A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


First of all, today was the most awesome day ever. I saw Ratatouille, Ocean's 13, and Knocked Up. Basically, between noon and midnight, I was either in the movies or on my way to the movies. Except...

Second, I still can attract crazy like nobody's business.

Joëlle and I went into the Oni offices to deliver the first batch of pages for You Have Killed Me. It's after 5pm, and we're standing there as James photocopies them so she can have a reference set, when this guy walks in the office door. Keep in mind, this place is not marked at all. There is nothing to indicate you've found Oni if you actually do, and in comes waltzing this dude with semi-long, semi-feathered hair and a blue polo shirt, and he starts looking around. We're all standing in the hallway, in the immediate eyeline of the guy. I'm right up front, and then Joëlle, and James is just around the corner. So, I'm pretty much in the line of fire.

"Do you guys make comic books here?" he asks.

"Yes," I say.

"Are you guys better than Marvel Comics?"

"Some folks think so. We're definitely different."

"I bet you guys got more imagination," the man says. "Can I buy some of what you all do?"

I inform him that we're not set up for retail and suggest that he go to Excalibur just down the street because they have a whole Oni shelf.

He shakes my hand and introduces himself as Aidan Christian Howell (name slightly changed in case he Googles himself on the communal computer at the funny farm; though I kept the sound and the accurate middle name, because I think it's important). He had an extremely firm grip. I only tell him my first name.

"I designed the Matrix," he declares.

Stumbling on my words a little bit here, I reply, "The Matrix? Like, the whole thing?" I do a gesture with both hands to indicate I do in fact mean the whole thing. I'm trying to be genial, trying to maintain eye contact, but I'm realizing that this dude is a bit off the Matrix himself. He's kind of sweaty, and there is a double smudge of paint or something on his forehead. I don't know from what. It was an off-white color. I didn't think the Matrix had form or anything physical that would require decoration.

"Yes, all of it. The Matrix is not what people think it is. Those who pursue it, though, they are wrong. I can tell you that those that chase after it will most surely go to Hell."


"Yes. And I'm not talking about a Hell with Satan, it's different. Satan is my Arch Angel."

I split the words "arch" and "angel" because he pronounced "arch" like the thing that is over an entrance, not like "arc." I wasn't sure what he meant. Did he mean he worshiped the devil?

"I have met Jesus," he continued. "God will come to Earth, and he is me. Aidan Christian Howell, the alpha and the omega, the truth and the way and the life."

Then he laughs. He totally breaks out of it, and laughs. "Nah, just kidding," he says, and I think, "Oh, man, I've just totally been had." Until he speaks again.

"No, I am not God. But I've met God. Let me tell you, he is not who you expect him to be, but he can't be me. When he comes to Earth, he comes as the perfect being."

Holy shit! The crazy guy just stopped in the middle of the crazy and made a joke about being crazy right in the middle of being crazy! That has to be one of the weirdest things I've witnessed in my life. It turns out you can be totally batty and still acknowledge that there might be a level of crazy greater than you. "Oh, I'm nuts, but I would never tell you that. What do you think I am?"

I lose some of the more complex things he said here, because I was marveling at what I had just heard while also thinking about how I could steer this guy out of the office. He starts asking about the comics again and wants to get a business card. I obviously don't want to give him mine, and James makes a lie about being all out, so we give him a Free Comic Book Day edition of Whiteout and once again tell him to head up to Excalibur. (Sorry, Excalibur, but we didn't know he was crazy when that all started! I gave him the wrong cross streets thinking he would never find you.) That placated him, and he went on his way, presumably to finish painting the Matrix or something.

His parting words: "Keep making comics. Keep following your imagination."

Man, oh man, I swear on the name of Aidan Christian Howell, I don't miss editing the comic books. When you edit comics, you're nutballing it every day. Though, to be fair, even though my new pal may have been off his head, he's still got it together more than any of Wizard Magazine's Top 10 writers, and it usually takes way more free comics to placate them.

Current Soundtrack: The Colourfield, Virgins & Philistines

Current Mood: you gotta be kidding

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All text (c) 2007 Jamie S. Rich


Craigery said...

you need to get Kyle Baker to draw that scene and put it in some anthology somewhere.

Jenny said...

this is the greatest story I've heard since the woman stopped me at the BoA ATM to ask if the machines would steal her $20.

I also gave this story new life in the office by suggesting that my coordinators replace "comics" with "movies." Same nutballs wander in to our place too. I also suddenly have no business cards.

robert plastorm said...


Jamie S. Rich said...

I had a feeling this would be a story you'd like, Bobby. :)