Many of you who read this column already know all about this, but it would be remiss of me not to mention Friday night's events here on my writing blog.
Thanks to my work as writer/co-creator of the daily webcomic Ace Kilroy (which you totally should be reading!), I was nominated for a 2012 Philadelphia Geek Award as "Comic Book Writer of the Year." The Geek Awards are an annual award created by the site Geekadelphia, which celebrates all sorts of geek and arts culture in the Philadelphia area--science, social media, the arts, film, and, yes, comics. Both my co-creator and partner Dan O'Connor and I were nominated, in the comics art and writing categories, respectively. The ceremony was held at the beautiful Academy of Natural Sciences in Center City, preceded by food and cocktails. I attended with my Darlin' Tracy, and Dan was there with his wife Kayla.
Our awards came near the end of the program, which was deftly paced and a lot of fun. Finally, when they got to my category, photographer/filmmaker Kyle Cassidy read off the names, which included Phil Kahn and Bryan J. Glass. Apparently there was a mistake with the envelopes, which had mixed up the artist and writer categories. As Kyle explained what had happened, I wondered if it was anatomically possible for my heart to burst out of my throat.
Finally, Kyle got the right envelope, and I stared straight ahead, waiting to see the letters in Phil or Brian's names form on the screen. Then...
I heard my name, and was confused. What? That can't be right! I turned to my right, to see Kayla and Dan clapping madly, and Tracy smiling as wide as I've ever seen her. Holy cow, I think I won!
I made my way to the stage, hands shaking madly. I managed to cobble together a speech made from random thoughts, ending with a dedication to three people, without whom Ace Kilroy wouldn't exist: Dan, Darlin' Tracy, and the late, great Joe Kubert. After all, it was at his school that Dan and I met, and without that...
I got back to my seat, completely floored. Two or three more awards were given out, and then the show ended with a brief video message from Stan Lee, who I believe read his lines phonetically. As we wandered back into the hall, a few people congratulated me and said nice things about my speech. I then got Tracy to take a pic of me and the statue, which I would eventually name Blinky:
After a very brief appearance at the after party, the four of us split off, and Tracy and I headed home. An amazing night, punctuated my phone dinging madly--Tracy had posted the news on Facebook, then I posted this picture, and every fifteen seconds I received another nice comment from one friend or another.
All through art school, I never considered myself a writer: all my fellow Kubies had their own characters, which meant they were de facto writers; I never thought that was my path. It took over twenty years, but I soon realized I love writing, in some way even more than illustrating, and I am so fortunate that Ace Kilroy fell together the way it did, and that I have such a perfect partner in crime in Dan. The whole project from the beginning was meant to be DIY, and while there are many upsides to that, there are also a lot of downsides--one of them being, it's really hard to get noticed.
Organizations like Geekdelphia, which shine a light on projects that might otherwise not get much attention from the media, are vital to keep the independent creative spirit alive. I couldn't be prouder of the award, and am looking forward to being back next year to give Blinky some company!
For a complete list of nominees and winners, click here!