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:
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.
To quote my girl boston_pobble…………..I got nothing.