Hello from Hialeah, where you can hear the concrete scream at night from being burned all day. The birds are not singing they are screaming from the heat. That lizard just … died right there.
I am in my humble abode of Goblins Heist in the back typing away, in the dark, the Air conditioning AKA LIFE SUPPORT, is buzzing on high. I keep regular watch on it, I know that it is my only way of survival in the summer and that if it goes, I may have to walk out into the sun, and recreated that chronicles of Riddick scene where the guy just CATCHES FIRE. For this so you saying go outside and enjoy nature: I LIKE MY NICE COFFIN CACOON I HAVE GOING HERE, IT BRING ME SOLACE AND PROTECTS ME FROM THE HORRORS.
I also say do you think nature ENJOYS YOU? I plot it schemes. Everything in it is made to keep you away and you won’t listen! It has thing that sting and bite and cause you to suffer, to hurt, to even die. It has way to killing you that you don’t even know, but there you are, with your fucking water bottle talking about it magnificence and you meditate, and the whole time it’s trying to find something that can run up and bite you and get rid of you.
This is why I take solace in concrete. It’s out promise as a species that after descending form the tree we don’t ever need to go back, that we can ascended form it and leave nature alone. Since we kicked out of Eden that’s all anyone ever wanted. Nature is telling you to FUCK OFF and we’ve done so greatly.
The worst natural disaster is stupidity. FULL UNMITIGATED SELF CENTERED STUPIDITY. See nature used to take care of us, used to make sure things were in balance. That kid is too near the river? Gator got em. That fruit they told you time and time again to not eat, taste weird? Poisoned. Winter came and anybody who did’t do what needed to be done was dead as a fried chicken. NOW?
This is when I want to go out and apologize to nature and ask for its greatest boon: KILL THE IDIOTS. It does it all the time, and it’s sometimes unfair and biased but it get it done. Then again, who am I to even think that I wouldn’t be first on that list of morons to die. Thats when I hug a street light, kiss the sidewalk, and thank GOD Thant I live in civilization.
Mind you, I love nature and believe it should be sooo preserved that we don’t let people go back and fuck it up. I’m all for banning people form National parks. Who wants to start the sing up sheet? I digress…
ONTO GOOD NEWS
Today marks an odd thing for me: the shop has been open for six years.
Yep. Six years off and on, and we may just be getting our shit together.
So Six Years of Selling comics. Add another 12 Years Publishing them. And then 22 actively making them. WTF have I learned?
- INFORM YOURSELF AS MUCH AS YOU CAN BEFORE ANY ENDEAVOR, IT”S BULLETS IN THE GUN FOR YOU. I have prided myself that most of my life I’ve said yes more than I have said no, to most things. I’ve always jumped in to anything and everything I cold, but not before informing myself. San Francisco: The internet bubble and what I could do. Chicago: How fucking cold is it, and what doest the mean when you paint a car? Art Director: What is my job, REALLY? And I gained form each but also learned when to eject when something wasn’t right for me. In opening a business and hell opening a comic shop I THOUGHT I KNEW, but maaaaaan I learned way more and the hard way. We were so close to closing the doors so many times, it’s amazing. But we persisted, and not because of money, but because of love.
- YOU DON’T OPEN A COMIC SHOP FOR PROFIT BUT FOR LOVE, BUT START MAKING A FUCKING PROFIT ANYWAY. I don’t think anyone open a comic shop with a clear goal in mind other than the fun of it. sure there are probably some lecherous people in the past who just see a type of business to exploit I.E. The 90s, beanie babies, fucking pogs, the comic book meltdown, flippers, etc. most people do it for love. THE IS YOUR CENTERLINE AND REASON TO DO IT, but that is NOT a business model. At all. Fuck no. First if you want to open a business and make a profit, OPEN ANYTHING ELSE. Even if it’s a hot dog stand, you can at least eat your losses. Comics is grueling, it’s an extra most people don’t give a fuck about, and no matter how popular or how big the movie, most people don’t give a shit. Until you make them give a fuck, which I will talk about later. It doens’t mean you don’t make money, because I’ve always been at odds with the Starving artist routine; you’re starving because you want to. Like anything, the hustle is real, and if you want to get somewhere, you need to throw down. Like my father used to say “ You can rip people off, but you can only do it once” being a fuck hole comic shop would not help you in the long run.
- YOU NEED TO MAKE READERS BEFORE YOU MAKE MONEY. This one is hard to swallow. It is, I think anybody with experience might roll their eyes at my shit right here. BUT, this is FUNDAMENTAL to the CUASE of selling/Making comics. For a long time, COMICS rested on it’s own laurels of being an escape and something people dug, to only have many of it’s readership die off and/or go away in frustration by those who would just use it for their own bullshit. This lead to readership drastically plunging and something that every indie creator to titanic publisher having to vie for. Now we are back to the cornerstone, rebuilding this thing we love, and we need not people to buy but to become real lovers of comics and what we have, to become those who would really support in the hardest times. Like I was and many before me. We are the converted, those of us who have thrust ourselves into this, and need it more than ever. When I say Evangelize I don’t say it likely. We need bodies in them pews, or better said, comic racks. I do this everyday with every person that comes in. The tallest order is when someone comes in and asks “what should I read’ that right there could be a whole blog post, because it’s not just about recommending what you like, but getting them something THEY like which can be two whole different things.
- LISTEN TO EVERYONE: THE NAYSAYERS, THE CHEERLEADERS, THE PUNDITS, THE ASSHOLES , EVERYBODY, BUT THEN LISTEN TO YOURSELF. When someone tells you something and it irks the fuck out of you, is it either really fucking wrong or, worse, there is a grain of truth. Sometimes you need that. It could be small it could be huge but listen, and consider, and if you are going to use it, or throw it out, REMEMBER WHY for future use. Sometimes it might be bad timing to do something, or not convenient, but in the end whoever you do, be sure of it until otherwise and learn to change course. I’ve been lucky enough where I never had anybody give me shit for the dream… at least to my face. I’ve had more people cheer me on then anything else, but I did have people kick the tires… constantly and as much as that burrowed into me taint, it did always help me flex my eyes and conscious constantly on the shop on what it could do and could be.
- LONE WOLVES DIE IN THE FUCKING WILD ALL THE TIME. As much as I could sit here and be like “I did” and “I thought” it wasn’t just me. Between my partner John Ulloa and Daniel Margolis we were able to pull up and do more than we ever could before out of some shitty times even before COVID and after. It’s been because I’ve had people who heads were pointed in the right direction the not only pushed me to do more, but helped me do the pushing has been that reason we have what we have. I can only thank them…. And occasionally punch them. I’m lucky in that aspect because I have people on boar dight me for this, but when you get that whole fucking dumbs lone Wolff meme bullshit that everyone talks about, just shut it the fuck down. You don’t exist in a vacuum, you do not do things just for yourself, you are part of a community and eco system that needs you and can support you and can kill you if it wants. Learn than, use that, and navigate according. You can only go so far by yourself.
Stopping right here. Maybe I can come back to this every year and add something to it, and for sure I’m missing something, but are my 5 cents to all of this. I’m happy about it all and proud of my shop but know how I can go forward and do more. And not in just a business making money, but making a real culture and real community a real society! Thats what I’m talking about! I love this shit! It’s the love that’ll make you get up early, come home late, and when you put your head down to sleep, a smile to your face because you did it right.
What else? Oh yeah:
As always the white board is a dirty smear of flurried writing and my use of post it notes if on the verge of being classified as “dangerous”. The phrase I’ve bitten off more than I can chew is more like that exploded frog that tried to swallow a trout. I nonetheless keep going, because wtf else is there to do?
Been doing the claim sales to continue making the shop run and get the word out. It’s getting fun and now want to do more than before.
Hope to have the up soon!
Also have coming up this FRIDAY:
ONLINE – FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2021 – 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” ― Toni Morrison
The Second Annual MDC Student Writers Conference 2021 is made possible by the generous donation of The Humanities Edge Grant.
Join us Friday, May 21, 2021 for a series of creative writing workshops and lectures by nationally renowned writers.
The Second Annual Miami Dade College Student Writers Conference will be held online Friday, May 21, 2021, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Students will have the opportunity to listen to nationally renowned authors, and have a choice of attending two sessions of workshops, mid-morning and early afternoon, all from the convenience of their home.
To register for the MDC SWC 2021, please enter your full name, email, and contact phone number below. For questions or concerns, please contact: Prof. Omar Figueras at firstname.lastname@example.org or Prof. Victor Calderin at email@example.com. Thank you & hope to see you at the conference!
1:00 to 2:30 PM
Session 1B – “Telling Your Story: Using Comics to Get That Idea Across” with Juan Navarro
Comic-creator Juan Navarro will discuss the history and process of creating narratives in the medium of the graphic novel. Students will also work on an original creation in the workshop.
So I will leave you off with this pic of me from last weeks Convention. I am happy, which is odd at times, because it doesn’t mean complacency or basic contentment. It means I know the war I’m in and the Battle i have, and with sword and shield, I wage for more, going forward. It’s the only way until I am called home.
Thank you for reading this far, and hope to see you all in another 6 years? Why not!