It is such a whirlwind, and by nature I’m fairly introverted (with an ability to compensate for that, thank goodness) so the So Many People energy was something that I sometimes tuned out. So I could be by myself -- in a good way, mind you -- while surrounded by tens of thousands of people. And then tune back in to appreciate many, many, many sexy geeks. (And sexy non-geeks, like that waitress at the Toscana Café at breakfast Saturday morning…yum…)
It helps to know people at events like this. Needed islands of familiarity. That’s why I gravitated a lot to the Boom! Studios booth, because kradical and I know each other. I also ran into several Portland-based artists and found some safe haven with them -- and, I hope, safe haven for them. (I’ve earned my reputation as a friendly face, and I‘ll try to keep that.) At a huge event like this, you’re not likely to meet your new best friend, but you can touch base with those who are already your friends.
It’s good I decided to act poor in the exhibit hall, because SO. MUCH. STUFF. So I wasn’t a good customer while there, but I was a good visitor.
(Also a good gawker. And just the sightings in passing blew my mind. There’s Berkeley Breathed, who created Bloom County! There’s Matt Groening of Life in Hell, The Simpsons, and Futurama! There’s two guys dressed up like Darth Vader and Boba Fett if they were pimps!)
Among the people I visited? Frank Darabont and Drew Struzan! Darabont is the filmmaker who made The Shawshank Redemption; Struzan is an illustrator who, among many things, has painted many, many movie posters: every Star Wars ad painting since the Special Editions in 1997, the painted poster for the first Harry Potter film, and in the “Oh, neat!” category, at least for me, 1986’s Adventures in Babysitting. His style: dramatic, in a way I like. AND I MET THEM. They were signing posters for a project of Darabont’s, the AMC series adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s zombie apocalypse comic book The Walking Dead, and I completely lucked into the signing. They sat in a booth made up to look like a house that had been overrun by zombies; fake corpses were laid out behind them, and blood streaked the walls. This made me happy. Struzan avoided shaking hands because he was later going back to where his less-than-two-days’-old grandchild was waiting. I thanked Darabont for the scene in his film version of The Green Mile when the guards are leading John Coffey through the forest surrounded by fireflies. I also got to pose for a picture with them. As I moved around to be behind them for the shot, I bumped into one of the fake corpses, and out of habit I looked back at it and said “Excuse me.”
And Frank Darabont said “Did you apologize to the corpse?”
More to come. With fewer corpses.
Later! I can provide photos of what happened. :-D