Saturday evening, back at the con. That’s when the Bestest Thing Ever happened. Should I show the picture again? All right, since you’ve twisted my arm.
After I met Charlotte Stewart—did I mention I met Charlotte Stewart?—I almost got knocked over by this fellow.
Not the little boy. The guy with the five-foot-long tail. A tail which needed one of those sensors that tell you if you’re about to bump into unsuspecting passersby who may or may not be distracted over having just met Miss Beadle.
We had dinner plans with our friend Kelley Puckett, writer of The Batman Adventures, Batgirl, Supergirl, and other cool stuff. We had tapas, which is pretty much my favorite way to eat: a little something off everybody’s plate.
I did not take pictures. I was too busy eating off everyone’s plate.
After dinner we went around the corner to a small gathering of other kidlit and comics folks, where I got to hang out with one of my favorite couples in the world: the brilliant Jennifer Holm and her husband Jonathan Hamel. Jenni, as I’m sure you know, writes the Babymouse books and just won her third Newbery Honor (third!) for Turtle in Paradise—which is a really marvelous book and you should read it, if you haven’t already. It’s set in Depression-era Key West and involves a spunky heroine, a wonderfully quirky and distinctive culture, and real buried treasure. Also, it made Scott cry.
On Sunday morning, we met our friend Brian Stelfreeze—one of the best artists in the business—for breakfast. At Denny’s. None of this $20 burned toast nonsense. As a rule I won’t pay a penny above $6.99 for burned toast.
At some point that day, Scott slipped Brian my sketchbook. Not a book of my sketches, which would likely make Brian’s eyes burn, but a book of drawings by friends of ours who are artists. This is something of a custom in the industry, passing one’s sketchbook around, but I’m terribly shy about it and pretty much never ask for a sketch myself. Scott does it on my behalf, though, and I get embarrassed, and then later I look at the drawings and get giddy over how awesome they are. Bob Boyle drew me a Wubzy! Jock drew me a Batman! Fiona Staples drew me a Super-Me!
Of course I was DYING to ask Brian for a sketch but I would never have done it because at a con he’s spending the whole DAY doing sketches (and in his case, even paintings) for people. But Scott asked him, and I yelled at Scott and was secretly thrilled.
I don’t seem to have any pictures from the Sunday afternoon kids’ comics panel that Scott and Jenni were on. I guess I was too busy taking notes. I have pages and pages to write up for a post about the panel, which was fantastic. OH WAIT, I know I took pictures—I bet they’re still on my camera. Well, I’ll save them for that post, I guess.
After the panel, Scott and I found a quiet little Italian restaurant a few blocks from the hotel, and I got all excited because they served sauteed chicken livers and mushrooms, a dish I haven’t had since Scott’s first year in New York City, when we used to go to this tiny little place called Boccaccio and they beamed at me for always devouring their house special, chicken livers and mushrooms in a marsala sauce. Oh my. Amazing.
We were just finishing up when Brian called; he was around the corner and wanted to drop off my sketchbook. And when I saw what he’d done for me I got all choked up.
It was Oracle. Oracle is my favorite character in comics. If you don’t know, Oracle is Barbara Gordon, who used to be Batgirl but then the Joker shot her and shattered her spine, and now she’s wheelchair-bound, and she’s like a one-woman Google (from way before there was a Google), amazingly adept with computers and information-gathering and hacking. The Batman calls upon her assistance all the time. That’s right: Batman relies on Oracle’s help. That’s how awesome she is.
Scott and Brian did an Oracle story together in 1994. It’s an incredibly gorgeous work of art.
As is this.
Not all superheroes wear Spandex.