Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Creator Creep Squad #1- Mike Grell
I was a huge fan of Mike Grell's work on Green Arrow. I collected each issue with great anticipation. I reread the run several times to get all the nuances of the characters and enjoy the whole package.
Grell was one of the creators I really wanted to meet someday.
Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for.
Here is the story:
On three different occasions Grell was supposed to be a guest at the Seattle Comic and Card Show. My husband and I made the trek over the mountains in snow to get there twice. Grell didn't show the first two times, and we didn't realize it until we got there. Disapointed, I figured he would eventually be at one.
The third time we got there Steve Miner assured us Grell was going to show. Well, he was three hours late. When he finally got there, we all assembled in a medium size line and waited patiently. I was so excited- it was finally going to happen! I was going to meet Mike Grell!
With $100 in my pocket to get some art if possible, and approximately 10 comics to sign, I stood there. When my turn came, I nervously said "I am such a big fan of yours...."
Grell cut me off and said "you're not the biggest fan. The guy in front of you brought so many books he is getting back in line. He is that big of a fan. In fact he is going to buy some of my art later."
So I tried again- "I really enjoyed your take on Oliver Queen..."
The son of a bitch cut me off again. "Come back over here, Guy. I got something to show you. You can stand up here with me while I sign these books."
Never ONCE did Grell look up and acknowledge my presence. He sat and chit-chatted with the guy the entire time. I was so pissed I wanted to rip up my books then and there.
My last attempt at conversation was "are you selling any art today?". His reply was "this fella next to me has the first right to look at stuff. He'll probably buy a bunch, so probably not."
This clinched it for me. I was almost in tears, I was so pissed. I walked off, threw my comics into my husband's waiting hands and said "I will never buy another book Mike Grell writes or draws ever again".
And I haven't.
In comparing notes with my fellow fans in line, this happened quite a bit that day. Grell was rude and cold all day. In my mind, why bother to show up if you are going to be that big of a prick? I was FURIOUS, and I feel I had every right to be.
A couple of years later I was getting some books signed at the same comic and card show when I got into a conversation with another creator about Grell's behavior that day. Said anonymous creator said that Grell was probably having a "woman hating day" that day and not to take it personally. Too late.
At any rate, I haven't publicly told this story until now. My opinion is that when a creator is at a show, it is a business proposition. The creator needs to be professional, and polite. If he or she gets sick of the grind, they need to take a break. If it is a bad day, and said creator doesn't want to deal with fans, CANCEL instead of being an asshole. This is a business, people.
That is why Grell will always be my number one in the creep squad. I don't care what anyone else thinks about this. In my mind he had every opportunity to make a good impression and he chose not to, so screw him.