Imaginary Conversation With Imaginary Editor Who Imaginarily Accepts An Imaginary Story of Mine

  • Editor: Well, we read your story and really like it and want to publish it in our latest issue.
  • Me: Aw, no fooling?
  • Editor: No fooling, kid.
  • Me: That's awfully swell of you! I sure do like your magazine and sure think it's swell my story is going to be in it!
  • For some reason, everyone in modern publishing automatically talks like they stepped out of a 1940s newspaper movie in my head.
oldfilmsflicker:




In A Lonely Place, 1950 (dir. Nicholas Ray)



oldfilmsflicker:




In A Lonely Place, 1950 (dir. Nicholas Ray)

ozu-teapot:

Double Indemnity - Billy Wilder - 1944

Poster depicting the filmed but cut “gas chamber” scene. The footage of this original final scene is now lost or locked away in Paramount’s vaults…

challengerscomics:

Today @ Challengers… This kind of comic fan discrimination seems to happen all the time, and it’s deplorable. Thank you, Eric, for the kind words.
ericgrau:

gingerhaze:

Oh, I know I have it better than a lot of would-be comics buyers, and that’s what worries me. I’ve had it with the self-appointed gatekeepers in comics. 

I have been to so many comic stores where you get this sort of vibe the second you walk in the place. It’s inexcusable, juvenile and downright shitty. Hell, I’ve been to one where the store owner would berate people for buying comics by an author he didn’t like and then go on to rant about how that author was “afraid of him”. He would attack this author on social media sites and his own message board. He would walk around his store like this was an accomplishment. Like that sort of behavior was something to be proud of. But the biggest thing that made me decide to never give this jerk another cent of my money was when he “jokingly” berated and called his girlfriend (who also worked for him) names in front of customers.
This sort of thing shouldn’t be common. It shouldn’t be encouraged. It shouldn’t be allowed, really. It’s a horrible part of the comics culture. There are places where this sort of thing doesn’t happen and I’m very happy to have found a place like Challengers that is so inclusive and welcoming of everyone who sets foot inside the store.
Challengers is a fantastic store, with so many fun events, great products and excellent service. I’ve never set foot in a better store. I honestly have a hard time picturing myself being a regular customer anywhere else at this point.
But it says a lot about comic book stores when one of the selling points is “they show basic human decency!”


Women like things guys like. Guys like things women like. And this sort of writing off of a fan based purely on prejudices is absolutely insane.
My wife likes comic books and I would refuse the business of any comic book shop that treated her like this. Challengers is pretty great — if a hike for me now that I’m way out of the city — and should be the way more stores are: accessible to every fan of every stripe. If you are out in Chicago, I’d highly recommend you track them down.
As a side note — and one that isn’t anywhere near as terrible an experience as being written off for your gender — I went to a comic book shop not too long ago that I was hoping would be a new comic store home for me. Unfortunately, the proprietor seemed to be too focused on their Magic game (and I like Magic!) to work with me when I came in. It took a good 5 minutes for someone to even say, “Oh, hi!” And then when I tried to ask about a comic book line, I got this terribly condescending attitude that I was some sort of hanger on, or wannabe. I have a feeling it might have been related to my garb — I had just gotten off work, and was still wearing a fairly stylish, business casual outfit, and got the vibe that I wasn’t geeky enough for them.
If they only knew.
It really is such a minor thing in my own experience, but it is so infuriating. Comics should be fun! Everyone should be allowed to read them! It doesn’t matter how old you are, how new you are, or what type of comics you like. We are at such an awesome time in that subculture. Comics are more acceptable in the mainstream than ever before, and there are creators doing awesome things with the medium. I’m not against debate and discussion of comics — in fact, I would say discussion makes the medium that much more enjoyable — but the denigration of other fans due to what they enjoy is stupid. You don’t like the new 52? That’s fine; but someone who happens to enjoy them is not “not a real fan.” You prefer non-superhero comics? Great! But people who enjoy superhero comics are not any lesser for it. Hell, My Little Pony comics are enjoyed by a certain group of people, but who the hell am I to judge them: I read comics with people wearing underwear outside their tights. 
The medium is big enough to hold many. Some are new to it, some are old. In the end, we should see everyone as part of a greater family. challengerscomics:

Today @ Challengers… This kind of comic fan discrimination seems to happen all the time, and it’s deplorable. Thank you, Eric, for the kind words.
ericgrau:

gingerhaze:

Oh, I know I have it better than a lot of would-be comics buyers, and that’s what worries me. I’ve had it with the self-appointed gatekeepers in comics. 

I have been to so many comic stores where you get this sort of vibe the second you walk in the place. It’s inexcusable, juvenile and downright shitty. Hell, I’ve been to one where the store owner would berate people for buying comics by an author he didn’t like and then go on to rant about how that author was “afraid of him”. He would attack this author on social media sites and his own message board. He would walk around his store like this was an accomplishment. Like that sort of behavior was something to be proud of. But the biggest thing that made me decide to never give this jerk another cent of my money was when he “jokingly” berated and called his girlfriend (who also worked for him) names in front of customers.
This sort of thing shouldn’t be common. It shouldn’t be encouraged. It shouldn’t be allowed, really. It’s a horrible part of the comics culture. There are places where this sort of thing doesn’t happen and I’m very happy to have found a place like Challengers that is so inclusive and welcoming of everyone who sets foot inside the store.
Challengers is a fantastic store, with so many fun events, great products and excellent service. I’ve never set foot in a better store. I honestly have a hard time picturing myself being a regular customer anywhere else at this point.
But it says a lot about comic book stores when one of the selling points is “they show basic human decency!”


Women like things guys like. Guys like things women like. And this sort of writing off of a fan based purely on prejudices is absolutely insane.
My wife likes comic books and I would refuse the business of any comic book shop that treated her like this. Challengers is pretty great — if a hike for me now that I’m way out of the city — and should be the way more stores are: accessible to every fan of every stripe. If you are out in Chicago, I’d highly recommend you track them down.
As a side note — and one that isn’t anywhere near as terrible an experience as being written off for your gender — I went to a comic book shop not too long ago that I was hoping would be a new comic store home for me. Unfortunately, the proprietor seemed to be too focused on their Magic game (and I like Magic!) to work with me when I came in. It took a good 5 minutes for someone to even say, “Oh, hi!” And then when I tried to ask about a comic book line, I got this terribly condescending attitude that I was some sort of hanger on, or wannabe. I have a feeling it might have been related to my garb — I had just gotten off work, and was still wearing a fairly stylish, business casual outfit, and got the vibe that I wasn’t geeky enough for them.
If they only knew.
It really is such a minor thing in my own experience, but it is so infuriating. Comics should be fun! Everyone should be allowed to read them! It doesn’t matter how old you are, how new you are, or what type of comics you like. We are at such an awesome time in that subculture. Comics are more acceptable in the mainstream than ever before, and there are creators doing awesome things with the medium. I’m not against debate and discussion of comics — in fact, I would say discussion makes the medium that much more enjoyable — but the denigration of other fans due to what they enjoy is stupid. You don’t like the new 52? That’s fine; but someone who happens to enjoy them is not “not a real fan.” You prefer non-superhero comics? Great! But people who enjoy superhero comics are not any lesser for it. Hell, My Little Pony comics are enjoyed by a certain group of people, but who the hell am I to judge them: I read comics with people wearing underwear outside their tights. 
The medium is big enough to hold many. Some are new to it, some are old. In the end, we should see everyone as part of a greater family. challengerscomics:

Today @ Challengers… This kind of comic fan discrimination seems to happen all the time, and it’s deplorable. Thank you, Eric, for the kind words.
ericgrau:

gingerhaze:

Oh, I know I have it better than a lot of would-be comics buyers, and that’s what worries me. I’ve had it with the self-appointed gatekeepers in comics. 

I have been to so many comic stores where you get this sort of vibe the second you walk in the place. It’s inexcusable, juvenile and downright shitty. Hell, I’ve been to one where the store owner would berate people for buying comics by an author he didn’t like and then go on to rant about how that author was “afraid of him”. He would attack this author on social media sites and his own message board. He would walk around his store like this was an accomplishment. Like that sort of behavior was something to be proud of. But the biggest thing that made me decide to never give this jerk another cent of my money was when he “jokingly” berated and called his girlfriend (who also worked for him) names in front of customers.
This sort of thing shouldn’t be common. It shouldn’t be encouraged. It shouldn’t be allowed, really. It’s a horrible part of the comics culture. There are places where this sort of thing doesn’t happen and I’m very happy to have found a place like Challengers that is so inclusive and welcoming of everyone who sets foot inside the store.
Challengers is a fantastic store, with so many fun events, great products and excellent service. I’ve never set foot in a better store. I honestly have a hard time picturing myself being a regular customer anywhere else at this point.
But it says a lot about comic book stores when one of the selling points is “they show basic human decency!”


Women like things guys like. Guys like things women like. And this sort of writing off of a fan based purely on prejudices is absolutely insane.
My wife likes comic books and I would refuse the business of any comic book shop that treated her like this. Challengers is pretty great — if a hike for me now that I’m way out of the city — and should be the way more stores are: accessible to every fan of every stripe. If you are out in Chicago, I’d highly recommend you track them down.
As a side note — and one that isn’t anywhere near as terrible an experience as being written off for your gender — I went to a comic book shop not too long ago that I was hoping would be a new comic store home for me. Unfortunately, the proprietor seemed to be too focused on their Magic game (and I like Magic!) to work with me when I came in. It took a good 5 minutes for someone to even say, “Oh, hi!” And then when I tried to ask about a comic book line, I got this terribly condescending attitude that I was some sort of hanger on, or wannabe. I have a feeling it might have been related to my garb — I had just gotten off work, and was still wearing a fairly stylish, business casual outfit, and got the vibe that I wasn’t geeky enough for them.
If they only knew.
It really is such a minor thing in my own experience, but it is so infuriating. Comics should be fun! Everyone should be allowed to read them! It doesn’t matter how old you are, how new you are, or what type of comics you like. We are at such an awesome time in that subculture. Comics are more acceptable in the mainstream than ever before, and there are creators doing awesome things with the medium. I’m not against debate and discussion of comics — in fact, I would say discussion makes the medium that much more enjoyable — but the denigration of other fans due to what they enjoy is stupid. You don’t like the new 52? That’s fine; but someone who happens to enjoy them is not “not a real fan.” You prefer non-superhero comics? Great! But people who enjoy superhero comics are not any lesser for it. Hell, My Little Pony comics are enjoyed by a certain group of people, but who the hell am I to judge them: I read comics with people wearing underwear outside their tights. 
The medium is big enough to hold many. Some are new to it, some are old. In the end, we should see everyone as part of a greater family. challengerscomics:

Today @ Challengers… This kind of comic fan discrimination seems to happen all the time, and it’s deplorable. Thank you, Eric, for the kind words.
ericgrau:

gingerhaze:

Oh, I know I have it better than a lot of would-be comics buyers, and that’s what worries me. I’ve had it with the self-appointed gatekeepers in comics. 

I have been to so many comic stores where you get this sort of vibe the second you walk in the place. It’s inexcusable, juvenile and downright shitty. Hell, I’ve been to one where the store owner would berate people for buying comics by an author he didn’t like and then go on to rant about how that author was “afraid of him”. He would attack this author on social media sites and his own message board. He would walk around his store like this was an accomplishment. Like that sort of behavior was something to be proud of. But the biggest thing that made me decide to never give this jerk another cent of my money was when he “jokingly” berated and called his girlfriend (who also worked for him) names in front of customers.
This sort of thing shouldn’t be common. It shouldn’t be encouraged. It shouldn’t be allowed, really. It’s a horrible part of the comics culture. There are places where this sort of thing doesn’t happen and I’m very happy to have found a place like Challengers that is so inclusive and welcoming of everyone who sets foot inside the store.
Challengers is a fantastic store, with so many fun events, great products and excellent service. I’ve never set foot in a better store. I honestly have a hard time picturing myself being a regular customer anywhere else at this point.
But it says a lot about comic book stores when one of the selling points is “they show basic human decency!”


Women like things guys like. Guys like things women like. And this sort of writing off of a fan based purely on prejudices is absolutely insane.
My wife likes comic books and I would refuse the business of any comic book shop that treated her like this. Challengers is pretty great — if a hike for me now that I’m way out of the city — and should be the way more stores are: accessible to every fan of every stripe. If you are out in Chicago, I’d highly recommend you track them down.
As a side note — and one that isn’t anywhere near as terrible an experience as being written off for your gender — I went to a comic book shop not too long ago that I was hoping would be a new comic store home for me. Unfortunately, the proprietor seemed to be too focused on their Magic game (and I like Magic!) to work with me when I came in. It took a good 5 minutes for someone to even say, “Oh, hi!” And then when I tried to ask about a comic book line, I got this terribly condescending attitude that I was some sort of hanger on, or wannabe. I have a feeling it might have been related to my garb — I had just gotten off work, and was still wearing a fairly stylish, business casual outfit, and got the vibe that I wasn’t geeky enough for them.
If they only knew.
It really is such a minor thing in my own experience, but it is so infuriating. Comics should be fun! Everyone should be allowed to read them! It doesn’t matter how old you are, how new you are, or what type of comics you like. We are at such an awesome time in that subculture. Comics are more acceptable in the mainstream than ever before, and there are creators doing awesome things with the medium. I’m not against debate and discussion of comics — in fact, I would say discussion makes the medium that much more enjoyable — but the denigration of other fans due to what they enjoy is stupid. You don’t like the new 52? That’s fine; but someone who happens to enjoy them is not “not a real fan.” You prefer non-superhero comics? Great! But people who enjoy superhero comics are not any lesser for it. Hell, My Little Pony comics are enjoyed by a certain group of people, but who the hell am I to judge them: I read comics with people wearing underwear outside their tights. 
The medium is big enough to hold many. Some are new to it, some are old. In the end, we should see everyone as part of a greater family. challengerscomics:

Today @ Challengers… This kind of comic fan discrimination seems to happen all the time, and it’s deplorable. Thank you, Eric, for the kind words.
ericgrau:

gingerhaze:

Oh, I know I have it better than a lot of would-be comics buyers, and that’s what worries me. I’ve had it with the self-appointed gatekeepers in comics. 

I have been to so many comic stores where you get this sort of vibe the second you walk in the place. It’s inexcusable, juvenile and downright shitty. Hell, I’ve been to one where the store owner would berate people for buying comics by an author he didn’t like and then go on to rant about how that author was “afraid of him”. He would attack this author on social media sites and his own message board. He would walk around his store like this was an accomplishment. Like that sort of behavior was something to be proud of. But the biggest thing that made me decide to never give this jerk another cent of my money was when he “jokingly” berated and called his girlfriend (who also worked for him) names in front of customers.
This sort of thing shouldn’t be common. It shouldn’t be encouraged. It shouldn’t be allowed, really. It’s a horrible part of the comics culture. There are places where this sort of thing doesn’t happen and I’m very happy to have found a place like Challengers that is so inclusive and welcoming of everyone who sets foot inside the store.
Challengers is a fantastic store, with so many fun events, great products and excellent service. I’ve never set foot in a better store. I honestly have a hard time picturing myself being a regular customer anywhere else at this point.
But it says a lot about comic book stores when one of the selling points is “they show basic human decency!”


Women like things guys like. Guys like things women like. And this sort of writing off of a fan based purely on prejudices is absolutely insane.
My wife likes comic books and I would refuse the business of any comic book shop that treated her like this. Challengers is pretty great — if a hike for me now that I’m way out of the city — and should be the way more stores are: accessible to every fan of every stripe. If you are out in Chicago, I’d highly recommend you track them down.
As a side note — and one that isn’t anywhere near as terrible an experience as being written off for your gender — I went to a comic book shop not too long ago that I was hoping would be a new comic store home for me. Unfortunately, the proprietor seemed to be too focused on their Magic game (and I like Magic!) to work with me when I came in. It took a good 5 minutes for someone to even say, “Oh, hi!” And then when I tried to ask about a comic book line, I got this terribly condescending attitude that I was some sort of hanger on, or wannabe. I have a feeling it might have been related to my garb — I had just gotten off work, and was still wearing a fairly stylish, business casual outfit, and got the vibe that I wasn’t geeky enough for them.
If they only knew.
It really is such a minor thing in my own experience, but it is so infuriating. Comics should be fun! Everyone should be allowed to read them! It doesn’t matter how old you are, how new you are, or what type of comics you like. We are at such an awesome time in that subculture. Comics are more acceptable in the mainstream than ever before, and there are creators doing awesome things with the medium. I’m not against debate and discussion of comics — in fact, I would say discussion makes the medium that much more enjoyable — but the denigration of other fans due to what they enjoy is stupid. You don’t like the new 52? That’s fine; but someone who happens to enjoy them is not “not a real fan.” You prefer non-superhero comics? Great! But people who enjoy superhero comics are not any lesser for it. Hell, My Little Pony comics are enjoyed by a certain group of people, but who the hell am I to judge them: I read comics with people wearing underwear outside their tights. 
The medium is big enough to hold many. Some are new to it, some are old. In the end, we should see everyone as part of a greater family. challengerscomics:

Today @ Challengers… This kind of comic fan discrimination seems to happen all the time, and it’s deplorable. Thank you, Eric, for the kind words.
ericgrau:

gingerhaze:

Oh, I know I have it better than a lot of would-be comics buyers, and that’s what worries me. I’ve had it with the self-appointed gatekeepers in comics. 

I have been to so many comic stores where you get this sort of vibe the second you walk in the place. It’s inexcusable, juvenile and downright shitty. Hell, I’ve been to one where the store owner would berate people for buying comics by an author he didn’t like and then go on to rant about how that author was “afraid of him”. He would attack this author on social media sites and his own message board. He would walk around his store like this was an accomplishment. Like that sort of behavior was something to be proud of. But the biggest thing that made me decide to never give this jerk another cent of my money was when he “jokingly” berated and called his girlfriend (who also worked for him) names in front of customers.
This sort of thing shouldn’t be common. It shouldn’t be encouraged. It shouldn’t be allowed, really. It’s a horrible part of the comics culture. There are places where this sort of thing doesn’t happen and I’m very happy to have found a place like Challengers that is so inclusive and welcoming of everyone who sets foot inside the store.
Challengers is a fantastic store, with so many fun events, great products and excellent service. I’ve never set foot in a better store. I honestly have a hard time picturing myself being a regular customer anywhere else at this point.
But it says a lot about comic book stores when one of the selling points is “they show basic human decency!”


Women like things guys like. Guys like things women like. And this sort of writing off of a fan based purely on prejudices is absolutely insane.
My wife likes comic books and I would refuse the business of any comic book shop that treated her like this. Challengers is pretty great — if a hike for me now that I’m way out of the city — and should be the way more stores are: accessible to every fan of every stripe. If you are out in Chicago, I’d highly recommend you track them down.
As a side note — and one that isn’t anywhere near as terrible an experience as being written off for your gender — I went to a comic book shop not too long ago that I was hoping would be a new comic store home for me. Unfortunately, the proprietor seemed to be too focused on their Magic game (and I like Magic!) to work with me when I came in. It took a good 5 minutes for someone to even say, “Oh, hi!” And then when I tried to ask about a comic book line, I got this terribly condescending attitude that I was some sort of hanger on, or wannabe. I have a feeling it might have been related to my garb — I had just gotten off work, and was still wearing a fairly stylish, business casual outfit, and got the vibe that I wasn’t geeky enough for them.
If they only knew.
It really is such a minor thing in my own experience, but it is so infuriating. Comics should be fun! Everyone should be allowed to read them! It doesn’t matter how old you are, how new you are, or what type of comics you like. We are at such an awesome time in that subculture. Comics are more acceptable in the mainstream than ever before, and there are creators doing awesome things with the medium. I’m not against debate and discussion of comics — in fact, I would say discussion makes the medium that much more enjoyable — but the denigration of other fans due to what they enjoy is stupid. You don’t like the new 52? That’s fine; but someone who happens to enjoy them is not “not a real fan.” You prefer non-superhero comics? Great! But people who enjoy superhero comics are not any lesser for it. Hell, My Little Pony comics are enjoyed by a certain group of people, but who the hell am I to judge them: I read comics with people wearing underwear outside their tights. 
The medium is big enough to hold many. Some are new to it, some are old. In the end, we should see everyone as part of a greater family. challengerscomics:

Today @ Challengers… This kind of comic fan discrimination seems to happen all the time, and it’s deplorable. Thank you, Eric, for the kind words.
ericgrau:

gingerhaze:

Oh, I know I have it better than a lot of would-be comics buyers, and that’s what worries me. I’ve had it with the self-appointed gatekeepers in comics. 

I have been to so many comic stores where you get this sort of vibe the second you walk in the place. It’s inexcusable, juvenile and downright shitty. Hell, I’ve been to one where the store owner would berate people for buying comics by an author he didn’t like and then go on to rant about how that author was “afraid of him”. He would attack this author on social media sites and his own message board. He would walk around his store like this was an accomplishment. Like that sort of behavior was something to be proud of. But the biggest thing that made me decide to never give this jerk another cent of my money was when he “jokingly” berated and called his girlfriend (who also worked for him) names in front of customers.
This sort of thing shouldn’t be common. It shouldn’t be encouraged. It shouldn’t be allowed, really. It’s a horrible part of the comics culture. There are places where this sort of thing doesn’t happen and I’m very happy to have found a place like Challengers that is so inclusive and welcoming of everyone who sets foot inside the store.
Challengers is a fantastic store, with so many fun events, great products and excellent service. I’ve never set foot in a better store. I honestly have a hard time picturing myself being a regular customer anywhere else at this point.
But it says a lot about comic book stores when one of the selling points is “they show basic human decency!”


Women like things guys like. Guys like things women like. And this sort of writing off of a fan based purely on prejudices is absolutely insane.
My wife likes comic books and I would refuse the business of any comic book shop that treated her like this. Challengers is pretty great — if a hike for me now that I’m way out of the city — and should be the way more stores are: accessible to every fan of every stripe. If you are out in Chicago, I’d highly recommend you track them down.
As a side note — and one that isn’t anywhere near as terrible an experience as being written off for your gender — I went to a comic book shop not too long ago that I was hoping would be a new comic store home for me. Unfortunately, the proprietor seemed to be too focused on their Magic game (and I like Magic!) to work with me when I came in. It took a good 5 minutes for someone to even say, “Oh, hi!” And then when I tried to ask about a comic book line, I got this terribly condescending attitude that I was some sort of hanger on, or wannabe. I have a feeling it might have been related to my garb — I had just gotten off work, and was still wearing a fairly stylish, business casual outfit, and got the vibe that I wasn’t geeky enough for them.
If they only knew.
It really is such a minor thing in my own experience, but it is so infuriating. Comics should be fun! Everyone should be allowed to read them! It doesn’t matter how old you are, how new you are, or what type of comics you like. We are at such an awesome time in that subculture. Comics are more acceptable in the mainstream than ever before, and there are creators doing awesome things with the medium. I’m not against debate and discussion of comics — in fact, I would say discussion makes the medium that much more enjoyable — but the denigration of other fans due to what they enjoy is stupid. You don’t like the new 52? That’s fine; but someone who happens to enjoy them is not “not a real fan.” You prefer non-superhero comics? Great! But people who enjoy superhero comics are not any lesser for it. Hell, My Little Pony comics are enjoyed by a certain group of people, but who the hell am I to judge them: I read comics with people wearing underwear outside their tights. 
The medium is big enough to hold many. Some are new to it, some are old. In the end, we should see everyone as part of a greater family. challengerscomics:

Today @ Challengers… This kind of comic fan discrimination seems to happen all the time, and it’s deplorable. Thank you, Eric, for the kind words.
ericgrau:

gingerhaze:

Oh, I know I have it better than a lot of would-be comics buyers, and that’s what worries me. I’ve had it with the self-appointed gatekeepers in comics. 

I have been to so many comic stores where you get this sort of vibe the second you walk in the place. It’s inexcusable, juvenile and downright shitty. Hell, I’ve been to one where the store owner would berate people for buying comics by an author he didn’t like and then go on to rant about how that author was “afraid of him”. He would attack this author on social media sites and his own message board. He would walk around his store like this was an accomplishment. Like that sort of behavior was something to be proud of. But the biggest thing that made me decide to never give this jerk another cent of my money was when he “jokingly” berated and called his girlfriend (who also worked for him) names in front of customers.
This sort of thing shouldn’t be common. It shouldn’t be encouraged. It shouldn’t be allowed, really. It’s a horrible part of the comics culture. There are places where this sort of thing doesn’t happen and I’m very happy to have found a place like Challengers that is so inclusive and welcoming of everyone who sets foot inside the store.
Challengers is a fantastic store, with so many fun events, great products and excellent service. I’ve never set foot in a better store. I honestly have a hard time picturing myself being a regular customer anywhere else at this point.
But it says a lot about comic book stores when one of the selling points is “they show basic human decency!”


Women like things guys like. Guys like things women like. And this sort of writing off of a fan based purely on prejudices is absolutely insane.
My wife likes comic books and I would refuse the business of any comic book shop that treated her like this. Challengers is pretty great — if a hike for me now that I’m way out of the city — and should be the way more stores are: accessible to every fan of every stripe. If you are out in Chicago, I’d highly recommend you track them down.
As a side note — and one that isn’t anywhere near as terrible an experience as being written off for your gender — I went to a comic book shop not too long ago that I was hoping would be a new comic store home for me. Unfortunately, the proprietor seemed to be too focused on their Magic game (and I like Magic!) to work with me when I came in. It took a good 5 minutes for someone to even say, “Oh, hi!” And then when I tried to ask about a comic book line, I got this terribly condescending attitude that I was some sort of hanger on, or wannabe. I have a feeling it might have been related to my garb — I had just gotten off work, and was still wearing a fairly stylish, business casual outfit, and got the vibe that I wasn’t geeky enough for them.
If they only knew.
It really is such a minor thing in my own experience, but it is so infuriating. Comics should be fun! Everyone should be allowed to read them! It doesn’t matter how old you are, how new you are, or what type of comics you like. We are at such an awesome time in that subculture. Comics are more acceptable in the mainstream than ever before, and there are creators doing awesome things with the medium. I’m not against debate and discussion of comics — in fact, I would say discussion makes the medium that much more enjoyable — but the denigration of other fans due to what they enjoy is stupid. You don’t like the new 52? That’s fine; but someone who happens to enjoy them is not “not a real fan.” You prefer non-superhero comics? Great! But people who enjoy superhero comics are not any lesser for it. Hell, My Little Pony comics are enjoyed by a certain group of people, but who the hell am I to judge them: I read comics with people wearing underwear outside their tights. 
The medium is big enough to hold many. Some are new to it, some are old. In the end, we should see everyone as part of a greater family.

challengerscomics:

Today @ Challengers… This kind of comic fan discrimination seems to happen all the time, and it’s deplorable. Thank you, Eric, for the kind words.

ericgrau:

gingerhaze:

Oh, I know I have it better than a lot of would-be comics buyers, and that’s what worries me. I’ve had it with the self-appointed gatekeepers in comics. 

I have been to so many comic stores where you get this sort of vibe the second you walk in the place. It’s inexcusable, juvenile and downright shitty. Hell, I’ve been to one where the store owner would berate people for buying comics by an author he didn’t like and then go on to rant about how that author was “afraid of him”. He would attack this author on social media sites and his own message board. He would walk around his store like this was an accomplishment. Like that sort of behavior was something to be proud of. But the biggest thing that made me decide to never give this jerk another cent of my money was when he “jokingly” berated and called his girlfriend (who also worked for him) names in front of customers.

This sort of thing shouldn’t be common. It shouldn’t be encouraged. It shouldn’t be allowed, really. It’s a horrible part of the comics culture. There are places where this sort of thing doesn’t happen and I’m very happy to have found a place like Challengers that is so inclusive and welcoming of everyone who sets foot inside the store.

Challengers is a fantastic store, with so many fun events, great products and excellent service. I’ve never set foot in a better store. I honestly have a hard time picturing myself being a regular customer anywhere else at this point.

But it says a lot about comic book stores when one of the selling points is “they show basic human decency!”

Women like things guys like. Guys like things women like. And this sort of writing off of a fan based purely on prejudices is absolutely insane.

My wife likes comic books and I would refuse the business of any comic book shop that treated her like this. Challengers is pretty great — if a hike for me now that I’m way out of the city — and should be the way more stores are: accessible to every fan of every stripe. If you are out in Chicago, I’d highly recommend you track them down.

As a side note — and one that isn’t anywhere near as terrible an experience as being written off for your gender — I went to a comic book shop not too long ago that I was hoping would be a new comic store home for me. Unfortunately, the proprietor seemed to be too focused on their Magic game (and I like Magic!) to work with me when I came in. It took a good 5 minutes for someone to even say, “Oh, hi!” And then when I tried to ask about a comic book line, I got this terribly condescending attitude that I was some sort of hanger on, or wannabe. I have a feeling it might have been related to my garb — I had just gotten off work, and was still wearing a fairly stylish, business casual outfit, and got the vibe that I wasn’t geeky enough for them.

If they only knew.

It really is such a minor thing in my own experience, but it is so infuriating. Comics should be fun! Everyone should be allowed to read them! It doesn’t matter how old you are, how new you are, or what type of comics you like. We are at such an awesome time in that subculture. Comics are more acceptable in the mainstream than ever before, and there are creators doing awesome things with the medium. I’m not against debate and discussion of comics — in fact, I would say discussion makes the medium that much more enjoyable — but the denigration of other fans due to what they enjoy is stupid. You don’t like the new 52? That’s fine; but someone who happens to enjoy them is not “not a real fan.” You prefer non-superhero comics? Great! But people who enjoy superhero comics are not any lesser for it. Hell, My Little Pony comics are enjoyed by a certain group of people, but who the hell am I to judge them: I read comics with people wearing underwear outside their tights. 

The medium is big enough to hold many. Some are new to it, some are old. In the end, we should see everyone as part of a greater family.

On First Sentences

thewritershelpers:

(some parts taken from Joe Fassler on Stephen King for The Atlantic)

There is magic at the end of the way. 

The first sentence of anything is probably the most loaded and thought-out set of words a writer must produce.  The struggle to get the right words onto paper is so desperate and so daunting that many times, a project dies with the inability of a writer to pen those first few words.  First sentences are crucial.  They demand the heat of attention, the moisture of your imagination, and the exhalations of your creativity.  They are cultivated, nurtured, pruned, and groomed according to necessity. In fact, first sentences are redone more times than anything in your entire story. 

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Trying to go on to my next bit. Gotta start somewhere.

"Suffering Asshole"

Suffering Asshole

1 Shot Spiced Rum (Sailor Jerry)

2 Shot Rye (Rittenhouse Rye BIB)

½ Shot Orange Liqueur (Grand Marnier)

1 tsp Rose’s Lime Juice

Dash of Blood Orange Bitters

Ginger Beer to Top

##

His head was pounding and when he moved his hands from the table he could see palm prints made out in fog on the wood.

“Your head hurt still?”

He nodded.

She turned and stooped to the cupboard directly behind her, ignoring the shotgun on the counter. “I think I’ve got something that’ll help.” She pulled out a bottle of rum and a bottle of rye and then went to her fridge, old and dirty and light blue paint flecking off.

“I’m not sure drinking is going to make this any better.”

She pulled out a bottle of ginger beer and some lime juice. “Well, hair of the dog, like they say, right?” She paused for a moment. “I suppose not really in this case.”

Not really at all, he thought. He hadn’t had a drop of drink in close to two years and had not planned on starting back up today. Plans have a funny way of changing on you, though.

“This is sort of like this drink they call a Suffering Bastard. Sort of like it, but that has gin and bourbon, or rum and mai tai mix.” She had a mixing glass in front of her now as well as a shot glass. She poured a shot of the dark rum and he could smell its spiciness from the table, and then she reached to the rye. “But I don’t trust clear liquors. And I have a personal rule against premade mixes.”

His response was silence, still, his eyes hazy and looking not quite at her and not quite past her. He reached with one hand to his eyes, pressing slightly against the pressure he was feeling in his head. She dropped in a second shot of rye, and then poured a slight bit of the lime juice in after it. “Oh! I have something that’ll really make this.”

She bent back down to the cupboard and pulled out a bottle of some orange liqueur in a kitschy little bottle and, without measuring, poured in a stream. As she was bending over, he noticed some of the dried blood on the back of her shirt, which he noticed she had not changed out of since the night before.

“We need to talk about last night,” he said, finally.

She didn’t answer. Instead, she put the orange liqueur bottle away, pulled out some orange bitters and dashed a couple drops in, and stirred. She took a step over and grabbed a pint glass from the sink. She looked at it for a moment, turned the faucet on and rinsed it out, and then went to her fridge. She opened the freezer, popped several ice cubes out of a tray into the glass so it was nearly totally full. Then, returning to her mixing glass, she opened up a drawer, pulled out a spoon, and stirred. She poured the cloudy looking mix into the glass over the ice. The glass was half filled, and she poured the ginger beer in to fill the rest. She turned and handed him the drink.

“We’ll name it after you. How does the ‘Suffering Asshole’ sound?”

He didn’t answer but looked at it with the sort of blankness that is usually reserved for attempting great obstacles without any preparation: climbing a mountain, running a marathon.

“It usually has some fruit chunks in it like pineapple or whatever, but eh, we’ll have to make do with this.” She sighed. “It’s supposed to be good for hangovers. And I suspect that is about as close to what you’ve got as anything.”

“I usually prefer Bloody Mary’s for that,” though he didn’t add, when I used to drink.

“Bloody Mary’s are for Sunday brunches at Grandmas, and pussies. I’m sure as hell not Grandma, so don’t be a pussy.”

He looked at the drink one last time, took a breath, then brought his hand to the glass and took a swig. There was a familiar warmth from the whiskey and rum, several layers of spiciness, unexpected sweetness.

“Not bad.”

“You can go fuck yourself if you wanted something different.”

He held the glass still, in front of him, and he felt the ice crack suddenly. “No, no — its good. Something to sip.”

“Well, you wouldn’t want to gulp it, thats for sure.”

The silence that was becoming familiar to both of them reintroduced itself.

“I saw a man get eaten last night,” he said, setting the glass back down on the table a bit too hard, making a loud thwump sound. “And not just eaten, or eaten by an animal, or whatever. It was eaten by a, by a… a thing. Actually, a large, green, quivering mass of things.”

It wasn’t quite pity she looked at him with, but it wasn’t far off. “That, actually, was a shub-niggurath.”

“A sub-what?”

“The black goat of the woods with a thousand young? No?” He shook his head. “Well, its like this: Super ancient evil being, pre-human, pre-dinosaur, pretty much pre-everything. Occasionally it eats people. Or makes them go crazy. Or both.”

He was silent again. The drink in front of him was not going to waste.

“Listen, you followed me. God only knows why. I didn’t ask for that, and you get what you get.”

He had followed her, to be true. The blind date had gone terribly, but she had left her wallet at the table and he wanted to get it to her. Her cab left seconds before he got to her, and he had to get his friend to send him her address — that had taken some work to convince him he wasn’t some creep trying to track her down. Or, perhaps, he was a bit of a creep; he had, after all, hoped to salvage something in talking to her. Such as:

“Oh, I’m so sorry for what an ass I was tonight!”

“Oh, that’s fine, I get it, you were nervous.”

“Terribly sorry! Here’s your wallet. Can I make it up for you with some ice cream and dirty sex?”

Instead, he got to her apartment building, but pulled up to see her leaving. He followed her for a moment — was she actually going to meet up with someone else? — but she ran into the park that was just down the road. He followed her in, and the park became thick with large oak trees and old, ancient growth.

There, he saw it.

It was walking, or floating — he couldn’t tell — maybe 500 feet in front of him in the forrest. A mass of tentacles — he thought they were tentacles — and eyes and squirming, writhing darkness. It dripped small blobs of things that looked like giant maggots that were also seemingly a singular creature.

She was crouching to the side of the growth, hiding behind a tree, a revolver in her hand. A man in a robe stood in front of it, yelling something indecipherable. He stood, watching, dumbfounded. A ringing started growing in his ears. Coldness swept over his forehead and he couldn’t close his eyes. She saw him from her hiding spot.

“Get down!” she yelled. And that was that — whatever cover she might have had was gone, and the man in the robe saw her too. But that broke his concentration as well.

She ran to him and pulled him down, and the robed man started to say something. That was cut short, though, as one of the tentacles came out and slid around the man’s waste. He gasped, and started to scream — but another tentacle came around the man’s neck, and squeezed him silent. Then, they pulled, and with a spray of red the man came apart.

She sat up, and fired two shots at the beast. Then she pulled him up by the collar of his shirt, and dragged him back, and they ran as fast as they could. They arrived back at the apartment, and he didn’t say anything.

Actually, he couldn’t say anything. He was stricken silent, seemingly forgetting communication himself. She put him on her couch, and she went to bed. He lay there, quiet, not sleeping until she woke up just an hour ago. Her reaction was to take him to the kitchen and make him this drink.

“Well, I suppose that you have some questions.”

He nodded, looking only at the sweaty glass. “Is it going to come for us?”

“Maybe. Eventually. Right now it is growing and feeding its young. I’m going to stop it before it gets any farther.”

“What about me?”

She laughed cruelly. “You’re going to go home and forget about this.”

He looked at her directly. “Not fucking likely.”

“Most people actually go insane when they see it. It’s not entirely a part of this universe, and that can warp minds.” She pulled out the only other chair of the table and sat down. “You’re lucky you’re actually talking today.”

“And you?”

“Let’s just say I’m not fazed easily.”

It just occurred to him that he had never given her the wallet back.

He pulled the small thing out of his pocket. It was thin, brown, a bit worn, and simple. She looked at it and her bottom lip fell open just slightly.

“Is that why you were following me?”

He lied. “Yeah.”

“You stupid son of a bitch. You know you could have gotten it to me today?”

He finished the drink, leaving only the half-melted ice. “Now you tell me.”


(posted as a response to Chuck Wendig’s Flash Cocktail Fiction Challenge: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/01/31/flash-fiction-challenge-a-drink-with-a-story-a-story-with-a-drink/)

Chocolate Cream Puff Donut

Celebrating my (minor) accomplishment of finishing a first draft and Brendan’s (major) accomplishment of graduation with some Dreadnought.

“So I tell a friend, ‘I’m almost done with my first draft! I’m so excited!’ They respond, ‘That’s great! You’re almost done with the hard part.’ I say back, ‘Well, the editing of the first draft is pretty hard, too.’ And they say, ‘Well, after that.’ And I say, ‘And the subsequent winnowing and honing of the rest of the thing is no picnic either.’ And they ask, ‘Well, what’s the easy part?’ So I respond, ‘Coming up with the idea, maybe? Everything up to and including writing “The End” is torturously difficult. But that’s why it’s so great, right?’”