I suppose there's SOME resemblance but not enough for me to actually be mistaken for Kevin. Right?

I suppose there’s SOME resemblance but not enough for me to actually be mistaken for Kevin. Right?

“Is Kevin signing today?”

The fan was earnest. I thought he was joking. Surely he could see the difference between me and Kevin Smith.

The artist looked at me, expectant.

I didn’t know what to do. This was the first time I’d been mistaken for anyone famous. I was sitting down so he couldn’t tell I’m five or six inches taller than Kevin but even so. The fan held his issue of Kevin’s current work which the artist had just scrawled on. The artist smiled.

“Not today,” I said and smiled.

The fan accepted this and walked away, I’m sure he thought I was a dick. I’m also sure that he thought I was Kevin Smith sitting at a table at a comic book convention with the artist. It didn’t matter what the truth was.

The artist chuckled and picked up the sketch he was working on. “The answer’s always ‘yes’,” he said. “Kevin wouldn’t mind.” We talked about some guy in Vegas who’d impersonated Kevin recently, too. That was good for a laugh.

We carried on our conversation in between fans coming up and asking the artist to sign copies of everything he’d ever done and a couple of others even gave me a curious look. It’d been a year since we’d seen each other so there was a lot to catch up on.

Later I wandered around the convention floor and visited a couple of other friends’ tables and looked in on a couple of booths that I thought had things I’d be interested in.

“Kevin.” I didn’t turn around. “Hey, Kevin.”

The guy was a little older than me, a little heavier, “Hi,” I said, unsure of what to say next.

“I thought it was you,” the guy said. He was the text-book definition of comic book geek: sweaty, a little smelly, unshaven in the extreme.

Leaning in over a long box of comics, I said, “I’m incognito. Just came to see some friends.”

The guy nodded knowingly. “Understood.”

“Yeah,” I said and flipped through an uninteresting block of Marvel Comics. I couldn’t be so lucky that the guy would just go away. I suppose I shouldn’t have worn the flannel shirt over my Harley Quinn/Poison Ivy t-shirt.

“Would you sign my copy of Green Arrow?”

I tried not to sigh, and I certainly didn’t want it come out that loud and that heavy, but I couldn’t stop myself. I looked at him over the top of my glasses. “Dude. Incog-fucking-nito.”

That did it for the guy. “I knew you were him. You’re taller than I thought.” He reached into his briefcase and pulled out a book. He shoved it at me.

The retailer in the booth smiled at me. I rolled my eyes and shrugged. What can I do? He handed me a Sharpie.

“Fine,” I said, and looked at the cover. It was a beautiful Matt Wagner painting. My god if only I’d pursued breaking into comics I might one day look forward to a piece like that.

I scrawled a K, an S and a line after it that might have vaguely resembled -mith if you closed your eyes while tripping on acid. I handed the book back to the sweaty guy. “Here. Don’t tell anyone, okay?”

I caught up with my artist friend that night at the convention hotel’s bar. “Good show?”

He laughed. “You signed some guy’s book, didn’t you?”

Stunned, sipped my bourbon and coke. “He told you, eh? I told him not to.”

“He didn’t say a word. Your signature’s crap.”

I shrugged. “Figures. How the hell am I supposed to know what Kevin’s sig looks like? I’ve never even met the guy.” I held my glass up to the bartender in the age-old sign language for Give me another. “I mean, Kevin’s a celebrity. I’m too tall to be him.”

“It’s the beard and glasses, man,” my friend said. “You know how people don’t look too close.”

“Jesus,” I said. The bartender set down my second drink. “Still. Kind of funny.”

“I’m a big fan,” the bartender said. “This one’s on me.”

He walked away to help someone else and I looked at my friend.

“You should pick your jaw up off the floor,” he said. “You can be sure it’s filthy down there.”

The night went on. I laughed with all my friends who make comics. Heard stories from the guests I’d never met before. Drank a lot of bourbon. Even smoked a cigar with a guy who was writing Batman. We debated who Bruce Wayne was really in love with. Disagreed, but amiably and parted friends. It was a great night.

I saw my friend the artist as I made my way to the door and said good night. “See you tomorrow,” I said.

“Hang on. Come with me.” I followed him back to a private room. “After you,” he said and held the door open.

A beer bottle flew past my head and smashed against the wall. “You sunnavabitch!”

I ducked and looked around. Kevin Smith was on the other side of the conference room table and he looked pissed off. “Fuckin’ impersonating me? I’ll teach you a fucking lesson.” He charged around the table in a swirl of hockey shirt and shorts. I backed up, crunched on some broken glass.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” I said. “I didn’t mean any harm.” My head banged into the wall. I looked at my friend. He was impassive. This was a total setup. Fuck me.

Kevin got two inches from me and looked up. He sneered. “Asshole. You don’t look anything like me.”

“I know,” I said. “I don’t know how anyone could mistake me for you.”

Kevin pushed out his chin and squinted at me. “Yeah,” he said, “you’re better lookin’.” He slapped me on the cheek.

I looked around and everyone was laughing.

“This fuckin’ guy,” Kevin said walking away from me. “Can’t even forge a decent signature.”

My friend punched me in the arm.

“Come on,” he said. “Kevin’s buying.”

Jason Arnett is a storyteller living in Kansas and writing in the plains of the fantastic. Some of his work can be found at

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