EVERY WEEK, REJECTION LETTERS FROM MY PAST. BECAUSE THE HURT GOES AWAY AFTER A COUPLE OF DECADES.

THIS WEEK IN REJECTION!

This Week in Rejection!: Bantam

There’s a story behind this one. Technically, there are two.

Back in 1989, Bantam Books published this:

It was a very cool book, with a bunch of fun, well-executed short stories about Batman. I loved it.

After a while, I became aware that Bantam was planning to publish a follow-up volume: The Further Adventures of the Joker.

Well, it just so happened that I had (still have, actually) a really cool Joker story I’d wanted to tell. It was devious and bloody and ever-so-slightly psychologically off-putting.

Oh, yeah — and it also answered (definitively) the question fans had pondered for years. Namely, why on earth doesn’t Batman just kill the Joker already? And did so without resorting to the tired old chestnut of “If I killed the Joker, I would be no better than he is!” Yeah, right, Bruce. Because executing a psychopathic mass murderer puts you on the same level. I don’t think so.

Anyway, as a college student jam-packed with the assurance that I was professional-grade, of course I wrote the editor of the book, Martin Greenberg (now, sadly, no longer with us) and proposed my story for the follow-up Joker volume.

What happened was, well, not a comedy of errors, per se. More like a sitcom of errors.

In case you can’t read it, it says:

Dear Barry,
There’s been a mix-up. I’m a Bantam author and my name is David Greenberg & not Martin.
Good luck!
David Greenberg

I didn’t know what to do. I had clearly sent a letter to Martin Greenberg care of his publisher, and it had been mis-routed to someone else. I considered re-sending, but I had no confidence that this time the letter would be routed appropriately. So after fretting for awhile, I just threw my hands up in the air and gave up.

P.S. A few years ago, DC Comics asked me to pitch some Batman stories to them. I immediately dug out the kick-ass Joker story I’d written so long ago. My recollection (and I could be wrong about this) is that they thought it was pretty cool, but too abstract. Ah, well. (Trust me — it really IS a kick-ass story!)

P.P.S Yes, I am tickled by the fact that “Bantam” and “Batman” are simple anagrams of each other. I amuse easily.

Leave a Comment

*