we just shoot the breeze out that any time we meet (and I recently did a story about them and a few more Croatian comics artists for Croatian Radio).

Phil said...

I have met Neal Adams several times and he has been unfailingly charming. However he does charge for his services and that includes photos. If you just want to say hi and meet him he's great but pics and autographs cost money.
I have been collecting since the 70s and most creators have been great. However...Al Feldstein was sort of all business. He wasn't unfriendly but he didn't smile or seem happy. By all accounts he was like that to everyone his whole life so I bear him no ill will. After all being in the comic business is fairly solitary work. If you want to meet people maybe you should be a comedian.
The only unpleasantly fellow I met is considered to be the worst artist of modern times...who has lots of fans. He was just short with everyone when I saw him.

William said...

Doug, you reminded me of one of the best Comic Conventions I ever attended. It was held at the National Guard Armory building in Ft. Lauderdale about 20 years (or so) ago. And the featured guests were John Romita and John Romita Jr. sitting side by side at the big signing table. And Doug, you are absolutely correct about what a great guy John Romita is. He was doing free sketches for everyone who asked. Either a masked Spider-Man head, or a half Peter Parker, half Spidey face with the spider-sense lines. I got the full masked Spidey face. I still have it. Plus he was just a super nice man. Jr. was a pretty nice guy too. I was with my wife and some friends and we held up the line joking around with the two of them for about 5 minutes or so. JR Jr. was even flirting with my wife a little (which she loved). He said something along the lines of a "Whoa! I don't see many fans who look like you at these things?" She ate it up. It was hilarious.

Then a little while later Will Eisner showed up unexpectedly at that same convention, and I (and my friend) were taking his class "Comics and Sequential Art Workshop" at that time, so when he walked in, he spotted us and came over. Will was another one of those guys who was just a really awesome human being. So nice and accommodating to fans, and everyone else. (Strangely enough, Will was also especially nice to my wife as well, LOL). Anyway, we were talking and joking around with him for several minutes when we suddenly noticed a large crowd gathering around us. We had forgotten for a moment that Will was comic book royalty and his just showing up like that was creating quite a stir. People were coming up and telling him how much they admired his work, and practically kneeling in reverence. My wife looked at me like "Who is this guy?" She loved it. We felt like we were in the entourage of a rock star or something. However, the party ended when one of the event coordinators came up and begged Will to join the other creators up on the dais. And he (Will) said, and I quote, "Darn I guess I should go, but I'd really rather stay down here and hang out with you guys." But he was just too polite to refuse the man's request.

Like I said, it was a once in a lifetime convention.

Over the years, I've had a lot of really great experiences meeting comic creators, like Stan Lee, who was another really nice guy. And George Perez is super super cool as well. When I think about it, I've had almost zero bad experiences at conventions and such. I guess I've been lucky. John Byrne was even pretty cool to me when I met him at Mega Con.

R.Lloyd said...

I had one bad experience with one author and if you want to remove his name you can:

Orson Scott Card

Just wanted to get his autograph I gave him my "Ender's Game" book to sign and he said "to whom shall I sign this to? I told him my name and he started making fun of my name in public and bringing attention to it. My name is very ordinary and not unusual. It was embarrassing to go through this just for an autograph.

When talking about his books we was saying that all franchise books were awful and science fiction fans shouldn't read them. But what is "Ender's Game"? With all it's sequels I'd say it's a franchise.

Needless to say after this meeting with him I gave all my unread Ender books to a friend of mine and I won't be paying any money to see Ender's Game.

ColinBray said...

J.A.Morris - I think your punk experience adds hypocrisy to the mix and that is harder to accept than simply rude behaviour.

Not many comic creators ever pretend they are out to change the world so I can separate their behaviour from their work just fine.

But punk was/is about presenting an alternative and should be judged as such. If someone shouts out morals from the punk pulpit they shouldn't behave like an asshole.

And yes, like you I come from a punk background *smiles*

Erik J Kreffel said...

My dad had a story from visiting NYC in the early '80s, trying to drum up syndication contacts for the comic strip he had been working on. When he visited the MAD magazine studio, he'd met and and had nothing but great things to say about many of the artists there, with the exception of one famous artist known for his back page Fold Ins. The guy was obnoxious and bad-mouthed my dad to the other Gang of Idiots present. Ever since I was told this story I've had no use for this particular guy. Jack Davis on the other hand is a treasure and helluva nice guy.

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