I have had two recent experiences that make me realize how small the comic book world can be at times.
First I had e-mailed a customer from when I owned a comic book store and found that he had abandoned any interest in comics, but still was an avid collector of comic and animation artwork. His boss happens to live next door to John Byrne and he had the chance to share some wine at Byrne's house and get to met John at a more intimate setting. He stated that Byrne has earned his reputation as an eccentric and stated that Byrne lives in his own world where he is still a mega-star in his mind. I hope that was an erroneous impression, but a lot of people seem to dislike Byrne. I met him once when I was about 19 (so that is over -gulp- is it really - sh*t- 30 years ago) at a New York comic convention. He was sitting on a couch in the lobby of the hotel most of us were staying in and doing sketches for anyone who wanted one for free. He was at that time very friendly and easy going. I have always been more interested in writing and spent some time listening to Don McGregor wax eloquently about comics and the world.
The second is when my friend Thomm went to Italy and discovered another comic lover from the US. Vaneta is a relatively recent convert to comics (since the DD movie) and has become such an avid fan that she is also a reporter for Newsarama and has done some great interviews on the end of 52 (http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=111408). I have had the chance to "met" her via e-mail and she is a very bright and friendly person who apparently has more then 24 hours in her day as she has her family, her business and a side job to contend with as well as being nice enough to answer a bunch of my questions about her views on some comic matters.
One thing this has really driven home to my how cool it is to have this type of community. When I was younger there was no way (without the internet) to have this type of a community. Between the internet and my fellow Cosmic Comic panelists (the last show is here http://www.cosmiccomix.com/conversations/index.htm), Lee, Jeff, Gwen and Thomm I get the chance to really be able to have some fun just talking about material that I love.
Next subject is Crisis on Earth 1, the vacation. The little post we had from Brianiac6 showing us a beautiful setting and laughing at us almost did not happen. Her ship was going out of the country and she needed a birth certificate to get off the boat into the Bahamas and such. All's well that ends well, but the adventure to get a copy of her birth certificate there was worthy of a two part cross-over. First she believed it she had a copy at her home. So the trek from Ft. Lauderdale to Tampa was made. The search was negative, apparently it was lost to the same limbo that the other sock goes to in your dryer. Next it was contact the parents, now as her mother and I are divorced that was two different contacts to make. Neither of us had a copy on hand to be found. Of course a parent is allowed to get a copy of the birth certificate, but the place closing at 4PM and it was 3PM and she needed the next day so hope was lost. Plan "B" came to light when an emergency passport place was located and for an fee of over $150 they could turn around a passport in one day. Monies were arranged and hope was still alive when the dreaded spectre of the birth certificate returned, as they needed a birth certificate to do a passport. This is the scene where the hero is having the crap beat out of them and the light in their eyes is starting to die. But good guys find that last bit of strength to muster and fight back. The cruise line can move them to a Sunday cruise which means getting the birth certificate in Baltimore on Friday can still work. So I'm off to the races on Friday morning to the Maryland Department of Vital Statistics. Armed with their address I pull into the shopping center (which entrance is blocked by police cars due to wreck) via a side entrance. Traveling around the front I cannot find the address. I drive around the back and see a sign for the Department of Vital Statistics. It is located inside of a mall which has not opened yet. Inside I fill out the application and present it to the clerk with my debit card. Only checks or cash (like a damn check is better then a debit card), I never carry checks, but always have some cash so that was a quick battle avoided. Then off to the post office to send the package overnight express mail. Of course it does not show up when it is supposed to, but thanks to tracking and the plucky will of the good guys the package is located in Ft. Lauderdale and the birth certificate and the birthee are united and are off on the Cruise tomorrow (I hope).
Last random thought. The Orioles. I try not to be tied up into caring about them, but with a young strong pitching staff and some nice mid-level additions I wanted to believe again in my heart. So we have lost Kris Benson, Jared Wright and Adam Lowen from our five man rotation already this year and a bright prospect in our farm system (Hayden Penn) I heard is also lost for the year. You can't blow up 60% of your staff and survive. Looks like losing season number 10 in a row (damn!).