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Others have brushes with celebrities. I step on their toes.

(Author's note: Stand by for some heavy-duty geeky name-dropping here.)

It seems like everyone has their "meet someone famous" stories. I have a couple of my own, but with the typical Jay Tea "I'm SUCH a twit" twist.

Many years ago, while attending college, I worked for the school newspaper. I was in the office one day when an older guy (he must've been in his late 30's or so -- ancient by my standards) walked in to deliver a letter to the editor. It was about the then-current controversy regarding the Seabrook, NH nuclear power plant (then under construction, now with one reactor operating and the second abandoned). I've always been a bit of a science geek and comic-book fan, so I knew a little about the issue of nuclear power. I immediately started arguing the pros and cons of nuclear power with this guy.

He was GOOD. He had a counter for every point I made, and I was stretching like hell to counter his points. At one point (without giving credit), I even cited a concept I'd read in an old Superman comic about solar power satellites using microwaves to beam energy down to collectors in the Southwest Desert. He came back up and topped THAT one. I knew I'd been beaten.

Then I realized I hadn't introduced myself. "By the way, I'm Jay Tea, news editor."

"Good to meet you. I'm Elliot Maggin."

"No. No way."

"You've heard of me?"

I had. I had read and re-read his Superman novels, "Last Son Of Krypton" and "Miracle Monday" to the point of nearly having them memorized. I even think he'd actually written the Superman story I'd cited to him. I shook his hand, and had the hugest crap-eating grin plastered to my face the rest of the day (to the vast amusement of my colleagues).

Alas and alack, I never got to meet him again. I moved my copies of the books to the paper's office for autographing in case he returned, and tried to score an interview with him when the paper did a feature on the resurgence of comics (this was the late 80's, the era of "Watchmen," "V for Vendetta," "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns," the rebirth of Superman in "Man Of Steel," the first X-plosion of the X-Men, and too many others to mention), but never could reach him. But I'll always cherish the memory of that one conversation.

I had a similar experience recently, thanks to Kevin's gracious tolerance of my rantings and babblings here. Some of you may have noticed one frequent commenter goes by the name of "-S-." She links to her own blog, and it's pretty good reading. Ms. Susan Elizabeth Rice is an extremely talented graphic designer/digital artist/whatever and writer, with quite a few accomplishments, as well as being a darn nifty person.

But modest. She'll probably be embarassed and irritated with me when she reads this, but I don't care.

It's only when you get to the second page of her autobiography that you discover that Ms. Rice has been in the graphic design business for about thirty years, and nearly thirty years ago she worked for an ad agency that did posters and other material for motion pictures. (That's "films" or "movies" or "flicks" to us plebians.) Since she was pretty junior, she got stuck with a lot of crap jobs. One in particular was this whacko space movie that nobody else thought very highly of. Our Suzy got stuck with designing the logo for the film, to be shown on the posters and, possibly, the opening titles. She looked at some stills (not even finished with all the special effects), talked to the director about the "look" he was striving for, and did some reading up on fonts and their histories and associations. She then went back to her office, took out pencil and paper, and made pop culture history.

She's done quite a bit since then -- her Photoshopping of John Kerry pictures is nothing short of brilliant -- but, to me, one of the highlights of my tenure here at WizBang will be the time the creator of the Star Wars logo offered extensive thoughts and advice on my poor, pathetic, miserable, wretched love life.

So go on over to Suzy's page. Browse her gallery. Read her postings. She's hardly resting on her laurels.



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Comments (12)

Isn't that cool! One of my ... (Below threshold)

Isn't that cool! One of my ex-girlfriends has a pic of her and George W Bush when he was running for Govenor of Texas... I told her to hang on to the pic and the negative, because you never now what will happen... now look at him - President of the greatest nation on earth!!!... she's really proud of that photo and shows it off every chance she gets1

I've been thinking about doing a Celebrities post myself... having been in the nightclub/restaurant industry for 20 years, I've met more than my share of famous people... mainly sports stars with a few national personalities thrown in... the nicest people I've met were Ken Curtis, Bob Lilly, Walt Garrison, Terry Funk... the biggest asshole of all was Reggie Jackson - and he was a boyhood hero of mine as leader of the 72,73,74 A's, then the Angles, then the Yankees - what a total jerkoff - he treated my service staff like they were peons and had nothing other to do than wait on him and his entourage... after they kissed his ass all night and catered to his every whime, he didn't leave ANY tip whatsoever... I made it up to his servers out of a fund we had for such jerk-offs, but it has soured me to even hear his stinkin name now.

THIS JUST IN:<a hr... (Below threshold)



Kerry invested thousands in the Cayman Islands tax free in the early 80's. Isn't he the one who wants to shut this "tax free" investment option down?

Funny to note it is on the Globes server - they probably chose not to expose ol home boy.

I wonder if Suzy knows how ... (Below threshold)

I wonder if Suzy knows how many 12 year olds like me copied and traced that logo while we were drawing Death Stars, X-Wing fighters and the Millineum Falcon? She has indeed created an icon...

Now, with the DVD release, my 6 & 4 year old are asking about Chewbacca.... sighs.

Awww...Not angry.<... (Below threshold)


Not angry.

I have two polaroids of me with the *real and actual* Darth Vader on the then-temporary trialer lot for early Lucasfilm (the actor who performed Darth Vader in the first release, Episode IV, wearing the *real and actual* costume from that film, before that costume went "to the library"...and some other things.

Let's see, R2D2 (the *real and actual* R2D2, Episode IV, the original model used in that film) was stored in my trailer office for a while...I showed up one morning, and there he was. "He's 'art' and you keep the 'artwork,' so, we put him in your office" was what was explained when I asked about my mysteriously arrived visitor.

I have copies of Polaroids...I should give you links (will return later with those).

Thanks, Jay, for your kind words. Over the course of a lifetime of "art", most any creative person racks up credits.

Interestingly enough, Lucasfilm, Ltd. is now in the process of writing/producing a book about the history of the early advertising images for the entire Series, and there's some content to be in it about me and the logo, but my website has more of the specifics from this artist's perspective, if anyone's interested.

I'll go find the Polaroids and links so you can see Darth Vader grabbing me by the neck, and me hugging R2D2 in the real, in my office, way back then.

argh...trailer lot...not "t... (Below threshold)

argh...trailer lot...not "trialer lot"...

A long time ago, in an L.A.... (Below threshold)

A long time ago, in an L.A. far, far away:

I was working alone in my office, sitting at my desk (temporary trailer on the then-temporary trailer lot that was Lucasfilm, Ltd., across the street from Universal's lot, L.A.), when the door opened and there was heavy breathing immediately filling the room...

I looked up from my work to see who it was just entering the office -- no knock, just someone opening the door and entering the room, with no response to my greetings beyond the intense sound of heavy breathing -- and there before me was the immense and dark Darth Vader, standing fixed and ominous, breathing heavily, looming larger than ever, from across my desk.

I laughed to break the intensity but became very quickly frightened: the figure remained stoic and fixed, staring down at me: Darth Vader. The personna before me in that closed door office was not breaking character, was not relenting, but was, in fact, a persistent and forceful, heavy breathing, dreadnot of immense size and stature.

Out of nervousness, then, I started to laugh and went for my office door, exiting quickly to the landing outside, with Vader immediately turning with a flourish of his cape and following me like a launched missile man.

Someone else from Lucasfilm was passing by with a Polaroid camera, which brought both me and the intense Darth Vader to a quick standstill, and, responding to the raised Polaroid, I started to laugh, while Vader grabbed me by the nape/back of my neck and the camera captured the moment just before the laughter left me.

Vader made an abrupt turn with his cape blowing in the wind, leaving me standing on that landing, frightened and puzzled. That is was about 110 degrees in the San Fernando Valley didn't help the situation, because, all that while, Darth Vader appeared as composed and cold as could be, his regulated breath never breaking a beat.

Here's the Polaroid of that moment...from years ago...just a few months after Episode IV was released (the first STAR WARS Episode released).

Had one of those experience... (Below threshold)
Old Patriot:

Had one of those experiences myself, in 1964. My brother had had an accident with a gun (weird accident, but deadly serious). I was a 4th-class cadet at the Air Force Academy at the time, the lowliest of the lowly, but got a week's emergency leave to go home. When I boarded the Braniff Convair 340 in Colorado Springs to go to Dallas, there weren't enough seats, and they put me in the back, in the "lounge". The person that sat down beside me was Robert Heinlein - at that time, the Dean of Science Fiction, and my hero. I spent the three and a half hours (including a layover in Amarillo, where I purchased "The Earth is a Harsh Mistress" talking to, listening to, and enjoying the company of this brilliant man and his wife. He autographed my paperback, and I gave it to my brother in the hospital. He still has it, and won't give it back!

Is it allowed on Wizbang to... (Below threshold)

Is it allowed on Wizbang to write to another visitor here?

I'll give it a try because I can't write comments on the visitor's linked site to this thread.

Anyway, to McGhee:

Your comments are going to be misunderstood by the Left as me actually "palling around with the Dark Lord of the Sith" because there's an explanation as to that smile on my face in that photograph.

So, I may delete the photo from my site...I'm wondering if you would write some retraction or something on your linked page to the thread, is all I'm asking here.

But, it should be noted that the "Dark Lord of the Sith" walked away after that photograph -- I did not. And, the "Dark Lord of the Sith" converted "afterward," so perhaps this Catholic had something to do with that, if by presence alone at that moment.

Suzy, I laughed my @$$ off ... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Suzy, I laughed my @$$ off at McGehee's piece. I thought it was a brilliant and inspired twist on the photo. And as far as deleting the photo out of fears that someone actually thinking you're evil because there's a photo of you posing with a FICTIONAL CHARACTER who, at that time, was the embodiment of evil, they'd have to be amazingly clueless and stupid and downright...
(looking over certain commenters here, remembering my brief stint at Democratic Underground...)
Hm. You might have a point.

Seriously, I hope you don't take that picture down for your stated reason. I printed out a copy at work and showed it to everyone to brag about. It is such an amazingly cool photo, I'm surprised you didn't make it more public before.

Got any "incriminating" photos of R2-D2 from his stint in your trailer? Maybe him chugging a case of 10W-40, or playing with the "AC/DC" switches on his power supply (if you know what I mean), or hitting on your hairdryer, or... the mind boggles with the possibilities.


(who, given the same opportunity, would have found some way to reprogram R2's lights to blink out dirty jokes in Morse code, despite my utter incompetence in electronics and complete ignorance of Morse code. But with that opportunity, I WOULDA LEARNED!)

Jay:You just haven... (Below threshold)


You just haven't lived long enough yet to be aware that anything that's possible for some people to believe, they will. Honestly, you just can't believe how distorted and nutty some people will insist something is, or is not, or was, or could be, or...

I'll leave the photo up for now; I also thought McGhee's comments (his permalink) was funny at first read AND THEN I thought about the last time I heard some "Democratic Spokesperson" "advising" the world that the Republicans were "the dark side" and such...and then someone will find that photo and McGhee's comments and then they'll say, AHA, even THEY admit that they're the Dark Side!"

Believe me about this point. Your stint reading the DU should be a good experience as to a starting point, yes, you're right about that.

Yes, I have an R2D2-and-Me photograph...it's hot! It's heavy! I...am....HUGGING...R2D2!!!!

I'll go getya' a link...

Argh! It's terrible! I am... (Below threshold)

Argh! It's terrible! I am HUGGING R2D2! Oh, the shame! The denigration! The HORROR, a Republican embracing R2D2 and R2D2 LIKING IT from the looks of him/her/it: Me and R2D2!

I went to work one morning, there was R2D2 in my office, stored as "art" in the "art director's" office: mine.

Color's faded, old Polaroid, my hair's actually red, the walls were not that dark, R2D2 wasn't that dark blue...top of frame was cut off in some move or another in time's past...but R2D2 remembers me, I betchya.

I had to check this thread ... (Below threshold)

I had to check this thread out from the title...

My super told me she actually DID step on a celebrity's toes, specifically John Wayne's. She worked at a radio station way back when and they had a lot of celebrities come in and do endorsements, or whatever you would call them. I'm smacking myself because I can't recall what he supposedly said, but it was amusing definitely something you'd expect in one of his Westerns. Darn it!






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