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Tales of the Neo_Prodigy

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Everytime You Bring The Gay, You Crush A Writer's Dreams

This weekend I was reading Peter David's blog and came across this nugget. I haven't been able to stop laughing since for reasons that are about to be obviously clear:

This is a new one on me

I’ve become used to the typical reasons that hostility is aimed at me. The guys who assail me because I have different political beliefs from them (including those who actually write to Marvel trying to get me fired because they didn’t like something I wrote on this blog). Or the guys who love to weigh in on any positive BBS thread about my work and try and lob crap at it because they feel I was mean to them three years ago, or they’re frustrated writers who believe that my success is as undeserved as their failure, and since they can’t do anything about the latter, they’ll try and tear down the former.

But the message I received recently was just on a different level.

I started up a Facebook page about a month ago and the vast, vast, VAST majority of people who have approached me through that medium have been genuine, enthusiastic fans of me or my work. And then one day, out of the blue, I got the following message from someone I shall keep nameless:

I wrote a submission to Marvel that was a Shatterstar origin. I wrote that story three times. Countless nights of research on the many characters and the ultimate expansion of the mojoverse. I spent 2 years trying to find an artist to draw for me. You made him gay, and made my story irrelevent. (sic) I have stopped writing and am now a mechanic. A rather small decision of yours, crushed my dream of being a comic book writer at Marvel.

I have to admit, I was taken aback. As I said, I’ve become used to the usual reasons for hostility. But here’s someone I’ve never met (to my knowledge) who apparently hates his life and blames me for it.

Years ago I wrote a Hulk story which featured a low-grade crook who, throughout his career, was constantly having his endeavors thwarted by the Hulk who, in turn, had no idea the guy existed. For instance, the guy was driving away from a bank robbery at high speed and a casually leaping Hulk shattered the road in front of him so that he couldn’t escape police pursuit. By the end of the story he finally confronts the Hulk, declaring him to be his nemesis, and the Hulk has no freaking idea who this guy is or the impact he’s had on his life. The guy was supposed to be a comedic figure.

Instead I now encounter that in real life and I don’t find it funny at all. To me, it’s just kind of tragic, that somewhere out there, there’s this guy who isn’t achieving his goals and believes it’s my fault…and me, I was just going about my business.

And the more I think about it, the more I just feel sorry for the guy. It’s a terrible thing, to just give up like that. Sadder still, I suppose, to be so determined to blame someone else for your own inability to stick with it. Someone becomes a writer–a professional writer–because NOT being a writer is unthinkable. You’re not deterred by the first set back, or the fifth, or the fiftieth. Failure, as they say, is not an option. If it is, then you won’t make it, period.

Still, as I said…it’s disconcerting to discover that someone hates me that much, and particularly for a story that meant a great deal to a sizable portion of the readership.



To quote my girl boston_pobble..............I got nothing.


At least today's fail makes me laugh. That's on the good end of the scale.

Peter David is a LOT nicer than I would've been. I'da said, "Lemme get this straight. Your entire dream of being a writer rests upon this ONE story being picked up for this exact company. GTFOH."

I wish someone would try saying that shit to Harlan Ellis. He's say something along the lines of, "They don't want you because you write CRAP!!! STOP WRITING CRAP!!!"

I'm pretty sure there's a woman out there right now who hates the shit outta You Know Who because she got cast as Princess Mia, thus ruining her dream of becoming a great actress, which means she has to be a secretary for the rest of her life.


Wow, damn, that is some pretty amazing mental gymnastics to put the Death of One's Dreams on someone with whom one has never interacted.

I feel sorry for the guy, not because the Big Bad Writer crushed his dreams, but because he allowed himself to give up over something like that.

Oh hios privilege blinkers him

Because yes it has this power. I know he can't see it - but is it so hard to see that an aspiring comic book writer - or any kind of writer - might look at the complete lack of gay representation and see one of the few lights extinguished and think "this isn't for me. There's no place there."

On a lesser scale I've been there - there are branches and avenues I could have taken in my career but I actively avoided - I avoided them because there were no gay men there. Gay men did not do that job, could not do that job in fact there were laws that had only recently been changes that made it impossible for a gay man to do that job.

If you think a road is barred, it's not weakness to go for another road rather than try to force your way through the road block. It's not "giving up".

It's facing the very real rejection of a world that would rather we not be there. And when someone not only refuses to have any inclusion, but actively removes some of the little inclusion that is there, then yes, they have some responsibility for that.

Wait major fail and completely misread - I thought he was complaining because he made a gay character straight.

See? Then? Then the complaint would have made SOME sense. I had to read it that way to extract some meaning from it

What, is he out of straight characters to read about? it's not like there's a lack of straight superheroes for crying out loud!

But the existanmce of one of, what, less than 10? (NOT including those murdered raped and tortured) Less than 5? Gay superheroes completely destroys his dreams? Woooow

Whoa. He's so much nicer than I would have been: he's attempting to handle that guy with some understanding and dignity.

And maybe I'm being a horrible person, but the whiner is a mechanic. This means he's qualified in a trade, that he can do cash-on-the-side jobs for friends if he wants, and that he's got a skill which can presumably use to help him in his own life and save some money.

Given the number of people I've known who've been unemployed and who haven't completed any trade/uni (myself included in that; I was unable to find a job for ages a few years ago) I'm finding it really hard to feel any kind of sympathy. This guy's whining about not being a writer and totally neglecting the fact that many writers spend a long time living poor, or that they supplement their incomes doing work which isn't directly involved with their creative pursuits.

And who's saying you can't be a mechanic AND a writer? Methinks he didn't really want to be a writer that much in the first place.

I dunno: I just find I write stuff because that's what I do with my spare time. And not-so-spare time. And when I'm not doing it, something feels very, very wrong.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I could certainly use a "what is this i don't even..." tag sometimes. It's either interesting or sad that life all too often provides us with opportunities to use it.

It's sad how often I have to use that tag.

::shakes head::

That's one of the most pathetic reasons for not being a writer that I've ever heard of, and I really have nothing to offer save . . . well, what the icon says. Seriously, winter's coming; we need the fucking wood.

And I'm sure Marvel was just waiting for an untested unknown to write one of their flagship characters. Because it's not like thousands of writers are pleading for a chance.

Gail Simone said it's not good ideas that make you a good writer. And this is why. So one idea failed. Move onto the next, or move along and quit.

Must be the sleepiness affecting my brain, but I don't see how writing one character as gay for one of several books produced by one of many comic houses should derail some guy's writing aspirations. Sounds like someone's scapegoat hunting.

This guy can blame PAD, but the truth is if Shatterstar being revealed as gay was all it took to make him stop writing, he was never gonna hack it anyway.

I've seen this happen countless times with aspiring prose writers, and it's always sad, but I view it as Darwinism. This is a tough business and you have to adapt to survive and achieve your ambitions. Accepting the shocking! truth! that some characters out there are gonna be gay doesn't hurt either.


And the fact that he couldn't just modify the story into an original piece and try to pitch it or publish it on his own just befuddles me.

So I just discovered some awesome quotes from this post:

" Someone becomes a writer–a professional writer–because NOT being a writer is unthinkable."

and from the post linked to:

Earl B

Why didn’t he just write a different story?

Jonathan (the other one)

Because he wasn’t a writer – he wanted to be an author. (I think it was Spider Robinson who said that an author is somebody who gets his name on a dust jacket, while a writer is someone who writes because it’s easier than not writing.

Other than that, Peter David sounds like a pretty cool guy. Thank! I think I'll be following his blog from now on.

Kind of ironic that S_D hates him, huh?

"Kind of ironic that S_D hates him, huh? "

Considering that half the mods still harbor a vendetta against Gail Simone.....well there you go.

It's like

" You made him black " and you ruined my fandom

Umm didnt know race or sexual orientation could ruin a fandom.
Ohhhh wait yeah the past 2 weeks.
Good writers take what they have, be it shriveled continuity scraps of WTF and can turn it into a great read.

Lastly I'm sick of white homophobes whining. So sick of it.

Now they are a good reason to ruin fandom

Exactly. And that's why at this point, I'm over it.

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