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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Special Excerpt: Stalking Kevin Smith at Phillycon 2002

This hot chick really has nothing to do with this story...

I mean, first off, how many people have stalked Kevin Smith? It must drive him crazy...Also, it's funny to read that I was trying to give him a tape. Yes, a VCR, times change fast.

Anyway, I'm at the Philadelphia Wizard Convention in 2002 on Friday and I miss an early chance to get into a line to get him to sign shit. That is where the story begins...

Stalking of Kevin Smith:

I find out that Kevin Smith is signing stuff right then. I grab my movie and high-tail it over to him. They've capped off the line though. No more people until the signing the next morning.

Yes, that's right, morning. As in, A.M.

I try to put it from my mind. I buy some stuff for the store, try to get the lay of the land, and in general do nothing of consequence.

The next morning I get up at the ungodly time of 9:45am. I take my patented three-minute shower and am in the show within five minutes of it opening. Target: Kevin Smith.

I'm informed that they're already out of tickets for the signing. I'm like, What The Fuck? This guy's the Special Guest and they're giving out like 100 tickets?

My new plan involves bum-rushing Smith when they escort him in for the signing. The line has formed and he's supposed to show up at 11:00 A.M.

I figure I'll catch him on his way in, force the tape into his hands, and run off like a lunatic.

So I bide my time. I look at all the freakos and the Playboy chicks. I pretend I'm not going to assault the Special Guest.

One such Playboy chick

The time comes. 11:00 A.M. No Kevin Smith. 11:15 A.M. No Kevin Smith. I go back to the booth to make sure the guys don't need anything. As I'm coming back, Kevin Smith shows up. No way could I get to him before he was behind the line.

Thwarted! Lost the battle, but not the war...

Yes, I see him now...

I go up to the line. Instead of Smith sitting at a table signing, he's going to walk through the line chatting and signing. How cool would it be to get in that line?

I approach a decent-looking fellow. Not one of those raving Kevin Smith fans who can tell you how many minutes each of his films are. A regular joe. I ask him if he wants to make $50.

"Doing what?" he wants to know. I tell him. Give this tape to Smith. If Smith doesn't want it, fine, the guy can keep the fifty and give me back the tape. I'll be watching.

The guy says Nah.

I'm pissed. He asks me what's on the tape. I tell him. He says Nah again.

So I try to bribe a Wizard security guy. I tell him "I'm a retailer and I got in here too late to get a ticket. Any way I can get in?" He says no, Smith was late and has to get done so he can get to the question and answer panel.

"Fifty bucks?" I prod him. Clearly he'd like to, but there are too many other Wizard staffers there who'd see. He can't.

Now I'm getting steamed. All this effin work to get a tape to the guy. I decide to bum rush him on the way out then.

I spend the next two hours patiently watching and waiting. Some might say stalking. Those people are very intelligent and scare me.

Same picture, because I'm focused on my prey. He's in my sights.

The line dwindles. Smith gets closer to the exit side of the line.

I close in. I try not to make eye contact. Don't want to spook him.


I marvel at how Lou Ferrigno(signing right next to Smith) is still in awesome shape. Isn't he like sixty years old now?

Then, miracle of miracles, Smith is done. Other onlookers start to press against the rope trying to get him to sign stuff. He does!

I make a frozen rope right to him. Calm, cool, collected. "Hey," I say, "Just wanted to give you a copy of my movie."

He tells me he can't take it right now, but he'll be going by the Oni booth immediately after that and he'll pick it up there. Give it to Brian Johnson.

I thank him, but inside I'm crestfallen. Is this the way he blows off people? Hey, what's that chick got to do with anything?

At the Oni booth, I tell the guy that Kevin asked me to give this to Brian Johnson. He's nice, says he'll give it to him. He goes through the hut in the middle of the booth to the other side.

I take off my hat(incognito now, baby!) and walk around the other side. Brian Johnson is one of the guys from Kevin Smith's movies(I think he plays Steve-Dave). He takes out the insert of the movie poster from Hunting Humans(my movie) and looks at it, shows it to one of the other actors from the Smith movies.

After a moment he tucks it under the table. Will Kevin get it? Only one way to find out.

I go back to where Smith is finishing signing. He's being mobbed and the Wizard guys are trying to get him out of there. Finally, they escort him away. Like his shadow, I follow.

Sure enough, he goes right to the Oni booth. A mob follows him. As soon as he's on the other side, Brian Johnson(may his camels be forever flea-less) hands him my tape. Some words pass, but I can't make them out. Smith takes my tape into the little hut where he disappears for a half an hour to sign things.

He's got it! Sweet! Mission accomplished. I pat myself on the back and go snap some pictures. Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee are signing in preparation for the twelve-issue run of Batman that they'll be doing. Jeph even smiles for me.

Postnote: I don't know whether he ever watched it. Never heard. Ah, well. It's a fun story now though...

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