Tuesday, May 03, 2011

How Not to Break into the Comics Industry - Chapter 3

Prologue   I Chapter 1 I Chapter 2 I Chapter 3 I 
Chapter 4 I Chapter 5 I

New York, 2000
I can never think of New York as a real city. It is a movie set where giant lizards and giant marshmallow men smash down suspension bridges, tidal waves wash away entire buildings and planes crash into buildings. I know the last one happened in real life, but it felt just as unreal. Most of the Marvel comicbooks (very unrealistically and somewhat lazily, I must say) take place in New York. One visit I asked my aunt where Forrest Hills was. She thought for a second before showing me the general direction and asked why. She gave me a concerned look when I answered that that was where Peter Parker lived. I repressed giving her a concerned look for not knowing that. How can people live in New York for decades and not know that Avengers Mansion is on 5th Avenue or that Gwen Stacy was thrown to her death by the Green Goblin from a tower on the George Washington Bridge? I mean, seriously!

So visiting New York was for me not much different from visiting Universal Studios. While it is way down on my list of places I want to live in, as I find the city to be too intense and loud, I adore visiting it and I must say that it has been quite a while since my last visit. I then had three weeks at my disposal, but I had to remain focused and follow my battle plan which, of course, I had. 

I got to meet LA Williams which I already mentioned in my last post. Though he had already left DC Comics I still managed to get a tour of the offices thanks to my friendship with him. Charlotte Jackson, a DC Comics assistant at the time, was an integral part of the attempt to bring me in as an intern. Once Ade left she arranged for his replacement, Joey Cavalieri, an imporant editor in his own right, to give me the tour and in general encouraged me not to give up and was all "you go, girl". I am very grateful to her to this day.

Walking into the reception area, I almost felt the need to take off my shoes in this holy place. It is a bit of a blur now, but I remember it was well decorated and there was a big Superman statue welcoming everyone. While waiting I asked the receptionist where the toilets were. When she did not get it I quickly corrected to "rest room" even though I was perfectly rested and only really needed to pee badly. While waiting I also popped over to say hi to Charlotte and thank her again.

Joey did not keep me waiting for long. We shook hands and the tour started. He took me through the various departments, including a floor dedicated entirely to Mad magazine and pointed things out. We did not take the scenic route and it was a bit rushed, but it was still impressive and exciting. I appreciated the fact that a busy DC Comics editor took about twenty minutes out of his time to show me around. We got to his office and he showed me David Letterman's studio right across the street and said he could watch from his office and see all the stunts and segments they were often filming right outside the studio. I got to see the black and white pages of a new upcoming book. He then opened a big drawer full of tradepaperbacks, grabbed a few and handed me those I have not read. It was too much fun.

We arrived back at the reception area and Joey smiled warmly and shook my hand for goodbye. I realized this was the end so I quickly rushed to open my bag and take out a piece of paper with a few game pitches. I asked if he does not mind taking a look at them.

I looked up from my bag and was taken aback by the expression on Joey's face. It was a mixture of disappointment and disgust, as I if I tricked him. The whole tour was just the cover for my true intention: stuffing unsolicited stories down his throat (which was partly true as getting published was certainly more important to me than getting the tour). If I had pulled down my pants and taken a crap right there in front of him and he made that face I would have still said it was an unwarranted overreaction. He took the piece of paper and we parted. Charlotte Jackson told me she will follow it up with Joey, but it was hardly a surprise when nothing came of it.

Still, I got a VIP tour of DC Comics and got some free comicbooks, so it was certainly not a complete loss. Besides, the rest of the trip was still ahead of me and there were more places to visit and some interesting   people to meet.


Prologue   I Chapter 1 I Chapter 2 I Chapter 3 I 

1 comment:

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