Chuck Palahniuk was in San Francisco again. This time he was signing comics at Comix Experience. This was probably my seventh time seeing him. He’s one of my favorite writers (but also one of my favorite readers. However, since this wasn’t a book tour, he didn’t read.) Thanks to our friend Dom alerting us to the event, Gib and I were one of the first 40 people to get our comics signed. My friend Jenifer brought Frankie the dog along as well.
I’m not sure how Chuck has time to write. He’s always doing book tours, signings, and guest appearances (he’s a regular at Comic Con). I’m always so amazed and grateful when authors take the time to meet their fans. It must be draining, dealing with so many people who want so much from them. I say this as I’m one of those people. And yet, I don’t know what I want from them. Just to meet them and say hello. Oftentimes I can’t even bring myself to say more than that. I’m so awe-struck. It’s absolutely incredible to meet an artist I respect so much. And if you truly love a writer—you’ve read everything they’re ever written. You’ve probably reread at least a few of their books. So to meet this person that you’ve spent so much time with already, hours and hours, days and days of reading and rereading is pretty incredible. And that’s why I’m shy. Because I’ve developed such a love for their words and stories and I just don’t know how to express such deep feelings.
All you had to do was buy comics at the store and Chuck would autograph them for you. The line was held outside the store and we were slowly let in about five at a time. Chuck took time to have a conversation with everyone. We didn’t speak much as I was incredibly shy. Each time I meet him, I think he has said hello first. Quietly, as though he realizes how shy I am. Or rather not me, Melanie, but rather he recognizes another of his shy fans. It’s like he’s addressing a skittish cat, “hello there,” quietly. Then if he sees a phone or camera in the shy fan’s hand, he will ask if they want to take a picture. And then he explains that he’ll choke you (he’s written a book titled Choke).
I told Chuck that my friend Gib and I saw him speak the last time he was in SF and we each caught arms that were tossed into the audience. He asked if we got arms or hands. I said, just arms, and he said, oh good, because the hands hurt when they hit people.
I wasn’t going to ask to have my photo taken with him, but he was taking them with everyone that asked. I thought, I already have photos with him, but then I knew I would regret it. The girl managing the line overheard me and offered to take it.
So we took another photo of him choking me. I tried to look scared but then I just gave in again and smiled. I kind of look high, but I’m just high on Chuck. Just enjoying meeting one of my favorite authors again.
And there’s two paragraphs about having my photo taken with Chuck Palahniuk. . .