MICHAEL DAVIS: Con Man
When I first moved into my new home it seemed like every single day for a month I received a sales call from a mortgage company. They always asked for a Mr. Fong. When the calls first started I told them politely that I was not Mr. Fong and asked to be put on the Do Not Call list.
The calls kept coming and for a while I was still polite. I mean, I know how these things work. Mr. Fong had my phone number before me and the mortgage companies computer keeps calling the number. What that means is that every time I asked to be taken off the list, who ever I’m talking to simply hangs up the phone without honoring my request.
Fast forward to a few weeks of getting these calls. Now I’m pissed. So the calls went from this:
THEM: Hello, can I speak to Mr. Fong?
ME: There is no one here by that name, please take me off your call list.
THEM: Hello, can I speak to Mr. Fong?
ME: There is no damn Fong here! Do I sound Asian??? Stop calling me!!
I realized that this company was full of a bunch of idiots who simply don’t care to listen to you. So I devised another tactic. This is the way I handled the next call:
THEM: Hello, can I speak to Mr. Fong?
ME: (With Enthusiasm!) Speaking!
THEM: Mr. Fong, we see you qualify for a reduced mortgage!
ME: (With more enthusiasm!) WOW! GREAT!
THEM: We would like to send someone out to talk to you. When would be a good time?
ME: (With crazy enthusiasm!) NOW!
THEM: We can send somebody out tomorrow. Is this your current address?
I told them no, the address was wrong then I then gave them a fake address in the HOOD!
The next day at around 4 PM I got another call.
THEM: Hello, can I speak to Mr. Fong?
THEM: Mr. Fong. Hi. We must have taken down the wrong address. Can we double-check it?
ME: Why do you say that?
THEM: Well sir, the address you gave us is liquor store.
ME: I assumed you must like being drunk because you keep calling me.
THEM: I don’t understand.
ME: I have told you guys a million (bad word) times I was not Mr. (bad word) Fong!
THEM: Who are you?
ME: None of your (bad word, bad word, REALLY bad word) business.
With that, I hung up. I have not gotten any calls since then, so I guess it worked. What does this have to do with this weeks rant? Nothing! I just love that those idiots wasted their time as they have been wasting mine. And maybe this will help others who find themselves in this predicament.
Now for this weeks rant. No! It’s not a rant. This is a total love fest for the San Diego ComicCon International! Sorry Vinnie Bartilucci, you will have to wait until next week to find issues to debate. This week my friend it’s all about the LOVE!
I wrote a while back about conventions and intimacy. That piece was about the danger of losing the closeness comic book fans share at an event like ComicCon. That piece was about what I see is a dangerous thing for comic book fans – losing the bond that we have as fans. After reading that article someone asked me if I did not like ComicCon.
Let me be very clear. I love comic book conventions and there is no convention I love more than ComicCon International. So this piece is about the sheer greatness of the greatest comic book convention in the world-ComicCon International in San Diego California.
ComicCon is the Mecca of comic book fans. At least once in your life you HAVE to go there. If you have been to another convention and this will be your first time at ComicCon then you are sooo in for a treat.
First, there’s the sheer size of the convention. HUGE.
At most comic book conventions you can spend a day there and feel that you have seen it all. Not at ComicCon.
Just spend a day at ComicCon? HA!! HA! I say!!
Guys, a day would only frustrate you like a pretty girl who just said goodnight to you with a peck on the cheek after you just spent your paycheck on dinner. Or for you ladies, just spending a day at ComicCon is like seeing a pair of shoes that you LOVE in a shoe store … but they don’t fit!
No, you need a few days to grasp the enormity of the event!
At ComicCon, the energy in the room is wonderful! No, better than wonderful. It’s … nirvana. That’s nirvana as in paradise not Nirvana as in the rock group that needs a new lead singer.
I LOVE ComicCon. My first ComicCon was 1988. I was a baby and I was there on DC comics dime promoting ETC from DC’s adult line Piranha Press. I stayed at the Doubletree Hotel, which is now the Westin. In fact, that hotel has changed ownership a billion times it seems since 1988. The one thing that has remained constant is the HORRIBLE blue fish fountain that is in front of the hotel. It may be horrible but I have grown to love that fish! I’m stayed there last year also for a few days before I moved to The Hyatt. At the Westin, there was a young lady at the front desk named Jean who actually made me want to move back to the Westin. It was because of her I did not move the other eight people I had staying there. She was that cool.
People who write about conventions rarely talk about the people behind the cons, I want to take a moment and give props to the people behind ComicCon. The staff at the con is one of, if not the best staff in the convention business.
I’m amazed that Fae Desmond, the con’s Executive Director, always seems so calm. I mean the amount of stuff she has to deal with must be enormous! Think about it, dealing with the major comic book companies, over a hundred thousand fans, creators, retailers, and Klingons! And I’m not even denting the surface of what she has to do.
Fae must be the Zen Master of all Zen Masters. I remember one night I saw Fae beat seven men up while talking on her cell phone as she was directing some fans to the masquerade ball all the time yelling at the men she was beating up, ‘Don’t you ever cut in line! Who’s your mommy? I’m your mommy!’
Then there’s David Glanzer, Director Of Public Relations. This guy is cool as ice. David does not care who you are. If you deal with ComicCon then you have to come correct with David. I heard that David was told that President Bush, The Pope and Bill Gates all wanted to attend the con. David said “Have them call me and we will see what we can do … maybe.” Damn, that’s cool.
Last year Sam Wallace, who’s in Exhibitor Registration, spent a great deal of time helping me with a problem while at the same time delivering a baby. Wow.
Then there’s Jackie Estrada. I hear that the Academy Awards is trying to woo her away because of the great job she does every year with Eisner Awards. From what I hear her “people” are talking to “their” people. Their people have no idea how Jackie rolls. So next year look for the promos for the Oscars to say: Jackie Estrada presents The Academy Awards!
ComicCon is not just the convention center and all you see on the floor, it’s the many people behind the scene that make what happens on the floor possible.
Those people are, John Rogers, Mary Sturhann, Mark Yturralde, Robin Donlan, Beth Holly (Hi Beth!), William Pittman, Frank Alison, Ned Cato, Dan Davis, (Hey Dan, I’m a Davis too! Who’s your daddy?), Luigi Diaz, Eugene Henderson, Martin Jaquish, James Jira, Eddie Ibrahim (Eddie thanks for the great panel spot!), Sue Lord, Maija Gates, Justin Dutta, (Justin, you don’t write, you don’t call), Rod Mojica (possibility the coolest name ever, ROD!), Heather Lampron, Anna-Marie Villegas, Lisa Moreau, Damien Cabaza (Damien, you still got those incrementing tapes of David?), Tommy Goldbach, Patty Campuzano, Janet Goggins, Glenda Moreno, Chris Sturhann, (how you doing Chris?), Josh Glaser, Steve Brown (Steve Brown! The only name that I did not have to spell check!!) That deserves another spot. Steve Brown! What the heck, one more time: Steve Brown!
Ken Kendall (sounds like a superhero doesn’t it? ‘I’m the fantastic Ken Kendall now surrender evil doers!!’), John Davenport, Josh Ritter, Martin Jaquish, Tristan Gates (how many Gates are working there?), Clydene Nee, Lafrance Bragg, Katherine Morrison (hey Katherine can I have your autograph?), Taerie Bryant, Andy Manzi, Eugene Henderson, William Curtis, Mikee Ritter (a little liberal with all those e’s eh?), Craig Fellows, Frank Alison, John Smith (John Smith? Sureeee that’s your name.), Bruce Frankie, Kristy Chan, Maryelizabeth Hart of Mysterious Galaxy? What? Kent Elofson, and Valerie Perez.
An extra big shout out to Luigi Diaz, Jennifer Diaz and all the volunteers!
I cannot believe I just wrote down all those names! Let me tell you guy’s something. I’m a HORRIBLE typist. I do OK when I’m just coming up with stuff from my head but when I have to look at something and type it I am TERRIBLE! It takes me forever. This is how much I appreciate and love attending ComicCon International. I had to write everybody down because that staff deserves to be recognized for the massive job they do every year.
If you are on the staff of ComicCon and I misspelled you name, please forgive me I can’t help it, I went to public school!
Ah, ComicCon! I can’t wait to get to my hotel and see who else is checking in, then I’ll go to the preview night and then go hang out at the Top Of The Hyatt or now the bottom of the Hyatt. Last year I was so swamped that I had NO real hang out time except for Wed. night. I hope to have some leisure time this year but I really don’t see it.
Ah, ComicCon! I can’t wait to challenge a Klingon to a fight!
Ah, ComicCon! I can’t wait to see the line at the ATM!!
Ah, ComicCon! I can’t wait to see that plus size lady in her Wonder Woman costume so I can yell, “You go girl!”
Ah, ComicCon! I can’t wait to see that black guy with the Al Sharpton hair in the Superman outfit!
Ah, ComicCon! I can’t wait to see Neil Gaiman and his black leather jacket and bodyguard!
Ah, ComicCon! I can’t wait to see a father slap his son in the back of the head because he asked, “Who’s Stan Lee and Jack Kirby?”
Ah, ComicCon! I can’t wait to wait on line for The Simpson’s movie that weekend with all the other geeks!
Ah ComicCon! I can’t wait to see that superstar creator who hates me so I can greet him with a hardy, “Hello, Mr. You Who Must Not Be Named. Yes, I am stil,l doing great and there is nothing you can do about it. So are you still telling people I’m a fraud? You are? Well good luck with that! I have to go now and run this little media empire I’m in charge off. Call me, we will do lunch! Bring some money so you can eat to!
Ah, ComicCon! I can’t wait!
I will end my ComicCon love fest with a poem:
Bloods are Red.
Crips are Blue.
I’m going to ComicCon.
Wow, that certainly sucked.
Oh well I never said I was a poet. I hope to see you all at ComicCon! Let’s get a drink! Bring some money so you can pay!
Michael Davis is a comics creator and the founder of the Guardian Line series of comics as well as being a television producer and writer. He was a co-founder of Milestone Comics and his artwork has appeared in Wasteland, Green Arrow: Shado, Green Hornet and The Question, among others.
David Glanzer is a major-league sweetheart. I join you in kissing up to him!
I don't kiss up. I show the love! (But I will keep a copy of this with me if I have a problem at the Con .hee heheheheheheheheheheee
Once again Mr. Davis you have made me laugh out loud.Repeatedly. You have also reawakened my excitement to go to ComicCon this year; my dad had nearly beat it out of me with his dread but no! You've reminded me of all thie little joys the convention offers. And I'd totally forgotten about that fish, I took a picture with it my first year at the con!
Adriane, I'm glad you liked the piece and I really look forward to seeing you at the con! However, A word of advice to you and all the ladies -NEVER say to man "you have made me laugh out loud. Repeatedly.'
As Gallagher said, "Laughing's okay, as long as you don't point".
Every time I see that you have written a column, I say, "Davis, yer an idiot!" Then I read it. Don't know what that makes me, but here I am.I once had to ask the Time-Life Books people if their books came in Braille. Never called me again!
Hey, Michael! Another Con come and gone! See you next year!