By John King Tarpinian: Guillermo is a kind, unassuming, down to earth man. When he heard a local bookshop, Mystery and Imagination, was just getting by in this age of internet sales and big box book stores he volunteered to do what turns out to be his only official signing of his new book, Pacific Rim, as a fund raiser. Even with his busy schedule of promoting the film he made time to lend a helping hand. The extent of his kindness is best reflected in that the following morning he was off to Japan for the Pacific Rim premiere.
Considering the event was at 6:00 p.m. on a Thursday in L.A. there was a great turn-out. Not sure the body count but Guillermo signed for over three hours.
Wanting to meet him was two writers in their own right who had never done so, Dennis Etchison and Peter Atkins. It was a warm reception; Guillermo knew of and collected their works. We went upstairs to the signing area to do some preliminary stuff while the new friends got acquainted.
Once the event got started Guillermo was more than affable with all in attendance. He spoke with everybody, shook everybody’s hand. Guillermo was great with kids, a few of which had drawn their versions of the Kaiju. He’d stop and look at the drawing showing real appreciation at their attempts.
More than a few people in attendance worked for some of the companies that worked on Pacific Rim. One for the company that did the 3D conversion and another that worked on the musical score. Two students were given permission to miss their film school class to meet Guillermo. One bought the Pacific Rim book, the other the Puss N Boots book, both coffee table books. They made sure to get a trade paperback of The Strain for their instructor. Guillermo wrote an absentee excuse in the book for the instructor. What I’d not seen before were people who brought blank 8×10 canvases, which Guillermo obliged them with sketches.
I’d guess that a quarter of the people who came had been to San Diego last weekend, bringing in their only-available from Comic-Con items. There were posters galore and dozens of Pacific Rim action figures. I have to admit I did something mean; when they’d hand over their sealed items (knowing that Guillermo would sign the package) I’d pretend to take the figurine out of the box. The looks on their faces was worth it. (Bad John)
The three hours went by very fast. Everybody involved was pleased, the fans and Guillermo. Two bankers-boxes were needed to haul away the gifts people brought. Not to mention that Guillermo was generous enough to give of himself to help out a bookshop he has frequented many times over the years.