Another Comic Book Show

I REALLY need to talk to Fred Hembeck, who I met in 1980. He met my friend Judy, who I’ve known since 1977, recently for the first time, and apparently, I was the subject of conversation.

It’s peculiar; I haven’t sold a comic book in 15 years, and haven’t had to order them as a retailer in over two decades. But I’m still fascinated by the market. Well, maybe it’s not fascination as much as horror. In my day, there were actually competitors in direct market comic distribution. Now, evidently, it’s either Diamond or nothing. I mean, there are other ways of getting comics, the way bookstores and newsstands get them, e.g., but these, I gather, may not be comparable for a variety of reasons, which someone who actually knows can address.

I do know that I’m glad I am not a retailer anymore. I read things such as this from ADD, and I get flashbacks:

“Diamond offers its clients (comic book stores) the option to receive their comics for Wednesday sale on Tuesday [for an extra fee, if I understand correctly], actually giving beleaguered owners and staff a chance to stock the shelves each week on Tuesday night, after the store is closed, so as to avoid dodging slavering fanboys desperate for their Wednesday fix. Seriously, there’s nothing that points out the embarrassing nature of the direct market than retailers being forced to stock the shelves while the store is open and customers are (im-)patiently waiting for what they just gotta have.”

And I don’t buy a lot of products; what I do buy tends to be compilations of old stuff that I used to own.

Yet I’m planning to go to the next Albany Comic Con on Sunday, October 24th at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Rd. in Albany, NY. The thing runs from 10 am to 4 pm, but I probably won’t get there until 1. And I go only because there are people I just love to see. Joe Sinnott is a sweetheart of a guy. Joe Staton who signed some Archie booklet for my daughter is terrific. But mostly it’s to see my buds Fred Hembeck, John Hebert, and Bill Anderson. Also, friend Rocco and perhaps the aforementioned ADD will be there.

I REALLY need to talk to Fred, who I met in 1980. He met my friend Judy, who I’ve known since 1977, recently for the first time, and apparently, I was the subject of conversation. What WERE they saying about me? Two odd things about this: Judy used to live on State Street in Albany, just a couple blocks from FantaCo, where Fred was known to hang out, and 2) Judy has known Fred’s wife Lynn Moss for a number of years.

Laborious Day

Just got my performance review this week, which went all right. I purloined a good portion of my self-evaluation from this blog. Seriously. It made it so much easier to write since I tend to dread it.

I saw this article 10 Things You Wish You Could Tell Your Boss, but are afraid to, lest you get fired. And in this economy, that’s a legitimate fear. At the end of the article, the author asked readers to throw in other pieces of advice.

For me, it is not to tell me I’m “empowered” to do something for which I have been given no resources whatsoever. Yes, there’s a particular job that I have in mind.

Also, to amplify one of the choices given, Don’t take credit for my work. You MAY say, “We designed this,” if I designed it, as we are part of a team. However, you may NOT say, “I designed this.” You will really tick me off if you do. This actually happened in my current job, with a previous boss. Her I did not like, but she’s long gone.

Song appropriate for the day by the Isley Brothers and the Average White Band.

Speaking of a piece of work, the late Vince Coletta was mentioned recently by two bloggers I know personally. First, Alan David Doane bemoans the fact that the very first book about an inker is someone who he (and many others) believe was one of the WORST working inkers in comicdom. Then Fred Hembeck is interviewed for TCJ, and he tells the story of DC Art Director Colletta dissing his work. Now, I’ve read this tale before; Fred might have even told me before. But there was one tasteless detail that I never knew before, or had long forgotten.

The late Rod Serling, of course, worked on the classic TV show the Twilight Zone. Gordon links to a lost Serling interview from 1970, the year I had the opportunity to (sort of) introduce him at an assembly at his high school alma mater. And Gordon even namechecks me in the intro! As I noted in the comments to the piece, it was painful to watch Serling fumble to light his cigarette then hear him say that those things were going to kill him; five years later, he proved to be right.

Finally, a mother is worried about her 16-year-old son’s infatuation with an older woman. Seems like a reasonable choice when it’s Betty White, who won Emmys in 1952 (as a co-producer, no less), in 2010, plus a few in between. If not the hardest working actress on TV, she’s certainly one of the longest working.