This just in: I am a fangirl. A nerdy, nerdy fangirl. The story of me reading Neil Gaiman’s brilliant 2-part Batman: Whatever happened to the Caped Crusader? is almost as good (I think) as the actual comic. I borrowed it from Shana after it came out last year, and was reading it one lovely Saturday before leaving the house to go to the Printer’s Row Book Fair downtown. I had a short argument with myself about whether I should take the second volume with me on the train. It went like this: “Take it! I want to find out what happens!” “But it’s not your book, and if you put it in your bag, it’s going to get all shcrumply.” “But who killed Batman? If I don’t take it on the train, I won’t find out until tonight! The metacomicmystery will torture me!” “But look how clean and pretty this copy is. It’s collectible. You can’t put it in your bag and haul it all over Chicago.” Tidy Girl won the argument, and the comic stayed home while I got on the train, went to Printer’s Row, watched Gail Gand cook some eggs, met Lynda Barry, bought some stuff from the Drawn & Quarterly Booth, and headed back towards the el to go home. And as we (that’s me and some friends, not me and Tidy Girl who argues inside my head) were rounding the corner to cross Congress in front of the library, I looked up just in time to avoid running smack into Neil Gaiman himself. The actual author, who tells the good stories and wears the good jackets and has the too much hair. So if I had shushed Tidy Girl and stuffed the comic into my bag, I’d have been able to ask him to sign it. As it was, I tripped over my own feet, stumbled slightly, said “Um…but…” and stood staring after him with my mouth hanging open while he smiled, waved and headed into Printer’s Row. That’s a true story. Well done, Tidy Girl. Shut up.
I know it’s hard to believe there could be a better story than that, but the actual comic is pretty excellent. And owes some little debts to both Joss Whedon and Stephen King in the ways-to-make-you-crazy-and-break-your-heart-while-really-impressing-you department. Yes, indeed, I’m a fangirl.