(Author’s note: Stand by for some heavy-duty geeky name-dropping here.)
It seems like everyone has their “meet someone famous” stories. I have a couple of my own, but with the typical Jay Tea “I’m SUCH a twit” twist.
Many years ago, while attending college, I worked for the school newspaper. I was in the office one day when an older guy (he must’ve been in his late 30’s or so — ancient by my standards) walked in to deliver a letter to the editor. It was about the then-current controversy regarding the Seabrook, NH nuclear power plant (then under construction, now with one reactor operating and the second abandoned). I’ve always been a bit of a science geek and comic-book fan, so I knew a little about the issue of nuclear power. I immediately started arguing the pros and cons of nuclear power with this guy.
He was GOOD. He had a counter for every point I made, and I was stretching like hell to counter his points. At one point (without giving credit), I even cited a concept I’d read in an old Superman comic about solar power satellites using microwaves to beam energy down to collectors in the Southwest Desert. He came back up and topped THAT one. I knew I’d been beaten.
Then I realized I hadn’t introduced myself. “By the way, I’m Jay Tea, news editor.”
“Good to meet you. I’m Elliot Maggin.“
“No. No way.”
“You’ve heard of me?”
I had. I had read and re-read his Superman novels, “Last Son Of Krypton” and “Miracle Monday” to the point of nearly having them memorized. I even think he’d actually written the Superman story I’d cited to him. I shook his hand, and had the hugest crap-eating grin plastered to my face the rest of the day (to the vast amusement of my colleagues).
Alas and alack, I never got to meet him again. I moved my copies of the books to the paper’s office for autographing in case he returned, and tried to score an interview with him when the paper did a feature on the resurgence of comics (this was the late 80’s, the era of “Watchmen,” “V for Vendetta,” “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns,” the rebirth of Superman in “Man Of Steel,” the first X-plosion of the X-Men, and too many others to mention), but never could reach him. But I’ll always cherish the memory of that one conversation.
I had a similar experience recently, thanks to Kevin’s gracious tolerance of my rantings and babblings here. Some of you may have noticed one frequent commenter goes by the name of “-S-.” She links to her own blog, and it’s pretty good reading. Ms. Susan Elizabeth Rice is an extremely talented graphic designer/digital artist/whatever and writer, with quite a few accomplishments, as well as being a darn nifty person.
But modest. She’ll probably be embarassed and irritated with me when she reads this, but I don’t care.
It’s only when you get to the second page of her autobiography that you discover that Ms. Rice has been in the graphic design business for about thirty years, and nearly thirty years ago she worked for an ad agency that did posters and other material for motion pictures. (That’s “films” or “movies” or “flicks” to us plebians.) Since she was pretty junior, she got stuck with a lot of crap jobs. One in particular was this whacko space movie that nobody else thought very highly of. Our Suzy got stuck with designing the logo for the film, to be shown on the posters and, possibly, the opening titles. She looked at some stills (not even finished with all the special effects), talked to the director about the “look” he was striving for, and did some reading up on fonts and their histories and associations. She then went back to her office, took out pencil and paper, and made pop culture history.
She’s done quite a bit since then — her Photoshopping of John Kerry pictures is nothing short of brilliant — but, to me, one of the highlights of my tenure here at WizBang will be the time the creator of the Star Wars logo offered extensive thoughts and advice on my poor, pathetic, miserable, wretched love life.
So go on over to Suzy’s page. Browse her gallery. Read her postings. She’s hardly resting on her laurels.