One of my favorite sections of SMITH that I’ve always felt is poised for greatness is Brushes With Fame, the section of the site where we ask readers to recount a story in which a celebrity enters their life like an alien, landing. Typically, these are playful affairs: selling an air-conditioner to Dick Cheney and his daughter, getting a public shout-out from Jason Alexander, playing Jewish geography with David Eigenberg (who turns out is Steve from Sex in the City).
The through-line is this: our reader celebrity encounters aren’t what you’ll find in Page 6 or Gawker Stalker, but stories of an actual, personal interaction with the known or the famous. In other words, a story. Although they’re typically on the lighter side of life, there’s often quite a bit of meaning in a brush with fame. How did Jan Allen end up with Mick Jagger’s urine in her freezer? The scenario’s a scream. But the story works because Mick’s piss truly means the world to her.
SMITH contributing editor and ACT-I-VATE comics collective cofounder Dean Haspiel recently sent around a link to a blog post by Scott Dunbier—a former
executive editor at Wildstorm/DC comics—about Scott’s odd brush with fame. It’s a true tale from New York City in the ’80s about a then-19-year-old Scott was working in a comics shop. It seems a kid—13 or 14, maybe—would come in flashing fifties and buying art. One day the phone rang: