Wednesday, November 4, 2009

In Praise of Scott

One of the strange side effects of being Mike’s brother, both now and (especially) before he died was that I always had to watch what I said online or around his colleagues at conventions for fear of having an adverse effect on his career. Or, now, on his memory. I don’t mean not blabbing about whatever top-secret project he was working on. That was the easy part.

Occasionally, someone would post something online badmouthing Mike’s work and the urge to flame the guy was nearly overwhelming. But I would always sit on my hands because I didn’t want someone thinking I was speaking for Mike. Even now, I’m very careful not to put words in Mike’s mouth now that he’s not around to say, “Hey, I never said that, dummy!” Worse was when Marvel or DC would do something that drove me crazy as a fan and I’d want to get online with everyone else and scream, “These idiots are ruining comics!” But, since Mike was working for them at the time, I kept my mouth (keyboard?) shut.

But the WORST was when Wizard started shunning Mike and Todd when they started doing TELLOS. Mike had always been very generous to the, um, magazine, drawing covers, giving them artwork for their contests and consenting to interviews and doing How-To articles. So when Mike needed a little quid pro quo, he was understandably surprised when he got nothing. I mean, who knows? A little love in the pages of WIZARD could have made all the difference in sales and kept the book going. Mike explained all of this to me very calmly, without anger. I, on the other had, was seething. I immediately stopped buying the magazine and threw out all my back issues. Even the ones with Mike in them. I’ve never bought another issue. And I’ve kept it all to myself to this day, not wanting to stick my nose into something that had nothing to do with me.

Which is why I love Scott Kurtz ten times more than I did yesterday. Which was already a lot. Scott was (and continues to be) one of Mike’s best, most devoted friends and he’s got the stones to post online everything I’ve ever wanted to say about WIZARD but was too chicken to. Check out his incredibly awesome letter to WIZARD here.

Scott, you are a prince among men. May Crom smile on your house and may all your ventures be fruitful, you glorious, loyal, talented, ballsy sonofabitch. I love you, man.


Denis said...

Thanks for the link Matt! That was simply awesome! Scott is one funny, funny guy.

Christian D. Leaf said...

Noice! As I've been webless, this was an awesome find, Mafus. Angie's already shared it with her peeps, who aren't really comics people, so that just gives you a hint of its potency.

Leanne said...

I saw this earlier today and LOVED it. I pimped it out on my Facebook and Twitter pages.

Scott is an awesome, awesome guy.

Casey Jones said...

That was so awesome.

todd said...





and my friend. and one of the smartest, sharpest tongues in the biz too! i know of no one else who could write as terse a letter as scott has here. bravo, buddy! bravo!

and your post is very well written too, matt. yeah, mike and i were both very wide-eyed and eager to help out when wizard came calling back in those innocent fun days, with grand promises from the editors for coverage when we were going to launch tellos.
and then crickets when we asked for a mention...

my tongue biting didn't come til later though, after mike's death, when so many of those same people wanted to extend their condolences, wanted to "do something" in his memory. and then i felt like i was always telling you bad things about people, being bitter, when i'd point out to you that these were the same people that had screwed mike over.
and the people who would tell you that they were "so close" with mike when he really didn't care for them...
thanks for the link to scott's reply. that's awesome!

Bill White said...

Bravo to Scott! It was an excellent piece.

If memory serves, Mike once actually did write a blog about his disappointing experiences with Wizard. I had already been burned by being to one of their crappy "conventions", and Mike's comments were all I needed to put the magazine behind me forever.

Brian said...

Scott is THE MAN!