So they didn't hold the New York Comic Con at the above building...but how cool would that have been? Granted all those people could never have fit, but then it really couldn't have been much more crowded. I took this photo while walking through the streets of New York. Thought it ought to be the home of something like the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or something, but then I had such thoughts on my mind given that I was in town for a book signing and panel at Comic Con.
Saturday night I met with, Raymond Rose, a fan of my books, and his wonderful wife. The two came to the city from western Pennsylvania, only to realize they'd misplaced their con tickets. After trying and failing to get in, they were understandably disappointed. Raymond, who I've connected with on Goodreads a few times, contacted me with this unhappy tale and asked to have dinner. I doubt a quiet dinner in Little Italy with Robin and I was much of a consolation prize for coming all that way, paying for and failing to get into Comic Con, but I hoped it helped.
The next day, thinking I had plenty of time to get there, my wife and I had a leisurely breakfast at a little diner on the other side of Manhatten where we were staying. Turns out I was wrong and we had to jump in a cab and race across town. Sitting in the back seat of a New York cab when the driver knows the passenger is in a huge hurry, is like sitting on a couch watching someone else play Grand Theft Auto.
We made the trip then had to fight the crowds waiting in droves on the sidewalks to get in. Racing for the secret author's entrance--the blue entrance as it was known--we jumped in got our badges and scrambled to find the Orbit booth. I arrived one minute late for the signing and felt a bit like a rock star walking out on stage before a waiting crowd.
There actually was a line.
This was unexpected. It's not like I'm Neil Gaiman and have thousands of fans, but we did go though all fifty books Orbit had on hand in under twenty minutes. There was never a moment when I wasn't signing, shaking hands, or talking to a reader, (sometimes all three) and the folks from Orbit were doing a great job of moving the line along.
I was torn between wishing those getting the books were fans who had already read them, and hoping they were all new readers, so I could expand my plans for world literary domination.
Turned out to be a mix. And I was surprised. I almost never meet those who have already read my books, so this was a real treat.
Afterwards Robin and I were on a panel about publishing. A lot of aspiring writers in the crowd, who I think were pleased with the discussion, which centered mostly on how to get published, or how to self-publish, and what to do after that. I think my role was just to make the unpublished authors feel better. When I told them my story, they all looked a little happier in that, holy-crap-I-hope-I-have-better-luck-than-he-did, way.
This closed out the con and we filed out along with the hordes working our way back to the hotel, taking the train back home the next day. I have to admit there's something pleasant about being able to visit New York in the fall, and for one weekend, pretend I'm a famous author and have others pretend with me. It's enough to make me feel like I'm a character in a Nora Ephron movie.
Thanks for coming. We should hang out again sometime.