from the archives: a most excellent birthday

I dug around for this blog post from 2008 when I was trying to verify my memory of when I first met Martin Pasko when I wrote about his unfortunate death earlier this week. Reading it, I enjoy seeing it now, as it was a great birthday, and considering how crappy my birthday was this year, thanks to a global pandemic, I present it now as a palliative to the current ick. I also added some current editorial comments in brackets.


This isn’t the best birthday ever — when you spend your 15th birthday in Venice having dinner at Harry’s Bar and drinking magnificent Italian red wine and spend your 30th birthday having a huge party with all your closest friends and family and 90% of your gifts are either bottles of single-malt Scotch or action figures, the bar is set pretty high — but this was definitely a good one.

So many good things happened today….

In no particular order:

I talked with a publisher about something that may prove to be long-term good work — though it’s sufficiently preliminary that it’s just as likely to be bupkuss. Still, I was on a short list, which is always nice. [I honestly have no idea what this was, now. I suspect it’s a project that fell through, of which there have been many in my career…]

I touched base with my Tales from the Crypt editor, who has fallen behind on a number of things, but assures me that things should be on track soon. (I also touched base with an artist with whom I may get to work on that TftC story….) [Hilariously, this story never actually happened, which is too bad. The artist in question, by the way, was Denis Calero.]

I saw, I swear to Christ, every single person I worked with at Byron Preiss. Okay, not really, but there were a lot of ex-Byronoids: Danny Fingeroth, Steven A. Roman, Howard Zimmerman, Clarice Levin, Dennis Calero, Jeremy Ross, and Mike Hobson. It was weird….

I got to meet my editor on one of my upcoming projects for the first time in person. He liked the proposal I sent (he read it on the plane over). This project will be announced tomorrow evening, one of two forthcoming projects that I’ll be able to talk about openly after tomorrow. I also met one of the salespeople from the publisher in question. [This was StarCraft: Ghost Academy, the manga I did with Fernando Furukawa. The other project that was announced that weekend was my Trek novel A Singular Destiny.]

I attended a panel on comics in libraries that was packed full with librarians (the one my friend Andrea Lipinski was on, discussed here). Eighteen years ago, Library Journal ran an article I wrote called “Picture This: Graphic Novels in Libraries.” In 1990, this was a major piece, as there were only a small handful of librarians who even knew what graphic novels were, and very few collections carried them. Now, almost two decades later, they’re fucking everywhere. It was very gratifying.

I got to see a mockup of Robert Greenberger’s Batman Encyclopedia, which looks fantastic.

My wonderful editor gave me a hot-off-the-presses copy of CSI: NY: Four Walls.

Another of my editors gave me a twelve-pack of Dunkin Donuts as a birthday present.

I was chatting with someone who’s a fan of my work, and he said, “Y’know, after reading your work all these years — I thought you’d be older.” I’m still trying to work out if that’s a compliment or not….

I shook Joe Staton’s hand for no other reason than, well, he’s Joe Staton and he deserves to have his hand shook.

I saw huge numbers of people I haven’t seen in far too long and enjoyed seeing again. I also discovered that apparently everyone is working for ComicMix.

I saw TokyoPop’s big hardcover collection of Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy by Richard Knaak and Jae-Hwan Kim, which is fucking gorgeous.

Finally, at one point I was standing near the Del Rey booth in a large group of folks chatting, which included Bob Greenberger, Len Wein, Martin Pasko, Paul Kupperberg, Don DeBrandt (a.k.a. Donn Cortez), KC Carlson, and Andrew Pepoy. And suddenly, I thought, “Holy shit, LOOK AT WHO I’M HANGING AROUND CHATTING WITH!!!!!” I fucking love my life….

Tomorrow, amazingly, will be even busier….

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