I met Allison Bechdel and Harvey Pekar on Friday! I'm a fan of them both, but even though they were both really down to earth and approachable I got all tongue-tied.
One cool thing about Pekar is that a couple years ago he got to publish some new work with DC comics, the Batman people. Given this opportunity to connect with a mass audience, he wrote a bunch of stories about unclogging toilets. That's what I call authenticity. I tried to compliment him on this, but it came out sounding more like a complaint. It's hard to compliment someone for writing toilet-unclogging stories.
Allison Bechdel's Fun Home is an extended consideration of Bechdel's father, and we got to talk a bit about the book's spiraling, ruminative structure, which I found spellbinding. She sketched herself thinking in spirals in my book. It's a treat! I felt bad cuz I didn't buy anything (hey, I'm unemployed until November!) but after we schleped the 20-odd unlit miles from the civilized world to Kannapolis, Laurie read my copies of Our Cancer Year and Fun Home, so they've picked up a new reader.