Monday, April 21, 2003

Looking To The Stars: A Not So Typical Viewer Mail Column

When I first started writing for 411mania, I never anticipated the amount of feedback and support that I would get for my writing for it. Oh sure, I got the occasional fan letter during my time with Fanzing (long may ‘er archives stand!). But since taking up my metaphorical pen here, I have gotten twice the response that I did back in the good ol’ days. But never did I anticipate that I would be getting letters from professional writers regarding what I said about their work.

And yet, this is what happened to me about two weeks ago. Just after the publishing of my review of The Marvelous Adventures of Gus Beezer with Spider-Man #1, I got the following letter.


Just wanted to drop a note to say the reviews at 411 about Gus (even aside from being so kind!) were among the most insightful commentary the book has seen yet. Your opening paragraph was EXACTLY correct about what we were trying to do. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Thank you so much for the kind words. I'm certainly going to be keeping an eye on you and the site!



Gail Simone reading my work? I was floored! You see, I’ve been a big fan of Gail since she was writing You’ll All Be Sorry at Comic Book Resources and I’ve loved her work on Deadpool, Agent X and Killer Princess. So getting praise from her was a major ego boost.

I also have to thank Gail for having indirectly improved my image at work. As some of you may remember, Unca Stars does work for a comic book store. Last week, I came into the store that morning to find my boss with an odd grin on his face. Not that his grin is that odd, but having it directed at me is a somewhat rare occurrence. With few words, he showed me an e-mail sent in from his boss, concerning a “very good review” of the Gus Beezer series that should be used to help sell the comic in all our stores. The review began with a heading saying Written by “Starman” Matt Morrison.

It turns out my boss’s boss was one of several people Gail sent the review too, praising it and me. And the poor guy had no idea that this writer, whom he personally went on to talk about being very good, was working across the street from him.

Well, I hope you laughed as hard as I did at that. And yet there is even more. Just yesterday, I got another letter, though this one was not as complementary.

i was just sent your review of .... well, come on, me. not my work, but me. what a sad, bitter, tiny little man you must be inside. it must be awful to be you. please continue to hate me and my work. please don't buy it. please throw away any free copies you might recieve. it is not written for you. it is written ABOUT you. when you are allllllll grown up, ask your mommy what satire is. i wish you great success with your booming internet career and will make a point of reading all your reviews in the future as you seem to be a very entertaining humorless dolt.
ron zimmerman

Wow. Rawhide Kid was written about me? I thought it was about a gay cowboy.

In all seriousness, while I thank Mr. Zimmerman for his concern, I am not sad or bitter. I am quite happy, well satisfied with my job and have a diverse group of friends for whom I am very grateful. I am also not tiny or little, being above average height (5’10”) and weight. (180 lb), have the build of a linebacker and in good health. As such, I am as grown up as I think I am going to get.

As for my mother explaining satire to me, she has already done so. I was raised watching Monty Python and am well familiar with what satire is. I am also familiar with what is good satire and what is bad satire. And Ron? You write very bad satire.

For good satire, I highly recommend the new limited run YABS being put out by Gail Simone and some other writers (including Ron Zimmerman). You really should go and read all of her new and old work. I guarantee you’ll find some of the best satire about comics ever written as well as a critique of nuts on the Internet bad mouthing perfectly decent writers for no reason other than pure jealousy and certainly not because they are insecure hacks, with nothing better to do on Easter Sunday than insult their critics.

Tune in next week. Same Matt Time. Same Matt Website.

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