I just happened to be in California on the day that Blackest Night #1 was released, and Geoff Johns was scheduled to appear at a comic book store just a few miles from my hotel.
The line was long, wrapped around the inside of the store. Lots of people getting stuff signed. I didn’t have anything with me, of course, so I picked up a copy of the hardback Green Lantern: Secret Origin for him to autograph. Nobody in line was really chatting him up - it seemed to me they were just there to increase the value of their swag.
When it came my turn, he smiled and started drawing a GL Icon in addition to his autograph on the inside cover of my book. I immediately asked him the geek question of the day: how did he feel about Ryan Reynolds’s recent casting as Hal Jordan. He was so excited about the movie, and became quite animated talking about it. I stepped away from the line to get out of everyone’s way, but the two of us kept chatting about all things DC for quite some time. He was so genuine, so happy to share with other fans.
He eventually asked me what other upcoming things I was excited about, and I mentioned his Superman: Secret Origin with Gary Frank. I started to gush about Gary Frank’s artwork, and a smile stretched across his face. He turned around and grabbed a stack of artwork and handed it to me. ‘Take a look at this.’ It was a black-and-white copy of the full first issue of Secret Origin.
I stood there, slack jawed as I poured through the pages of a comic that wouldn’t be produced for months. And Geoff Johns continued to sign autographs, checking me out every few minutes to watch my reaction to the pages. I eventually left that store in a blissful haze. Not entirely sure how I got home.
He was so gracious, so enthusiastic. A perfect herald for all things DC, because he exuded a love that just can’t be faked.