I’ve been melancholy all day. Two years ago, it was June 7th, 2013. Two years ago, my wife and I were seeing a light at the end of a five-year long tunnel. Two years ago today I attended my first comic book convention. Two years ago today I attended HeroesCon.
I was convinced to go by my good buddy deantrippe. I had been struggling professionally, artistically and spiritually and he said, “do HeroesCon. It’s the best. You can hang out at my table, you’ll meet all sorts of people, it’ll be good for you. HeroesCon is the best.” I agreed to go, bought my ticket, and everything changed.
Remember that tunnel I mentioned? The five-year long one that my wife and I were traveling down? It’s a dark, dark tunnel called Infertility. Technically we are still in that tunnel, but within a few short days of me buying that HeroesCon ticket, a light appeared. A glimmer of hope.
A family a few counties over from us were putting a little girl up for adoption. We had talked to the family, and things were looking very good, but it wasn’t a done deal yet. What we had agreed on, though, was that we would meet on June 11th. So as Dean and I drove into the night on June 6th, the only thing I knew was that I might get to meet my daughter in five short days.
Immediately my priorities shifted. I already knew I wanted to meet kellysue, but she suddenly became the first person on my list of people I had to meet. Captain Marvel had already been an inspiration to me, and the CarolCorps had already become my online refuge, but she needed to know that. I needed to thank her for what she had done with the character. I needed to thank her for the Corps and I needed her to know how excited I was to potentially share Carol with my daughter.
I’m sure I made an ass of myself, but she was gracious and excited and supportive and, before I left, she gave me some CarolCorps dog tags for my daughter.
Was it later that day? The next day? That weekend was such an explosion of joy and excitement, I really can’t remember when the CarolCorps meet-up was. I was in a room of strangers, but I knew, “these are my people. These are the kind of adventurous, outspoken, opinionated and warm-hearted people I need in my life.”
I met incogvito that weekend, too. And it he that encouraged me to take that little Sci-fi book I was struggling with and turn it into a graphic novel. Despite having worked on the book for years, I credit that conversation as the real birth of phileasreid.
I met so many artists and writers I had admired for so many years. I thanked them, joked with them, and left them vowing to one day soon, join them.
My life had changed. Then, two days later, on June 11th, my life changed again. We met with that family. They handed me my daughter. She came home with us that night and my life had changed again.
A fuse had been lit. And the following year was an explosion of joy, excitement, contentment and creativity unlike anything I was prepared for.
The epilogue to that year was at the following HeroesCon, when I got to introduce Amelia to Kelly Sue – who immediately taught my daughter the sign for “friend.”
A sign we still use almost every day.
So, yeah, when June rolls around and HeroesCon appears on the horizon, I get a little melancholy.