[Did you know that a “Devil’s Handshake” is slang for an old fashioned handski? But I digress…]
We said a bunch of really explosive clap-trap directed at personally wounding each other and the whole thing devolved pretty quickly away from Spider-Man and good-natured debate. We avoided each other like the plague in mutual friends’ Facebook feeds and went our separate ways. I admittedly took a lot of what was said to heart, pulled my green Dr. Doom cowl close and shook an iron-fisted cry for vengeance into the sky.
And then? I felt really stupid; immature even.
|This is what Yeats meant by "terrible beauty".|
For a long time, I simply felt embarrassed by the way I carried myself in that open forum debate. Admittedly, I was pretty miserable during that time period. I was waiting tables and I was attempting to force myself into the comic book industry in a less than gentle way without knowing the nuances and rules of the industry. I was terribly overweight and unhappy in my personal relationships. Basically, I was more like Victor Von Doom after a chafing day of Racquet ball…I was a sour douchebag.
So, a couple of years later, I’m surfing the web and I ran across Kevin’s website in my old bookmark folder (because I would nefariously read his blog and occasionally left snarky anonymous remarks with a IP address masking site) and I started reading his blog and realizing that I had been a huge jerk to a decent guy who liked comic books as much as I did.
So what did I do? I reached out to Kevin on Facebook and I apologized…and lo and behold…I wasn’t the only one who felt like they had behaved rashly. We talked it over and decided to try to be Facebook friends. During that time, things were starting to move in the way of getting some of my work published by guys like Top Shelf 2.0 and I had started to take better care of myself by means of exercise, diet and seeing a therapist. I was Facebooking my weight-loss efforts and Kevin was always there with a couple of words of encouragement. I still appreciate the kindness he displayed during that time period.
So, now, we talk about the industry when we feel like it. We don’t always see eye-to-eye…but we’re usually pretty close to agreeing on most points.
I guess the moral of this story is that time and effort can heal a lot of wounds; internet arguments are for children; and don’t put Steve Ekstrom and Kevin Huxford in a portrait together if you’re trying to get Gay Marriage legalized in your state…because as funny as that picture is…I think we’ve just set the movement back a few paces. Sorry!