We just got back from our first convention, in which we had a booth and sold our first trade paperback ever, the Goof TBP.
Over the next week, I’ll share with you some of the thoughts and experiences we had at the con.
One of the most touching moments came from an 11-year-old kid.
The Kid Who Wanted Goof
In the morning of our first day there, a young kid, probably 11 years old, came to the booth, and checked out Goof. He flipped through a few pages, and was hooked. He said, “I want to buy this.”
He then pulled out his wallet and saw that he didn’t have enough money. He said, “I’ll come back later with more money,” and went away.
After lunch he came back.
He pulled out his wallet, spread out all his coins and bills and counted them. They weren’t much, and it wasn’t enough.
He said, “I’ll come back later.”
Evening came, and it was almost time to go home, when he came back with his father.
He told his father, “I want this one.” And you could see in his eyes and in his tone: he so desperately wanted Goof.
His father picked it up, completely humorless. He flipped through the pages, and you could see on his face he didn’t understand what the hell comics were all about. He asked his kid, “Are you sure you want this?”
I told the father that his kid would get a signed copy, and I volunteered to explain what Goof was about. The father nodded. And as I started explaining, I could see the father’s eyes completely glaze over. He was not the right audience.
“Are you sure you want this?” the father asked again four times, and each time the kid said “I want this.”
“Are you sure?” the father asked again. “Because there’s this other thing you want. And you can only have one.”
“I want this,” the kid said for what seemed like the thousandth time, and his eyes were always looking down.
Looking at them, it seemed to me this was not the first time they had that kind of conversation. It had taken place many times and for many different reasons.
The father hemmed and hawed, and couldn’t make up his mind.
The two weren’t native English-speakers. I told the father of my experience when I was a teenager. “As a guy who really liked comic books when he was that age,” I told the father, “I can tell you first that you don’t just read it once. You read it over and over and over again. And because this is in English, you learn English. Comic books help you learn English.”
And that was it. An argument the father could relate to.
The father said “Okay.” He made sure one last time that this is what the kid wanted, and he bought the comic. I signed it, the father took it, put it in his bag, and headed into the crowd. The kid followed him, looking down the entire time.
That incident left a deep impression on me. I remember what it was like to connect with a comic book that fast, to know that what’s inside is what you need. I remembered how deeply I wanted certain comic books and certain books, and how at that age we are at the mercy of our parents who control the money.
That feeling the kid had? That’s why I’m writing. That’s why I created New Worlds Comics. It’s why I create the comic books I create.
Do you remember being like that?
I won’t forget that kid.