Through the Mail Slot – UPDATED

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A reader named Rotem Cohen writes…
Just wanted to say a thing or two, having just finished reading the Marv Wolfman interview from the “READ” section.
Reading it felt a lot like going on a shopping spree in a supermarket when you’re absolutely famished. I’ve always wanted to write, especially comics, but never had the guts to just go with it. Life always came up first. The bit in the interview about writing to describe an emotion, and not a “theme”, made my eyes burst out of their sockets (the room was also a bit dark, and they ached frequently while reading, so wtf, who needs em). I’ve always felt that stories, whatever they are about, always came through to me when there was a coherent feeling behind it, and not just detailed events of some characters’ life.
Anyway, just wanted to say that.
Oh, and good health (I’m one of those who came via the Jean Grey rumors. I’m staying a bit, though, thanks to Google Reader).
Glad to hear it, Rotem. Hope we don’t disappoint.
Doing that interview with Marv was a real treat—Marv’s years of experience as writer and editor, as well as his ongoing enthusiasm for comics, make him a terrific interviewer, and the whole set of interviews up at his website is worth poking through. And on top of that, the bit you mention—I can’t say enough good things about The Fiction Editor by Thomas McCormack. It’s the book that kicked my ass and opened up the doors I needed to open to start thinking like a functioning writer rather than like an uncertain beginner. Every writer should be so lucky—might not be that book they encounter, or it might not be a book at all, but for me it was like dawn over Marblehead.
[And yes, that’s another Amazon link. Quick check—ha! I’ve earned another 60 cents, for selling a copy of Comic Book Lettering: The Comicraft Way. Clearly, it was worth getting on the phone with J.G. and figuring out why all the choices in the Shop section weren’t showing, since that was one of them.]
Another e-mail, from BigWords88…

So… I’ve managed to register for the forum, and the registration has (apparently) gone through, but I’m still not allowed to post replies. Anyways, I just wanted to point out that if your sinus troubles are continuing, maybe you should look into the Chinese herbal concoctions which some people swear by. It isn’t a replacement for conventional medicine, but there are some herbal remedies which can have drastic improvements in ailments.
Hope you’re feeling better. 🙂
Oh, I’ve been on Chinese herbal concoctions of one sort or another for years, B.W., including a spray that we hoped would fix up my current sinus travails, but alas, it didn’t do the trick. But my adventures into alternative medicine began when my regular Western-style doctor told me that there was clearly something wrong that I was suffering from, but allopathy just wasn’t turning it up, and he recommended an acupuncturist and a naturopath. And while I’m not seeing either of the fine folk he referred me to any more, that was what led to things starting to turn around for me.
So I keep one foot in Western medicine and one in Eastern/alternative, and it seems to be heading me off in the right direction, at least.
[And we’re hoping to oneday have the registration process at the message board be entirely automated, but in the meantime, I’ve forwarded your e-mail to J.G. to see what’s up with that “can’t post” thing.]
But as long as we’re talking about my half-compacted head, I figured readers here might enjoy one of the side-effects from it, over at:
Comic Book Resources
It starts out as a thread about the Age of Heroes mini-series, but since I’ve been dizzy and unfocused this weekend, thanks to pseudoephedrine and a vile anti-fungal nasal spray that’s been like flooding my sinuses with acid that doesn’t actually do anything but hurt a lot, I spent a fair about of time sitting at my desk, reading old bits of Neil Gaiman’s online journal, following the early news from the Red Sox at Spring Training, and answering questions on that thread. And it ranges quite a way from the initial subject, covering things like whether anti-mutant prejudice was part of the X-Men series right from the get-go, whether I was ever Marvel’s head writer, my upcoming “untold tale” of Spider-Man, the Silver Age Jon Stewart, whether the phrase “extremist Thor fans” shows proper respect for the audience, how comics from different eras feel like different worlds, a brief and unhealthy fascination with my scrotum, the value of trying to please everyone, political portrayals in comics, Wolverine as super-evolved-weasel, and more.
It’s actually the sort of thing I’d like to see more of in our message board here, more or less (and I’ll bet it’d be easy to separate out which bits are the ‘more’ and which are the ‘less’), but it might be an interesting read, if people want to check it out.
Meanwhile, I’m off to shower and head down to the Oregon Health Sciences University.
UPDATE: Well, I don’t have to take that vile anti-fungal spray any more. But the reason my head is blocked on one side is because the polyps are back, worse than ever on that side, and I’ll be having sinus surgery again in a couple of weeks or so. The good thing is, we know this works, we did it before and it cleared things up for almost a decade. The trick, apparently, is not getting complacent and assuming that if they haven’t come back for two years, we can stop the regular ENT checkups…