First Posted Nov. 18, 2008
As I’m leaving the Jack Kirby Tribute Panel, I ask a guy I’m walking next to, “did you find Chris Claremont?”
“Sure,” he said. “I’m going over that way, I’ll show you.” So my guide walked me through the maze that was the convention and showed me where Claremont was hiding in plain sight. Or to be more specific, he showed me where there was a sign that said Chris Claremont. Below the sign was a table with some Sharpie’s and a pad on it and there was a chair with a coat and briefcase next to the table. I asked the guy at the next table. “Is that Claremont’s stuff?”
“Yes,” he said, “He’ll be right back, nature called.” So I waited for a few minutes. Near Claremont’s table sat Jim Salicrup who was basically doing stylized stick figure drawings for $5. Finally Chris Claremont came back and he signed Marvel Team-Up 63, 64, 100 and Uncanny X-men 200 for me.
Then since no one else was waiting in line to see him, I attempted conversation. I said in Marvel Team-Up 100 there’s a back-up story with Strom and the Black Panther that you wrote. “Did you ever think the two of them would get married?”
He said something like, “I never really thought about it.” Then he started looking at the story from back to front, but he didn’t say anything about it. I felt like all the air had left the room because I was so uncomfortable that he wasn’t saying anything, but I was determined so I tried again. “You wrote the X-men for 20 years, do you think someone will ever be able to match that? I don’t.”
“I don’t know,” he said. “You never can tell, can you?”
Then I asked him how he kept having fresh ideas and he said that he just did. By then I was so uncomfortable, that I wanted to get the hell out of there, I stuck my right hand out to shake his, but he shook it oddly with his left hand. When I left Claremont still had no one on his line. I don’t know why our interaction was so awkward. I really still want to give him the benefit of the doubt. It was the end of the day, I was standing there waiting for him, maybe he didn’t like that. Anyone else ever meet Claremont?
After my experience with Claremont I wandered around again still looking for Walt Simonson and Peter David. Suddenly I saw a sign that said “Peter David” and a guy was sitting under it. So I put my bag on the ground, squatted down, and searched for the Peter David issues I had (the two Spectacular Spider-man issues Buckler had signed earlier). But when I looked up and took a good look at the guy, I realized it wasn’t Peter David. It was just some guy sitting in David’s seat sketching pictures because David never showed. And it was on that note that I left the convention.
However, as I walked to the escalator Peter Mayhew walked past me and I thought “Jim Shooter is tall, but maybe not that tall.” Then as I was riding down the escalator, I looked over and Gloria Hendry was riding up the other escalator. We looked at each other and she smiled at me. Damn! She looks even better now then she did in that movie.
And that’s the story of the convention.
P.S.- Just because I forgot to post them before. Here are a couple of pictures of a bizarre photo shoot that was going on at the convention; obviously something to do with Marvel Zombies, Arthur Suydam the Marvel Zombies artist was the “Guest of Honor.”