The saying goes, “Never meet your idols.” This is, presumably, because the people whom you admire the most will inevitably disappoint you with their mere humanity. But let me tell you, this was not the case with Neil Gaiman. When I gave him a Dr. Radium print after he spoke at my university, he invited me to lunch with him and some of the university faculty. He was gracious and charming, and he sat in a Japanese restaurant with the light from the window behind him glowing around his head like a halo. Seriously.
Me? I had unwittingly inspired the devotion of a small boy who was along with us, and spent most of lunch trying to juggle playing a game of Hangman with this boy and approximating intelligent adult conversation. Then, small boy finally gone, I found myself walking down the street next to Neil Gaiman.
You have to understand: Like 99% of comics-reading women my age with all-black wardrobes, I first fell in love with a comic when I read The Sandman. Neil Gaiman and his creation is, as my agonized thought balloon tells you, the reason I work in comics. (And not just because of the work itself — seeing women at the editing and art helms informed me of possibilities.)
So I was walking down the street with Neil Gaiman in a hero-worship-induced state of utter stupidity, and, yes, those are the words that escaped from my lips. And he was gracious and charming enough to still talk to me after that.