Shannon Wheeler’s meeting between himself and Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth at APE has industry observers buzzing:
Sunday, Gary Groth (Fantagraphics publisher) came by my table. He handed me photocopied one-sheet asking me to buy more Fantagraphics Books. They need money because Harlan Ellison is suing them. I don’t know what bug crawled up my ass since I wasn’t even drunk yet. I looked at Gary and said “Why should I support you when you’ve never done anything for me?” He looked a little surprised but the flood gates had opened. I went on to tell him that they’d never reviewed any of my books or reported on anything I’d done. Ever. He asked if I’d sent him stuff. “Yep, for every single thing I’ve done. I’ve gotten nothing.” Flustered, he said that it was just coincidence. I said “Give me a break. I just wrote and produced an opera. The first opera based on a comic book and you did zilch reporting.” He replied; “oh… we should have covered that.” I almost yelled; “Yes, you should have.” He walked away. Somewhere in the middle of the exchange I realized two things. One; this wasn’t the practiced fantasy-conversation I’ve been having for the last 8 years, this was taking place in reality. Second; I’d pay dearly for every word I said. The funny thing is, I do like Gary. I’ve always enjoyed chatting with him at parties. I like the books he publishes. I like that he’s tried to lend credibility to comics. Monday, I went to the Other Change of Hobbit in Berkeley and bought a Harlan Ellison book.
By pure chance, Mikhaela Reid caught the moment on camera. EPIC! There is no privacy any more that’s for sure.