This is being written in a bar in Pittsburgh airport. I'm on my way home from the annual Heroes Convention in Charlotte. I decided I'd try something new in Charlotte. I decided I wasn't going to sit at a table and I decided I wasn't going to do any sketches. Just to see what it was like, y'know?
I am never doing another convention sketch for the rest of my life.
It was fantastic. I enjoyed being at a con for the first time in years. I wandered through the dealer's room, I talked to old friends, I answered questions, I signed comic books, I attended Bob Burden's interview/panel and stayed all the way through. I watched Sergio do sketches, I talked at great length with Curt Swan (the single biggest influence on me with his work on Superman when I was a kid). Julie Schwartz and Murphy Anderson. When I wanted to eat I went to a restaurant and ate. At the end of each day I was relaxed, happy, coherent and very much at ease.
Wandering around the dealer's room may not sound like a big deal to you, but when conventions have come to mean one chair, one table and an endless succession of comics and programs to sign alternating with sketches of Cerebus as American Flagg, Cerebus the Barbarian, Cerebus drunk, Cerebus the Pope, Cerebus as Jon Sable, Cerebus as Superman, it is a big deal.
I woke up on Sunday and I could not wait to go downstairs
It's part and parcel of my new overview of what I want out of comics.
I want to have fun.
A lot of you may not understand that ---you may feel I owe it to you to do sketches, to sit and sign complete sets of Cerebus. You may feel I have an obligation to stay in one place for three days so you can always find me.
But as I said when I started this column, new rules are required.
If you see me walking around, feel free to come up and talk. ask questions, show me your artwork, shake hands. whatever you're into.
If I'm talking to someone else and you want your program signed or books signed, just hand them to me opened to the spot you want signed. Please don't say "Excuse me" or "Would you mind signing these books?" That's what I'm there for and I'll always have a pen with me. Don't wait for me to say "Do you want these signed?" I know what is needed when you come up with a stack of books opened to the first page and you have just as much right to my time as anyone I'm talking to. If you want to listen to the conversation hang around If you want to talk about something, wait fora lull in the conversation or wait until the conversation is over. If I'm on my way to the bathroom or my hotel room, I'll tell you, and that means 'back off.' But feel free to wait outside the bathroom or in front of the elevators if you're right desperate.
Seriously, folks, I can't wait to go to the next few conventions now that I have liberated myself from the Artist's Table Ghetto.
And I will do little head sketches, Elrod bunnies, Cerebus trees and rocks and potato salad, but only when I feel like it.
And just between you, me and twenty-four thousand people, I did one sketch in Charlotte for a dealer who had a sister who needed a birthday present and a graduation present --- she had made the Dean's list --- and evidently was going to kill him if he didn't get a Most Holy sketch. But her name was Michele and I've always had a weakness for that name, y'know? (The sketch was free by the way.)
Copyright 1985 Dave Sim
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