It was a cold Saturday morning in November 1998, and I was on my way to meet Bryan Talbot at the Bluecoat Chambers in Liverpool. It is a weird thing to meet your hero, and I was filled with anticipation: what would he be like in real life? And when I say “hero” I don’t use the word lightly: I have been reading his work for years and it has always had a profound effect on me. Indeed that is one of the reasons I started this website,because in my Humble Opinion nowhere near enough people were aware of his work: I mean how can someone say that the Watchmen, or the Dark Knight Returns is the best comic of all time if they have never even heard of the Adventures of Luther Arkwright?!
I got to the venue with massive amounts of time to spare – I wasn’t going to be late for this one! I managed to blag my way in for free, and also to cadge endless free coffees off the organisers: the skills I learned at University were still there! Then the call went round: Bryan has arrived!
So, eager to fulfill my reason for being there, I hurried down to the car and lugged a HUGE suitcase of his work up to the room whilst he parked, and then….. and then he walked in….. I have never been so overwhelmed in my life! This chap is my personal hero of ALL time: no other artist / author / musician has had anywhere near as big an effect on me, and here he was, large as life!
And he was really cool! I mean here’s me a total sad fanboy who has done a fanpage on the Web and he’s talking to me like I’m an old friend: showing me the new pages he’s done for the Luther Arkwright sequel, and being a totally sound bloke. All day I helped behind the stall, taking punters cash and convincing people to buy his stuff, because it is simply the best, and all day he kept coming up to me and saying “Here’s a copy of Chester Hackenbush (or Ace Wilmslow, or Frank Fazakerley) – have you seen it? No? – well here’s a copy” I mean, all these pieces of work that I have known about for years but never actually seen, and he is casually dishing them out to me!
In the end I spent a huge wodge on goodies, including one of the fine art prints of One Bad Rat, and Bryan signed most of them with extra personalised bits. I even had the temerity to ask for a snapshot of me and him together, and the Maestro said “Sure!”
All in all it was deeply satisfying, meeting this chap who I have built up a detailed mental picture of over the years based on his work, and then being treated so well by him. Now I know Bryan checks up on this page from time to time, so I don’t want to embarrass him by gushing too much: suffice to say that it was a day I’ll always treasure, and you’ve made a fanboy VERY happy.
This blog is republished from an article I wrote for the Bryan Talbot fanpage in November 1998.