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27 September 2010

The Last Signing

This past Friday, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Dave Sim's "Last Signing" event hosted by Strange Adventures comic shop.  I've been reading Sim's work since the late '80's, and am proud to say I've read (and own, in one form or another) all 300 issues of his comic masterpiece, Cerebus. 
Although I own several other pieces signed by Sim, getting to meet him in person was a moment I will always remember.  His writing, his art and his commentaries (through work like "The Cerebus Guide to Self-Publishing") have been inspirational to me and helped to guide my own artistic career so far.  It's not every day you get to meet one of your personal heroes, and I'm glad I was able to take advantage of this last formal opportunity to do so.
Dave comes across as a very outspoken person in his writing, and I think the expectation is that he's going to convey at least a little of that in person.  I'll state for the record that in person, Dave Sim is every inch the gentleman and professional.  He took time to chat with each of the attendees, did Cerebus sketches for everyone who wanted one, signed any of his work that was on hand, and distributed free, signed posters to all.  He spent some time with kids who had no idea who he was, but were wowed by getting a drawing from a real comics artist, and did a couple of great character sketches for a newlywed couple in the crowd.  For me, even though it was around 3 in the morning by the time I got to the front of the line (I was near to the last), he signed 13 books and gave me a Cerebus headsketch on a phonebook edition.  His energy seemed unflagging, even after nearly 6 hours of signing and sketching, and he was witty and interesting through and through. 
Just as impressive were the owner and staff of Strange Adventures, who campaigned to earn the opportunity to host this event, then stayed open ridiculously late to give everyone a chance to meet Mr. Sim.  They handed out free comics to the kids, had lots of Sim's work on display, including some original art that was jaw-droppingly beautiful, and kept the tills open for anyone who wanted to build their collection.  I'm sure they must have been dead on their feet by the end of the night (I know I was!), but they stayed upbeat and friendly throughout.

So, to Dave Sim and to Strange Adventures, I'd like to say a huge "Thank You" for providing this rare opportunity and carrying it off so well.  Be sure to check out the Strange Adventures website soon for pictures of the event, and head over to Cerebus TV, where they'll be posting video of the event, including footage of Dave opening the event with a rousing rendition of "My Way".  Good stuff, all around.

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