When I wrote my original "4 Things Billy Mitchell Will Never Own" article---one of the original Joystick Division articles that put my enormous package on full display---I totally forgot to post one important item in my Pac-Man collection: the original Michael Kupperman artwork I got when I quit Wizard Magazine...
Jump for the story behind the artwork! You know you want it...
I got this artwork when I finally quit Wizard Magazine. Free tip: Wizard Magazine is one of the worst companies to work for that you will ever fucking work for. It seems like it would be great. It's not. And I'm not saying that as a "bitter employee." I'm saying that as someone who's worked a lot of places, and was dumbfounded by how Wizard operates. It's, literally, corporate Bizarro World. Here's what you have to look forward to at Wizard: great resume experience, meeting some life-long, incredibly creative friends, getting terrific contacts.
Also, here's what else you have to look forward to: awful pay, awful working conditions, Vietnam-like stress, awful dust allergies, benefits suited for a pet goat and not a human being, abhorrent and disgusting things like Mike Cotton, extra-abhorrent things like president Fred 'How Are Ya?' Pierce, and an excessive level of corporate douchebaggery unmatched by even the slimiest denizens of Mordor. I'm not jumping on the bandwagon here. I fucking lived this. And yet, I wouldn't trade it. But it's still awful.
Seriously, they fired THESE guys (who I didn't get a chance to really know) but were clearly talented beyond their years. Sorry for the ranting... I will go into most of this when my graphic novel comes out (in production now, true believers!)
So, when you leave Wizard, traditionally, you get an amazing piece of original artwork. Your friends often line an artist up and get it framed. Then you make a big speech about how great it was to be at Wizard, blah, blah, blah. And you will miss your friends. But you won't miss Wizard Magazine. My friend Rich Ho got an amazing piece from Jim Lee featuring him playing poker with Batman. However, my favorite artist at the time was Michael Kupperman, writer and artist of the only comic that's ever made me almost have a laugh heart attack reading. And my amazing friends commissioned this. If you haven't bought Tales Designed to Thrizzle, then you must have a huge hole in your heart. My piece has Snake N' Bacon (from the comic), plus Mr. T (who I got to interview once), plus Pac-Man. I got to say thank you to Michael once, and I got the impression he was flattered but really confused. He probably missed something important to make this for me, but whatever. It's mine now. And Billy Mitchell will never fucking own it.