For any writer you may feel at times like you are standing alone on a rock off the coast of a jagged shore. The water is turbulent and it is constantly crashing at the limestone under your feet with the fury of raging bull. You may wonder how much longer this weak stone can continue to hold you up. And what are you doing here anyway? You are standing here making things on paper forming and shaping these creations that you feel are art. You spend hours and hours creating this thing which is to you a magical wonderful world, it is a glimpse of something more from inside you. This art, this magnificent creation, you set it upon the water and it sinks slowly before you. It disappears below the surface like it never was at all. You realize what you did wrong. You know you can do better so you start all a new. Sometimes it is reworking the same idea and sometimes it is an all new creation. Whatever this may be the result is always the same.
And there was Neil Gaiman the ineffably cool best selling author who I’d been reading since I was a teenager. Someone who’s work I really respect and admire.
He was going through the stack of books fairly quickly people were just sort of breezing past him and I thought to myself; you have to say something to him. Don’t just breeze by say something. And so he came to my books and I opened my mouth a out spilled words like I’d been choking on water. I spoke very quickly I told him I really love all his work and comic books and everything and I’d been reading his stuff for a really long time and I think he’s just great. I said it in one massive slur that he probably did not even understand.
Then something surprising happened. He stopped what he was doing and looked up at me. His hand stopped moving mid signature and he seemed to be genuinely noticing my existence.
I handed him my Melancholy Evil Poptart and I told him; “This is a stupid webcomic I did and at least I can say I gave it to you.” He looked at it and said “Now what is this?” He asked me a question and I had to explain. I told him it started as a comic book in middle school me and my friends passed around and now this is about us all grown up and him trying to find meaning in life. I warned him that it was really depressing. He looked at the cover and said “I’ll read this… Melancholy Evil Poptart” He seemed to find humor in the title. He shook my hand. He fucking shook my hand and I felt far more acknowledgement than I’d ever expected from going to this event.
The party that night was fun. I’ve developed a habit of staying up until the break of dawn with the boys. There were fireworks of Illegal quality, ducks (I’m serious Sullivan’s family has pet ducks) a pack of seven little yapping dogs who bite and snap at your ankles anytime you walk across the living room floor, smoked deer meat, beer, sparklers, meat loaf baked into zucchini, and an orange cay named Tommy.