Much like Brian Michael Bendis, Brian K. Vaughan is a comic writer and fellow Northeast Ohioan whose work I hold in the highest regards. There’s a reason Pride of Baghdad, Runaways, Y: The Last Man, and Ex Machina are so successful, for the same reasons they are among my favorite books up on my shelves... they are well-crafted, entertaining stories with emotional resonance.
I devote an entire chapter to Vaughan, Bendis, Ed Brubaker, and Matt Fraction in my book, Deus ex Comica: The Rebirth of a Comic Book Fan, exploring their works and the affect they’ve had on me as a comic reader. Because of his influence on my rediscovered love of the medium, I rather clumsily reached out to Vaughan via email, offering to send him a copy of my book as a gesture of appreciation for that positive influence and as thanks for all the great reading he’s given me over the last few years.
Not really expecting a response, I was shocked and thrilled to find an email from him this past week congratulating me on my book! Then, in one of the classiest moves imaginable, he politely declined my offer to send him a book directly, instead saying, “since you've been kind enough to support my books over the years, I thought the least I could do was buy myself my own copy of your book, which I just ordered off Amazon.”
There was another line or two to the email, and although the effort may have been minor on his part, much like my experience with Neil Gaiman last year, the acknowledgement and encouragement he offered has been a tremendous boost for this self-published author.