Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hey Kids! Thanks!

sg Rob Kelly This blog is of course all about beloved childhood memories of comics; but just yesterday I had an experience that I'm sure will resonate with me just as strongly as any I had as a kid.

My pal Paul Kupperberg is writing a book about DC's classic Showcase title, which will be published by TwoMorrows. Not only is he a fan of the legendary book, he actually wrote some issues of it, so he has a unique perspective on the title.

Anyway, he asked me awhile back if I would be willing to contribute to one of the chapters, about three characters who, after long careers of being support characters, got their own Showcase tryouts and soon after their own series: Lois Lane, Aquaman, and Tommy Tomorrow.

I of course said yes; I was honored that Paul would ask me to contribute to one of his projects, not to mention that the book itself just sounds cool, the kind of thing I'd want to read anyway.

So while I was going over Paul's outline for the book last night, I came across this sentence: "The Showcase Companion is written by Paul Kupperberg (who also scripted four issues of the 1977 Showcase revival), with contributions from former DC staffers and/or comics historians Bob Greenberger, Bob Rozakis, Brian Morris, John Wells, Jim Beard, and Rob Kelly."

Whoa, whoa...wait a minute. Me? A Comics Historian? While I admit I've done my best to examine the histories of the subjects my blogs cover, I never would've thought to consider myself worthy of such a title, and it literally left me speechless when I read it. Having a comics pro whose work I grew up reading call me a "Comics Historian" means more to me than any half-dozen magazines that have featured my artwork. It was the first thing I told Darlin' Tracy when she came home that night, and I couldn't stop talking about it on our nightly walk.

So while this blog is about fond memories, I'm taking a moment here on Thanksgiving to say "thanks" to every single one of you who has taken the time to read what I've been doing, leave a comment, or write an email to say how much you enjoy what I do. It means the world to me--much more than I ever could have imagined--and to think that none of this was in my life a little more than a year ago simply astonishes me.

For someone who grew up obsessed with comics, then went to the Kubert School to learn how to do them, being at all in that world just seemed like a dream too good to be true. And when it dawned on me that my work would lead me down a different path, and that I would always just be an observer in the comics world, it was a disappointment, sure, but I moved on.

But just in the last year, I've gotten to talk to--and in some cases make friends with--people like Mark Evanier, Joe Staton, Bob Rozakis, Erik Larsen, Tom Yeates, Rich Buckler, Ken Landgraf, John Morrow, Craig Hamilton, Steve Skeates, Tad Williams, Shawn McManus, Jim Calafiore, Norman Alden, Dan Mishkin, Nick Cuti, Joe Jusko, Chris Ryall, Angelique Trouvere, Paul Karasik, and of course Mr. Kupperberg, and to me its all just so amazing. I'm so lucky I stumbled my way into this and now I love it. And if all of you weren't reading what I was doing, no one else would really care, either.



Anonymous said...

The only degree you need for 'comics historian' is the one you earn yourself, Jim...and you've earned it. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours...and to all of you, a goodnight!


Anonymous said...


Thank YOU, for the fun.

As far as the title?

Let's see:

- Knows his stuff (or is willing to research)
- Expresses what he knows well
- Has a warm writer-to-reader "voice"

Works for me.

-Craig W.

Anonymous said...

Thank YOU, Rob, for being the internet highlight of most of my days. :-) Let us know when the book comes out so we can all get copies! It sounds awesome!

Rick L. Phillips said...

You're welcome Rob and you have earned the distinction.