One of the strangest things about the strange night of October 31, when I showed up to be given an honorary doctorate and found myself handing out degrees to some three hundred graduates, was no longer being anonymous in my town. I (almost) always begin my weekly newsletter with “Hello from out here on the Thames Delta,” but nobody knows me out here. A small handful of the graduates whispered something like “I’m a fan” as I shook their hands onstage and gave them their scrolls. When the lead speaker introduced me, there was a surprised murmur of recognition in the audience when CASTLEVANIA was mentioned. He also mentioned that I exist here in complete anonymity. Afterwards, half a dozen people asked if I’d come and speak to students at the university or sit down for some kind of consultation in the future. (Those business cards finally came in handy!)
And now people know me out here. I don’t even have any friends in this town, and the local arts scene doesn’t know or care that I’m here. (Apart from Steve at The Old Waterworks, who asked if I’d write a two-page comics script for a workshop, a couple months ago.)
I mean, it’s not like Real Fame. I’ve seen that up close, in all its sticky discomfort, and this will never be that. But it still feels weird.