[Ed’s Note: Welcome to this week’s All The Rage.
Imagine, if you will, going out to your favorite bar on a Saturday night with a very special date. All is cool until you wander up to order the drinks. But, horror of horrors, they have a new guy behind the 50 foot slab of mahogany slinging the suds… Whatever you do, don’t let it throw you! Keep cool, and remember the bar still has the same snacks menu and your favorite brew. Play your cards right, and you can still make the most of your evening!
We have a special guest bartender this week for ATR: Beau Smith, writer of a whole heap of hard-ass comics, is often and deservedly billed as the last real man in comics. In a few short weeks Beau will be debuting his new column Busted Knuckles right here at SBC. In the meantime, we thought since Markisan has been called away from ATR central at short notice (for one week only), our new pal Beau might like to introduce himself. If you want to learn more about the man check out The Lowdown On Beau in the Busted Knuckles preview pages.
Monday morning quarterbacks. The world is full of em’. It’s always been that way, even before there were quarterbacks.
I don’t doubt that there were cavemen that used to scribble stuff on the cave walls talkin’ about how they would’ve killed the giant buffalo different from the way the guy in the next cave did. In present times with the internet, reality TV and more tabloid journalism it’s become a very bad sickness. One nobody seems to wanna cure.
They all hide behind sound bites, screen names and the motto that “The public needs to know”. That’s all pretty much a load of wet donkey dump.
People like feeling as though it’s okay to flush their manners down the turd bowl. They enjoy being Peeping Toms and looking through other folk’s windows without going to jail. They wanna know more about Jennifer Lopez and Ben “What’s his name” more so than true world events.
The world seems to enjoy having the attention span of Rob Liefeld.
The world of comic books… the industry I work in seems to be no different. The comic book internet is a town gone bad. A town in need of taming. I’ve always believed that if you have something you think is important to say then your name should be attached to it. That way if it’s something that will help others the credit goes to where it belongs. On the other foot, if you say something that pisses someone off, then you should be man enough to defend your remarks.
Folks seem to love to hide behind what they think are cute or witty screen names. They love to get on the web in these little festering maggot holes called forums and act like catty old women, clawing at people they don’t even know. Now don’t get me wrong, I think if you buy a comic book or any consumer product you have a right to say if ya love it or hate it. But you better have enough sack to plaster your name to it and either take the applause or the rotten eggs that come with those words.
Cowards. Or as we say in my world… chicken shits. Why do ya think criminals wear masks to cover their faces? They don’t wanna get caught. They know what they’re doin’ is wrong and they don’t wanna do the time for the crime. If you’re readin’ this stop and think for a second… how many times have you posted some back bitin’ remark on the internet behind some moron screen name and then chuckled to yourself like some monkey with a self gratification problem? Deep down inside you know ya have.
The weird part of it is that if ya really check these forums you’ll find that there are generally the same group of knuckle heads that are posting, over and over. When a site person sings about how many “Hits” their site gets you might as well wipe your butt with that info. It’s just like the guys selling advertising telling you their huge circulation numbers. It’s all a pound of truth with a ton of lies piled on top.
This hidin’ behind a mask isn’t limited to just readers/fans. Aw, hell no. I’ve had lots of my fellow comic book creators and business people tell me that they have gotten on line under their alter egos and posted all kinds of bad stuff about other creators, fans, publishers… you name it, they’ve dumped on it. This goes from the top CEOs of companies to the out of work intern that just got booted.
Now… if you’re gonna do this rumor and news stuff… like my friends Markisan here at All The Rage or Rich Johnston at Lying In The Gutters, then do like them…. put your name on it. That way if ya don’t like the way the kitchen smells ya know who the cook is. Man to man. No erasers, no white out, no delete key. Face to face. I’d rather it be a trail of blood and broken teeth than one of paper lies.
Now I’m not saying we are all perfect. We’ve all got that lower common denominator in us that wants to look at the car wreck. Every neck has some rubber in it. But what I’m sayin’ is why unleash it 100%? Why give in to the weak side when you can be strong? Why wear a dress if ya don’t have to?
Be proud of your thoughts and beliefs. When all the cards are out on the table you deal with the hand you were dealt. If someone can be change your mind and show you a hole in your plan then be man enough to thank em’ and add that to your own arsenal of thought.
So it comes down to how do you cure this little sickness I call petty and punk like? Well, if ya got a site with forums, have folks use their real names. Don’t jerk the privacy flag up the pole. If you’re on an open forum then you know what neighborhood you walked into. That’s like walking into the boxing ring and being really surprised with the other guy busts your nose. Your mommy ain’t in your corner today, pal.
People that run sites will scream that if they don’t let people have screen names then no one will post… well… is that a bad thing? Look at what most of em’ post. If nothing else it’ll keep the dignity challenged out of there. It should be like an old west town. You can carry a gun… just not in town. Havin’ folks use their real name is a great way to sift out the fear from the fearless.
Just like life, there’s gotta’ be some rules. I love bendin’ em’ and twistin’ em’ around. But ya gotta have em’. You can change em’ , but ya still gotta have em’ …they might be new ones, but they’re still there.
I’m always interested in what ya have to say… or at least I act like I do. So if ya got comments send em’ to this email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If ya have something of worth that I might like send it to:
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Those of you who read this column regularly know I like to drink. I like to fight. Then I like to drink again. Much to my girlfriend’s dismay, this lifestyle often puts me in unavoidable physical danger. Fortunately for the little lady, I don’t really require backup in most pugilistic situations. But every so often I do find myself against overwhelming odds. Two or three opponents is fine. I can usually handle that. But when there’s four, five, or even six assholes out to bury my brown ass, I admit the need for assistance.
Now, there are a lot of sturdy comic book professionals out there, and there are some tough ones as well, but there’s only one comic guy I know who could take a broken bottle of Jack to the ribs, smile it off and put someone’s head through a wooden door like it was made out of Triscuits. That’s the guy I want on my team. His name is Beau Smith. You just read his debut column, Busted Knuckles. Do yourself a favor and agree with everything he writes from now on.
Next drink is on me, Mr. Smith.
Markisan Naso (my real name…)