Boy, did I have a good time in Chicago. I usually just wander around, say hi to some friends in artists’ alley and see the city. Generally, the less I’m at the show, the more fun I have (and the more local cuisine I sup up). But this year I was interviewing creators for my day gig at CBS Man Cave Daily. So I was press, which is new. And I hit up more panels and even bought some merch. On the weekend, I ended up pitching a couple of books successfully enough to get requests for full issue. All told, I was more journalist, fan, and creator than I’ve been at a show in forever.
One of the best experiences in the foremost of those was talking with Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. Because for as long as I’ve been in the outer ring of comics as a reader and indie creator, they’ve had a reputation among both fans and pros as everyone’s favorite people. And though I’ve been in their company at many parties I’ve never actually met them.
I’m a lifelong Punisher fan. I think Punisher Annual #4 was in the first dozen comics I ever bought. But the character hit some rough times. When Garth Ennis was brought in to work his magic, the title, “Welcome Back, Frank” was far truer than returning the character to his basic concept. The Punisher, the actual person, was back in the book. So in probably…1999? I wrote a letter to Marvel Knights about how incredible this scene was:
Just your typical fan letter in a time when letter columns were dying out (I believe it was important to Jimmy and Joe Quesada when they took the Knights gig that letters stay). It never ran but I received three emails in reply from the two of them thanking me for taking the time to write and share my thoughts.
Stuff like that goes a long way. I’m not sure what its emotional effect is in a world where the internet’s become ubiquitous, but back when we were still paying AOL for 100 hours a month, having access to the people who make the dreams concrete was an entirely new and joyous thing. It meant a whole lot to me that they’d take the time to reply to not only me, but surely everyone else who was writing in. They genuinely appreciated the readership, that someone was enjoying their labors.
So yeah…this. This was a really great interview.