Gaiman’s story reminded me so much of my own late father. He was a doctor and was worried about my choice to become a writer. Our first book, GIANTS BEWARE came out around the same time, my papi was getting very sick with cancer and he would eventually pass away a few months later.
My papi was old school, and was never very quick with the compliment.
I remember years ago, over dinner, we were talking about my career and he said, “Well, I guess leaving law school was not as big a mistake as I thought.” That was his way of offering a compliment, and of course I took it.
In May of 2012, I flew into Columbus to see my sick dad and do a GIANTS BEWARE book event with Rafael Rosado and our colorist John Novak at
Cover to Cover . When I asked my dad if he wanted to go to the event, he just said, “It sounds interesting.”
It took some work getting him there, but we went and the event was amazing. It was packed. Old friends from Columbus were there, college professors, family friends. My dad was in the front row watching with his usual inscrutable expression. It was the first time my dad had been at an event for one of my creative endeavors. He got to see kids and adults who had read our book, enjoyed it, and were happy to have us sign their books. He got to see the joy our book was bringing people.
Afterwards, I asked him what he thought of the event. “It was interesting,” he said. I went fishing for a compliment, “But what did you think of all those people there, for our book? Neat, huh?” He responded. “Yes, it was interesting.” I pushed him even further, “But papi, isn’t it pretty cool to see a book your son wrote, out in the world and people seem to like it?” He thought about it for a moment and said, “It was VERY interesting.” For him, that was high praise, and I took it.