| THOUGHTS AT THREE A.M.
by editor I forgot my name
Discussed this month: How I screwed us out of a Green Arrow interview Fanzing's odd production schedule Fanzing's staff expands New procedures for Fanzing submissions
I really didn't mean to do it.
I read in a Fandom.com interview with Kevin Smith that he felt that Green Arrow was a more identifiable character because he's very flawed womanizing and such instead of being a paragon of virtue. His exact words were:
This struck me as rather odd. While true that Green Arrow has a pretty large lists of faults in contrast to most superheroes, I always thought Green Arrow was among the most preachy characters around and that's what people liked about him.
It seemed strange that it would be all the bad things about Green Arrow that Kevin Smith found attractive, but I didn't spend too much time pondering on it. I mean, we are talking about a guy who decided to make marketable characters out of a couple of shoplifting drug dealers. Kevin Smith is a remarkably talented guy, but I've no doubt that we've little in common in terms of life experiences. He just grew up with a different crowd. No condemnation here, you understand; I'm just saying that, while I found it odd, I can see how the Kevin Smith who writes the movies I hope my parents never see might have a different take on the guy.
So, like an idiot, I go over to www.dixonverse.com (Chuck Dixon's web site) where all the Green Arrow fans hang out and asked them whether they like Green Arrow because he's a flawed character or for being a rather socially pious character.
In no time at all, people are responding, "The new Green Arrow isn't out yet! Why don't you give the guy a chance?" This caught me up short, as I'd not said one word about how Kevin Smith was going to write Green Arrow in the upcoming title. It wasn't even a concern. I'm very sure that Smith is going to do a great job. All I was asking was about the way that Green Arrow is seen by the readers.
And then Kevin Smith shows up.
Honest to God. Kevin Smith. On the Dixonverse Message Board. Yikes!
Well, he writes a very terse note to the effect that obviously I think I'm perfect (he made that point about four times) and that I was making too much of the words in his interview and that I should just give him a chance to do the book. (Again, I never criticized the new Green Arrow book or his writing of it.) And then he said that it was knee-jerk people like me that he really hated about the comic book market.
So Kevin Smith hates me. And there goes any chance of landing an interview to promote his book when we do a Green Arrow issue.
"Oh, but maybe he didn't really mean that, Michael." Well, I wish it were true. I can hope, for the sake of our magazine. But here's what makes me think "not."
See, once Kevin Smith was posting to Dixonverse, writer (and Dixonverse regular) Peter David took the opportunity to finally confront him and ask what he had said or done in the past that so irritated Smith that he had bashed him in the "Clerks" comic and elsewhere.
Kevin Smith responded that (A) he didn't care for Peter's writing, and (B) he thought Peter was very pretentious in his "But I Digress " column, and most of all (C) Peter had given "Mallrats" a one-paragraph review to the effect that it was the kind of movie that he would have really enjoyed if he were in college. Now, to me (and to Peter when he wrote it) that's just saying that it's a good movie but he's a little out of the film's target demographic, and if you're around 18-22 you should really love it. To Kevin Smith, this little blurb was an irritating blow to his film which he held against Peter David for years and years.
That seems a little extreme, since (A) Mallrats is a pretty mediocre film (a great disappointment after "Clerks") that not even college kids enjoyed, and (B) critics everywhere were saying much worse things about Mallrats, and (C) what Peter said was actually an endorsement that you should go to the movie, which is more than it was getting from the legit movie critics, and (D) Peter's power to affect the ticket sales of Kevin Smith's movies is not that great. (Kevin himself realizes that Mallrats was not as comparable in terms of quality to his other three films, which is the only reason I feel free to pick on it a bit.)
If Kevin Smith can hold a grudge like that, I figure I don't have a chance in hell.
But I'd like to try.
Kevin, if you eventually read this, please don't put me on the crap list. If it helps, I hate Reese Witherspoon too!
Well, we shall see. When it comes time for a Green Arrow issue, we'll see if he agrees to an interview. Or maybe I'll just see a character in an upcoming Clerks comic that's obviously based on the kind of comic book fans that he hates.
Looking at this last year, I see that Fanzing has essentially become a bi-monthly. That wasn't intentional! It's just the way things have worked out.
This column is © 2000 Michael Hutchison.
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