* Everybody hates
* Like mentalities gravitate towards each other
* You learn more about a man by his enemies than by his friends
* Anytime a law gets passed, someone somewhere is making money
* You don't shake the devil's hand, then say you're only kidding
* Abuse of power should come as no surprise
* Money is an excellent servant, but a horrible master
* If anyone says, "No one will ever know," run like hell
There is another that I didn't mention on that list, and it ties in with the point I seek to make here. It is, "Don't waste you time and energy making unnecessary enemies." There are so many outrages in the world that require opposition, choosing bad targets is a waste and costs the world true progress.
I wasn't there to witness it, but there is so much confirmation, you might as well take this as Gospel. At the ChicagoCon, Rob Liefeld, as I mentioned in my report, was there. He had some people from his studio there, and he was working the crowd and seemed to be getting along just fine. I only spoke to him for a moment to ask if Michael Dolce, who has been hired as a writer for Liefeld's studio would be there, but that was it. As I mentioned, I didn't think there was anything to be gained by trolling Liefeld. I mean, really. What's the point? I don't like his art, I goof on his swipes, and that's really as far as I need to take it. (I have a couple of other complaints, but I regard them as simply my problems and keep them to myself.) Ultimately, he's not hurting me, I have no reason to hurt him.
Well, there's a couple of assholes out there who don't see it that way. In the middle of the con (I'm paraphrasing from his own personal blog post), a guy came up to Liefeld, said he was a Captain America fan, and wanted his money back for the Heroes Reborn debacle. He later slipped a copy of "How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way" to Liefeld, with a note to read up and the guy's business card with full contact information on it so Liefeld would know who did it. (Not to pile things on, but I have a copy of How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way. If you are just starting out with penciling, it is one of the worst books out there. It teaches exaggeration before discipline and, like gripping your drum mallets wrong, can lead to a LOT of bad habits that can take forever to untangle. If you're going to slam somebody...well, "right tool for the right job" is all I'm saying....) Given how fast Liefeld is to fly off the handle in public forums, I thought for sure the guy would vault over the table and body slam him. But Liefeld played it extremely cool -- certainly cooler than I would have. He reacted with a shrug and kept his composure. I will forever give him credit for that. Of course, it could just be that, because of the business card with all the contact information, he just made it easy for Liefeld to dox him. Smooth move, eX-lax. A buddy of the guy was videoing the whole thing and posted it. The guy's writing paints him as far more dynamic than the video does.
Now, admittedly, I've never faced Liefeld's level of hatred. Stress Puppy gets some hate mail, but not very much (it is a relatively obscure strip, after all, and it has tapered off. I guess everyone aware of the strip has said their piece), and it's usually centered on there being a right way to do a furry comic strip and I'm doing it wrong. But nothing like what Liefeld gets on a daily basis. Usually, those that don't like Liefeld are content to say they don't like him, maybe take some pot shots in the public forums, but nothing different than what people say amongst themselves, although some more enterprising and clever individuals will attempt to troll him. But this? This wasn't satire or making a point or a critique. This was public humiliation. That is over the line. And what's really stupid is, the forums that usually talk about how much they hate Liefeld and have dreamed of doing something analogous to that are now defending Liefeld. From the very treatment they heap on him. Hypocrites.
Most surprising is that Spike Trottman (formerly known as SqueeRat) was there, as well as some furries. Spike caused an uproar years ago in the furry subculture in a tale not worth repeating here. Suffice it to say, if anyone was going to find themselves on the receiving end of a nutty, I would think it would be her, but I heard nothing from her table at Artist Alley.
On the other hand, the video of the guy, as well as the pics of him, are shooting around the comic pro community like a cold on a city bus. Apparently, word reached George Perez there, and when numbnuts tried to get an autograph from him, Perez told him, "On your bike." This guy has identified himself to the people he supposedly admires as a douche. He got to tell someone to their face that he thinks they suck. Now, a bunch of people he admires are telling him to his face that he sucks. Suffer, bitch.