That's how I felt all night long upon hearing from my editor that Marvel's chief "hated" the first issue of the comic that Dorkin and I have been developing and working on for OVER a year. The editor said that the chief had major issues with the framing device and that there was a "no flashback" law that Marvel had employed across the board [w/very few exceptions] for over two years, now. Fuck, the entire story was told in flashback. We start the story at the end and find out how the protagonist got there. Plus, he accused us of having a flashback within a flashback because The Thing recounts his origin. Bullshit. That, and he felt the dialogue was "overbearing." Overbearing? You hired Evan Dorkin - fer cryin’ out loud, ya numb nut. Ever read DORK? MILK & CHEESE? HECTIC PLANET? WORLDS FUNNEST? Typing and talking and letting words fall like a million dominoes is what he does! There was no word on whether or not he hated the art, but no word was [apparently] a good word. Still, I was ordered to halt production until matters could be hammered out. No drawing meant no money meant no rent meant TOTAL FREAK OUT. I had no other gig lined up on the board for immediate consideration and my bank account took one look at me and slapped me in the face. Hard. I was "in the shit" and wouldn't know jack until tomorrow. Or, maybe the next day. Who knew? I had to play the waiting game. A tactic I have yet to hone. Tick...tick...
SBX was really concerned for me but had faith it would all work out if I just remained calm and handled it intellectually rather than emotionally. She was right but I couldn't muster the acumen and I froze like a deer in headlights. We hit the sack and the attempt at sex, a snuggle, arms around my chest, a caring pout, everything and anything, failed to deliver me solace from my perdition. Often, in rough situations, I try to look at the glass as half full, but if this was my best, then I was drowning in a few inches of tap water. So, I remained afraid, shivered, gasped a lot, and eventually went unconscious from exhaustion.
Woke up Tuesday morning and kept quiet while SBX got dressed for work and prepared the girls for school. We got into the rental and dropped the girls off at school. SBX let me out at the subway and was feeling bad for me but trying to rally. I love her for championing me. She split and I nervously trekked home to continue inking the pages I had left outstanding so that I could AT LEAST turn those in for an invoice at Marvel on Thursday and pray that, by then, matters would have smoothed over.
Frank Pledge swung by to pick up more hospital bills and he walked me over to Ling/Ling where I bought some chinky-winky for lunch and my Fortune Cookie read: "There's someone you should call." You think?
SBX suggested I make as many industry calls as possible and look out for my interests because she didn't want me to get caught out there. I had to look out for numero uno and that meant hitting the comix ghetto and networking for a back-up gig or three. Good call. I was hesitant at first but then started dialing like crazy. I spoke to DC Comics editors: Dan Rasplar, Lysa Hawkins, and Joey Cavalieri, about swinging by on Thursday afternoon to hawk my new wares, update their graphic memory of my work, and hopefully score a job.
SBX has a tough time with revealing problems until it's too late and aggravation snowballs into anger. So, I've been encouraging her to let me know of any issues she may have with me, whenever, wherever. So, she's been doing that a lot lately and I guess, on the heels of such sensitive career traumas, I didn't need for her to add salt to the vinegar. Alas, so be it. And in the spirit of "keeping it real," [even though I wasn't in the mood] SBX shared three issues w/me:
1] it seems that I take an overt tone w/her when she is being critical and/or sarcastic w/me. SBX wishes I could deal with stuff like that sans armor. I told her that I would try better but that it's natural to have certain defenses and I apologized for said tone.
2] SBX felt that when she tries to support me, it doesn't seem to be enough. She was citing the previous nights efforts to console me regarding the Marvel debacle. It occurred to me that, when shit like that goes down, I don't think there has been ANYBODY I know of that can uplift the positivicals for me and that, unfortunately, I'm on my own. Maybe I retreat and freeze, and that's the only way I can force myself into some down time so I can make sense of what's happening. And what usually happens is I get riddled w/anxiety and freak out. Ergo, SBX feels useless and that's not her fault, but I need to figure out a better way embrace support and handle stress, especially events and things that I have no control over: like death. Perhaps this current shake-up at Marvel is a learning experience. Harsh lessons that will inform a behavior in me to find solace in a cuddle, sit and wait drama out…survey the land…and see what happens.
3] since I've been extra broke these days, only spending monies on petty items: comix, a few DVDs/CDs, food, and the occasional gift/dinner out w/SBX, I don't have the funds for extravagant evenings and trips: big or small. SBX has been paying way too much for stuff as of late [dinners/trips/babysitter/etc.] and her pocket book is getting hit hard. I understand the frustration and never once assumed that she would pay my way or "keep" me. But, this third issue gets my goat the most because being able to afford things with somebody else is what helps make a relationship flourish and I have lost many a long term relationship because I was lacking in the bank roll. It seems to me that people shouldn't let money get in the way of their love, but it becomes a harsh reality card to pull when struggling and/or when the chips are down. Suddenly, your resume is scanned for value beyond great sex and internal worth. That's not what SBX was charging me with, but instead, giving me a heads up that we needed to socialize on a more common ground, until I hit Lotto, robbed a bank, or got paid in full. I agreed. Still, having no money makes me feel whak.
A couple of phone calls sparked different perspectives as Molly Tropp rang and we talked about her brand new baby girl - Isobel, and how life flips the script. Pshaw, I thought I had financial woes? Tropp and her lawyer hubby just put their life savings into property and renovating a house, and now they may need to split dodge [a valley in Olean, NY] because the big company he works for is under scrutiny and is going down. Fuck. They have bigger fish to fry. Fish that SBX contends with every day: raising kids and providing health insurance. And I'm worried about how to scrape a few nickels together so I can read next months NEW X-MEN? Hmff. Larrondo called and we talked about the trials of freelance life and the virtues of welfare. He championed unemployment and gave me some good tips. Within an hour I was hit with two very different attitudes on living life and needed to let it trickle down into my own vat of uncertainty so I could deal with whatever was going to throw down w/Marvel and make peace in my place w/SBX.
I inked all night to the silly premiere of AMERICAN IDOL and, I must say, I agree 100% with that snide Brit, Simon, who tears 'em all apart. Finally, there is truth and justice on TV. Maybe they should re-title the show, LAW & ORDER? Exhausted by paranoia, America, my station in life, and the overwhelming questions that each day asks a person, I snuggled up with Jack Kirby's DEVIL DINOSUAR #3, bugged out, and went to sleep.