ME AND MARK TWAIN
You go along, you live your life, and all of a sudden, bam, you're dead.
Only... I'm not.
But apparently the rumor is out there. Somebody posting on a Legion of Super-Heroes area on the DC Comics Internet message board with the appellation jimjacksonjim commented, in answer to another poster's query as to my whereabouts, "I thought I heard a few years ago that he died."
I'm wrapping my head around this.
I mean, clearly I'm not dead, but it's also clear that I haven't been active in comics for a good 20 years, 25 if you mark my last active fandom (since I left Interlac in 1980 or 1981). But what's interesting there is that my situation is similar to that of a great many active comics fans of my era, moreso of Legion fandom. Going back to the early days of the Legion Fan Club (for those new to the story, the national comics fan club I began when I was 13), I have occasionally wondered where folks like Brad Lawrence Petzke ("Esq."!), Jim Balko, and Shelley Rabin are today. Heck, from the early days of Interlac I have lost touch with Clint Thomas (last encountered in Washington, DC in the 1980s when we were both passing through; he wrote some very funny columns for a West Virginia newspaper that predated the Internet, or I could find them), Len Rosenberg (although I had a working email for him for a time, and I'm pretty sure Maximum Fan Ken Gale knows exactly where to find Len; Ken always knows these things), and Bob Soron. I'm sure all of these folks are living full lives, entertaining themselves, contributing to the economy, and heck, maybe even reproducing. I could keep throwing these names out, too: Scott Gibson, Mark Thomase, Vin Sartain, Rick Foster.
Of course, my diminished comics fandom activity had to do with many things. Comics fans have two terms for what happened: gafiation (which is short for "getting away from it all," but also makes a sideways nod to Carl Gafford, who was the master of it, routinely gafiating every couple of years, but ultimately returning like an alcoholic after a bender) and Markstein's Law, named for Don Markstein, who postulated that the amount of fannish activity in which one participated was inversely proportional to the amount of sex one had. Strangely enough, in my early 20s I got very sidetracked from comics. Pure coincidence, it has to be. I also began to earn a living, got married, moved across country, worked my own business, and basically grew up.
So this thing is a gift. I suppose we could let the rumor grow, maybe even fill the IRS in so they stop expecting tax forms from me. But then the local county would want to put the house into tax foreclosure, so we'll have to nix that.
For now, I think I'll avoid posting to that message board, but I will watch the posts to see if anything more develops. This could be as much fun as watching a few random episodes of 24.
I have to think about this. But I think maybe there need to be some t-shirts. Tasteful ones. "Mike Flynn is not dead." Wait. Even better: Two statements. "Mike Flynn is dead"; "Mike Flynn is NOT dead." Each with its own check box. Wearer gets to check the box of his choice.
Anybody know a good silkscreener?