In My Life, by Michael Davis

Michael Davis

Master Of The Universe, Lord Of All Media, Most Interesting Black Man In the World, Sexiest Man on Earth, Mentor, Writer, Artist, Producer & Uppity.

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11 Responses

  1. Chris Gumprich says:

    Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Mark Behar says:

    Thanks for letting us in, Michael.

  3. Alan Coil says:

    Mike Grell was at Mid-Ohio-Con last weekend. He spoke well of your honesty. Honesty is why you wrote this column. Honesty with yourself, honesty with your feelings, and honesty with your audience.Thanks, Michael.

  4. Russ Rogers says:

    Thank you, Michael. What happened to your sister is so outrageous. It's a tragedy and horror story and … I'm sorry, I don't have words. Everything I want to write sounds so trite and stupid to my own ears. Even more trite and stupid than what I normally write here.One of the first books I ever bought was "All in Color for a Dime!" I got it at a School Book Sale, one of those "Scholastic Book Sales" they set up in the library. The copy I got was a paperback. And I PAID a Dime for it! The cover had been ripped off. It was years later that I learned, if you buy a paperback book with the cover ripped off, you've probably just helped rip off the publisher and writer too. My school librarian probably sold me a stolen book! (That's beside the point. A needless tangent. But at least I've stopped crying now.) That was the first adult non-fiction book I remember reading cover to cover. It influenced my interests and my tastes more than I imagined it would. I had forgotten it was written by Don Thompson. I was eight, I was more interested in the illustration showing the Human Torch melting his way through a steel wall. I never got a chance to meet Don Thompson, to thank him.I never met Kim Yale either. But I was a big fan of John Ostrander before John and Kim became a couple. And later I watched them collaborate. It was interesting to read the new stories written by the two of them together and try to guess which of them had informed what, how and who in the story. Kim made John a better writer. And I was impressed by Kim's writing on her own. This was sort of like the story of Reed Waller and Kate Worley. Kate was Reed's girlfriend and came in to help plot and then write his funny-animal adult comic, "Omaha the Cat Dancer." Omaha improved dramatically with Kate's help. Kate went on to become a working comics writer on many diverse comics without Reed. Reed and Kate broke up and Kate went on to marry comics professional Jack Vance. And then Kate Worley's story too closely mirrors Kim Yale's. Worely also tragically died of cancer, far too young.But, speaking of meeting heroes. I went to my first comics convention ever last weekend! It was the Mid-West Comic Book Association, FallCon! I guess this is a smaller comics convention. It seemed pretty big to me. But it still had a great, laid back feeling. Not very crowded. Not loud. I was able to get a discount on my admission by bringing a food shelf donation. Cool, eh?I wandered around the convention, just taking it in for a while. There were plenty of BIG stars there: Dwayne McDuffie, Dan Jurgens, Adam Hughes. And many others who aren't as big a star but mean more to me: Chaz Truog, Gordon Purcell, Terry Beatty. But I made a point to seek out John Ostrander! I had brought just one comic with me, my copy of GrimJack #1. It was my talisman, my proof that I have been a fan from the beginning. I had come to the convention specifically to meet John Ostrander!I found him at an unadorned table with a stack of his new Suicide Squad paperbacks. I felt a little guilty, because I haven't read the new Suicide Squad and I couldn't afford to buy it from John. But I said that I have been a fan for decades and offered up GrimJack #1 to be signed. I took a moment and introduced myself. I said, "This is the first time we've met. But we've kind of corresponded over the last few months. I'm Russ Rogers."John's face lit up with recognition and said, "Oh hi, Russ! Sure, I know you. Why just the other day I thought you wrote a really nice comment on Denny O'Neil's column or maybe it was Martha Thomases'. I can't remember." I said, "Well, I do comment on a lot of stuff." He said, "Yeah, your comments can be longer than the article!" And we both laughed at that.Seriously, that made my WEEK! It's not often that you get to meet your heroes. It's less often when they recognize you too and are kind enough to say that they've enjoyed your writing. To say that John is a nice guy is an understatement. He was warm and generous with his time to everyone that approached his table while I was there. He was particularly kind to me. I just wish I had more time at the convention to chat with him. And I'm REALLY upset that I missed his forum on creative writing! Argh! But as limited as my budget was that day, my time was even more limited. I was also upset that I didn't bring a camera! Oh well. Maybe next year. Michael, maybe next year you can find a project worth promoting at a tiny convention in the wilds of the Mid-West? Hmm? I'll buy you a drink! Ask Dwayne McDuffie; I bet he had a good time. I sure hope John Ostrander had a good time at FallCon. I hope the good word spreads. Maybe next year, you and John and a contingent of others could be at ComicMix table! Ah well, a fan-boy can dream, can't he! Maybe next year. Maybe?Thanks again for another great column. I cried, but now I feel pretty good.

    • Martha Thomases says:

      Russ, you realize we're all going to call John now and ask about you.

      • Russ Rogers says:

        I was thrilled and honored to meet John. And he'll probably say I'm just as much of a loquacious nut-job in person!

  5. Carmen says:

    Thank you, Michael for sharing another part of your life I can tell you from experience that it is not always easy to share. I am so sorry for the loss of your sister especially under the circumstances it happened. I lost my brother 21 years ago when he was only 15 and to this day I still cry for him and find myself wondering what he would be doing today if he had lived. A good cry is always good and never ever be afraid to admit it. Have you ever noticed how tired you feel after you have been crying it is because we are releasing so much of our frustrations IT IS HARD WORK but very helpful. No one should ever be afraid to cry I think it makes you a stronger person unlike what society thinks.

  6. McCarthy says:

    Come on now . . . HOW TO BREAK INTO COMICS had its moments.

  7. Rick Taylor says:

    We all have those people that we miss.The ones that met sad endings that we wished we could change.You were overcome with emotion because your love for your sister and fallen friends runs deep and can't be forgotten because your heart won't let you.It what makes you human.Honestly, thanks for letting us in.It took courage.

  8. Reg Gabriel says:

    Super respect for you, Michael. As the waves of remembering come may you also receive kisses of peace.

  9. Elayne Riggs says:

    Just lovely, Michael.