Dustmite with hairSteve Versus SeymourBald dustmite

In the year 2023 I finally got to meet Steve Burns. I met him at one of the GalaxyCons and literally only went there to see him. I was getting so jealous of seeing others meeting him on Instagram and totally thought that I was not going to go to this convention and completely miss him since it was about two and a half hours away from me, but I prevailed. With much begging of my brother to go with me so I was not alone, we went and had so much fun.

In the month leading up to the convention, I made a whole zine for his first album Songs For Dustmites since it was turning twenty that year and I wanted to celebrate the anniversary in some creative way. I had never made a zine before so this was a great challenge for me. I did a drawing for each song which took a lot of creative effort and some of my original plans did not work so there was a lot of tinkering and changing of aspects to get it all to compile together in a way that wouldn't influence me to tear my hair out. The most difficult part was trying to print it out and getting the orientation to be correct so everything lines up well. It took me three days to figure that out and I had it all finished the day before we had to leave for the convention. The pages still don't line up correctly, but the intention was never to make it look perfect. Zines aren't supposed to be perfect, they're supposed to be homemade anyways. You can view a digital copy of the zine at the bottom of my art page if you are interested.

Now let's get to the day that I met him. I saw him Saturday at his booth and had him sign this single that [PIAS] released of his song "Troposphere" to give off the impression that I am a freak who knows too much. When I gave it to him to sign he said something along the lines of, "I don't even think I have this!" I explained to him that I wanted to give him something more obscure to sign. I already have my regular copy of Songs For Dustmites signed by him when he did the online Q&A and signing in 2022.

Steve Burns and Seymour posing together and smiling for the camera with Steve on the left and Seymour on the right. Steve is holding up a tiny zine in front of him and has his arm wrapped around Seymour. A seven inch single within its paper slip. The paper slip says 'Greatest Hits by top artists' on the top with 'distributed by PIAS America, New York' on the bottom. The label on the single itself says 'Steve Burns' on the top with 'Troposphere from the album Songs For Dustmites' on the bottom. Steve Burns' signature is in between them with a drawn dustmite next to his name.

Here is when I gave him my gift. I said something like, "since Songs For Dustmites is turning twenty in two weeks, I wanted to making something for it so I made this zine." At some point in time during our conversation he showed off his dustmite tattoo to me that he got earlier that year or the year before, whenever it was. He seemed really taken aback by my gesture and the fact that I made this entire piece of artwork for his album. I wonder how much art is given to him at these conventions, I've seen a few dolls on his table before. He held up the entire autograph line to look at every single page in front me. Part of me felt like an ass for taking too much time with him, but I should not feel bad for showing my appreciation for his music. He thanked me, said he really appreciated it, and said he was going to show it to Drozd. I wonder if he ever did show it to him and what Drozd thought of it. I really should have asked him if he wanted another copy to send it to him. Burns was the first person to get a copy of my zine and to look through it in its entirety. I didn't even share any of the pages with my friends through the making of it to get their opinions like I usually do with my art. He did ask me where I found that drawing that he did of himself that was on his old geocities uberskink that I put on the back of the zine. I told him I found it on an old fansite. I wish someone had archived his geocities, I would love to look at it. So we took our photo at his booth, said our goodbyes, and he thanked me again for the zine.

Anyways, later the same day we got our professional photo taken with him. I changed into my Dustmites shirt, but you really could not tell that I am wearing it because it ended up being covered by Burns. I was unsure if I wanted to change into the shirt in the first place because I feel weird wearing something that indicates I am a fan of the person that I'm interacting with. I don't want to give off the idea that I love them too much despite the fact that I made that entire zine and had him sign that single. What was I actually worried about? So when we got there for the picture, Burns just waved me over to him and immediately put his arm around me. My brother stood on the other side and he was completely ignored which I thought was so hilarious. I don't feel comfortable sharing that photo here since my brother is in it. He explained to me that perhaps he should have not been in the photo with us, but him being there is my absolute favorite part.

So the next day was his panel. We got in line about an hour early so we could get a good spot. We were second in line, but it truly didn't matter because a lot of people who went to the panel right before his stayed so the two front rows were all taken. I also sat in a wet spot while in line so my ass got wet and I really had to pee. We were standing next to the water dispenser so of course all of this happened to me. Thankfully we were in the correct spot to where they set up the microphone for the questions so I could get in line before most others. We couldn't ask about the show because of the strike which made me happy because I feel like people continually ask him the same questions about the show so I already know the answers to them, but sometimes he will give out new information on the same question. I can't fault these people for asking the same things and should really chill out because not all of them are like me who know way too much about this man.

I got up to the microphone and introduced myself. Burns then proceeded to take the zine out of his pocket and show it off to the entire audience. I did not expect that man to do such a thing. I was so surprised by this act, I was too stunned to really say anything. I felt there was too much applause taking up time, I really just wanted to get to my question, but I must thank Burns for hyping me up a little bit. I really do appreciate it. If he ever does make another album then I hope he remembers what he said about me doing the album artwork for it. If not for the cover then at least for a t-shirt, I think I would be more comfortable doing that. I also noticed that not once during this time did he use any pronouns for me. What a clever man.

I wish I had framed my question better and did not take so many pauses between each word, but I was so nervous and I could not hear myself through the microphone and was unsure if anyone else could hear me. I asked him about what happened to Deep Sea Recovery Efforts and why he decided not to release it. I so wish he could have expanded upon his thoughts, but he had other questions to answer. There was one other person who asked him about his music and praised Foreverywhere. They only asked him about how he met The Flaming Lips which is a story I have heard many times before, but I think it's a cute story so I never hate hearing it again. I think it is sweet that he ended up working with and being friends with his favorite band. That is an absolute dream come true! I also must say that Foreverywhere contains the best lyrics that he has ever written. The story in that album is so beautiful and every single song fits so well together.

At the end of the panel we all got together for a group photo. The guy who was slightly in front of me was doing a hat tip which made me laugh. I don't know if I actually ended up appearing in the photo, I am very short and very easy to cover up. When that was Burns was giving fist bumps and after he gave me mine he pointed to me in recognition. Yeah, I know I'm the coolest person to ever exist. I don't know how I didn't cry at all the entire time, but my face was covered with the biggest smile ever! I must say that this man is more beautiful in person and is much larger than I thought he would be despite the fact that is a similar build and is the same height as my father so I should have known that he was going to be like that. Whenever this man jokes about his height it makes me think that is so incredibly tiny, but he is not.

I am very proud of myself for doing all of that. I am a very shy and anxious man so I am glad that I was able to push myself to do such a thing that I really felt like was impossible. I am so glad that I got to express my love and adoration for Burns' work directly to him and I hope that he has been having many interactions with fans like me who enjoy his work outside of Blue's Clues. I really need him to know that there are people out there who really love his music and wishes that he would make more. I hope he is there again next year. I have an idea of what to make for him, what to have him sign, and also what to ask him about. I wonder if he listens to Ween.