What We’re All About

So over on Prism Comics, yours truly has an important message in a special guest post. Have a gander.

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Re: Bogus Reviews/Online Harassment/Cyberstalking

So I really hate discussing this publicly and this will probably be the last time I plan to do so, but a trusted buddy thought it’d be best that I set the record straight on some nonsense.

For a few months now, I’ve been getting harassed online by some racist psychotic trolls who have been spewing whatever bile they can to discredit me and my novel, Hollowstone. And by harassment I mean everything from libel to personal threats.

They’ve resorted to leaving bogus one-star reviews on several websites including Amazon and have gone so low as to pull the “Big Scary Black Man OH NOES” trope.

Now some idiot apparently used my name and gave me a glowing review to make it look like as if I sockpuppeted myself. Really? Really? And you honestly think people would be that stupid to fall for it and think that was me? Really? Really?

I’ve contacted Amazon and apprised them of the situation because this is just getting ridiculous.

However more than that, these cowards also been harassing and personally threatening friends and loved ones simply because they’re friends with me.

Why are they doing this? Unfortunately some people don’t like a black man being outspoken about bigotry against women, people of color, LGBTQs, and other marginalized people in our society. And this type of hatred proves that we DO NOT live in a post-racial society.

On top of that, in the minds of some white fangirls, speaking out and saying that writing offensive m/m slash gay fic novels where gay men are degraded, brutalized, and raped is not cool = MASSAGANEE AND MALE AHPARESSION FROM THE BIG SCARY NEGRO SAVAGE!!!!!

And answer me this. If these losers REALLY thought I was such a raging misogynist, why in the blue hell would they buy my novel, put money in my pocket, support me, read my novel and then write a scathing review? What kind of logic is that?

These are cowards who hide behind fake internet handles and spew whatever bile they can because the truth is, they have nothing else going in their lives.

I had hoped the trolls had moved on at this point, but it’s just getting ridiculous. And unfortunately, this type of behavior has become the norm.

There’s another situation where a black woman, a wife and a mother, has been stalked in real life by these same kind of trolls.

We’re talking about people getting death threats here, people. And I don’t care how you feel about someone or what you think about them. You don’t like me, that’s fine. I don’t care. You’re entitled to your opinion. But I don’t care how “justified” you feel. When you’re taking your vendetta crusade to THAT LEVEL, your arguments, reasons, and excuses have become invalid. And if you’re supporting others in this type of harassment, you’re also part of the problem. Because it’s all fun and games until someone gets killed. And while I pray it doesn’t come to that, I fear it’s only a matter of time before it happens. And sadly a lot of people reading this, couldn’t care less.

To the trolls: I’ve been silent because quite frankly, you all aren’t worth my time. And your antics have proven my point better than I hoped. If I’m the bad guy in this piece, then why are you acting like the villains?

You can spew whatever lies you like. Because while you’re spending that much time and energy on me, I’m not giving you another thought. When it’s all said and done, I still released a great novel from an excellent publisher, I’m making money, I’m doing what I love and this is only the beginning. I’m going to continue to write, I’m going to continue to get published (I’ve got a few projects lined up right now), I’m going to continue to work hard and I’m going to do me. You can only scream fire for so long before the few people who are listening stop. And I think you know this, which is why you’re getting desperate.

And when it’s all said and done, when you log off the internet you’re still going to be miserable I’m still going to be proudly standing tall.

And now I’m done. I’ve wasted enough bandwith on you fools. I’m about to expend my time and energy on things that actually matter.

By Dennis R. Upkins

Joss Whedon’s Top 10 Writing Tips

Anyone who’s known me for five seconds knows that I’m a hardcore Joss Whedonite. Suffice to say, I was beyond stoked when I came upon this article. Even though Whedon is referring to screenwriting, these tips definitely apply to storytelling in general.

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Joss Whedon’s Top 10 Writing Tips

At the Screenwriters’ Festival launch last week, I picked up 4talent Magazine from C4 reception. It’s an impressive and polished publication, chock full of interviews and juicy information, and well over 170 pages long. As I was flicking through, I noticed a feature called ‘Joss Whedon’s Anatomy of a Screenplay’ where the evil genius responsible for Dr Horrible shares his top 10 writing tips. An interesting article and perfect blogger fodder, I thought, so Catherine Bray, the author of the piece, has kindly given me permission to reproduce the article in full here. Who loves you, eh? — Joss Whedon is most famous for creating Buffy the Vampire Slayer, its spin-off Angel and the short-lived but much-loved Firefly series. But the writer and director has also worked unseen as a script doctor on movies ranging from Speed to Toy Story. Here, he shares his tips on the art of screenwriting.

1. FINISH IT

Actually finishing it is what I’m gonna put in as step one. You may laugh at this, but it’s true. I have so many friends who have written two-thirds of a screenplay, and then re-written it for about three years. Finishing a screenplay is first of all truly difficult, and secondly really liberating. Even if it’s not perfect, even if you know you’re gonna have to go back into it, type to the end. You have to have a little closure.

2. STRUCTURE

Structure means knowing where you’re going; making sure you don’t meander about. Some great films have been made by meandering people, like Terrence Malick and Robert Altman, but it’s not as well done today and I don’t recommend it. I’m a structure nut. I actually make charts. Where are the jokes? The thrills? The romance? Who knows what, and when? You need these things to happen at the right times, and that’s what you build your structure around: the way you want your audience to feel. Charts, graphs, coloured pens, anything that means you don’t go in blind is useful.

3. HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY

This really should be number one. Even if you’re writing a Die Hard rip-off, have something to say about Die Hard rip-offs. The number of movies that are not about what they purport to be about is staggering. It’s rare, especially in genres, to find a movie with an idea and not just, ‘This’ll lead to many fine set-pieces’. The Island evolves into a car-chase movie, and the moments of joy are when they have clone moments and you say, ‘What does it feel like to be those guys?’

4. EVERYBODY HAS A REASON TO LIVE

Everybody has a perspective. Everybody in your scene, including the thug flanking your bad guy, has a reason. They have their own voice, their own identity, their own history. If anyone speaks in such a way that they’re just setting up the next person’s lines, then you don’t get dialogue: you get soundbites. Not everybody has to be funny; not everybody has to be cute; not everybody has to be delightful, and not everybody has to speak, but if you don’t know who everybody is and why they’re there, why they’re feeling what they’re feeling and why they’re doing what they’re doing, then you’re in trouble.

5. CUT WHAT YOU LOVE

Here’s one trick that I learned early on. If something isn’t working, if you have a story that you’ve built and it’s blocked and you can’t figure it out, take your favourite scene, or your very best idea or set-piece, and cut it. It’s brutal, but sometimes inevitable. That thing may find its way back in, but cutting it is usually an enormously freeing exercise.

6. LISTEN

When I’ve been hired as a script doctor, it’s usually because someone else can’t get it through to the next level. It’s true that writers are replaced when executives don’t know what else to do, and that’s terrible, but the fact of the matter is that for most of the screenplays I’ve worked on, I’ve been needed, whether or not I’ve been allowed to do anything good. Often someone’s just got locked, they’ve ossified, they’re so stuck in their heads that they can’t see the people around them. It’s very important to know when to stick to your guns, but it’s also very important to listen to absolutely everybody. The stupidest person in the room might have the best idea.

7. TRACK THE AUDIENCE MOOD

You have one goal: to connect with your audience. Therefore, you must track what your audience is feeling at all times. One of the biggest problems I face when watching other people’s movies is I’ll say, ‘This part confuses me’, or whatever, and they’ll say, ‘What I’m intending to say is this’, and they’ll go on about their intentions. None of this has anything to do with my experience as an audience member. Think in terms of what audiences think. They go to the theatre, and they either notice that their butts are numb, or they don’t. If you’re doing your job right, they don’t. People think of studio test screenings as terrible, and that’s because a lot of studios are pretty stupid about it. They panic and re-shoot, or they go, ‘Gee, Brazil can’t have an unhappy ending,’ and that’s the horror story. But it can make a lot of sense.

8. WRITE LIKE A MOVIE

Write the movie as much as you can. If something is lush and extensive, you can describe it glowingly; if something isn’t that important, just get past it tersely. Let the read feel like the movie; it does a lot of the work for you, for the director, and for the executives who go, ‘What will this be like when we put it on its feet?’

9. DON’T LISTEN

Having given the advice about listening, I have to give the opposite advice, because ultimately the best work comes when somebody’s fucked the system; done the unexpected and let their own personal voice into the machine that is moviemaking. Choose your battles. You wouldn’t get Paul Thomas Anderson, or Wes Anderson, or any of these guys if all moviemaking was completely cookie-cutter. But the process drives you in that direction; it’s a homogenising process, and you have to fight that a bit. There was a point while we were making Firefly when I asked the network not to pick it up: they’d started talking about a different show.

10. DON’T SELL OUT

The first penny I ever earned, I saved. Then I made sure that I never had to take a job just because I needed to. I still needed jobs of course, but I was able to take ones that I loved. When I say that includes Waterworld, people scratch their heads, but it’s a wonderful idea for a movie. Anything can be good. Even Last Action Hero could’ve been good. There’s an idea somewhere in almost any movie: if you can find something that you love, then you can do it. If you can’t, it doesn’t matter how skilful you are: that’s called whoring in general.

The Cost Of Being A Champion

“I’ve had a lot of people talking at me the last few days. Everyone just lining up to tell me how unimportant I am. And I’ve finally figured out why. Power. I have it. They don’t. This bothers them….You guys didn’t come all the way from England to determine whether or not I was good enough to be let back in. You came to beg me to let you back in. To give your jobs, your lives some semblance of meaning.”

-Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Checkpoint

So this weekend, I had to chance to catch up with an old buddy, V, and she was telling me about how things have been for her. I was happy to hear that her relationship with her boyfriend was going well and she just got a promotion at work. I lied. I wasn’t happy for her. I was ecstatic. Because I know how hard she’s worked both professionally and personally to get to this stage in her life and she deserves all these blessings and many more to come.

Unfortunately, there has been drama at work. V has been the target of a vicious smear campaign at work. Rumor mongering, lies, the standard cliquey Mean Girls BS at work. Despite the fact that V is one of the sweetest souls you’ll ever meet, being a successful woman of color has incited racism and resentment from many of her white female colleagues. And sadly, because many people act like lemmings, opinions become facts and lies become truths if enough people claim it.

And while she’s done her best not dignify that BS, it was obvious that it was getting to V.

I told V the story of an ex friend of mine who basically engaged in the same kind of jealousy. One Friday in particular, he and I got into a heated argument over a bad situation. To take my mind off of things, I read through my weekly batch of comics. At the conclusion of Ultimate Spider-Man #38, there’s a scene where Peter is watching a video that his father made for him when he was an infant. Reading this issue, I felt like I was Peter receiving a message from God (Peter’s father).
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“Oh Peter. I have all these things in my head, things I think as your father you’ll need to hear. You’re going to find there are people who you are going to look at and say: why is this person like this? Why did this person do that to themselves?

And I swear to you, if you stare at them for 50 years, you’ll never understand why they are the way they are. I have people like that in my life, people who are just their own worst enemy.

And instead of dealing with it. Coming to terms with it, all they can do is lash out at you. Blame you for their own problems, for their own —- whatevers.

Don’t let them, Peter. Don’t let other people blame you for what they do to themselves. I feel that as your father that I have to warn you of the chaotic mess you are growing up into. And it’s a mess. People everywhere reacting without thinking. Lashing out. They don’t even know why.

Everyone trying to be more than they are, which would be fine if they actually earned it. But more and more, that isn’t the case. And that’s what drives me nuts. I find myself surrounded by people who will do or say anything just for the appearance that they are better than they are. More than they are.
Never for a second do they actually try to be better. They just want to appear better. They want to be special without going through the trouble of actually earning it.

And if you have millions of people running around like this, well then what do you have? What kind of world is that? …

It’s been a rough year, Peter. But I tell you, no matter how crappy things got with this whole mess, I found myself not really caring all that much. Because, end of the day, bottom line, no matter how bad the day is — I get to come home and see you. I get to watch you grow up. So how bad can my day be?

Just knowing I get to watch you become the man that I know you will grow up to be. All this other stuff — it doesn’t matter. All that matters to me is you Peter. You and your mom. And I can’t wait to see how you turned out.”
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And this is the cost of being a champion.  The righteous walk a thorny path and you’re trying to do something positive in the world. As such, the jackals are going to do their damndest to derail and hinder your progress. That’s what haters do, As Katt Williams pointed out:

Interestingly enough, my friend and award winning activist Monica Roberts posted this amazing piece on her blog on Friday. And while the entire post resonated with me, the following passages really stood out:

‘You hate me because you wanna emulate me.’

“It lets me know I’m on the right track in doing what I need to do.  It lets me know that you’re ‘scurred’ of me for whatever reason in your minds. It lets me know that you are so bothered by the fact that I am speaking my truth, uplifting a longtime downtrodden community and fear me doing my part to get Black transpeople to see themselves in a positive light.”

“When I’m getting inspiring e-mail from people around the country and the world telling me they appreciate what I do, a post I wrote inspired them, or a post I wrote dissuaded them from committing suicide, that means more to me than any sniping or derogatory commentary you haters can come up with.”

Recently, a friend forwarded me this excellent article by Jake Shannon which also gives some sage advice on handling haters:

“My father’s advice was particularly funny. He suggested you thank the “haters” for spending so much time thinking and talking about you since it proves how important you really are to them. The odd thing about most haters and muck-rakers is that they are seldom producers, that is, they seldom produce anything but negativity and hate…..

So, when confronted with nasty criticism, remember two things first:

1) IF they are brave enough to not hide behind fake internet usernames, take a look at the detractor’s history. Do they have a long history of offering nothing but negativity, drama, and smearing others? Have they ever produced anything but nasty criticism?
2) Remember who you are and whose opinion is REALLY important.
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Always remember first, what are YOU proud that you’ve produced of value or earned?”

I shared all of this with V and I think it helped her. At the very least I think it was comfort to know she wasn’t alone. As I reminded her. Haters are gonna hate, liars are going to lie. It’s not what they call you, it’s what you answer to. Let them. At the end of the day, they’re still going to be miserable, in Hell and still looking for someone else to blame for their failures. For all their lashing out, it’s never going to be enough. It’s still going to eat away at them. When all is said and done, she’s still going to be successful and coming out on top.

Because that’s how champions roll.

Why I’m Down With The LXD

So I thought I’d switch gears here for a second and discuss one of my favorite series on the web today: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers.
Random Fact # 28: The first concert I ever attended was Run DMC & Aerosmith.

Hip hop culture is a long lost love of mine.

This usually shocks people when they learn that I used to be huge fan of vintage hip hop. It’s understandable given my cerebral and uptight demeanor ie: the huge stick up my diamond crushing ass.


As a kid, hip hop culture was starting to gain traction and even then I knew it was something special. It was from the streets, it was humble, it was pure. It was by the people for the people. It was inclusive. Hip hop/rap was for everyone: male, female, black, Asian, Latino, and white.

Growing up I enjoyed Run DMC, LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, Will Smith aka the Fresh Prince and his boy Jazzy Jeff, Queen Latifah, Salt & Pepa, Heavy D, Hammer and a host of others.

If you don’t know about Krush Groove, you can’t talk to me. If you don’t know about Beat Street, beat it, because you can’t tell me anything.

Hip hop was socially relevant and it continuously found creative means to discuss the challenges that the poor, disenfrannchized, POCs and other minorities had to contend with. We were underground, we were pure and we were fun.

We also danced. I danced. Yes I danced. And if you catch me at a con or a party, I can showcase a few breakdance moves old and new.

Dance was crucial to the culture. It was how men and women showcased their prowess and superiority. It was also how we sometimes settled grievances if you had beef with someone.

Yes, if you had beef, you took it to the parking lot and you battled. Break out the boombox, play the latest jam and you showcased the freshest moves. You better be up to snuff on all of Michael’s moves at a bare minimum.

And don’t get it twisted. When I say hip hop, I’m not just referring to simply rap music. You see hip hop as a culture transcends, race, culture and musical genre, it’s universal. Whether it’s Run DMC and Aerosmith performing Walk This Way, Deborah Harry and Blondie teaming up with Fab Five Freddy, it’s musicals. Yes musicals, case in point: Jay-Z. You know you’re a badass when you can win a grammy off of an Annie track and no one dares question your gangsta. It’s martial arts. It’s Romeo Must Die, it’s Justified and Ancient. Hip hop is classical music, it’s jazz, it’s R&B, it’s rock music, it’s country. Juxtapose a Johnny Cash album with Common’s. You have two different men of two different eras from two different cultures and walks of life and the issues they discuss and the oppressions they call out are almost identical. Hip hop pulls from everything because it’s by the people for the people.

Sadly, hip hop lost its way. As it became more commercial and more profitable, and blood suckers found a means of exploiting it, we saw hip hop lose its voice and give way to a bastardized version that glorified blacks murdering each other, drug-dealing, abusing women. Seeing the irrevocable harm it was doing to my race, my culture and my day to day, I began to distance myself from this love of mine.

And you can’t even call it gangsta rap because that’s neither fair or true. Real gangsta rap even in its rawest form has something profound to say and when it discusses thug life or life on the streets. It tells it all. The good, the bad, the glamorous, the ugly, and the harsh realities.Violent imagery and harsh language may be used but true gangsta rap has a message worth telling.

When it comes to hip hop, a buddy of mine said it best:

Here’s the thing: “hip hop” and “rap” aren’t the problems. What you hear on the radio and see on channels like MTV or in poorly written, disastrously casted “gangsta flicks” aren’t real hip hop or rap. They’re commercialized hip hop and pop rap (it helps to be specific). To hear real hip hop and old school rap, you have to go underground. You have to track down all those unsigned rappers who quote scholars and philosophers and discuss social issues in their rhymes. Unlike mainstream rappers, they’re often college-educated, have little to no criminal background, and are regularly engaged in community service, like rapper/educator Asheru.

You will almost NEVER see them in popular media because they are a more accurate depiction of black people in America. Moreover, they represent us positively, and white America doesn’t want to show people that. They don’t want non-black (or even black) people to [see black people] that way. They want everyone to see us as “ghetto”, illiterate, promiscuous, and self-destructive so that they don’t have to take responsibility for – or even mention – the glaring inequality in our society.

It appears my friend and I aren’t alone. In recent years, I’ve noticed a lot more discussions and a movement to reclaim hip hop and to return it to its purest form. Whether it’s Def Poetry and open mic, conscious rap and other media. Even a web series that has become a cultural and global phenomenon

Which brings us to The LXD: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers.

From visionary writer/director Jon M. Chu (STEP UP 3D), The LXD chronicles the journey of seemingly ordinary people who discover they have extraordinary powers and must choose their place in an epic war between good and evil.

There’s high school outcast Trevor Drift (Bboy Luigi) uncovering his family’s dangerous secret, fallen soldier Sp3cimen (Madd Chadd) running from his dark past, and unassuming hero Elliot Hoo (Glee’s Harry Shum Jr.) haunted by newly discovered supernatural gifts. All of whom are called to fulfill their destiny and join The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers. Each of their stories showcases the unbelievable flips, spins and twists that have already made The LXD a pop cultural phenomenon and one of the most highly anticipated films ever released.

The LXD is hip hop in its purest form. It’s an online adventure. It’s a live action comic book series that bends genre like whoa. It’s dance: be it ballet, jazz, tap, B-boy, it’s acrobatics, it’s extraordinary. You can see influences of Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Gregory Hines in some of the performances. However most of the dancers have stated that their biggest influence and inspiration was Michael Jackson.

Not only was I floored by the series but the story behind the series itself. A web series about a group of gifted characters who discover they have amazing abilities through energy known as the Ra. Think a high quality, epic, operatic Heroes, only with an excellent plot, without the fail. The Justice League of dance might be a better description.

The plot evolves with each episode and Chu and company get more artistic and creative with the cinematography themes, composition, etc.

As I mentioned earlier, it went from internet sensation to global phenomenon, primarily through word of mouth. People believed in the project, people want to see our stories and talents shared, they have also proven that diversity = success. All of the choreography and stunts are real; no special effects, no wire work, no green screens. I’m also proud to support this series because 50 percent of the sales of the official LXD t-shirt supports the work of the Invisible Children, a cause that’s personally dear to me.

The LXD is also proof of two things: Web series are the way of the future and that diversity when done right garners success.

The LXD, has a multi-ethnic cast and has consistently dominated as the most watched series on Hulu. Paramount executives have pointed to creator Jon Chu’s use of Web 2.0 and social networking (not to mention a quality product) as setting the standard and being a game changer in reaching a mass audience, execs can only dream about.

Funny how while Hollywood is hemorraging money and trying to figure out ways gain audiences, web series like The LXDKTown Cowboys, and The Misadventures of AWKWARD Black Girl have fans breaking their necks to donate to their Crowdfunding and Kickstarter efforts. Funny how these have all been POC media as well.

I could go on and on about how incredible this series is, but I know all too well that seeing is believing. With that in mind, check out the official trailer for Season 3: Rise of the Drifts.

Seasons 1&2 are available on DVD as well as iTunes, Amazon, and Netflix streaming.

thelxd.com
http://www.hulu.com/the-lxd

LXD: The online adventure begins right now. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to rewatch the season premiere and reconnect with a long lost love.

On Being A Black Writer

The late brilliant Dwayne McDuffie made the following video discussing the harsh realities of being a black writer, in regards to the racism, rebuke and attacks (both professional and personal) that we face in our day-to-day.

While he was speaking on the comic book industry specifically, I can tell you from firsthand experience from promoting Hollowstone, that black writers face these challenges in any field.

 

Another Starred Review (Of Sorts) For Hollowstone

My day job at the office can best be described as a beautiful disaster. It can be frustrating and stressful but thankfully I’ve got some wonderful co-workers and an awesome supervisor who manage to keep me sane.

And it appears my diabolical scheme to become the dominant uber alpha super worker in the office is succeeding. My performance stats have been without equal and I’m one of only four people in my department to be getting extra bonuses.

[pops collar like a boss]

One of the things I do to keep me motivated is prop up a copy of Hollowstone on my desk. Some people keep pics of their loved ones or children on their desk, I keep my “baby” on my desk as well. When I’m stressed or worried, it’s a reminder of what I’ve accomplished and what lies ahead for me.

So outside of the director’s office is a board of the office’s top performers whose pics are pasted atop of gold and silver stars. My curiosity got the better of me because I noticed my pic hadn’t been taken and I wandered over to have a gander. Turns out one of the supervisors took a snapshot of Hollowstone (presumably while I was at lunch) and posted the pic.

This amused me to no end. Hence my sharing this story.

Hollowstoned At Work

Hollowstone has been a huge hit at work which is really awesome seeing as I have done very little to promote or discuss the novel. When I first began at the Office, I didn’t discuss Hollowstone because I didn’t want to give off the impression that I wasn’t focused on the job or I was being vain or whatnot but I had mentioned the novel in passing.

Several folks were impressed that they had a real live published author for a co-worker. One day my supervisor grabbed a copy of my novel from my desk to take to her meeting to show off to the other supervisors and upper brass that someone on her team was an accomplished author.

Many folks have bought the novel and I’ve had the pleasure of signing them which is pretty awesome and humbling.

My last few meetings with my supervisor has gone something like this.

Supervisor: Okay Denny, we’re going to discuss your performance evaluation in just a moment but first there’s something important I need to discuss with you. Hollowstone! OMG! You have got to tell me about Cal’s origins. What’s going to happen? I’m in the second part of the book and it’s just getting crazy.

Denny: Don’t worry business is about to pick up. After all, it’s all connected.

Not gonna lie impressing colleagues with my book, kinda awesome.

[pops collar, like a boss]

Everytime You Bring The Gay, You Crush A Writer’s Dreams

Last weekend I was reading Peter David’s blog and came across this nugget. I haven’t been able to stop laughing since for reasons that are about to be obviously clear:
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This is a new one on me

I’ve become used to the typical reasons that hostility is aimed at me. The guys who assail me because I have different political beliefs from them (including those who actually write to Marvel trying to get me fired because they didn’t like something I wrote on this blog). Or the guys who love to weigh in on any positive BBS thread about my work and try and lob crap at it because they feel I was mean to them three years ago, or they’re frustrated writers who believe that my success is as undeserved as their failure, and since they can’t do anything about the latter, they’ll try and tear down the former.

But the message I received recently was just on a different level.
I started up a Facebook page about a month ago and the vast, vast, VAST majority of people who have approached me through that medium have been genuine, enthusiastic fans of me or my work. And then one day, out of the blue, I got the following message from someone I shall keep nameless:

I wrote a submission to Marvel that was a Shatterstar origin. I wrote that story three times. Countless nights of research on the many characters and the ultimate expansion of the mojoverse. I spent 2 years trying to find an artist to draw for me. You made him gay, and made my story irrelevent. (sic) I have stopped writing and am now a mechanic. A rather small decision of yours, crushed my dream of being a comic book writer at Marvel.

 

I have to admit, I was taken aback. As I said, I’ve become used to the usual reasons for hostility. But here’s someone I’ve never met (to my knowledge) who apparently hates his life and blames me for it.

Years ago I wrote a Hulk story which featured a low-grade crook who, throughout his career, was constantly having his endeavors thwarted by the Hulk who, in turn, had no idea the guy existed. For instance, the guy was driving away from a bank robbery at high speed and a casually leaping Hulk shattered the road in front of him so that he couldn’t escape police pursuit. By the end of the story he finally confronts the Hulk, declaring him to be his nemesis, and the Hulk has no freaking idea who this guy is or the impact he’s had on his life. The guy was supposed to be a comedic figure.

Instead I now encounter that in real life and I don’t find it funny at all. To me, it’s just kind of tragic, that somewhere out there, there’s this guy who isn’t achieving his goals and believes it’s my fault…and me, I was just going about my business.

And the more I think about it, the more I just feel sorry for the guy. It’s a terrible thing, to just give up like that. Sadder still, I suppose, to be so determined to blame someone else for your own inability to stick with it. Someone becomes a writer–a professional writer–because NOT being a writer is unthinkable. You’re not deterred by the first set back, or the fifth, or the fiftieth. Failure, as they say, is not an option. If it is, then you won’t make it, period.

Still, as I said…it’s disconcerting to discover that someone hates me that much, and particularly for a story that meant a great deal to a sizable portion of the readership.

PAD

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To quote my girl [info]boston_pobble…………..I got nothing.