By Beau Smith

Ok, this week I’m gonna talk to you about takin’ care of yourself. Fisticuffs. The manly art of self-defense.

No? I’m not gonna teach ya how to box. I get paid for that and I don’t see any dead presidents in your grubby little hand. This is more on attitude within the comic book industry. Gotta make sure you don’t get shoved around.

To start this column of bone crushin’ tips, I thought I’d use the opening art space for a piece of art that I think sums it all up. The name of the art is “Bar Fight”. It’s done by my very good amigo, Mitch Byrd. Also know as “The Mississippi Mauler”.

“Bar Fight – Blood & Roses,” by Mitch Byrd, © & ? Blue Line Pro

Mitch did this piece for a special portfolio and signed print for Blue Line Pro. You may know Blue Line Pro as the guys that provide most of the art paper and supplies for a good part of the comic book business. They also publish the best “How To” and interview magazine in comics? Sketch Magazine.

In case you’re interested in buying the print or the portfolio here is a link to get ya there. Make sure you tell em’ that Beau sent ya.

As you can see, this is a jaw bustin’ piece of art that has already won some sort of award. For you nit pickers, check with the Blue Line guys to see the name of that award. My main thing about it is WHY ISN’T MITCH DOIN’ A MONTHLY BOOK FOR SOMEONE???

Am I the only guy with eyeballs? Is ever editor drunk or just blind?

Some things in this business defy the natural laws of life. That’s why I continue to work to take it over. There should only be one Alpha Male Baboon runnin’ the show. That baboon is me.

Beau LaDuke – Real Man by Flint Henry, © & ? Beau Smith & Tim Truman

My first tip is this: Ain’t nobody better than you. Let’s face it. You’re all ya got. This isn’t some magic movie where you’re gonna get to change into someone else. You’ve been shoved in the skin you’re wearin’. If ya haven’t gotten used to it yet? then it’s about time ya did.

Before you can like others, ya gotta like yourself. I’m a firm believer in likin’ myself. It’s the longest love affair I’ve ever had? not the only, mind ya, just the longest.

Beau LaDuke – Real Man by Todd Foxx
© & ? Beau Smith & Tim Truman

Let’s look at how you handle yourself when ya meet some big time creator at a store signing or a con. Obviously I’m talkin’ about one that ya like? work-wise. If ya didn’t ya wouldn’t be wastin’ your time.

First off there is the word respect. You should have respect for this person, but at the same time, you should have equal respect for yourself.

Just because this guy has written or drawn what you think is the greatest comic book in the world, doesn’t mean that he has anything over on you as a man. He has talents just like you; yours just may not have been discovered yet. But you will march on. This guy also has just as many, if not more, problems as you do. He’s human. He eats, sleeps and expels things from his body just like you. Life kicks him in the teeth from time to time, just like you. So right ff, ya got something in common.

Beau LaDuke – Real Man by Tim Truman
© & ? Beau Smith & Tim Truman

So don’t go puttin’ this guy above you. You tell him that you enjoy his work and why. Ask him to sign what ya got or to take that photo. Sometimes folks click and other times they don’t. You may wanna keep your meet and greet with this guy short and sweet. Ya never know, you talk to him too long and then may find that the guy is a booger eatin’ creep and that’ll throw a stain on enjoyin’ his work from there on out.

More than likely that ain’t gonna happen. But, ya never know.

Please keep in mind, ya don’t wanna come off as a stalker either. Don’t be thinkin’ you’re bigger friends with this guy than ya are. No need for sendin’ him lots of emails, phone calls or kidnappin’ his dog and goin’ through his trash. I think ya know what I mean. Always remember? be a man. Have some pride.

When you’re at cons ya sometimes run into the problem of the publisher that he works for is a little snotty. I’ve seen this happen. Even within some of the companies that I’ve worked for. The “Talent Wrangler” takes things a bit too serious? or worse, treats that creator like they were better than everyone else. That’s when this wrangler turns into a snippy little bitch. In the past when I’ve run into this within my own company ranks, I’ve taken that goof ball aside and given them a little “Beau Sweet Talk”. They quit bein’ all high and mighty real quick. They find that’s better than bein’ low and hurtin’.

Beau LaDuke – Real Man by Ricardo Villigran and Todd Fox
© & ? Beau Smith & Tim Truman

Editors at cons are the worst offender of this bad attitude. I don’t really wanna hear that they are tired of bein’ hit up with proposals and scripts and portfolios. It’s part of their job to look at proposals, scripts and art. They don’t get sent to the shows to sign stuff. They aren’t there for a vacation. It’s called a job. Start doin’ it.

Editors that try and slide into that rock star suit of clothes are just a pair of silk panties from wearin’ poodle skirts and gettin’ their toenails painted. The only thing that can save them is if the publisher they work for has a company policy that their editors cannot take or look at out side work. If that’s the case, then publishers shouldn’t waste time sendin’ em’. Send a creator. The fans/readers would enjoy that more.

In the pre-PC days, I would tell ya that if some unqualified editor was givin’ ya attitude, then it would be time to give that insect a face massage with your knuckles. That’ll land ya in jail now. No need in doin’ any time over some moron, pencil pusher.

Instead, ya write to the publisher? the guy in charge, the managing editor a letter about the way this editor treated ya. You don’t wanna come off as some irate nut job either. Ya write a very serious, professional letter and tell em’ how much you were displeased with the way this guy represented the company. You also tell them that you buy a lot of their product. You tell em’ that you are considerin’ writin’ a public letter via a magazine or the internet expressing your displeasure.

That’s the way to do it in these times of pampered egos.

Beau Smith by Flint Henry

It all busts down to likin’ yourself. Ya gotta have pride in who ya are. I’m not talkin’ about ego lust. I mean just like bein’ you. It’s better to be selfless that selfish. Now and then we all get to feelin’ down. It’s like life is an ex-wife cuttin’ off your balls and keepin’ your money. The best thing to do is to do somethin’ for someone else and not expect anything in return. To really just be a nice guy. Don’t look within? look outside yourself and do a good turn for someone else.

I’m not gettin’ all preachy on ya. I’m just givin’ ya some common sense stuff that your parents should’ve or did tell ya. A man is measured by lots of things. One of them is how they treat others. I’d rather be known as the most liked guy than the most feared.

In my book of manly ways, if I like ya, there ain’t much I wouldn’t do for ya. I gotta say, it’s a good feeling to have when you know you can count on someone to back ya? bar fight, down moments, or just buyin’ the next round.

I’m pretty blessed to say that there are more folks in comics that I like than the ones I don’t. The ones I don’t give a donkey dump about have either been sorted out or ignored.

Guy Gardner: Warrior by Mitch Byrd
© & ? DC Comics

It all kinda comes down to respect don’t it?

Ya can’t steal it, ya can’t even beat it out of folks. Ya still gotta earn it.

Those that try to get it by other means are lookin’ for a trip to the world of hurt. You should never back down from those tryin’ to enforce their will on ya. If you do, then they think they can do it to everyone. I don’t know any real man that wouldn’t rather die standin’ than on their knees.

Be the person that makes others eyes light up. If kindness fails, then be the last person they ever wanna see comin’ at em’ with bad intentions.

The comic book business is a very special place. You should all enjoy it. Don’t let others ruin it for you or others.

Respect. Give it and get it.

As always, if ya need me? I ain’t hard to find.

Your amigo,


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