By J.C. Vaughn
One of the great things about my job, perhaps the greatest thing about it, is the people I get to meet and work with. After about a year of freelancing for Overstreet Publications, when Bob Overstreet made the move to Gemstone Publishing, so did I. On my first day as Associate Editor, I received an article submission that included material that I thought was wrong. So I just walked down the hall and asked Bob Overstreet.
It didn’t matter that I was right. What was cool was that I got to do what any serious collector would have loved to do: just walk down the hall and ask Bob Overstreet. I had grown up with the Guide, so that was just a very cool thing.
Another moment like that came when I heard Comics Buyer’s Guide would end with #1699. The idea that I could pick up the phone, call Maggie Thompson, and ask if she’d like to write a column for Scoop, and that she’d say yes, well, that was another a very cool thing. Even better, it was hardly our first conversation over the years.
How many people ever get to work directly with people who have informed and inspired them in their career fields? Yet we in comics really seem to get to do it on a regular basis.
Others can speak more cogently of all of Maggie’s amazing credentials. I simply bow before her incredible, encyclopedic knowledge. The only thing that equals it is her truly remarkable enthusiasm for the material.
I wasn’t always so modest. At one point I thought I could find something new, some nugget of pop culture goodness she hadn’t discovered, memorized and/or written about, and I would impress her.
I was at an antiquing show in Atlantic City, the old Atlantique City show if you remember it, and I saw what I thought was my chance. A vendor there had all sorts of wonderful old, colorfully printed sheet music pages with all manner of comic characters on them.
I spotted one for Walt Kelly’s Pogo.
Not long after that, I was sitting having lunch or a beverage with her at Comic-Con International: San Diego. I said, “Hey, Maggie, did you know that there was Pogo sheet music?”
She didn’t bother to say “Yes, I know.”
She just launched into the song.
J.C. Vaughn is the Vice-President of Publishing for Gemstone Publishing.