Friday with the Missus

It's our wedding anniversary this week, so Julie wanted to get me something special before we take off on our annual road trip.

Specifically, she wanted to give me the week off. So she's doing my column today instead of me. It's all Mrs. Hatcher this installment. Here she is:

I wracked my brain about what I wanted to say to you readers for this column. I can guarantee you that I won't be giving any new insights into the Skrulls, or alternate earths, or any other hot topic that is out there this week.

Since there has been a list theme going on CSBG this month, I am doing my own.... it started as a Top Five, but I ended up with more, so now it's just a list, I guess. Just some observations from the wife of a writer and a comics fan, about this crazy world of his that I married into. Sort of the view from outside.

Mostly it's a list of people. Because the people who work in and around the comics industry are some of the most wonderful folks I have ever met. I have encountered some of the greatest souls in the last five years, through my husband's interest in comics. Mind you, I do Rescue Mission work and yes, there are many wonderful people in that area too... but nothing like the comic industry. For one thing, comics people are funnier.

I also wanted to acknowledge the great caring and generosity that has been shown for me, for Greg, and even for my nephew over the years by some of you out there.

Let's start with the CBR regulars. The MacQuarrie clan-- I love you guys, I miss seeing you at San Diego and all the fun we had at Camp CBR. I will be eternally grateful to you all for three things: for driving all the way from California to Seattle for our wedding, for Jim doing our wedding invitations, and most of all, for helping our nephew Aerin not to end up as just another at-risk teen statistic. Oh, and also for throwing work Greg's way occasionally. Make it four. Check out Jim's website, Monkey Spit!

(Greg and Alex have a couple of things up there, too.)

Rin and Tadhg Adams. I thank you forever for being in our wedding at the last minute (Rin, not Tadhg. The dress would have looked funny on you). Also for having the opportunity to see you two be married in turn. We both appreciate your constant friendship as well as that of Rin's parents, Chris and Troy, and their kindness for letting us stay at their home during Rin's wedding. And of course Paul and Jackie and Perry and Dawn and Tim... you all rule.

Kurt Mitchell. I was so appreciative and grateful at being allowed in on the traditional New Year's geek meetup and the Emerald City festivities-- rock on CBR Northwest! I was worried at first that I would be breaking in on some sort of guy thing or be seen as a Yoko but Kurt and Rob and the gang always make me feel welcome.

We are so thrilled for Kurt's success with the All-Star Companion books!

Jonah Weiland, of course, who made it all possible. He is a really nice man, although I think he's a kid sometimes, he looks so young!

Brandon & Nicole Hanvey . They are both just awesome, and we will never forget their beautiful wedding ceremony. For those of you who don't know Brandon's work go to thegeekout.com.

He has a lot of talent and as Greg has mentioned, his kids love all Brandon's work.

Tom Fitzgerald -- we have only "met" online at CBR, but really we bonded over our mutual love of Project Runway. Tom, I adore my autographed Tim Gunn bobblehead that you scored for me and I really need for you to come out here to Seattle someday so we can dish about Fashion Week and what Nina Garcia is really like.

Or maybe we'll get out East one of these days. (But Greg won't want to talk about fashion, so we'll send him off on an errand or something.)

And the professionals, too. I appreciate the escapist fun that so many of you have given me, just as a reader and fan. In mission work people tend to take themselves too seriously sometimes.

I would like to mention the following folks as standouts...

Nick Cardy - We met in San Diego; I had no idea who I was talking to until Greg told me afterwards, but I will always appreciate hearing some of the stories Mr. Cardy had to tell about what it was like to grow up Italian in America in the 30's.

I have read his work since and appreciate the art and creativity that went into it all, but what I know is mostly that he is a very nice man.

Scott and Judy Shaw - you also helped my nephew Aerin in a difficult time and I will always be thankful for that. I was very moved and grateful at how you befriended him (and me) just from knowing my husband at CBR.

I was so starstruck just that I actually got to talk to the guy that drew the Flintstones AND a Ramones cover, and to have Scott and his wife Judy turn out to be such nice people was a real treat.

Tom Beland - I can't say enough about how much I have enjoyed every issue of True Story Swear to God. I am not exaggerating when I say that his work did a lot to help along our dating days; Greg brought me back a signed book of Tom's from San Diego one year and it just melted me, and then when I told Mr. Beland that story a year later at Comic-Con and that we were there on our honeymoon, he gave me a page original from the same book! Tom is a super nice guy and his book is great too.

For you fanboys who haven't had a date in awhile, I suggest you go out there and get a trade copy of TSSTG and give it to that special girl you are serious about and watch what happens. It's the new roses.

Batton Lash-- I love Supernatural Law, and he is always so generous and giving of his time! I still treasure the sketch he sent home with Greg when I was sick one year for Emerald City and couldn't go.

Everyone who's ever given time or sketches to the cartooning students -- Mike Grell, Gail Simone, James Dean Smith, Quenton Shaw, Jeff Parker, Ellen Forney, Roberta Gregory, Camilla d'Errico, Heidi and Jim Meeley, Pete and Rebecca Woods...many others, I can't even remember them all... You all are awesome.

Anyone working on or contributing to the Hero Initiative. I see the same thing in rescue mission work, people aren't in it for the benefits; but as a result of that attitude there are similar problems for mission workers and pastors who don't get health insurance, retirement pensions, etc. so people have to work till the day they die, basically. It's a terrible burden for anyone in any field, and especially unjust in comics, where these older folks have created so much history, so I'm glad to see someone is trying to help. I hope anyone reading this donates to the Hero Initiative: it is a worthy cause and much needed.

And I also wanted to give kudos to all the moderators on the CBR forums. You are the hardest working volunteer staff I have ever seen. Just one pet peeve from me to some of the board posters out there..... I know the word "NAZI" is used all over the place today to refer to anyone who does anything from taking away soup to editing out foul language on a message board....

But this term is offensive on so many levels. My grandmother was a German Jew; some of our family on that side were killed by Nazis. It makes my blood boil, not just when I used to see my husband being referred to by this awful term in his mod days, but any time it's thrown around referring to other people, moderators or bloggers or whoever. Editing a message-board post or even asking someone to tone down the insults is not anything close to torturing and killing people, and anyone who thinks it is needs to get out more and get away from their keyboard for a while.

I will end by saying, JUST STOP THE MADNESS! Can I get an amen from the choir!

On that same note... I see so many of these professionals working so hard, and I am often appalled at the abuse I see them getting from fans. Please, just speaking as someone who sees this from the outside... try to treat them nicer. Even if you don't like a comic, that's no reason to be horrible to people.

Anyway, I appreciate you reading my husband's column every week. He puts a lot of work into it, so I hope that my effort to give him this week off has amused you a little bit at least.

Greg will be back next week.

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