Another version of this genius of an opus was first written as a deeply respectful correspondence to my Comicmix editor and dear friend Mike Gold. Since I consider my readers at MDW dear friends as well, I decided to share similar musings here.
Similar in intent, that is. What I shared with Mike was a product of 20-plus years of history, love, and respect. I love and respect my MDW family as well, but Mike and I have a bacon bond, and that trumps just about everything.
I’d been offered and have accepted a weekly column at Bleeding Cool News. Over the last 4 years, I’ve been approached by just about every major comic/pop culture site, but with the exception of FAN, I turned them all down.
I had a very nice home at Comicmix (until they realized I was black and evicted me…true story…kinda). I started MDW while on hiatus from Comicmix, and during that time, FAN asked me to write a column. I accepted the FAN gig because like Mike Gold, Missy Geppi, her dad Steve, and her brother Josh are family to me. FAN is a Diamond Company and I’d written for one of Diamond’s magazines in the past, so it was a easy decision.
FAN is evolving as a site and great things are going to come, but like my writings, while there the site had yet to find it’s voice. But trust me – I’ve seen what’s coming, and BOY have they found their voice, and that voice will be heard. Believe it!
Why is the Bleeding Cool deal important enough for me to elucidate, especially when I don’t have an exclusive deal with any one company?
In other words, I don’t have to explain squat to anyone, so why do so?
Lacking an exclusive deal with any one company, (been there, got fucked, not going back) I’m under no obligation – legal or otherwise – before I can accept or pursue other ventures. Hey – non-exclusive, like love, means never having to say you’re sorry. The mere THOUGHT of giving someone the power to STOP someone else from writing me a check makes me ill.
If I were a columnist for the Vatican News, they would find out I was a featured weekly writer for Satan Weekly the same time everyone else did, during my Today Show appearance talking about my in-depth series of interviews with Lucifer:
SW. So you’re saying that even the devil draws the line at some things evil.
The Prince of Darkness hangs his head and for just the quickest of moments, I think I see a tear form in the corner of his eye.
Lucifer: Yes. Abusing kids, little boys! WHO does that? Just what level of sick do you have to be to molest little boys? It’s not just the pedophiles – it’s whoever is covering up for them! Sick, sick, sick. I mean, Jesus! Wait, no I don’t..!
But just because you can do a thing does not mean you should do a thing.
To that end It was important that I underscore to my family at Comicmix that they are still family, and Bleeding Cool, no matter how much respect I have for them, is not there yet.
I see the two sites like so – Comicmix is family and Bleeding Cool is someone I like a lot and have known for a long time, but this is really the first time we’ve really talked. That, and the sites have vastly different points of view and attract different audiences. Yeah, there is overlap, but chances are you either prefer one or the other.
Why Bleeding Cool?
Unlike FAN, I had no history nor had I forged any real relationships, business or personal, there. I don’t need any more work – I have zero time as it is, AND I have my own media empire to run.
Oh – you think that’s funny do you?
YES, I have a media empire, NO I’m not doing BILLIONS of dollars in revenue like Disney or winning Oscars like Dreamworks, nor do my projects have 200 million dollar budgets like Sony or Lionsgate, and I’m certainly not a household name like Spielberg or Lucas.
Shit, I feel I’m not a household name in my house sometimes.
Would I like to operate at the level of a Dreamworks? Who wouldn’t?
Do I lust after that kind of success?
Oh – you think that’s funny also?
Have you any idea of the sort of shit I’ve said, done, and the amount of people I’ve pissed the fuck off? Trust me, I’m a real smart guy, but a fucking idiot could see I have NO interest in success on anyone’s terms but my own.
I play chess, not checkers, and as such I’m goal-oriented and patient. I keep my goals simple, do good work, empower people of color, speak my mind, work with good people, and above all,practice and inspire EVERY BLACK KID I MENTOR to exercise the following…
Each one, teach one.
I may not have Disney or Dreamworks bank, but I’ve got something I think is more, far more, important than money. I’ve got DEEP relationships and the respect of some major playas.
A couple of year’s ago, I booked 33 hotel rooms for Comic Con at the Westin Hotel. VERY nice hotel – I usually stay at the Hyatt, but I wanted all my people in the same hotel and the Westin was perfect for that.
TWO days before the convention every single room I booked was released back into the system.
GONE. 33 rooms, 2 days before Comic Con.
I called the manager at the hotel and she could give a fuck who I was or how I was able to book those rooms. She assumed it was a mistake and refused to rebook the rooms. The next day, she was ordered by a Senior Vice President (SVP) - not a Westin SVP, a Starwood SVP (Westin’s parent company) – to reinstate every single one of those rooms.
This was now ONE day before Comic Con.
The rooms she took from me and released back into system were most likely GONE the SECOND she released them. She was ordered to give ME back those rooms. Did I give a fuck that she had to kill the dreams of all those people that assumed they were granted a gift from GOD 2 days before Comic Con?
HELL NO I DID NOT.
Like every serious decision I make, I pay attention to DETAILS. When it comes to problems, I don’t want to solve that problem for the moment. I want to solve that problem forever. As promised by the SVP, Ms. Bitch called me, offered a bullshit apology, and assured me that the rooms were mine again. And that, as they say, was that.
THAT’S not the way I operate.
THIS is the way I operate…
I called the SVP back and informed him I would NOT be using those rooms.
WHA, WHA, WHAWHA…WHAT??
Did I refuse the rooms out of some sense of outrage? How dare they treat me in this manner, I don’t want to or have anyone I’m in business with be subject to that kind of treatment! I’d rather have all my people stay in 2 rooms at a nearby YMCA! And by nearby I mean, 45 minutes TOPS to the nearest bus stop and from there it’s only (as the song says) a day away!
No – I refused the rooms because like I said- I play chess. I wanted the Starwood exec to know just how I rolled, so I also booked an additional 33 rooms at The Downtown Marriott and Courtyard by Marriott in the Gaslamp district. Marriott International is Starwood’s biggest competitor, and that my friend is how you build great relationships – it all start with respect.
ANY hotel executive HAS to respect what I was able to accomplish, WITHOUT his help, using his competitor ONE day before Comic Con in a city that was sold out for months.
That’s a total of 66 rooms booked downtown one day before Comic Con.
I was very nice to the SVP and thanked him for his help. I left it up to him to call Ms. Bitch and tell her how she had just FUCKED WITH THE WRONG GUY. Why did I want the Starwood SVP to know I didn’t need him?
Because in business, as in all things where human nature is at play – and my friends, human nature is ALWAYS at play – one thing is certain, people ALWAYS want what they think they can’t have and the MOMENT it’s clear that you don’t need them, they want to be needed.
So, I told him that knowing full well he would want to be in my contact list. Before I told him about the other 33 rooms, his only thought was just how the hell I got to him. After I told him about the other 33 rooms, his only thought was how could he get to me.
That’s how I think.
THAT’S what I do.
I’ve spent decades building relationships, partnerships, and friendships with some pretty powerful players in and out of the entertainment business. WHY outside of the entertainment world?
Because my first look deal at Showtime won’t get me one room at Comic Con, let alone 66, the day before.
I still get the occasional asshole who thinks I’m a con man and my career is a result of said con.
If that’s the case, I’m the best fucking con man who ever lived.
Those haters ONLY look at my swagger, which has been called UPPITY, LOUD, and LUCKY, to pick a random few. Last week a woman at a Comic Con party suggested in a roundabout way that any success I have, most likely Affirmative Action played a part in it. She referenced Clarence Thomas and his assertion that his Harvard degree is worth 15 cents because of Affirmative Action.
That’s all I needed at a Comic Con party – listening to a dumb white bitch talk to me about a self-hating nigger bastard. Yes, I said both of those things, let’s move on.
I should thank her. as my reply is what I’m telling all my haters now.
Affirmative action may help some young black or brown student get into a school like Yale. Granted.
Acceptance into a school like Yale is NO easy feat, Affirmative Action or not. But here’s what racist idiots and self-hating niggers REFUSE to acknowledge – getting into a Harvard or Yale is extremely difficult, but STAYING in a Harvard or Yale is fucking IMPOSSIBLE unless you make the grade.
Uncle Thomas must have been had the right stuff, or back to the cotton fields he would have been returned.
So, like I said, I must be the best fucking con man who ever lived.
FEW people understand not just how I operate, but why I operate the way I do. Fewer people understand that I have a clear vision for the industry. My “media empire” may not be Dreamworks, but there is a clear method to my madness. Few people “get me,” and I tend to cherish those relationships more and more, especially since my recent brush with the law and my ever-present feeling that I’m living on borrowed time.
So, why explain all this? Why make sure everyone knows I ran the Bleeding Cool deal by Comicmix and now by MDW?
Why Bleeding Cool?
Because – they get me, and that’s rare and has been since I realized certain truths in the world. During my freshman year at Pratt I was required to take a sculpture class called “form & space.” I called that bullshit class form and WASTE. During a group project, I finished my part early and asked the instructor if I could leave.
“Mr. Davis, this is a team project, and the rest of your team has not yet finished. There is no ‘I’ in team, Mr. Davis!”
I thought for a second then replied, “No ‘I,’ but there is an ‘m’ and an ‘e,’ and that spells ‘me.’”
Most people just see that as a flippant reply. It’s not, and if you get that, you get me too.