I’ve never believed in the phrase “Don’t meet your heroes”. The chance to personally thank those who have inspired me has always overridden any fears of catching somebody on a bad day.
And today, at Forbidden Planet International’s Edinburgh branch, the hero I wished to meet had never been bigger (or less likely to be grumpy), as “Scott Pilgrim” and “Seconds” creator Bryan Lee O’Malley, who is currently touring in support of the latter book, made a rare visit to Scotland.
The rarity of such visits across the Atlantic, let alone to this specific part of the world, was reflected in the sheer number of excited fans gathered outside, some of whom (not saying it was me, but it totally was!) had been standing outside on a not-particularly-warm day since half seven in the morning. By the time Bryan arrived, the line had grown from a very cold Yours Truly into a snake which spanned the gap between two bus stops. Present were fans of all ages, with some sketching thank you notes to O’Malley to pass the time, and nearly all proudly clutching copies of his latest masterpiece “Seconds”.
From this point on I can only really speak to my own experience, as the excitement of finally meeting a personal hero caused me to become just a little terrified and unaware of my surrounding fellow fans. Knowing that there was an entire line behind me, my terror stemmed from trying to express my sincere thanks to O’Malley for the books which helped me make the strange transition from old teenager to young adult, whilst getting favourite memorabilia and panels signed, and all as quickly as possible so as not to steal his valuable time from other fans.
Bryan himself was very kind and funny, and clearly used to fans stumbling over their words while trying to thank him. While his remit was to simply sign copies of “Seconds” I’m aware he did all he could in such a short time frame to ensure fans had the meeting of a lifetime, with sketches and selfies being done surreptitiously and with great speed.
So thank you for visiting Scotland Mr O’Malley! Your books and the worlds you create are clearly an inspiration to so many, and I hope we made you feel as welcomed as you made us feel appreciated.
Your most bumbling fan,
The writer of this piece was: Andrew Stevens
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