The press corp. of the comic book world are a team of hard drinking, hard living SOBs. A gathering of these stalwart gossipmongers can look like an assemblage of WWII veterans, only uglier. Take Myra Hassleback, for example, the woman who broke the news about the Disney/Marvel merger at the cost of three of her own fingers, or consider the case of the late, great Internet reporter who smuggled the unedited Frank Cho Hulk 100 cover out of Marvel. Known only as d34dp001420, his real name and final resting place are still unknown to this day.
In this expose’ of the press behind the presses we’ll take a look at how these crumpled maladroits begin their careers in this time-consuming hobby, plus we’ll we’ll offer tips on how YOU can break into the field. As an added bonus you will find attached your own Mad Libs style article to fill out and add to your library of literary samples when applying for that coveted position of Comic Book News writer!
WHO, WHERE, WHAT?
Comic book newswriters are often embittered insiders who turn to tattling after one too many story rejection letters. Some start as Internet gripers, picking fights and provoking flame-wars until they have enough clout to complain as a career. Either way, the personality of a comic book news writer is one of reckless arrogance and a hatred for humanity that borders on obsession. Their habits strain all personal relationships leaving no one for the writer to love but illicit substances and the sound of their own by-line.
Shunned by polite society, comic newswriters often live in caves or under bridges. This subterranean existence can serve as an aid when they hide under desks for long stretches of time to uncover stories, though the scent of cheap whiskey and the sound of their own self-hating sobs typically blows their cover.
SOUNDS GREAT, RIGHT? How can you sign up? Well, there’s the “Hard way” of going to journalism school and working your way up from the bottom, though most folks just take the “easy way” of making it all up.
The first step is to write an inflammatory interview with reclusive comic book creators such as Steve Ditko or Barry Windsor Smith completely out of your imagination. Should your veracity ever be challenged, completely retract it and say you “thought everybody understood it was a work of parody.”
Another popular technique is to predict EVERYTHING. Examples: Batman To Come Back to Life in Pages of Superman To Help Flagging Sales, or Wolverine: Bruce Banner’s Uncle? Should these things ever actually happen you could claim YOU were an investigative journalist, or that the comic book companies are secretly monitoring all of your Internet posts to mine for good ideas. Either way, your status as an up and coming digital muckraker is assured.
This method is much akin to horse racing. You could make a safe prediction, such as Thor, Iron Man and the original Captain America putting the Avengers back after Marvel’s upcoming Reign event, but there’s not much payoff in such easy guesswork. Better to make bucket loads of CRAZY predictions: that Howard The Duck is Mutant X, that Disney is buying Cherry Poptart, that Diamond is dropping all titles with the word “The” in them. This is called “The Nostradamus Effect.” If ONE of these nuggets of insanity pans out you’ll be on the gravy train for life!
And what is the pay-off to a career in being a comic book news conveyor? That someday you’ll get to reveal some incredible, mind-blowing secret of the industry such as the following astonishing tale I’m about to uncover RIGHT NOW!
BUT HOLD ON: I’m going to remove all the juicy bits for you to “uncover” or “make-up” yourself. Fill in the blanks and post this article across multiple message boards and you too can be a famous comic book news writer overnight! Ready?
(Insert Title Here)
Anyone who _____________ into a comic book shop these days will see the proliferation of _____________ titles cluttering up the shelves. A small trend that started in _____________ comic books has paved the way for such Marvel titles as __________ and the DC books _______________ and _____________. Notice a trend here? They’re all _____________.
This humble writer thinks it’s a conspiracy! Ever since __________________ was revealed to be a ______________, trade magazines and _______________ have been buzzing with the rumors of ______________, as well as giraffe ____________ and _____________ artichokes.
NOW it’s ______________! One gets the feeling that _______________ is all just one big ___________ canister who ________________ breadcrumbs through ___________ Queen Victoria. Thursday’s ____________ could be the _______________ yam _____________ this reporter has ever ______________. WHERE is the _______________ the ____________ needs so badly?! ________________ noodles!?
But ______ is behind all this? I’m not ______ yet. Maybe it’s _________________, hoping that the death of _________ will usher in a new __________ of _________ for _____________ . Films like Bull Durham and _______________ will once again pack the multiplexes, and kids will once again be __________ing their _____________ with their own _____________ .
All this reporter can say is “I ____________ Norway can’t _______________ with too many ____________ laxatives up their __________ owl pelts!”
THERE. Now sit back and hope your web of lies attracts the well moneyed flies of a reputable website and the entire Internet will be glued to your nonsense in no time!