2455.Happy accidents. This would be one.
Very recently, I was gifted with one of Scott McCloud's excellent books on comics theory and philosophy, Reinventing Comics. Nifty read, you bet. I was subsequently able to isolate, for my very own, a book I was really hankering to get - McCloud's book on the nuts'n'bolts of comics, Making Comics. Presumably, you know what the cover looks like, if you don't, here it is:
Now, as any owner of one of Scott's amazing books is aware, whether you agree with or disagree with what he says, they're simply fun to read and excellent to look at. I myself never get tired of looking at them.
The title page looks very much the same, of course. But there is something unexpected that I only found after I quit gluttonously-indulging myself of the content within for a few minutes (this being a hard thing to do, especially with this book) and glanced at the title page. Can you find it?
This copy was autographed (I keep wanting to say autographed by the author, but that's redundant). To Joe, whoever that fellow is. The dedication is about halfway down on the left hand side:
... and the signature of the artist, right by the avatar at the bottom of the page:
... each one with at Zot!-esque lightning bolt.
The really cool thing about this is, the way Scott's made himself into a comic-ly avatar who talks to the reader throughout his books on comics makes you feel as though you're in a conversation - albeit one way - with an admired expert.
Discovering that this was, in fact, autographed, made me feel like the man stopped by unanncounced - which would be excellent, if it happened in reality.
Although Scott called me "Joe", but we'll let that go by. When someone like Scott stops by, some things seem too petty too get hung up on.
Funny thing is, this is not the first time such a thing has happened to me. I own, despite my conflicted feelings about the man's method, the late Bob Ross's The Best Of The Joy Of Painting:
... which was bought for a song at Goodwill, or Powells. Imagine my glee when I got it home to find this:
Yes, it's an autographed copy too. As far as I'm aware, that, yes, is actually Bob Ross's handwriting and signature.
But letting go of your autographed Bob Ross is one thing ... why anyone would let go of an autographed Scott McCloud book is a little beyond me, except perhaps in a case of direst fund needage. Other than that, I don't think I'd do it.
Bob Ross said there's no such thing as mistakes; we make happy accidents.
I think that's about half right.
Joe made the mistake.
I had the happy accident.
Thank you for writing these books, Scott. They've made my year and inspire me muchly. And they're fun: and while I'm at that, thanks for Zot! too. I haven't loved a story like that for a very long time.
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