Sunday, 21 September 2014

Rant of the week - Etiquette at the NYCC.

It's getting nearer to the NYCC and there's a lot of talk quite rightly about the etiquette of attendees.

These cover the very important issues of sexual assault and harassment that we hear has gone on in years before.

Nobody male or female deserves that kind of crap. We all agree. It's a big event and there's a lot of crushing etc so keep your hands, mouths and minds out of the gutter.

It's important to have a good time but to do it in such a way so that others enjoy themselves too.

Don't push and scream. Wait your turn. Be polite. Don't be sleazy. 

I've queued up for signings for getting on 35 years now in some comics centric event or other all over the world.

Anyone who reads this blog knows I am a comics obsessive! Yet I also function as an everyday human being. I am not Comic Shop guy from the Simpsons. I am also not a Rich Johnson kinda guy. I just love comics, love reading them, talking about them, seeing movies about them, the whole thing.

Coming from the UK it's also a really expensive yearly trip for me. As a 46 year old man in the week before I'm like a kid on Christmas Eve! It's embarrassing to admit but I kinda can't sleep the night before! Genuinely.

I prepare plans of where I am visiting. Who I want to speak to. Comics I want to buy and get signed. It's the nearest thing that an atheist like me gets to visiting Rome or Mecca

You get where I am coming from. It's a big deal for me.

Over the years I have met pretty much all the greats. It's those moments that are important. When Stan Lee walked past and shook my hand and smiled and thanked me for being a fan. Or the minutes I got to spend with Joe Kubert. Or bumping into Alan Moore on the stairs at a UKCAC as a spotty teenager and him taking time to speak to me like an adult. These moments make me smile even now. 

Because of moments like these I will stick by whichever creator gave me those moments. There are too many to list here. But I'm sure you get where I am coming from.

So. Hmmm. If you are a pro attending. Please don't be a dick. I won't try and shake your hand at the urinal. I won't insist we share a cab. I won't ask for your contact details so I can send you my 'big idea'. I also don't want to become your best mate, confident or boyfriend. I won't plague you with tweets or Facebook messages.

I just want to chat for a couple of minutes about comics with you. Shake your hand, and walk away with a spring in my step.

Don't be that guy who doesn't look up from the signing. Throws the comic at you and then grabs the next one. Don't be that guy who looks at you like you are a socially inept freak. Utter some fucking words! Force a smile if you have to. 'Cos if you do I am gonna back you and buy your comics.

I won't recount the bad experiences I have had (cough, cough Chris Claremont). But there have been a couple of shockers. I'm not being a pussy about them but they kinda broke my heart a little? I understand fully that there are weirdos out there but please don't treat me and the rest of us normal fans like we just are one of them.

And let's have fun (and beers!)

Thanks for reading.


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