When we think of webcomics, we think of the often smaller-scale version of the traditional print media version that, in recent years, that has gripped the attention of almost every type of person. Of course, even in thinking that webcomics are a smaller scale of something larger we forget about the people behind these comics, and things are never on a smaller scale when you look at Lar deSouza, an award-winning artist.
Lar, who I always just want to refer to on a first-name basis, has received quite a few accolades for his internet-based illustrative work. Most recently, one of the projects he is working on, entitled “Least I Could Do,” won a Joe Schuster Award in 2008 and in the same year he received the Prix Aurora Award for Artistic Achievement in Canadian Science Fiction—his second time since 2006.
Although I have read some of his other well-known comic “Looking For Group,” I am less familiar with Lar deSouza for his cartoon or illustrative work; to be honest, I know him instead for the outgoing presence that he has in the convention world.
This past April, I attended the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo and was thrust into a world full with many endeavours of geekery, including the work of Lar deSouza and Blind Ferret. The Nightwing and Green Arrow of our group were quite thrilled when they heard that Lar deSouza was going to be there and we made the trek to their booth on multiple occasions on all three days. On Saturday, we received our Bingo Cards for the Con Bingo from them. Best invention ever.
Because of Lar deSouza, not only did I get to run around asking people to do stupid things or if they had seen crazy things—including “the ass who made you lose the game”—but I also got to pal around with a great artist, who no doubt was busy as heck but still had time to have fun with us. Green Arrow, Nightwing, and I not only got a bingo but we blacked out our bingo card, which made us eligible for a grand prize from Lar deSouza himself! Enough incentive for anyone to fill their card; of course, the prize itself was the cherry on top. It was… drum roll… an inappropriate hug. Full on inappropriateness, including groping, from a man with rainbow-coloured hair.
After handing in our cards, Nightwing—an aspiring artist himself—walked up not knowing what the prize was. Lar stood up and greeted him before wrapping his arms around him and feeling him up, squeezing him so hard that he lifted him off the ground. Nightwing was ecstatic; he’d not only met one of his favorite artists, but said artist had gotten enthusiastically handsy with him. I, on the other hand… well, I thought that it was amazing; Lar had no problem giving inappropriate hugs to those dedicated enough to visit him, let alone spend the time and effort to win that “prize”.
If you cannot love the people who have gotten you to where you are today, then where are we really in life? I hope that when the time comes for my geekery to shine that I will be as dedicated to my fans as Lar deSouza is to his. Great character and full-on personality while maintaining your ambition to be yourself is all anyone should aspire for; especially when your job is something that you love to do. Although I did end up asking for an appropriate hug instead of the charismatic squeeze – sorry Lar, next time maybe!