For four years running New Moon Comics has welcomed the Megazeen team into their store to do sketches and sell books and talk to people. It is a small store in a new location off the beaten path. I came to the conclusion a few weeks ago that the store would probably not be well-traveled enough to bother this year. That and my wife and I had plans for the past several weekends that sent us down different paths, so I was setting aside some quality time.
But this morning, the weather was crummy, and Marie confessed she needed to do some shopping for my birthday tomorrow (have I mentioned I'm turning 40?), and would I like to join my friends at New Moon for a while?
Dude, I couldn't pack my gear fast enough, and tears of joy literally were rolling down my face as I drove down to Wayne.
A small group of young kids came in early, so I got to draw Spiderman, Wolverine (twice), Luke, Artoo, Boba Fett and a Skrull. Sold a couple books and pins which was sweet. Then my buddies Jesus Marquez, his fiance' Jennifer, and Keith "Inkboy" Betancourt joined us and we all had a blast. The crowd was light as I expected, but it was good because we actually got some time to talk.
Turns out Jesus is preaching for the first time at his church tomorrow. I really wish I could be there for myself to see it. He told me he's preaching about "Transformation," so I was thinking he's got to be using some kind of Optimus Prime references. "Actually," he said, "Part of my sermon deals with you."
Jesus told me about how part of true transformation requires accountability. Someone to mentor you, to push you to be all you can be. For him, he said, that's a lot of what I do for him.
And there I was reminded why I do what I do once again. It's not about volume, about comics, about publicity. It's about friends. And I drove home, again with tears in my eyes.
Then my ultra-cool wife brought me to see Iron Man. I'm not a movie critic, there are professionals for that. I will say great flick. I will also say that, if you wait through all the credits, you'll be very, very happy you did.
I believe that today, my final day of my thirties, is a precursor for what is to come in the next decade. I think I now know what it's shaping up to be and what God has been shaping me to be. I look forward to it now with far less depression, a little more healthy fear, and a lot more hopeful anticipation.