A few weeks ago, I stumbled across information that said that Brian Froud and his wife Wendy were coming to Traverse City for a book signing. I just about hyperventilated. I’ve always wanted to meet them.
Brian is my very favorite artist and Wendy is a brilliant sculptor, specializing in dolls and puppets. We have her to thank for Yoda and many of the creatures in Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.
I packed twenty-two books and three DVDs into my giant tote bag. Then, out of morbid curiosity, I weighed it. Thirty-one pounds of pure awesomeness. Matt looked at me, shook his head and muttered “freak” and Killian asked if I was worried that they’d think I was a stalker. I told him that I prefer to think of it as helping to pay their salary and Matt just looked at me and said, that my rationalization skills didn’t make me any less of a freak.
So, on Saturday, I piled into the car with Jen and our friends Emily and Becky for a brief road trip. Jen and Em only brought a few things, but I felt somewhat vindicated to see that Becky’s bag was almost as heavy as mine.
When we got to Traverse City, there was no parking to be had. Every available spot was taken, and I swear we drove around the city for hours looking. Okay, it was only about fifteen minutes, but driving in new cities (especially those with a ridiculous amount of one way streets and heavy foot traffic) wigs me out. There was some kind of wooden boat regatta going on (I don’t know if it was an actual regatta. I just like saying that word.) and there were tons of people everywhere. There were also signs that said, Don’t Even Think Of Parking Here. I finally pulled over in the middle of a crowded back alley-parking lot-esque thing and told Jen it was her turn to drive.
After not-so-subtly mocking me, Jen took the wheel and drove around some more. After about the third pass, someone spotted an empty spot. Jen yelled for someone to get out and stand in the parking spot. So Becky jumped out, losing her shoe in the process. As she reached in to grab it, Jen yelled, “Green light, gotta go!” and hit the gas leaving Becky standing in the road.
After we circled the block, we made it back to the only free parking spot in the city – the spot that Becky, wearing only one shoe, was bravely guarding. Jen tried to maneuver into the spot only to realize that she can’t parallel park.
Unfortunately neither can I.
Nor can Emily.
So it was Becky to the rescue. Again.
Jen hopped out and Becky hopped in and parked the car. Unfortunately, the dude behind us thought were leaving and was pissed to discover that we were taking the spot he clearly wanted. Too bad. So sad.
On the hike to the bookstore, we tried to find a bathroom. No luck and Becky was kind enough to help me carry my books because I’d chosen then to have an asthma attack. I’m nothing if not pain in the ass.
Finally…finally we made it to the bookstore. The lovely, lovely bookstore. And there they were – Brian and Wendy Froud. Looking remarkably like their author photos – which in and of itself is pretty amazing. And zOMG, they were so nice. Granted, they looked a little surprised by the number of books and DVDs we (okay, mostly Becky and I) brought with us, but they were so sweet and friendly and graciously signed every single one of them – even though I felt like a bit of an ass at that point. And Brian doodled goblins and elves and spriggans in each book – and different ones every time, too.
My husband pointed out to me that I’d hugely increased the value of the collection – especially the out of print ones. I suppose, but it’s not like I’m going to sell them. But I’ll admit to being curious enough to check the going prices for the OOP ones on ebay. (50$-300$ and none of them were signed.)
Being a nice mama, I did ask Wendy to sign the Empire Strikes Back dvd to Killian and Corwin.
After we got everything signed, we took a few pictures then went to grab a bite to eat before heading home. I’m so glad we went. I have amazing friends. And now I also have an amazing collection of signed books and DVDs.
Here’s a pic of the awesome collection along with some of the doodles.