Friday, November 23, 2012

Portrait of the Critic as a Snot-Nosed Self-Important Little Shit

Still in computer/Windows 7 hell, but -- via a certain Shady Dame's Mac in one of the outer boroughs -- I simply had to share this with you guys.

So. Just before my entry into computer/Windows 7 hell, I got the following e-mail from a fine fellow named Steve Korte, who -- incidentally -- seems to have one of the coolest jobs in the world.

Dear Steve,

I enjoyed your reviews over the years in so many magazines. I’m the librarian at DC Comics and was doing some research on Justice League of America comics from the 1960s. Much to my surprise in JLA no. 63 (June 1968) was a letter from Steve Simels of Teaneck, New Jersey. I’m guessing that’s you.

If you would like a copy of the page from that comic, please let me know and I’ll be happy to send it to you.

All the best,

I remembered having written the letter, actually. As a matter of fact, back in the day, before I figured out that reviewing rock music was a great scam to get free albums, I was already aware that belittling the work of people far more talented than myself might be a viable career move. That missive to the editor at DC was one of my earliest and most embarrassing efforts along those lines.

In any event, thanks to Steve, you can now read the screed in question. Double click the graphic directly below that fabulous JLA cover and then prepare to have a good cheap laugh at my expense.

I can't tell you how sophomoric I find this blast from my past, but given that I actually was a sophomore at the time that I wrote it, I have decided to cut myself some slack after all these years.

That said, I would also like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to the late Gardner Fox. Sorry, Gardner -- I was just an asshole kid.


edward said...

But dude, you made it onto the same page as a letter from Marv Wolfman!
Which I know means nothing to the non-comics geeks out there.

Gummo said...

1. Actually, steve, that was a pretty sophisticated and perceptive critique for a snot-nosed kid.

2. I would have given, well, not everything but a helluva lot, to have had a letter printed in a comic book in 1968.

3. There is an excellent chance I read that issue, which would make it the earliest I ever read your writing.

4. And, as edward points out, you shared the page with one of the premier comic book writers of the 1970s -- pretty good company!

Anonymous said...

Actually Steve you were (are) correct about the JLA comics format.

But what do I know by 1968 I was a total Marvel Comics zombie!


Oxy said...

I believe around the same time, I wrote a letter to the editor regarding The Legion of Super Heroes recent escapades. I recall that it appeared in a future issue and I wish I still had that issue or all the issues I later sold for peanuts. I do know that my letter was certainly not as good as yours. DC sold a lot of comics and it was always worth the 10, 12 or 25 cents I paid for each issue. Steve, it appears you and I were the only ones reading DC because the cooler kids always said they read Marvel. Thanks for the memory.

pete said...


Rockett Davey said...


danny1959 said...

I love the editor's snarky response though.

Anonymous said...