My super geek out moments.

I once had the privilege to go to a comic distributors’ convention as a retailer. It’s an exciting and different experience. If you say you like a product, they give you one.

While I was there, somebody said, “There’s a girl here dressed like Vampirella.” This was a long time ago, and the only image of Vampi in my head was a comic book image. I said, “That’s impossible,” thinking that costume simply wouldn’t work on a real girl.

I was wrong. There she was, eating a cookie. “Here I am,” she said, when I told her I didn’t think it was possible. A tiny little thing, but she looked fantastic in the amazingly clingy skimpy red outfit. Later, this lovely woman was featured on trading cards and other media as the Vampirella model. Many have done that since. But for me, this was Fantasy Land unexpectedly transformed into Actual Land before my eyes.

You can see from this photo that it was before my hair turned all silvery, so it was a long time ago. Also note my Xenozoic Tales T-shirt and jacket with Buckaroo Banzai patch, X-men pins, and specially made tag that says SFRPGXPRT. You don’t get much more geeky than that.

* * *

At the same convention, I was told that Colleen Doran was there. She is a lovely redhead, but I had read her comics, and frankly, I didn’t like them much. However, my libido took over (still in overdrive, see above) and I walked around the corner to her booth. There she was, chatting with somebody, looking gorgeous.

I turned around and walked away. What was I going to say? “You’re lovely, but I don’t like your work.” I couldn’t fake that. I’m not good at lying, which hampered me in earlier years on the dating scene. Anyway, I froze up and left.

* * *

At a comic shop, I once met both Chris Claremont and Neil Gaiman in the same day. I waited patiently in line to talk to Claremont, told him how much I loved Rogue, and he was sad he couldn’t write for those characters any more (he had just left Marvel to write an Aliens book for Dark Horse). He signed my Avengers Annual #11 (first appearance of Rogue, but you knew that, certainly) and we had a nice talk.

I waited in line again to meet Neil Gaiman. I was already a fanatic Sandman fan, and brought my Sandman #1 for him to sign. He drew mysterious eyes and weird lines coming out of them (Neil often draws little things when he signs).

The woman in front of me in line had chatted amiably with Neil for some time and I was getting annoyed waiting for her to finish. When it was my turn I was, for one of the few times in my life, nearly speechless. I think I stammered out, “Thanks for all the stories.” I’d like to talk to him again some time.


8 Responses to My super geek out moments.

  1. Brad says:

    Why don’t you wear the pins and patches on your denim jacket anymore?

  2. Kathy says:

    I waited in line for, oh, it must have been something on the order of three hours, at a comic book store in a difficult-to-get-to-without-a-car part of Boston when I was in college to get Neil Gaiman to sign a Sandman #1.

    I’d had to enlist the help of my friend who had a boyfriend with a car. Odd thing was, we had a class that overlapped with the opening of the line formation, so Mr. Boyfriend drove there, got a place in line, and we took a T train, a bus, and a cab to get there to join him. I think they must have owed me a favor or something, because I don’t think either one of them knew who Neil Gaiman was at the time, especially as a lot of his well-known works were still ahead of him then and Sandman was still being published.

    Funny thing was, all of this wasn’t for me. I only had one copy of Sandman #1, the comic shop literally SOLD OUT of everything that had Neil Gaiman’s name on it before we reached the store, and I originally meant to get the signature as a birthday present for my sister.

    One of the things I remember about the signing, other than the excellent sketch of Dream that he did above his signature, is that there were wayyy too many people in line, as the store didn’t cut the line off at 200 or 300 people or wherever they’d meant to do it. We were right before the theoretical cut-off, so we could hear (but were not personally affected by) the muttering and pleading just behind us as the comic store employees walked back to tell a few dozen people that they might be cut off of the line. A few minutes in, and thankfully, before any of them gave up and left, another guy came out and said that Neil Gaiman told the staff not to tell anyone to leave, that he would sign through the current line, but to please cut it off at that point.

    So I was fairly near the end and I was expecting the poor guy to be tired and wilted by the time we got to the front, but you would have thought it was the first signing of the day. I was behind in Sandman, I think only just finished a borrowed set up to Dream Country but Season of Mists had started already and I just hadn’t been able to buy any of them yet (college, remember?) I said something about enjoying the end of Dream Country and asked something that he laughed at and said he was dealing with in Season of Mists, which got a Comic Book Guy reaction from the guy behind me in line (how dare I be behind?) and I swear to god, Neil Gaiman asked the guy behind me in line to loan me his books so I could get caught up. It was pretty cool, because that guy looked a little embarrassed but hadn’t been humiliated or anything. Pretty much the perfect way to handle it.

    It was great all in all, but I felt bad because I’m sure he (not the Comic Book Guy, Neil Gaiman) must have been exhausted by then. However, he was still lovely to everyone, signing and doing sketches and showing very little sign of how long he’d been there. He was already an hour past his cutoff time, and still had at least 50 people yet to go when I left.

    I really think he is as nice as he seems on his blog. I have no evidence to the contrary. :)

  3. Bpaul says:

    That photo rocks so hard I am speechless

  4. dave(id) says:

    Hope you still have the jacket. I have to ask, SFRPGXPRT, what does it mean? google gives me your blog.

  5. Shocho says:

    I do still have the jacket, although it doesn’t fit as well as it used to. SFRPGXPRT means “Science Fiction Role Playing Game XPeRT.” I had that made when our company Paranoia Press was writing game supplements for the Traveller RPG.

  6. dave(id) says:

    Good god, that is the pinnacle of geek. I thought it was a band or something.

  7. mikecane says:

    What? It took you *that* long to see someone in a Vampi costume! You poor deprived lad!!

    You should have been in NYC for comic conventions. You would have lusted over Angelique Trouvere as Vampi.

    And then moaned at Heidi Saha as Vampi (Heidi’s ma was a scary one … predated Brooke Sheilds’ ma!)

    My God! I hadn’t thought about these til now and never before thought to Google them.


  8. Shocho says:

    Mikecane, like I said, this was a long time ago. My girl was Cathy Christian. “Cathy Christian was the first official Vampirella model to appear at various conventions (although a number of hopefuls would also turn up at comic conventions in the US dressed as Vampi).”

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