It was a fun time at HeroesCon this year. While I had it easy with only one day behind the table, versus Matt who manned it for the whole of the con, it was a blast seeing the interest in www.adventuresinpulp.com as people discovered us for the first time and we got the chance to meet people who have been reading us on line for the last year.
My son, Xander, came along this year and got some of his comics signed and even a few of mine, because I'm a creator as well as a fan. Honestly, I can't imagine anyone loving four color literature enough to make it without also being a fan.
It's through the eyes of a kid that you can get a reality check. I was thrilled to see which creators Xander said were kind and accessible while I was shocked to see who was less so. The new oddity seems to be creators who come to the table and refuse to sign or seem put off about having to stop what they are doing. So here is some free advice from a peon who is still thrilled when ANYONE comes up to my table: Don't be an ass. If someone likes your work enough to dig it out of their collection (and let's face it, if you do conventions you probably have an ample collection) and transport it God-knows-how-many miles, walks the con floor carrying the stuff plus whatever they have picked up, then stands in line to meet YOU so you can sign your name on something they PAID for (which in return, caused you to get GET PAID), the ABSOLUTE LEAST you could do is put on a fake smile, pretend to be gracious, and write your name. If you don't want to do that, STAY HOME. Don't roll your eyes, let out an annoyed huff or ask them to come back later because you are busy.
Don't get me wrong, some fans can be difficult and demanding, but really the big thing that got me on this rant were artists who didn't want to sign until later because they were "working." If you are so behind your deadline that you can't sign or talk to fans then put a sign at your station saying when you will be there, then go back to your hotel room and work. Conventions are work too, just a different kind. You are there to promote yourself and your work, if you choose to do your "other" job when you are there and act like the people who are there to see you are an annoyance then people will remember that. That is who you are to them, and they will tell their friends (especially the ones they socialize with at the comic shop.)
Likewise when you make the effort, people talk about that as well. I know I will be talking about how awesome and super nice Jeff Smith was and how happy he made Xander when he was signing his "Shazam and the Monster Society of Evil" books. The kind words of Mark Waid, Cully Hamner, Karl Story and others go far. Kids call it like they see it. (Admittedly, Xander was rehearsing a lot for Mark Waid, since Matt asked him to give Mark copies of "Adventures in Pulp" and "Jigsaw World") I'll confess I was nervous about that one. Mark is one of the best in the industry. One of those guys you *have* to read because, if you don't, you'll miss out. Knowing Xander gave him my stuff makes me feel like he just handed Picasso one of my childhood coloring books. <shudder>
Speaking of Xander, today is his birthday! His mom and I are so incredibly proud of the little guy. Smart, fun and funny. Eclectic in his tastes and kind in his heart, we could not have a better kid in the universe.
From straight A's to baseball All-Star. I half-jokingly say that I set high standards for him. The truth is that he is blessed with a lot of gifts, and works hard to develop in areas where he was not as blessed. The end result is a spectacular kid who gets all the credit for himself, because he sets a new standard.