New version! All Typos removed!
My Great Big American Trip Day 3
Today I spend most of my day at the artist alley at the New York Comic Convention. I was picked up at Craig Yoe's place by Michael (Doc) Vassallo and his wife. He drove me to the station where we took the train to go into Manhattan. Immediately after we were seated we started japping. I was just about to go into is bit about my opcoming projects, when a lady in front of us turned around and said: "May I point you to the fact that this is the silent part of the train?" Turns out that the front cabin of the train has been reserved for people who want to work or read of do something else without being disturbed by their fellow travelers. And she wasn't the only one we were bothering. At least two other women were looking over their shoulders at us as wel with their best library look. And I swear, if it hadn't been the quiet part of the train, they would have cheared the other woman on.
So Michael and I sat in silence for the rest of the trip. Michael went to work and I took a cab to the Convention Center with someone else in the line who was going the same way. That turned out to be writer Dave Elliot, who edits Heavy Metal and has been writing comics for more decades than he looked to have been. I mentioned that I was going to the Mad panel and he started to talk about the time when he was negociating with Bill Gaines (the original owner of Mad) about doing a British version. They were going to be allowed to do their own thing with the magazine without interverence (good old Bill) and of course the deal fell through when he died. I told I have been the editor of the Dutch version and he didn't bat an eye.
Surreal. It's like he told me his grandmother was taken ill and I replied that I have six grandmohers who all were dying. Such a total coincidence. Anyway, he seemed like a good guy and as far as I remember a good writer as well.
The rest of the day I met people and talked to them and had some of them draw a little something in a sketch book I have been carrying around since 1993 (starting with Don Martin) - ending up with Neal Adams, who talked to me for half an hour, did a drawing and then I lost the sketchbook.
I hope I left it at his table and it'll still be there when I get in.
I met up with Michael for the Joe Simon tribute panel, and we took the train back together (in the talking allowed section) and had some Chinese food at his house. Doc Vassallo is the greatest expert on the Timely Atlas comics and other stuff from publisher Martin Goodman. In fact, he will have a book out with Blake Bell soon about the history of Goodman's publishing company - with many photo's and illustrations from all sorts of artists. I will try and provide a link to his blog when the book comes out. Michael is a great guy, almost normal - until he takes you into his basement and starts showing you all the stuff and informations he collected of the years.Then he turns into kid showing another kid his toys. Which I don' mind, because his toys are very special and I would so much like to play with them!
I just hope I don't break anything. Or get it lost.
Neal Adams' the guy underneath the sign with his name on it.