All right, I’d met Jill Thompson before, and I always bring some of her stranger work for her to sign. Anyone else remember FINALS around here? I didn’t think so. This time, I had my copy of WILDSTORM PRESENTS, and I stood in her line and watched as a couple of reporters interviewed her. They also seemed to be fans, because they walked away with a signed print.
I finally got up to her and dropped a few bucks in the charity jar. However, when I presented her with the book, she shook her head. “I’m not in this.”
Where have I heard that before?
“Oh no. You’re in there, all right,” I said. I was about to point out which story was hers when she started flipping through the pages.
“I don’t remember any of this stuff. Are you sure? That’s Deathblow. I don’t really do that kind of work.”
I was about to tell her which page to turn to when her jaw dropped, and she looked even more surprised than Amanda Conner. “This is that ‘Masks’ story! I love this story! It’s one of my favorite stories I’ve ever worked on!”
And then, she went on to tell me what went into the writing of this piece. It’s essentially a superhero version of COPS. In order to get in the right frame of mind, Thompson told me that she’d watched a ton of COPS episodes, and she was always surprised by the stupid criminals. Her favorite was of a guy who tried running from the police . . . while wearing shoes that light up when you take a step. The guy was absolutely baffled as to how the cops found him each and every time. “I just kept thinking, look down at your feet, stupid!”
It was at this point that I started realizing that I had something special here. No one who did the book remembers doing it, but as soon as they see their own work, they start gushing over how awesome it is. I started wondering if I was the only one in history who owns a copy. Clearly, the writers and artists didn’t. Thompson told me she’d never seen it before.
Who else could I confuse and delight with this book?