Michael Davis: Maybe I’m amazed…
My closest friends are like family to me, and family is what Whitney Farmer is in my life. I’m a pretty smart guy (if I say so myself – and I do) and I know a lot of smart people,. Whitney is one of the smartest people I know.
There are two kinds of smart: street smart and book smart. I’m both. If I had to choose between the two, I’d pick book smart.
Oh hell no I wouldn’t. Book smart can get you a job, sure but street smart can save your life.
Being able to hold my own in a conversation with a art professor from Yale on artists is a lot of fun at dinner parties but the chances of me being shot in the head because I disrespected him are small.
However, being able to hold my own in a conversation with those who grew up I the hood like I did under a different value system is preferable. Odds are that Yale professor won’t bust a cap in my ass because I argued Kenneth Noland and William T. Williams were more color field artists than they were non-objective artists.
Whitney, god bless her, thinks she’s street smart but… no.
Yes, she can handle herself in most any situation. Yes she is a fighter but rolling with the homies?
Whitney assumes that everyone is as smart as she is.
No. No they aren’t.
I’ve been telling her that for years. I’ve seen her talk to a rocket scientist who couldn’t keep up. I call that a “Whitney.” A Whitney is stating something that you think is painfully obvious to everyone but it isn’t because you are above their pay grade in that particular subject, point or gray matter.
The other day I did a Whitney. I wrote an article for Bleeding Cool and assumed people were as smart or at least as satirical as me. I thought people would see a clear farce with one goal, letting one young talented artist know and by her example let all young talented artists know they are worth something and the industry needs someone like them.
Some people got it, but those who didn’t suggested I was not professional enough to write for Bleeding Cool, the piece needed to be completely rewritten and various other reasons why the article sucked.
That didn’t bother me. Really.
Hey. I’m Michael Davis. People have loved what I do or say or hated what I do or say since the moment I entered the industry. The Bleeding Cool comments telling me how non professional and down right stupid I was made me spit tequila all over my Inkpot Award and PhD from laughing so hard.
So, come on, those bullshit comments didn’t bother me at all.
What really bothered me – and I mean really – is the complete non-interest in the focus of the article: new talent.
I’m real serious, when I ask this, when it comes to comic fans caring about the soul of the industry the future of the industry which is like any other entertainment medium is talent, am I stupid?
There is no entertainment media on the planet that can survive without nurturing and supporting new talent but do those who read comics care little about anything except rather or not Ben Fucking Affleck is a good fucking Batman?
The way my piece was written it could have been seen as a rambling mess. Although, throughout the piece I kept referencing that it was thus the joke assholes – but I can see how someone who did not see the humor or appreciate the style in which it was written could object.
The last time I checked, and that was before my un-professional ass got on a plane to Japan or Hawaii (I can’t tell) to talk unprofessional business, there were a few comments from people who saw what I was doing but somehow those other comments and the lack of mention or the down right dismissal of the artist made me wonder rather or not comic fans care about future talent and that means the future of comics.
If that is the case, I can’t blame them. Not because I don’t think it’s very important to have fans care about the next generation of creators. I think it’s fucked up if most don’t, really fucked up if that’s the case.
No, I can’t blame them because when I was “just” a fan I didn’t give any thought to future creators either. I’m a lot of things but I’m not a hypocrite.
Here’s the thing. I just have this overwhelming hope that today’s comic book fan is better, smarter and more vested in the future.
I hope there are more comic fans that get the Japan / Hawaii joke than those who will have to have someone explain it to them.
Last thing, Whitney once destroyed a woman at a San Diego Comic Con panel who dared to challenge her on comics in the classroom. Much like the ending of Kill Bill 2, she hit that woman so hard and so fast with facts it killed her but allowed her to walk five steps before her heart stopped.
Just because she’s not street smart doesn’t mean she’s not gangta.
WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold
THURSDAY MORNING: Dennis O’Neil