July 22nd, 2008
Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood.
No one notices. Chesty girl in Elektra costume walks by and lecherous men stop to take photos.
Accumulated filth and sex, whores and politicians, following the droppings of lechers and capitalists. They had a choice, all of them. They could have followed in the footsteps of good men. Decent men who believed in a day’s work for a day’s pay.
Instead, they came to Comic-Con. Now they stand on the brink, staring into bloody hell.
July 23rd, 2008
Slept poorly last night. Roommates kept me up organizing panel schedules and watching G4. Next-door neighbor complaining about the smell. He has five long boxes with five different categories labeled “Golden Age” to “Secret Invasion.” I am sure he has four more at home. Soon, they will all be signed.
First panel of the morning fruitless; not selected for DC Comics Talent Search. Feel slightly depressed I dragged portfolio for nothing. This convention is already dying of rabies. Is the best I can do to wipe random flecks of foam from its lips.
Perhaps Boom Studios looking for artists. Hunh.
Never despair. Never surrender. I leave the human cockroaches to their poor anatomy and four-color pornography. I have business elsewhere with a better class of person. 11AM meeting in Warner Bros. pavilion, down in 1000 block, across crowded convention center.
I believe I shall take my exercise.
July 23rd, 2008. 4:00 PM:
Meeting with Warners left bad taste in mouth. Pampered and decadent, betraying even their own shallow, poor understanding of the comic book industry. Comics industry as bad. Flabby failure that sits whimpering in mothers’ basement.
Why are so few of us in this industry active, healthy and without personality disorders?
…ooh. Free Ben 10 DVDs. Yoink.
Feet later, Nite Owl replica ship swarming with sticky children. Batcycle photographed to left. Stan Lee signing, in disgrace, preview posters of new stripper/superhero interactive cartoon.
Will Eisner is dead.
Only two names remaining on my list. Both signing in AA Pavilion upstairs. I shall go to them. I shall go tell the third and fourth Clone Troopers in Revenge of the Sith that nobody cares. Nobody cares but me.
First: Five-dollar hot pretzel and three dollar Snapple.
July 23rd, 2008. 1:00 AM:
On Thursday night, my liver died in the Hyatt.
Someone threw me out of the IDW party and when I hit the sidewalk my head was driven up into my stomach. Went in to try and score Transformers one shot; came out on my ass.
Is it futile? Soon there will be war. Millions will burn and perish in sickness and misery. But still can’t get this Fortress Maximus story out of my head. Why does one pitch matter against so many? There are so many deserving of retribution. And there is so little time.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll go talk to Larry Young.
July 24th, 2008
Top Cow booth: Women’s breasts draped across every cover, every display. Was offered free hug, free poster, free button… but not free comic. Free comic like instant courage — only find it on Internet.
Thought about Fortress Maximus story on way to Watchmen panel. Could happen, probably won’t. Don’t know if editor even remembers me the morning after. If not, then what? So many questions. Never mind. Answers soon. Nothing is hopeless. Not while I have his business card and an e-mail account.
In Watchmen panel, all movie stars stood in row. Neat Hollywood heroes on a giant cash register. Paid respects quietly, without fuss. Alan Moore, writer, born 1953, hates your comic book movie.
Look around at audience. Is this what happens to us? A life of comics with no time for friends… so that when it’s done, only our intellectual properties leave roses? Something in our personalities, perhaps? Some animal urge to pitch and struggle, making us what we are?
Unimportant. We do what we have to do. Bury our heads between the swollen teats of indulgence, gratification and fantastic movie options, piglets squirming beneath a sow for shelter. But there is no shelter… and this movie release is bearing down like an express train.
Hurm. Zack Snyder kicking over fanboys, shouting, “This… is… Comic-Con!”
True face of twenty-first century comic book industry. A reflection, a parody of it. Good joke. Everybody laugh. Roll snare drum. Curtains.
I wonder if Newsarama will win Eisner tonight?
July 24th, 2008, 3:30 PM
Left panel early. Dropped by Image Comics booth. Tori Amos anthologies not here yet. Dammit, someone pays if I don’t get into her signing.
July 25th, 2008
Woken at seven by shouting outside. Disturbed to find I had fallen asleep without removing the skin from my head. Tireder than I thought. Should have left the Hyatt earlier last night.
Across street, girls with Catwoman costumes catching shuttle bus. Memorized their descriptions, then prepared for show. First, peeled off face, folded it, hid inside jacket. Without my face, nobody knows who I am. Put on Joker nurse costume, anyway. Can never be too careful.
On way to convention, saw Didio and Quesada leaving diner. They didn’t know me. A crossover, perhaps? Must investigate further.
July 25th, 2008, 2:30 PM:
Is everyone but me going mad? Over at Vertigo panel no one clapped for Seaguy 2. This relentless world: there is only one sane response to it. The downstairs bathroom was filthy and deserted. My things were where I left them, waiting for me. Could not retrieve them due to awful smell.
My coat, my shoes, my spotless gloves. My face. Instead, was forced to wear V for Vendetta mask and Sinestro Corps T-shirt.
Had three hours before Sergio Aragones Quick Draw panel. Away down Artist’s Alley, heard women scream, first bubbling note of shock at high price for convention sketch. Approached other disturbance. Dark Horse editor lost artist on new mini-series. Cleared throat. The man turned and there was something rewarding in his eyes.
Sometimes, San Diego is generous to me.
July 26th, 2008
Last day, surprisingly optimistic. Found OMAC back issues three for a dollar and took photo with Lou Ferrigno. Checked out of Omni to discover was not charged for porn film, free continental breakfast instead. Took robes and looted mini-bar anyway.
Stood on line for Dave Gibbons sketch, free of charge. Asked about sequel, told to keep line moving. Hurm. Remember to follow up at message board.
One last walk across convention floor, ran into old project collaborator. Been avoiding his emails because he wants to pay back end. Made up meeting excuse and lost him inside DC booth. Pitched a Zuda comic while there. Given free mouse pad for troubles.
Crush of people like crush of skulls beneath war machine. Sunday, no one bothering to use deodorant. Applied hand sanitizer to gloves. Never know.
Last hour, sat watching Ultimate Alliance 2 trailer across from Marvel booth. Passers-by made various comments: this community is an animal, fierce and complicated. To understand it I read its droppings, its scents, the movement of its parasites. I sat watching trailer and San Diego opened its heart to me.
Ten minutes later, got Matt Fraction’s autograph.
Xeric winning cartoonist Neil Kleid authored Ninety Candles, a novella about life, legacy and comics and Brownsville, a book about Jewish mobsters for NBM Publishing. His webcomic, Action, Ohio, was a competitor at DC Comics’ online competition, Zudacomics.com and he’s written X-Men for Marvel, The Intimidators for Shadowline, Ursa Minors! for Slave Labor Graphics and Tales from the Crypt for Papercutz. He co-founded the Chemistry Set webcomic collective where he wrote Todt Hill. He lives in New York with his wife and is working on four graphic novels, two mini-series, two webcomics, a trade paperback and no sleep. Pray for him at www.rantcomics.com
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Take That! is a satire published by Newsarama, and is not intended maliciously. Newsarama has invented all names and situations in its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental, or used as a fictional depiction or personality parody (permitted under Hustler Magazine v. Fallwell, 485 US 46, 108 S.Ct 876, 99 L.Ed.2d 41 (1988)). Newsarama makes no representation as to the truth or accuracy of the preceding information.