I'm back from Comic Con bearing graphic novels, colorful buttons, and shame. Because what vacation would be complete without utter humiliation?
The Exhibition Hall at Comic Con is a massive conglomeration booths providing everything from swag (free stuff) to books for sale to meet-and-greets with authors and artists. The hall is so massive that if you stood at one end you wouldn't be able see the far wall - even if the room wasn't full of so many colorful banners, advertisements and directional signs as to cause total sensory overload. You could spend the entire con in the Exhibition Hall.
I had come in to hit two or three booths and get out ... so of course I immediately got lost. I was turning yet another corner in the blind hope of finding an exit, when I saw it. A booth for Piled Higher and Deeper (PhD), one of my all-time fave web comics. I squee'd and rushed up to the attendant, gushing about how inspirational the strip had been during my grad school days. He smiled politely. Feeling a bit silly for fan girling in front of this random person, I asked about buying a t-shirt. He kindly pulled down several shirts for me, but none were to my taste or in my size. Frustrated, I was about to leave when he said, "Well, if you buy a book, I'll sign it for you."
The man I had taken for a low-level flunky was actually Jorge Cham, the author of PhD.
That's the thing with Comic Con ... you never know who you're going to run into. I saw Jimmy Fallon walking down a hallways in a green spandex costume, camera crew in tow. I swear I saw Beth Grant (as Maggie said, it was one of those "hey, it's that woman!" moments) waiting for someone by the escalator. And every so often, in a panel, a star would come up to the microphone during the audience Q&A. So I guess I should have expected that Jorge Cham might be manning his own booth. Once I realized it, I tried to play it off.
Me: Shouldn't you have a minion doing this for you?
JC: You know, I should!
Me: Talk to your publisher and demand a minion!
JC: Well, I have a pretty tough publisher.
Me (not knowing what else to say): Oh. Bummer.
JC: *wry grin* I'm self-published.
Me: Hahahahahaha, I'm laughing because I'm uncomfortable.
Me: I'll just go, now.