Monday, April 07, 2008

Delusions of fandeur OR: The lots Unicorn

So last weekend superstar of sci-fi/fantasy illustration Darrell Sweet made an appearance at a small art gallery here in Rapid City. Although I never heard of the guy before and I didn't own any of his books, I decided to go support him because I didn't want him to end up the Virgil of Rapid City. In a show of supportiveness, my wife was online all last week buying books that this guy had illustrated so that we could show up with something for him to sign. But she wasn't keeping track so we ended up with two books of The Last Unicorn.

That's Darrell Sweet in the far back (I think). I could have talked to him but what the fuck was I going to say? I am intrigued by your ability to draw deericorns?

Mr. Sweet's first appearance was Friday evening and I was so sure Rapid City would let him down and nobody would show up that I grabbed the wife and baby and we went out there. Yeah, we may have been total posers that never heard of him before but the way I see it, having fake fans is preferable to having no fans at all. It was like we were Batman answering the Batsignal. Somewhere out there, a man needed fans and we would rise to the occasion to help. We were insta-fans. Just add water. It was as if by pretending to be fans we had found our calling, that thing that made us feel special and heroic. Or at least me. My wife didn't really give a crap either way.

The painting in front of us contains a dwarf riding a donkey talking to a knight on an armored horse with a giant goose flying above them all. Behind us that painting is of a girl standing in front of an iguana that has a donkey head and in the sky there's a Winnebago being pulled by three flying horses. Darrell Sweet is an insane genius.

We got there and I was expecting the place to be empty but it was totally full of all sorts of people. The mayor was there along with several city council representatives. I felt dumb thinking that nobody would show up. But then it became obvious to me that these people weren't here for the artist so much as they were just going to get face time with the other fancily dressed Rapid City social elite. That's cool and all but it was kind of sad that I only saw one guy who looked like he really belonged-an obese fellow with a dragon print t-shirt. I thought to myself, this man is a true Darrell K. Sweet fan. All of us fake fans must have been diminishing him, like kryptonite to his fan-ness. As he passed me in the party platter buffet line I felt like he deserved the snack sized ham sandwich wedges more than me.

After the reception was over the gallery director plugged the book signing Saturday and mentioned Mr. Sweet would also be doing a class on how to draw dragons. She announced that as a special treat, the local chapter of the society for creative anachronism would be doing their thing during his appearance. It sounded like a full blown, Sweet inspired renaissance faire. I realized that my services as Insta-Fan would not be needed any longer. When my wife dropped by the house Saturday after Toastmasters and asked if I wanted to get our multiple copies of Last Unicorn signed, I said no. Darrell Sweet doesn't need to sign our books anymore. Besides, I just found a local band on MySpace consisting of one guy who sings while playing his keyboard and a drum machine and he'll be doing a gig next week. HE WILL NEED FANS.


Heavyarms said...

Behind us that painting is of a girl standing in front of an iguana that has a donkey head and in the sky there's a Winnebago being pulled by three flying horses. Darrell Sweet is an insane genius.

Was there ever a truer statement? If so, I've never heard it.

Dude, I totally feel bad for Virgil. He looks sad.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

I heard he charges $20 for an autograph. I think that's part of the reason he's so lonely.


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