(Career) Suicide At Comic Book High – Michael Davis, From The Edge


Michael Davis writes for Bleeding Cool, ahead of today's Black Panel at San Diego Comic Con.

We are living in a glorious age of enlightenment.

Money has little meaning. Class is no longer something we are concerned about. Marriage is forever and marriage between the same sexes is allowed. There's no racism in the country. There is no war and people accept each other's religion without prejudice.

If you're the first person to meet a time traveler from 1950 you could tell them all of the above and they are ripe to believe you. If you tell them we have a Black president that will most likely get you the first, 'OH COME ON!' from our temporal tourist.

For the most part back in the 50's an exchange of ideas and different points of view is how adults solved their disagreements. That was as close as we've come to any mystical, 'age of enlightenment' in my opinion. That's enlightenment' in as far as resolving conflict.

Other than that the 50's were f—ed up. Especially when it came to human rights issues. If you were Black you were considered a lesser person, if gay, you were considered a psychopath and could be put away.


No, Really.

In 1954, Iowa enacted a "sexual psychopath" law, allowing for the involuntary commitment of gay people. Yep. If you wanted to play with a penis you better have had a vagina. Speaking of vaginas, women in the 50's were considered, not at all.

The 50's sound a whole lot like the GOP today, except for the age of enlightenment thing.

Still being able to get those once opposed to see your point of view to me was gigantic in scope. Back then it wasn't a big thing but now? Now, if you change your position or see the other person's point of view you're attacked for it to say the least.

Just ask Jeb Bush:

"If I knew then what I know now, "I would have gone into Iraq.''

"I MEANT, if I knew then what I know now, I would not have gone into Iraq.''

"I MEANT, if I knew then what I know now, I would have gone but once I got there I would have left. Obama's a Muslim!"

Both the Left and the Right (mostly Right, said the liberal) have forgotten, opinion isn't right or a wrong- it's a point of view. But Jeb and everyone else it seems in these here United States think opinion as fact. Regardless if factually wrong it's right to those who just believe what they will.

Principles, politics, values ideologies and ethics (ethics??) become our right or wrong no matter the disagreement, assumption, speculation or gossip.

At most, during a debate, swaying someone with your point of view may quell the disagreement or win the point. But unless you're arguing facts, (i.e.: Spiderman is or isn't a Marvel comic) it's all conjecture but not to the modern American.

"I KNOW what I think is right."

"How do you know?"

"Because I know,"

This was once the last resort of a child who just lost an argument, now it's the political platform of The Tea Party and Isis.

Your God is no longer just your God he's the only God. Their God doesn't exist. You don't believe in my God you will burn in Hell. You believe in any God but mine your country is toast.

Oh Yeah? If you even draw a picture of my God I'll blow away kids watching a marathon. If you're Black you don't deserve to even have a God so why are you in a church? I'm blowing away as many of you as I can, even if you're very nice to me.

Nowadays guesswork is reality to many. I don't share that belief but I am surly in the minority.

I freely admit on loads of s— I don't know s—. I will, if interested in the topic, offer an opinion and I would like my input to be measured accordingly. No matter how asinine someone's point is I give him or her the benefit of the doubt and will listen before I disagree.

I think everybody should be afforded the benefit of the doubt, mainly because I rarely am. I'm aware how utterly frustrating that is. When I comment on Bleeding Cool its more likely you'll get an article long answer as opposed to a one sentence or less, response. I'm trying to get you to grasp my POV well aware my opinions are not better or worse than any of those who comment.

Frankly I've been swayed here more often than I'd like to admit.

I'm no longer getting challenged as if I'm a Blood having a beef with a Crip. There is a real dialogue fueled with passion and opinion here and every so often someone is swayed by a point of view mine as unlikely that seemed a year ago.

Yeah, it's my column but it's your forum. And I'm happy to be here.

This place is well worth my time, well worth my respect. So much so I'd rather miss weeks and create art I don't have to than phone s— in. I'm not in a good place and have not been for a year. My s— is sooooooooo raggedy and I'm so off my game it's crazy.

HOW off my game? I forgot (and didn't care) to book San Diego Comic Con International rooms. I just assumed it was done.

It wasn't. I booked all my Comic Con rooms today, Monday the 22nd of June. How did I manage to get 20 rooms at a downtown 5 star hotel when President Obama would need an executive order to secure one at the YMCA in El Cajon 10 miles away?

I know good people more importantly, good people know me. If you think the 20 rooms less than a month before SDCC is hard to believe check this, they called me.

Yeah, I know some serious ass power playas.

I also know some straight up power pussies.

Writing this column, as I said above is well worth my time. The forums here have my respect. Time, I have little of, respect I give little of. Here a real dialogue fueled with passion and opinion is what, in my humble opinion, is missing from the comic book industry.

If I were charged with explaining America to part or future generations it wouldn't be much of a task. I'll just clue them in to how our government and my beloved comics industry are run.

Both are run like its high school.

The industry is a suburban high school with its bros, jocks, bullies, cool kids, geeks, Asian and Black kids. I won't name who's what but it's pretty obvious who the bullies are.

The Black kids, all sit at the same table during lunch, expect those of of us on a varsity team, Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, etc. They are allowed to sit with the white kids.

As mentioned, last year has been a nightmare for me, hence the monthly (maybe) not weekly columns. Trust me if I told the really s—-y stuff I've been dealing with you would marvel I was writing at all.

People that know me, I mean really know me are fully aware of the arsenal at my disposal when f—ed with. WHEN I say, I don't give a f—, I DIDN'T GIVE A F—.

When f—ed with, I GO THERE.

Think about what I'm about to say, how on EARTH can I have the kind of career I've had when I've pissed off some powerful people, said some outrageous s— and conflict and/or controversy follows me like a fat white girl at a Compton club?

I'll tell you why. I'm smarter than most people think I am. I'm certainly smarter than those who think they're smarter than me. When I left Milestone in 94 it was because of some wicked stupid s— that had its roots at DC who JUST did not want around.

I was too brash, loud and crazy according to a certain Bruce at DC.

My partners at the time didn't want to rock the DC boat so they let DC try and f— me. I'm not talking smack; I still have all the 'lets f— him' memos. Damning stuff to be sure. I wasn't wanted at Milestone and a concerted effort was being made to keep me from challenging the sheer absurd reasons I was deemed a problem.

Yep, got those 'we won't pay you the money we owe you and stop asking that's a problem' memos also. YEP, like I said, absurd and yep, damning. The people who thought they were smarter than me ended up F—ED. I ended up President & CEO Motown Animation and Filmworks (MA).

When I left Milestone I was PISSED.

How pissed?

MA was NOT a comic book company. I started a comic book division just to F— with DC. That pissed.

Couldn't stay pissed at my former partners however. The VERY first thing I did at Motown was call Derek Dingle, President of Milestone and gift him a Nintendo deal. I was asked to create a Black superhero video game. MA was just starting and we had no content, Milestone had great content so HERE, make a zillion bucks.

DC killed the deal.

Remember, this was more than 20 years ago; DC is a VASTLY different animal then.

Such a different animal, during my first SDCC as CEO I was insulted by DC bigwig in full view of his cronies. I simply wrote a letter to his boss explaining how this type insulting behavior towards an African American Chief Executive of the most famous Black company in the world would play very badly in the media and result in my parent company, Polygram and their parent company, Phillips ceasing any and all current and future business with DC ' s parent company, Time Warner.

Could I have done that? HELL NO. But I was a CEO within a powerful corporation and they didn't know what type of sway I had. I got a written apology and a call, QUICK. There was a time when NOTHING would stop me from destroying any who dare screw with me. I've been that guy for long time.

I'm trying not to be that guy anymore.

One of the rumors going around is I'm not apart of Milestone 2.0 because I bring nothing to the table for the business and I'm too (you guessed it) loud, brash and crazy. I have better distribution into the African-American marketplace then every comic book company combined. How? The Black Church the single most powerful force in African American culture. In the education market my comic book reading program has been in the schools for over 20 years.

These accomplishments are unparalleled (and ignored) in the industry. What BLACK comic book company would NOT want distribution into those markets for their business?

I'm the crazy one?


Black people cannot use opinion as fact.

We can't. Facts are one of our greatest weapons when faced with injustice.

Friday morning at 10am during my Black Panel at SDCC I'm going to give a 'come to Jesus' talk to the Black comic book industry. I'll be putting many people on blast and will ask the hard questions, that nobody seems to want to ask the Black jocks that dismiss other Blacks because they now sit at the white boy table.

Why can't we just get along?

This may be career suicide I know that. Its much better than regular suicide, tried that once, I know.

I can't go to war anymore. My heart won't take it. I need to seek peace, failing that I'm gone.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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