I was 18 years old and trying to break into comics as a penciller, sent my samples off to Marvel and DC and all the rest. Sometimes I would get a rejection letter, sometimes not even that. Rejection letters are form letters, since the sheer volume of submissions makes individual replies impossible. So imagine my surprise when I got a rejection letter with a hand written note from Dick Giordano himself! He actually took the time to give me some tips and pointers and most of all encourage me. I was floored! I grew up on the man's work, admired him immensely and here he was taking time to write me? He actually inspired me to concentrate on my inking, which I hadn't considered before Dick encouraged me. I broke into comics shortly after that. And I'm not the only one. Apparently Dick did this all the time. Jim Lee even recounted a very similar experience on CBR.
Years later, I got to work with Dick on a project that he pencilled and I inked. The project was never finished, but I got to talk to Dick on the phone and tell him how much his letter meant to me and what a fan of his I was. Some people advise not to meet your heroes because they will only let you down. Dick never let me down. In fact, he picked me up (out of the sea of submissions) dusted me off, and sent me on my way. I'll never forget that.
Thanks again, Dick.