When I went to the Neil Gaiman book signing last week, the first question I was asked after walking into the bookshop was whether I had a ticket. I was quite taken aback – I didn’t realise that one needed a ticket to be there. It turned out that one didn’t, but they were handing out tickets to allow people to browse the shop while ensuring a place in the queue. The other thing I was told was, “no photos”. This was fine with me – the thought of getting a photo with Mr Gaiman had not even entered my head, and I certainly hadn’t brought a camera.
It turns out that despite this injunction, there is a photo of me with Neil Gaiman. Mal from my local comic store, Impact Comics, took a photo while I was getting my books signed and chatting with Neil about fountain pens. I only discovered this when, yesterday afternoon, I looked at the Impact Comics website, seeking info about Stikfas, and the first thing I noticed was a photo of yours truly on the front page. I was highly impressed and surprised, and naturally I asked and received a higher resolution copy of it. Apparently the photo made it to the site as it captured the feel of the day and the way that Mr Gaiman interacted with his fans. I was just thankful they took the photo with me and not with some other random fans – thanks guys!
While I’m at it, I’d just like to comment that Impact Comics is a top shop and its proprietors, Kam and Mal, are top blokes. Very early on after moving to Canberra, I discovered that Impact Records was a wonderful store right near my work. they had great music, comics, DVDs, posters, books – a bit of everything. They could order in CDs that I couldn’t find on Amazon or anywhere else, for example, The Leningrad Cowboy’s Total Balalaika Show (which my parents couldn’t find anywhere in Eurpore, not even in Finland from where the Cowboys hail). I had rekindled my interest in comics in late uni (thanks Joel A) and so quickly set up a standing order with the good people at the comics counter at Impact.
However, Impact Records closed down late last year – ’twas a sad event (apart from a chance to buy up trade paperbacks and other collected volumes of comics at half price). But fortunately, the two main guys behind the comics counter soon started their own store – and it’s great. While Impact Comics has not quite attained to the glory that was Impact Records, they are getting there, despite being less than one year old and a fledgling small business at that. If you’re in Canberra and interested in comics, I heartily reccomend it.