Submitted by Howard Tayler on September 24, 2009 - 23:21
True story: there was this girl at a convention I attended recently, and the show ran out of tickets to the big signing before she got hers. Her last words before collapsing in tears were â€œI guess Iâ€™m not a good enough fanâ€¦â€
It never occurred to me that bad things happen because youâ€™re â€œnot a good enough fan.â€ In fact, it never occurred to me that being a â€œgood enough fanâ€ was a prerequisite for anything. But it takes all kinds of people to make the world go â€™round so I shanâ€™t disparage this particular angle of divergence from what I consider normal.
It would be especially hypocritical for me to cast stones from within a glass house that has been lovingly constructed by people who are, per this newly-minted metric, â€œgood enough fansâ€ of my own work. For just over five years Iâ€™ve been cartooning full time, and I get to keep doing it because enough of my fans are good-enough fans.
But if there is a point on the fandometer labeled â€œgood enough,â€ is there a point further on labeled â€œexceeds expectations,â€ and others even further labeled â€œhere there be monsters?â€
I think so. I have photos to serve as evidence.
To the left we see Steve Strote proudly wearing a Tagonâ€™s Toughs shirt during a 5k run. I have heard that some people get paid to perform physical feats while wearing othersâ€™ logos. Not so for Steve. He is definitely exceeding expectations.
What are the rewards for exceeding expectations? For starters, he got nods of acknowledgement and respect from fellow runners. Whatâ€™s amazing is that he was able to earn these not through physical prowess, but by choice of attire! This is the sort of reward that all of us who donâ€™t run for five thousand meters in one go can really get behind.
He also got his picture in the blog. You win some, you lose some.
Further along on the fandometer, though, Iâ€™ve hinted at the existence of a â€œHere there be monstersâ€ point. I think Iâ€™ve found it:
Itâ€™s a Schlock tattoo on the person of one Charlie Watson, and itâ€™s quite a nice tattoo at that. But the real kicker is the â€œwhyâ€ behind it. And I quoteâ€¦
â€¦Iâ€™ve been reading Schlock for 6 or 7 years now and Iâ€™ve often followed your advice about sci-fi authors, web comics, and movies.Â But once I didnâ€™t.Â You wrote a review for the movie â€œBloodrayne.â€Â Scathing doesnâ€™t even begin to describe it.Â I decided to buy it (not rent, but buy), watch it, and try to find something redeeming about it.Â I couldnâ€™t.Â My friends and I even invented a drinking game we thought would make it help.Â We called it â€œDrink Until Bloodrayne Doesnâ€™t Suck.â€Â We lost.Â It was still horrible.
So as penance for ignoring your advice, I decided to get a Schlock tattoo.Â I figured that wasnâ€™t quite enough so I had it done by an apprentice on my shin.Â The shin is a bad enough spot when the tattoo artist knows what theyâ€™re doing, but when its their 5th tattoo ever, itâ€™s an event.Â And it took two sessions because she wasnâ€™t ready to do color work at the time we started it.Â I think I would have rather dealt with the fire ants in my bed, but at least this way I ended up with a pretty sweet Schlock tattoo.
So again, sorry for buying â€œBloodrayneâ€ and helping Uwe Boll make another movie and I hope you find that tattoo as cool as I do.
Just so weâ€™re clear on this, Charlie got the tattoo not because he loves the comic, but because he needed to do penance for ignoring my advice about a movie.
Charlie, youâ€™ve raised the bar for fans everywhere. Also, Iâ€™ve called off the fire ant brigade. You are forgiven.