Saturday, September 3, 2011
Karen and I went to the Charles M. Schulz Museum this afternoon to see Kazu Kibuishi, creator of the bestselling Amulet series for kids, the well-regarded Flight anthologies, and one of the sweetest little webcomics ever, Copper. I'd never met him but I know a lot of people who know him. It's a small world.
Here's how small: below is an accurate swear-on-a-stack-of-Bibles transcript of the first words Kazu and I exchanged:
Me: "I'm really happy to meet you. I'm Brian Fies, I did a couple of books called Mom's Cancer and Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow."
Kazu: "Oh! I know Charlie!"
Son of a . . .
"Charlie" is of course my Editor Charlie Kochman, whom I've joked before knows everybody in the business and gets treated like the Godfather at a Sinatra concert when he walks the aisles of Comic-Con. I'd forgotten that Kazu recently signed with my publisher Abrams to produce a new anthology titled Explorer, edited by oh you know who. Still, the fun of everyone I meet saying "Oh, I know Charlie!" is wearing thin.
[CORRECTION: Editor Charlie sez in the comments that Kazu's editor at Abrams is Sheila Keenan, not him. My misunderstanding. I know Sheila. In fact, that's what I should have said to Kazu: "Oh, I know Sheila!" Four days too late.]
Normally I'd hate someone so much more talented, successful and younger than me, but Kazu gave such a warm, authentic, interesting, unassuming talk that I can't bring myself to whip up more than a mild envious resentment. In addition, he and I seem to have similar philosophies about what comics can be and how they should be made (I've said some of the same things in talks I've given) that I almost feel I found a brother. A more talented, successful, younger brother.
Since I was at the head of the line waiting for autographs, we only had a minute to talk. I hope I have a chance to really sit down and spend some time with him someday.
Maybe at Charlie's.