This post is woefully overdue. The event itself, a Free Verse artist talk with Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, actually happened a week ago today. But I have been up to my eyeballs in budget work (along with the rest of my department) and this little piece of programmatic joy fell by the wayside. For shame! A brief synopsis:
1. There’s really only one phrase that accurately describes my state of mind around these two artists: fangirl. In fact, I’d been buzzing about the event for months but couldn’t tell a soul until plans were confirmed, flights booked, etc. Frustration!
2. Target Free Thursday Nights is a beast of a gateway program. TFTN brings it to the Walker, no question. People started arriving at 3pm to get in line for a chance to get a ticket. People drove in from all over the state and even out-of-state (thank you, Cincinnati!) to attend. I made several trips from my desk out to the lobby to check out the enormous crowd that stretched from one lobby to another. Amazing! And so many folks had never been to the Walker before. See what I mean? TFTN brings it. Here are the first folks in line:
3. I got to play bouncer at the front of the stage for a while, and then my big moment came! My colleague, and TFTN director, Sarah Peters, took me backstage to meet the artists. I embarrassed myself appropriately with just the right amount of fan enthusiasm.
4. Dave McKean expounds on the mystifying allure of superhero comics, and Batman’s “ears” – claims he just doesn’t get it.
4. Neil Gaiman read a few poems and regaled us with witty stories about his 20 years working with Dave McKean, and the bedtime stories his father had told him when he was young about the adventures of two squirrels that lived in a tree outside his house. They had ridiculous names that I can’t remember now, like ‘Squibby’. Well, the talk will be immortalized over at the Walker Channel, so do find out those squirrels’ names for me, please.
5. The next day I got in to work to find an e-mail from a guy who was at the artist talk and saw me there. He told me he spent the evening torn between admiring the work of Dave McKean and trying to remember how he knew me. Turns out, I showed him an apartment last May (I manage a couple of apartment buildings part time). Small world!
The budgets are calling, folks. Later.