Thursday, August 07, 2008


I've been really fortunate in my life to have not only met a great deal of my idols, but to actually have either had them live up to my expectations or exceed them. I met Grant Morrison back in 1999 and it was a key incident in my development as a human being. Up til then, I believed that as you got older, you had to be more serious, stoic and low-key to be taken seriously. Grant is one of the top writers in comics today, and he would have been in his late 30s when I met him. He was energetic, gregarious, hilarious and very, very smart. I realised that as you got older, you didn't have to give up your energy, which (I believe) is my greatest attribute.

Mark Millar's generosity and exuberence. Frank Quitely's quirky and quiet insightfulness. John Cassaday's erudite, laid back charm. Alan Moore's gentlemanly manner and confidence all profoundly affected me.

Over the San Diego weekend I was blessed to meet up with three more of my heroes and idols.

First up, myself and the rest of the Spacedog crew were hanging at a dodgy Irish karaoke bar. JAn, my writer and best friend turned around and his jaw dropped. I followed his gaze and my eyeballs almost fell out. Standing outside the bar was Mick Foley. JAn and I pro-wrestled for about a year. I've studied about 12 different martial arts between 2 years and 20 years, and my year of pro-wrestling was the hardest thing I've ever done. I was inspired by The Rock (of course) and Mick Foley - Cactus Jack/Mankind. I voraciously devoured everything he did; books, speeches, documentaries and of course his countless wrestling matches.

And he was standing right outside.

I tend to freak out a bit when I see people I idolise. I don't tend to approach them and generally give them their space. It's also no secret that JAn is always an incredibly powerful influence on me. As soon as he jumped up I was right behind him. We approached Mick and introduced ourselves. Mick was tired, but really generous. We asked for a photo. As we did the bouncer and another dude also recognised him and we waxed lyrical about the experience after Mick wandered on.

So there's something that confuses me. I'm 6'1, and Foley is 6'2 according to his wiki page, and yet he is TOWERING over me. I've seen The Rock's Madam Tussaud's statue and it's only a couple inches taller than me, and not as tall as Mick here. But standing eye to eye The Rock towers over Mick. Huh?! Maybe the ground is uneven? I'm looking forward to sorting this out once and for all. As a matter of fact, The Rock might be the last of my heroes that I've yet to meet.

So we wandered and found ourselves at another Irish pub (sensing a theme anyone?). This one was dingier, nastier and a lot cooler. JAn pointed over into a corner and told me that dude in the corner with the chick was Simon Bisley. Simon Bisley is one of my artistic heroes. His work on Slaine and Lobo were seminal forces in the comic industry and my life. After a while JAn decided he was going to head off to the Hyatt where all the other comics people were. I followed him out and then stopped at the corner. Inspired by my earlier encounter with Mick Foley I went over to the massive, drunken dude and said, "Excuse me, what's your name?"

He rolls his drunken eyes at me and says in a thick English accent, "Simon Bisley."

I've grinned, introduced myself and then asked him and his girl if they wanted a shot. Back at the table with glasses of Glenfiddich we chatted. Simon was very drunk and very into his girl, so I excused myself as soon as my glass was empty. Before I left, I asked Simon if I could grab a photo. He obliged and some dude walking by took the photography credit with my poor phone.

JAn was long gone so I wandered to the Hyatt myself. I found him chatting to a couple of dudes. I got chatting to one of the guys and he mentioned that he is one of the programmers on Photoshop. It was like meeting my maker and we had a good laugh.

I then turned to he second guy, Jim and chatted to him for about half an hour about this and that. It was getting late and I had a signing the next morning. To wrap things up I asked Jim what he did. Jim replied that he drew comics for DC comics. No Jim's came to mind (except for Lee and this guy wasn't asian) so I asked him his surname. He said that he mainly draws under the name of J.H Williams III - one of the greatest comic book artists (and very talented writer also) ever. I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach and actually staggered to the amusement of Jim and his wife. I proceeded to extensively grill Jim for the next forty minutes about his work and I could tell he was impressed by the depth of my knowledge about it. But it was late. REALLY late so I reluctantly excused myself and headed back to the hotel.

I unfortunately didn't even think to get a photo with Jim.

The sketches and photos for the HERESY signing Saturday morning are up next. I'm trying to keep some sort of chronology here. My spotty posting is from my lack of internet connection. Expect the last San Diego post two days from now (I promise!).

In the meantime, I thought I'd announce some details for my new Heroes gig. It's three parts: a six pager and then two twelve pagers. It's Annette and I shepparding in the end of the hiatus storyline. Expect some big revelations for Sabine and Julien. It's brilliantlty written by James Martin and Timm Keppler.


Kelly J. Compeau said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly J. Compeau said...

I've enjoyed the entire run of summer-time GNs. Can't wait to see how your three set things up for season 3 of the show, Jas.


Alexandre Togeiro said...

I'm not into wrestling, but I certainly loved the Lobo and Slaine comics from Simon too! After I read Promethea I got to know J.H Williams III, a great artist as well. And two Heroes twelve pagers? Can´t wait for those!