Colleen Doran Interview

The lovely and talented Molly Crabapple interviews my Mangaman partner-in-crime, the lovely and talented Colleen Doran, over at Chinashop.com. It’s a terrific interview, ranging from Colleen’s classic A Distant Soil to her new projects (including Mangaman) as well as her work relationship with Neil Gaiman and her opinions on creator rights and the comic book industry. Well worth a read; plus there’s pretty, pretty artwork! Check it out here.

Memory Monday – Green Arrow Sits on a Dude

And then there was the time Green Arrow fought crime by sitting on it…

 

Green Arrow sitting

 

(From Detective Comics #559, February 1986. Story by Doug Moench. Art by Gene Colan & Bob Smith.)

This Week in Rejection!: Story

Not much to say about this one; the rejection slip speaks for itself. Nice that they sprung for non-white paper and color printing, I have to say. It didn’t lessen the sting of yet another rejection for Young Barry, but it’s a classy touch, wouldn’t you say?

 

Story

Wednesday Warren – Mohammed’s Radio

I love Warren’s hard-rocking, crazy numbers. I adore his heart-rending love songs. And, yeah, I get a charge out of his awesomely insane, “I bet you never thought someone’d write a song about this” music, too.

But the man also wrote some powerful, introspective, melancholy music. Such a song is “Mohammed’s Radio,” from his 1976 album Warren Zevon (just in case you forgot who was makin’ the pretty music…)

The song is just as potent today as it would have been in the 1970s:

Everybody’s desperate trying to make ends meet
Work all day, still can’t pay
The price of gasoline and meat
Alas their lives are incomplete

On Vulgarity and the Wall Street Journal

A couple of people (and, really, only a couple) have called me to task for using vulgarity in my piece on the Wall Street Journal and Meghan Cox Gurdon’s assault on young adult novels and those who write them. So, for those people, let me explain. (The rest of you may be amused. I dunno.)

As I said at the very beginning of my piece:

When these disputes arise, I’m always tempted just to post “Go fuck yourselves” and let that be it. Because, in all honesty, “Go fuck yourselves” is roughly the same level of respect and consideration they show to me and mine.

When you pick up the massive builhorn that is a Wall Street Journal op-ed opportunity and use it to blast words like “hideously distorted portrayals,” “depravity,” “ugliness,” and so on into the cultural debate, make no mistake: What you are doing (what Ms. Gurdon did) is shouting, “Go fuck yourselves” with that bullhorn. Shouting to people I call friends, about the art I have made my life’s work. This was not an invitation to a debate: It was a scathing call to Middle America to tear books off shelves.

“I don’t like the darkness in these books and someone should think of the children!” = “Hey, YA — go fuck yourselves.”

“These awful authors are money grubbing sleezes making bank off the backs of our poor kids.” = “Go fuck yourselves.”

“Here are some weak, smarmy, ill-informed put-downs of books I am not qualified to judge, but which I will denigrate with the biggest megaphone I have just because I can.” = “Go fuck yourselves.”

“These dastardly authors and their pernicious ‘industry’ use the shield of the First Amendment to pour filth into your kids’ minds! What will you do?” = “Go fuck yourselves.”

All I did was say it back.

And lest you think there was rancor in what I said… There wasn’t. I’m not angry at Ms. Gurdon. I think she’s pathetic and I pity her, stumbling through a world she clearly cannot understand. (I am a bit peeved at the WSJ’s blatant link-baiting…) Notice I resorted to my epithet at the end of my piece, when I admitted I was bored. “Go fuck yourselves” was tossed off with a yawn. Because, truthfully, these bozos aren’t worthy of my rancor. When I’m pissed, you’ll know it.

I have been assailed by bullies my whole life. You don’t reason with them. You push them aside and go on with your life. Same thing with zealots. And that’s exactly what we’re dealing with.

See, some people seem to think that you can reason with Ms. Gurdon and her ilk. That you can point out all the good YA does and she will say, “Oh, goodness! I was so misguided and wrong! What was I thinking?”

Not gonna happen. Never gonna happen. I have never in my life been able to change the mind of a bully or a zealot. These guys don’t want a debate. Their tactic is simple: Say something inflammatory, force you into a defensive posture, then continually change the nature of the argument so that the defenders can never really make a point. Because these guys don’t want to hear your point. They’re not open to being convinced. They just want the clicks and the ad revenue and the political clout that comes from leveraging a socio-cultural issue.

When you argue with them like the rational person you are, you’ve already lost.

Which is why my response is to say (this time cleaned up for the sensitive among you), “Hey, in the strongest possible terms, I’m asking you to please leave my friends and my art alone!”

Hmm.

No, just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?

 

(Oh, and in the unlikely event of an apology and complete retraction from Ms. Gurdon, I will emend my previous post and this one to read, “I AM A HUGE DICKHEAD AND JUMPED TO CONCLUSIONS” in gigantic bold type at the beginning. But no apology will come, so I’m really not worried about this.)