Molly Jackson: Comic Signings – The Great Connector
Last month, I was going through a pile of old comics. At the time I was getting ready for a signing, and looking for an issue of Incredible Hulk #1 for writer Jason Aaron to sign for me. While I was going through my many piles, I found some gems I had forgotten about, including some signed issues.
You are probably wondering how I could forget about my gems. Since I am lucky enough to live in NYC, I spend a large amount of time and money going to every comic book signing I could. I had a variety of reasons for going. Some events I went to because of the book, some for the creative team and some just because I had nothing better to do. What’s $4 for an issue just to hang out with cool people for an hour or four?
Doing this, I’ve met great people who became good friends and exposed myself to amazing writers and artists. I’ve found a plethora of new series to read and collect. In fact, a chunk of my favorite graphic novels are ones I bought at a signing or comic panel event.
I can’t express how grateful I am for all the people I’ve bonded with during a five-hour outdoor wait in 30-degree weather for a comic book signing. I enjoy the time spent waiting on line, arguing with people about a character arc or TV show. I’ve argued and joked with people without knowing their name! I’ve done food runs for strangers and trusted my new best friends to watch my spot in line for a potty break. I’ve even huddled together with strangers for warmth under an umbrella.
And then, finally getting to meet the person we were all waiting for! Most of the time, I know their work but on occasion, I’ve had to fake my excitement. Still, that’s how I have met writers and artists that I love now. Like going to an panel and signing for a little know writer named Scott Snyder or one I attended for artist Amy Reeder. And there was a time at a con that I hung out with a then-little known writer, Charles Soule, just chatting about his graphic novel. By going to almost everything I could, I met and supported people throughout different points in their careers. You never know who you are going to meet.
I don’t get to go to as many signing or comic events now, due to my day job. Still, I try to go when I can, and especially to the ones I don’t know much about. It’s a great way to learn about new series. That’s how I get to find gems in my collection like Saga #1 signed by Brian K. Vaughn I found. (Yeah, I can’t believe I forgot about it either.) So, go and check out the signings in your area. You never know if you are going to meet the next big star or your next best friend.