My exciting new career

A couple of weeks ago I went to a book launch for an anthology of comics about animals being killed in wars. I didn’t know anythimng about the book, and will probably never read it, but there was a free bar (with watermelon flavour vodka!), and some of the London Alternative Comics guys would be there.

It was held in a small gallery, and the place was already packed by the time I arrive, with around a dozen people spilling out into the street. I managed to force th way to the bar gotten hold of a beer and a shot of watermelon vodka, and went to have a look at some of the artwork, and also see if there was anyone there that Iknew. Four beers and as many vodkas later I ran into Johnny Cucumber, organiser of several zine based events.

“Hey man,” said Johnny, when he saw him. “How’s it going?”

“Not bad. You?”

“I’m good, man. What are you up to these days? I haven’t seen you for a while.”

I began telling Johnny about an idea I had had recently to become a private detective who specialises in comic book cases- finding missing artists, tracking down rare issues or missing artwork, that kind of thing. It was an idea that I had come up with few months ago, but so far had not managed to find any clients. Johnny stood there smiling and nodding in a way that suggested he was listening attentively.

When I finished he said, “wow man, that’s cool, that’s a really interesting idea. When does it come out?”

I frowned at that. “What do you mean?”

“Well, like, the first issue, man. When will it be available?”

“No, you have misunderstood. It’s not a comic. I’m actually doing it.”

Johnny paused for a moment, as if trying to work out how to react to that statement. Eventually he decided on enthusiasm. “Wow, far out, man! That’s really great! Good luck with that.” He patted me on the shoulder as he spoke, then stood there smiling pleasantly.

After a couple of seconds I realised that I would have to say something in order to avoid an uncomfortable silence developing. “So what are you up to at the moment?”

“Right now I’m organising a comics and poetry event for next sunday. We’re going to have people reading and artists illustrating the poetry as it’sd read out. It’s gonna be cool, man. You should come along.”

I murmured something noncommittal about possibly being free, and realised with relief that we had reached the point where it would no longer be rude to end the conversation. “I’ve got to go and say hello to some people over there,” i then said, pointing randomly across the room. “It was good to see you again.”

“You too, man,” Johnny said cheerfully. “Good luck with the detective thing.” I walked back to the bar. To save having to keep going back I asked if I could have beers for a couple of friends, then spent a few minutes walking around looking at the artwork on display, a beer in each hands and another tucked under mine arm, before I saw someone else I knew. It was Voltron Baylee and Matt Rubbishpork “Hi guys!” I said, offering them the spare beers.

“Hey Jokkim,” said Baylee, “I hear you’re officially a dick now.”

“A comic book dick.”

“Baylee was telling me about that on the train,” Rubbishpork said. “Did you really place an advert in International Comics?”

“When they got round to bringing out the magazine,” I said bitterly, something that made Baylee laugh loudly.

“Have you had any responses?” Rubbishpork asked.

“A couple of pone calls. Nothing that really amounted to anything.”

“If you give me some of your business cards I can pass them around for you,” Rubbishpork suggested.

“That’s a great idea,” I was about to say, but before I did I realised that I had never even thought of making business cards, and instead I said “Oh fuck!” I explained this to Rubbishpork, who told him to just write down his details and he would pass them around anyway. Then Baylee realised that they had all finished their beers. “I’ll get some more,” he said, and walked off to find the bar.

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Schmurgen Jonerhaffs

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