Back in 1986 my friends Gary Fields, Jim Rohn and I attended a number of Fred Greenberg's New York City conventions promoting THREAT! these cons were a great chance to meet fans and other creators.
During one of the cons in 1986 a fellow approached me about the possibility of doing a signing at his store. I was flattered that he asked me and was feeling somewhat superior that he had asked me and neither Gary or Jim. Rather petty I admit, but most of the guys I went to school with were all trying to get their piece of the fame and recognition pie. Being asked to do a signing at a store was somewhat prestigious and I felt like I was starting to climb the proverbial ladder.
On August 1st I took a bus up to Suffern, New York and was deposited, if I remember correctly, right across from the comic book shop I would be signing at. At the store the owner welcomed me and had a table all set up near the door.
There were a few people in the shop and they seemed interested in me and my artwork and the general buzz of a creator signing. Not one of them seemed to be anything other than a kid who would have normally been in the shop on a Friday afternoon anyway
A few people drifted in and out of the shop for the next few hours. The owner made some comments about not getting enough advertising out on time.
I was there for five hours and I don’t recall signing very many comics, perhaps a few flyers from the store advertising the event, maybe a sketch or two.
The owner of the store had promised to buy dinner and pay for my transportation costs. During the day he mentioned the French/Vietnamese restaurant that we would be going to.
As the day wore down the owner showed me the back room of the store where he said he had an art studio and he was producing his own comic book. If I remember correctly, the room was paneled in blue and there was a drawing table and a few drawing instruments scattered about.
The artwork was amateurish, the story about a team of super agents who lived in a secret lab underneath… the Meadowlands!
And as he talked up his concept, he pitched the idea of a crossover with ZONE.
And at that moment I realized the reason he had invited me to do a signing at his store and not my fellow THREAT! creators Gary and Jim.
We went to a Chinese restaurant, the French/Vietnamese place had a dress code and the owner of the store was not dressed properly.
For some reason, maybe a screwy bus schedule, the owner of the store offered to drive me home.
BUT, he tried really hard to convince me into staying for a few hours more and going to the local cinema for the opening night of George Lucas’ newest feature film, HOWARD THE DUCK.