153. QUOTES, LARRY LIEBER, and JAMES BOND

diary entry, February 1, 2007

For the Lump trade, which came out in the summer of 2006, I had thought it would look pretty impressive, and help my self-respect, if I took all the most complimentary lines from all my reviews and listed them on the back of the book.

Even though it didn’t appear to do anything for my sales, I liked the idea, and wanted to do something similar for my upcoming Doris Danger treasury.  I had this vain idea that maybe, now that I’ve gotten to know a number of respectable artists in the field, and a number of them have written kind words to me in emails about my books, maybe I could quote them on the back of my book.  Frank Miller did it with his Ronin comic, and I had thought it was pretty cool.  Could I be cool, not to that extent but in that way?

Today I got bold and emailed all the comics guys I know to see if any of them might let me quote them.  Most of these emails were requests to publish things they’d already said in emails to me, but I wanted to be sure to get their permission for actually publishing all that stuff.  I did email a few artists I don’t have quotes from, to see if they might say something I could quote.  I’m feeling pretty confident I should get some great artists saying some cool things about my work, which is fun.  It will make me feel like I’m still moderately the shit, even when the book doesn’t sell and I lose thousands of dollars on every issue.

* * *

While in this manic emailing mode, I called Larry Lieber on the phone, to see if we might be able to see him for the upcoming New York Convention.  We spoke for about ten minutes.  He said he wasn’t going to the Big Apple Con this year, even though they tried to convince him to come as a guest.  I explained, “Larry, we aren’t coming to the Big Apple Con either.  We’re coming to the New York Comic-Con.”  Larry said, “I WILL be doing a signing at another convention,” and he gave me the date and location, and of course it was the New York Comic-Con.  I told him his brother (Stan Lee) would be there, and he honestly didn’t know.  He said Stan never tells him, and he’ll have to try to see him at the con, since it’s been four years.  The last time he saw him was at the San Diego Con 2003.  I asked if they got along, and he said they do.  He said he talks to him all the time on the phone, since Larry does the Spider-Man newspaper strip.  Larry has to send him strips every week, and they go over them every week together, over the phone.

Larry said he always tries to get ahead of the schedule for that newspaper strip, but he can never do it.  He said the only time he’s ever gotten ahead is when he went to the San Diego Con in 2003, and he had to then, because he was at the con for a week.

I get a real kick out of Larry.  He’s a lot of fun to visit with.

MY JAMES BOND-MANIA

I’ve been really excited for the last two months.  I’ve been a member of this audiobook club, where I can get two books a month for twenty bucks.  I’ve been doing it for almost three years now, and I keep thinking I’ve run out of books and I’m ready to quit, and then they’ll post something new.  I originally signed up to get some Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett books, but I ran through those pretty quickly.  Then a couple James Cain novels popped up.  One of the things I always wanted on audio books was James Bond.  Four months ago, I clicked onto the audiobooks website to literally cancel my membership, and there on the title page, it advertised “Brand New!  All thirteen James Bond audiobooks,” presumably to cash in on the good timing of the new Casino Royale film .  So I picked up four months worth (eight books), and listened to those eight novels in a month and a half or something.  And now I’m dying for February 12 to come, because that’s when I can get two more.

I got total Bond-mania when they released all the films on DVD back in maybe 2000, and that’s what got me reading the books.  I read the first seven, but now, with a kid, and only so many hours in the day, it’s so much easier to just “read a book” by listening while I’m drawing or taking the dog for a walk or whatever.  I can’t get enough of these James Bonds.  I’m completely obsessed.

There was a licensed James Bond role playing game that came out in 1984, and the licensing ran until 1986.  It came out when I was in junior high, right after Octopussy and during A View To A Kill.  What I thought was so cool about this game is that the adventures were based on movies, but they would always change the key plot points.  So in the film, if there was a bomb at the Eiffel Tower, it would be in the subway for the game.  So now, I’ve got such Bond-mania, I’ve been scouring ebay for these stupid games.  I’ll tell myself I need to do some drawing, and next thing I know, an entire week has gone by, and I’ve been dicking around online looking for James Bond games and haven’t accomplished anything meaningful.

I really want to do my own version of a James Bond spy-thriller story, but I’ve got a lot of developing to do before I get there.  I guess we all just want to do our own James Bond story though, don’t we?  Isn’t that all Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. is?  How do you keep it from looking like a bad version of Austin Powers?

Ah, the life of a comic-book geek, getting geekier by the day…

EDITOR’S NOTE: Wow, fans! Isn’t it interesting to note that – a couple years before he had realized the conceptthis diary entry anticipated the “James Bond rip-off -style” project Chris has currently been developing and pitching to comics publishers, entitled “BRUSH WITH ANGER, STARRING AGENT IAN ANGER!”  -Rob Oder, Editor-in-Chief!

Comments are closed.