The good news is that means the creators get to meet, and talk to, even more fans—which, for me, is the primary reason for attending these events. I spend a lot of time alone in a room, playing with my imaginary friends, and when I have an opportunity to hear from the people who have read, and been touched by, my work, it’s a delightful, and often moving, experience. When someone tells me that one of my stories sailed out across the world, pierced his heart, made a difference in his life...well, to say that I’m incredibly grateful doesn’t come close to covering it.
Of course, along with the growing legion of fans at BCC, there’s an ever-growing legion of my fellow professionals—and I was lucky enough to spend time (sometimes just a fleeting hello, sometimes a lengthy conversation) with old friends and new, including Ray Fawkes, Bob Greenberger, Paul Kupperberg, Dean Haspiel, Mark Waid, Paul Kaminski, Ross Richie, Dan Didio, Ron Marz, Jack C. Harris, Jim Starlin, Kevin Maguire and some guy named Giffen, who insisted on sitting at the table next to mine for the entire weekend.
The highlight of the convention, though, was a Sunday morning breakfast in honor of the man of the hour, the great Sal Buscema—who received a well-deserved life-achievement award Saturday night at the Harveys. I hadn’t seen Sal since our days working on Spectacular Spider-Man together and it was wonderful to share a meal with Mr. and Mrs. B, along with two other exceptional Spider-artists—Mark Bagley (another collaborator I hadn’t seen for at least fifteen years) and Ron Frenz—and my old buddy, legendary writer/editor Tom DeFalco.
The word is that next year the Baltimore Convention is expanding to three days. I think this comic book thing might finally be catching on!