I thought this weekend was going to be just like any other.
I would go to the midnight showing of The Avengers, write my review, and then maybe see it again.
I was way off.
I did go to the midnight showing, and you would think I would be super tired on Friday while I was at work. Instead I was filled with energy because I was able to convince my station to allow me to cover a charity event involving famed Marvel artist John Romina Jr.
JRJR, as he's known, decided to attempt to break the Guinness World Record for Most Sketching and Signings in 48 hours, which he set himself 10 years ago. This time he is going for 50 continuous hours. People can get him to do personal signings of their comics or get personal sketches all for a donation to the charity Heroes for Jordan.
I am a big fan of JRJR, so to meet him personally and interview him for the news was a great day for me. To my surprise, I also met his niece Jordan whom was also at the beginning of the event. She is the girl that encouraged JRJR to do something like this 50 hour non stop signing session in the first place. She was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of two. She is now 12, and has survived all the tremendous cancer treatment. Her ever continuing medical bills are insurmountable, and without the help of donations her family couldn't possibly pay for all them.
I was very happy to help them get some news coverage for their charity event. After meeting John, Jordan, and her family I felt connected to the event myself. I've been watching live on UStream the whole weekend. I also decided to go back to the event that was on the Las Vegas Strip to meet John again and maybe get some of my comics signed. I was surprised on how many of the people involved with the event instantly remembered me and how gracious they were to my efforts. They told me that many people told them that they saw my story about the event on television and that encouraged them to come to the event. I felt great. That is exactly what journalism is about. Connecting people.
I was always intending to donate to the charity, maybe get a few of my comics signed. I was very overwhelmed what did happen.
John signed my Amazing Spider-Man issue 600
He signed and personalized an amazing poster of his art.
He did a personal sketch of the Hobgoblin
I was interviewed live on the UStream about why I wanted to help the cause Heroes For Jordan, while I waited for the sketch. (time filler)
I also bumped into a some more volunteers of event at a local comic book store. I was covering Free Comic Book Day, which is somewhat tied together with the JRJR event. They were happy to see me, and I was given a small token of appreciation for my efforts.
JRJR signed Uncanny X-Men issue 300
All of these signings and sketches are worth just a few dollars, but to me they are priceless.
Before I was a fan of John Romita Jr. the artist. Now I am a fan of John Romita Jr. the man.
He is very humble. He is not wrapped up in his celebrity. In this era of mega blockbusting comic book movies he uses his celebrity to promote generosity. He is still going strong. He will continue until 2 pm PST today. You can check it out here, if you'd like.
I donated to Heroes for Jordan and if you would like to donate also, I positive that Comic Oasis will have some items for sale from JRJR's record breaking event.