I sold out of my mini-comic They Won't Stay Dead!, and angry hordes of nerds crowded around my table, demanding I go to Kinko's and print up more right this minute! I sheepishly approached Margot Kidder at her table, and when I held out the DVD sleeve for Black Christmas for her to sign, she stood and exclaimed "YOU are the fan I have been waiting for! I've signed so much Superman shit for so many nerds, but you...YOU! Come to me, fan of discriminating taste...let's hug here in the hallway of the Columbus Hilton and be Best Friends Forever!" She then handed me one of those half-a-broken-heart pendants that read
I handed her a copy of my comic, and when she was done reading it, she said, with tear shining in the corner of her eye: "You're my fan? No...no...I am but your humble servant. Now let's split, score some Oxy, and talk all night about Black Christmas.". We clinked our new pendants together like champagne glasses and walked off just as a rainbow peeked out from behind the clouds. The huzzahs of the mighty nerds echoed in the Hilton's corridors behind us.
All of that really happened, honest. It happened, and then I woke up in my bed Saturday morning in time to head to the first day of Mid-Ohio-Con.
I remembered my books! Good for me. I did have to drive back home before I got to the convention because I forgot my wallet, though. What the hell is wrong with me? I can remember the smallest little detail from some shitty movie- "Wow, did you know that the person who played Taffy McFattfatt in Halloween XIV: The Mild Irritation of Michael Myers liked to chew Juicy Fruit between takes? She also appeared on 2 episodes of Small Wonder!"- but I can't remember my wallet when I go somewhere to spend money. Screw Oxy, Margot- I need to score some Gingko.
The con was pretty quiet. Could there BE a more terrible weekend to hold an event like this? People are spending money on Christmas presents, not back issues of Night Force. OK, I am, but I've heard that I'm weird. It's also a terrible weekend for folks to travel. I shake my fist at whoever chose Thanksgiving weekend as the traditional weekend for Mid-Ohio-Con! I shake my fist and sneer! I did manage to sell some stuff- copies of the BloodRayne book and some BloodRayne pages. That was dope. But man, I just could not move They Won't Stay Dead!. What's wrong with people? Does no one have sense? They're all bastards! I did sell a few, however- to my frickin' tablemates! Kevin Melrose from Dark, But Shining bought one, as did Mike Imboden. They are truly stand-up fellas, and I think that perhaps they weren't even completely pity purchases. But the general public can, as my gramma would say, "kiss my ass and call it love". Yes, she really would say that, too. Deon Nuckols, another buyer, tablemate, and stand-up fella handed a copy of my book to some guy. The guy opened it, took one look, said "It's just a buncha sticks!", put it back on the table, and left in a huff. That's right, folks- my comic pissed him off because it's stick figures. Yeah, you heard me- it's stick figures, dammit. It's stick figures and zombies and zombie stick figures. Other comic books might have "real-looking people" and "rendering", but, I ask you, do they have THIS?
If you can find me an issue of Spider-Man where he's punching out some lovingly rendered elderly zombie, I will give you a quarter. Incidentally, drawing stick figures is harder than you'd think. It took me a long time to get that woman in the panel above NOT to look like Q*Bert. She still bears a passing resemblance, unfortunately. Long story short, I just could not get the comics-buying public to part with a measly buck for my book. A dollar! Kevin did get a copy of the book into the hands of Gotham Central artist Steve Lieber, however, as I was too chickenshit to give him a copy myself:
See, comic nerds? If it's good enough to be enjoyed by one of the best artists around, one of my favorites, one of the nicest guys on the planet, then it's certainly good enough for YOU! Hmm...maybe I'm on to something here. Yeah, I'll berate the fans into buying! That's it! "What, you think you're too good for my book? With that outfit? Are you serious? Come spend a dollar, you cheap fucks!" Maybe that should've been my marketing strategy. Well, there's always next year.
I guess by now you're suspecting that the tale of Margot & Me I told above wasn't entirely true. Sadly, you would be right. Yes, I gave her a Black Christmas DVD sleeve to sign. The guy with her, whoever he was, asked where I got it, and I said "Amazon". She signed it, I said something about it being a great, scary movie, she said something like "It is!" and we shook hands. No promises of being best friends forever. No skipping off under the rainbow together. She did, however, say that it was nice to meet me, so I guess that means there's hope for us yet. There's always next year.