Do you know what it feels like to be in a zombie apocalypse? I sure do. Well, sort of, I experienced the next best thing: serving alcohol and food to over 40,000 hungry Phoenix Comicon attendees.
Now, I’m not new to Phoenix’s version of San Diego’s ginormous convention. In fact, I’ve attended the con for the last couple of years as part of the horde.
The horde of ravaging geeks and nerds, hungry for the next meal after walking and standing for hours.
This year was different. First, I worked at a bar/grill right across the street from the convention center. Second, I wore a group “costume” with two work buddies of mine – let’s call them “Raph”, and “Leo”. We agreed that wearing TMNT-themed clothing would help us get through the weekend.
Day 2 – “Let’s Not Talk About Day 1”
It was 11:15AM. None of us were mentally nor physically prepared for the onslaught that would begin around noon. Caffeine kept everyone mostly alert but it would never relieve the aches and pain from the previous day.
I leaned against a wall trying to alleviate pressure from my already aching feet. A familiar looking man with sunglasses and a lady friend entered the restaurant through the patio door, right next to the wall I was leaning against. Not even a second passed before the man asked if I liked Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Thinking it was a guest admiring my ninja turtle get up, I casually replied, “Yeah, I like them.” He replied while shaking my hand, “Hi, I’m Kevin Eastman. I created them.”
It took a few seconds for my brain to wrap around the situation and say something that wasn’t absolute gibberish. All I could muster was a simple greeting and off he went towards the bar.
I gathered the turtles and whispered violently what had just happened. We proceeded to look him up on Wikipedia just to make sure he was the real deal. Spoiler alert: He was.
Without coming off as part of the crowd he was about to endure for the next hour or two, I asked if we could get a group picture with him. As Kevin was leaving, we noticed he had left 4 bar napkins with sketches and autographs.
Day 3 – “Let’s Not Talk About Day 3, Either”
Sunday was a shit show. We were running out of food and beer left and right. Also, there’s truly nothing more frustrating when people hover over a table, waiting for the people enjoying their meal to leave. REALLY?
Before I rant and rave, let’s just get to the good part of that day.
“Raph” was serving, who else, but Kevin Eastman. I had no idea until he told me. So, I went to his table real quick to say hi. I walked back to the server/micros station to put in a order. Out of the corner of my eye, Kevin darts from outside and hands me a signed TMNT comic from his personal collection.
All I have to say is: thank you, Kevin Eastman. You helped us get through this horrid weekend!