OK, I feel so ashamed that I did not support my comic brethren better over the weekend. “What are you talking about, Will?” you ask. Well, over the weekend, I went to a family reunion in Birmingham, Alabama. Long story short, it could’ve been better, but it could’ve been worse. I’m of the opinion that those things are really just for old people anyway. Young people don’t care unless they see someone hot, and then start inquiring as to how they’re related to them. If it’s not immediate, it’s hook-up time. C’mon, you know you’ve thought about it.
Anyway, on the way back, I had a connecting flight in Chicago. I’m in the line for McDonalds, when I notice a couple carrying a bunch of poster rolls standing in line. I look closer, and notice a bunch of buttons and ID passes on the guys bag reading “Wizard World”. I stood there for awhile trying to process it. Finally, it hit me. “FUCK!” This was the weekend of the Wizard World Chicago, one of the biggest comic conventions in the country. I had been falling asleep off and on during the day, and I guess I had somehow forgotten, not only the date, but also my location. The important part was that this was also the last day of the convention. In fact, I figured that it had ended about an hour before my revelation. Thoughts are now racing through my head. “There are probably comic superstars here”, I thought. Conventions always have guests whom range from comic professionals to washed-up sci-fi stars. I knew SOMEONE pseudo-famous had to be there.
I broke out the line, and just started walking. I didn’t know where I was going, but I scanned from side to side as I narrowly missed running into people. This reminded me of the time in Wegman’s last week, when I was feeling out of my mind, and thought I saw Farrah Fawcett over by the produce. Not sure if it was her, but I ran into Miranda as she was getting a shopping cart. I’m sure it must’ve looked like a 3 Stooges bit to the rest of the customers. Anyway, that’s the last time I watch Charlie’s Angels at 5 in the morning.
So, I’m walking through the airport, thinking of Stan Lee, Jim Lee, Pat Lee (Boy, there sure are a lot of Lee’s in comics), and wondering if I’d see any of them. Then, it hit me: I don’t really know what most comic creators look like. Sure, there’s Peter David who looks like Santa Claus, and Alan Moore who looks like an old goth, but most of them are middle-aged, chubby, balding guys. At an airport, that’s like looking for a Jewish girl in Long Island.
About 5 minutes into my quest, who should I see “Hulking” down the concourse, but Mr. Lou Ferrigno himself. The Incredible Hulk! He looked irritated and maybe like he was on a mission, perhaps just to find his flight, but something told me not to fuck with the Hulk. I just kind of walked by him, wondering if anyone else noticed it. Then, I started wondering if it was such a crime for the Hulk to have been CGI in the movie. I kept picturing Lou all painted in green, and all I could do was laugh. Anyway, I saw the Hulk himself, so that’s one more B-level actor to add to my lifetime encounter list.
I figured, if the Hulk is here, then there must be others! I went to every concourse I could get to, without going through a security checkpoint. I started strategizing: Most important companies in the comic world are in NYC, so it would make more sense to check NY flights. I ran to every gate I could find, from LaGuardia to Rochester, but didn’t really recognize anyone. Might’ve seen a couple of British writers, but they all look the same: Tall, skinny, bald, with that anti-establishment look to them, like they’d be found on a soapbox preaching to the proletariat about the damn capitalists. So, I kept looking, but to no avail.
I saw a BUNCH of fanboys. You know, the guys who look unwashed, wearing their favorite variant Superman shirt (not the standard red “S”, but the rare black and white logo). They walk around with their backpacks, and portfolios of sketches of huge-breasted women who neither exist, nor would even speak to them if they did. I even saw a real-life Silent Bob. Well, he looked more like Silent Bob and Jay in one entity.
Finally, I gave up my search, and went back to my gate, but I’ll never forget my brush with “Hulkness”. OK, I probably will, but that’s why I have this log to remind me of things that were important at one time, but may not matter in the future. Wow, that sounded bitter.