By Beau Smith

I’m just gonna focus this on comics and not entertainment as a whole. I’ve done that before and besides why throw fuel on a fire that needs to be put out anyway.

Gossip in comics has always been here ever since I got in the business. Back then there was no internet or even fax machines that carried the word on the behind the scenes stuff. Most of it was shared through the phone lines or in letter columns. Back then it was a different kind of gossip. It was talk of “I heard John Byrne is going to quit drawing the X-Men and start work on Spider-Man!” It was more of a lack of creative news rather than peepin’ into someone’s window when they weren’t lookin’.

Freelancers and editors used to spread a little more intimate gossip, but it never got much past the phone lines to see print. Besides, back then, the comic book magazines that were out were more interested in being considered professional magazines and not being called tabloids or “Fanzines”. They were lookin’ to be taken as legit.

In the last few years with the growth of the internet I’ve seen this whole gossip thing get way out of control. So much out of control it’s hit a very bad place that I’ve tried to leave behind?

My Radar Of Dark Revenge

Without goin’ into stuff I’d much rather leave behind let’s just say that many years ago I was not always the nicest guy in the world. It’s true, I was not always the bright breath of sunshine that many of you have come to know, love and envy in the last 20 years. That’s all I’m gonna say, because that’s all you really need to know. That’s how gossip gets started.

Like I said, some stuff has made it on to my radar. I’ve read most of it online although some of has stabbed in a little deeper and made to my email box and my phone line. Recently some people that consider themselves “Comic Book Insiders” have sent me emails and phone calls asking me to either chime in, comment on or be a part of some nasty, personal gossip about others in the comic book business.

They are wantin’ to know very personal, non-business stuff that in very plain words is none of their damn business. They always begin their conversation with “I heard?” or “I got this from a friend of a friend?” Right there my radar goes off. Then they take it the next step? the wrong step. They start talkin’ about mean, personal things that true or untrue they should never be uttered out of their petty little pie holes.

I’ve found that mean gossip is usually spread by unhappy people with too much time on their hands. The internet has become the steroids for this kinda stuff. Like the entertainment industry, folks seem to like to build people up so they can later try and knock em’ down like some sorta sideshow game.

As of late I’ve found that when these calls and emails come in, my past of not being a nice person starts to rise back up. Visions of me takin’ these people to the side at a convention and extractin’ their teeth with my knuckles start to pop up in my head. Even worse is when thoughts of me usin’ my knowledge of them against em’ and tappin’ into the complete ruin of their lives or their work. I am very ashamed to say I have done these things and there is no pride in it. There’s nothin’ manly about it.

You Don’t Look Good When You Gossip

My life has changed. If I can change they can change.

They need to keep their nose out of other people’s personal business. Some of these people with inside information think they are doin’ it for the better of comics. Or because they think someone they know has been messed over by a company, another freelancer, or by life in general. Most of us here are grown adults. Adults take care of their own business. In comics there are always a group of people that want drama. They want every situation to contain some huge battle of good vs. evil. They can’t seem to let the battles between Dr.Doom and The Fantastic Four stay within the confines of the printed page. They want them to spill over into real life because their own lives aren’t exciting enough.

When a freelancer is fired by a publisher or a freelancer quits on a publisher, unless we’re those people, it’s none of our business. Do you make it your business when John Doe is fired at Burger King because he showed late once too often? Do you make it your business when the checkout girl at the Gap quits because they won’t let her off for a concert?

Let me make it clear. It’s none of your business.

You don’t want people crawlin’ around in your pants lookin’ for shit. Don’t stink yourself up by doin’ the same.

When a friend asks you to come to their aid you should. I believe in standin’ up and backin’ your friends and family. But unless you’re asked just keep your tongue coiled up in your mouth and mind your own business.

As you all know I speak of the manly way of life here a lot. Well, this is one of those times when you should act like a real man and forget about spreadin’ and readin’ unmanly gossip. If it sounds mean and petty then ya know to ignore it. Don’t pass it on. Let it die on the vine.

We’re all guilty of rubberneckin’ someone else’s personal stuff. It’s a dark side of human nature. But just like all the other dark emotions that we carry, we learn to control em’ and not give in. Hell, if we didn’t we’d all be chokin’ each other over parkin’ spaces and kneecappin’ people to get to be first in the lunch line.

Think about this next time ya feel the urge to pass on a little gossip. Better yet, next time ya feel like passin’ on gossip to someone, just think of that gossip as a handful of steamin’ donkey shit that you’re gonna pass into the hand of another human being.

Beau Workin’ His Manly Radar At The Ranch. Don’t Get On It.

Cause when it comes right down to it, that’s what it is and you’re the jackass.

See Ya In Seven

I hope that ya come back next week when I promise I will have taken all my medication as well as a few deep, relaxin’ breaths.

Awww? who am I tryin’ to fool? I’ll be as grouchy as always.

Your amigo,

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507

Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!

About The Author

Beau Smith

Beau Smith is a writer for Comics Bulletin