Nancy Scott Hanway

fictional characters in real life

Meeting Fictional Characters - Part 2

Nancy Scott HanwayComment

These encounters (writers meeting fictional characters) happen more often than you think. Comic book writer Alan Moore says he spotted John Constantine, from his Hellblazer series, in a London sandwich shop. (BTW, Moore says he based the character on Sting, which explains the reference.)

All of a sudden, up the stairs came John Constantine. He was wearing the trenchcoat, a short cut—he looked—no, he didn't even look exactly like Sting. He looked exactly like John Constantine. He looked at me, stared me straight in the eyes, smiled, nodded almost conspiratorially, and then just walked off around the corner to the other part of the snack bar.

I sat there and thought, should I go around that corner and see if he is really there, or should I just eat my sandwich and leave? I opted for the latter; I thought it was the safest. I'm not making any claims to anything. I'm just saying that it happened. Strange little story. (from a 1994 interview in Wizard Magazine, qtd. in Wikipedia)

I love the fact that Moore didn't go around the corner. That he was scared by the character he brought to life. (Although Constantine could just as easily have been scared by his creator: Moore looks like a badass god. His Wikipedia page says he's "an occultist, an anarchist, and a ceremonial magician," whatever the hell that means.)

But anyway, it makes me think it's best I didn't meet my character the other day. Maybe it's like time travel, where it's dangerous to meet your former or future self. Meeting your character could create cracks in reality.

They say that Neil Gaiman met Death. That's a story I'd like to hear.

"Alan Moore" (CC photo by fimb on Flicker. Cropped original)

Meeting fictional characters in real life

The Criminal GeneNancy Scott Hanway1 Comment

The other day, my husband’s car got sideswiped by one of my characters. A little old lady in a big Buick whacked him as she left a parking space. She looked straight at him, backed up, and sped off. He got out of the car and ran through the parking lot to where she was stopped at a light. He rapped on her window. She locked her doors before sliding down the glass. Lady, irritated: “Can I help you? Cecil: “You just hit my car!” Lady: “Not very hard!”

He made her turn around and come back, so he could inspect the damage. She did, sulkily. There was a dent, but it would be more trouble than our ancient Volvo was worth to get fixed. She said, “I told you,” and left.

I was so sad I wasn’t there. She could so easily be Eugenia, the head of my fictional gang of old lady car thieves. Have you met fictional characters (yours or someone else’s) in real life?