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Take This Shove and Job It

Social media, even blogs, are filled with writers using their introductions or headers to protect their employers from whichever unpopular opinions said writers may entertain, but rarely is there a writer willing to spell out that the opinions of their employers do not represent their own. In response to that, as well as partially to dissuade either comic book wannabes or professionals from attempting to contact me, and to express how important I feel that business to be in the end, I went and accomplished this:

After years of trying mind you, leading me to believe that neither Rich Johnston or Mark Seifert honestly knew how to delete an article, and/or that they have no issues with collecting traffic from the work of persons unwilling to play the toxic game of unbridled hypocrisy. Lord knows they make enough money just by accepting payment for certain of their content, when the greater majority of their past contributors never saw any form of pay at all, unless comic book superstars. But thanks to their having a current editor unfamiliar with the website’s own history, Bleeding Cool has officially erased all of my parts, including its first indie interview and first group interview, both conducted by yours truly some ten years gone. The right to be forgotten is only possible by way of threat.

The only articles remaining with my name to be found, are where I was interviewed about Friends of Lulu, for which I served on its final BoD, and another where I pranked Johnston into including me along with a group of contributors to some old Image Comics anthology, with my imaginary work of making a Tijuana Bible out of the archaic Harlequinade setup. Presumably all the rising stars were too occupied with looking for their own name to catch Johnston’s amateurish lack of research. As I authored neither of those pieces, they must remain.

I’m quite likely the only person in company history to request such a thing, just as I was probably the only person to have ever turned down an invitation to write full-time for AintItCoolNews, whose bloated founder was the inspiration for the Comic Book Guy on the Simpsons. I knew an artist once who suggested he hook me up with a private pitch before one of the more successful Marvel editors of the last dozen or so years, and when I immediately declined he insisted, and when I explained that no amount of money could get me to work for a company which had wronged so many creatives, he stopped talking to me altogether. That same scenario has played itself out many, many times, because no matter how fervently fetished none of these passions matter in the grand scheme of things. Those defiant towards that remark will never match my other claim, of being the only person alive or dead to have been published by both Heavy Metal Magazine and the Ditkomania fanzine. Both of whom approached me with offers that I could be as noncommercial and anti-artiste as I dared, and I accepted only because my dad never had the chance. Conduct oneself for any cause other than the headline or the pay and folks just get dumbfounded.

But here’s the big secret behind my antipathy. Every single comic book thing I wrote, the hundreds of interviews, thousands of reviews and uncountable news articles, dozens upon dozens of scripts I proofed, even ghosted, for lazy primadonnas too busy signal-boosting their five inches across multiple social media accounts, in every last one was I critical of the industry. And every single one surpassed the reading comprehension of my editors, their readers, those with books reviewed and even those persons interviewed. I never even read most of the things I reviewed, as those persons responsible were that predictable. The two trade collection forewords I wrote were illegitimate, as the subjects lacked variety and earnestness and their creators were none the wiser. To this day nobody anywhere has ever called my bluff, or realized what I have done. A glorious personal joke that just kept running and running and running. Yet despite years without contributing to that bubble, the number of writers who can be easy to work with, turn out work of caliber that’s professional or at least above a high school reading level, and who can do their thing within deadlines, are so fucking rare that I still get almost daily email from idiots asking for my help in making them demigods.

I am not the brute for denying the fantasy of others, rather it is they themselves for preferring fantasy to what the universe keeps well-stocked. I will slam doors no matter how many fingers are in the way, as vocation must provide me with mental and/or physical exercise or it will relentlessly prove to be a complete and total waste of quantum indeterminacy. Buying and selling products is so obviously making the world a better place to be. Art is no weapon, it is distracting from the freedoms, the freedom to not require either products or pundits to decide who I am or what I am about. And the only people who see comic books as art are by all accounts too dumb to take a fucking hint. Faithful adherence to the notion that entertainment is a right rather than a privilege, means that you are a part of The Problem. What if seeking out and embracing Truth is more important than filling your brief time and fragile little minds with all things inconsequential? You like stuff, to the extent that products and byproducts define you, keep on trucking with that while the world burns, and shame on the platforms indulging in such utter horseshit.