In the world of
Does It All Mean?
-by Barry Wolborsky
An Interview with the Interviewer
1, No. 1
This is the first sentence in the first paragraph of my very
first column about comic books. Pretty exciting, huh? Not really, no.
Rather than bore you with a detailed explanation about just
who the heck I am and what the purpose of this column is, I thought I'd
bore you with a self-consciously clever attempt at interviewing myself.
This will hopefully tell you all you never wanted to know about me but
were terrified to ask.
Before I begin this spine-tingling interview with myself, you
may notice that the format of this column somewhat emulates the format
used by fellow columnist Cth in his debut column of Cth's Cryptic
Comments. This may cause some of you to accuse me of plagiarism or of
stealing his idea. Well, you'd be wrong, I tell you, WRONG! I wrote my
column weeks, no, MONTHS before I ever read Cth's stunning work of
prose. OK, days. But it's really no more than a strange and frightening
coincidence and yet further proof that great and twisted minds think
So after spending several days getting in touch with my
publicist, that rat bastard finally returned my calls and I was able to
get a hold of myself (insert crude joke here) and land an exclusive
interview. With myself. So without further ado, let me introduce you to
the author of this column, Mr. Barry Wolborsky.
WDIAM: So why don't you tell us a little about yourself.
BW: OK. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY in a small
WDIAM: Not that much.
BW: Oh. OK. Well, skipping ahead about 30 years, I'm
currently employed at a very large corporate conglomerate as a
Technology Manager for one of their newest magazines. It's a great job,
the benefits are nice, and I work with a lot of great people.
WDIAM: Trying to suck up to anyone at work reading this, huh?
BW: Oh yeah.
WDIAM: What are some of your hobbies?
BW: Listening to music, specifically Rock and Jazz. Playing
guitar, watching TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The
Simpsons. I also enjoy movies, especially buying them on DVD, surfing
the Net, and of course, reading comic books.
WDIAM: Yes, which is what we're here to talk about.
BW: You are correct, sir.
WDIAM: So, tell us about your interest in comic books.
BW: Basically, I've been collecting comics since I was a
little kid, even before I could read. I would just look at the pictures
and make up the words. I was the annoying kid that would always get
thrown out of the candy store for reading all the comics on the spinner
rack without paying. Ah, the memories.
Once I hit my early teens, I'd stopped reading comics partly
because I felt like I was outgrowing superheroes, but also because I
started getting more and more into Rock and Roll music. I was a big ol'
nerd in High School and wanted to feel cool. So I thought if I ditched
comics, and listened to Rock music and joined a band, I'd be much cooler
and girls would like me. Sad to say, it didn't work. When I started
College, I came to the realization I would never be cool, and started
reading comics again. Soon, I was re-hooked, and I've been reading them
on a regular basis ever since. That was about 13 years ago.
WDIAM: So you would classify yourself as a geek?
BW: I'm a computer professional. Star Wars and Superman are
my favorite movies. I have no steady girlfriend, and I read comic books.
You tell me.
WDIAM: Yep, you're a geek.
BW: This is what I'm saying.
WDIAM: Comic books. What's the appeal of reading word
balloons on top of little pictures of men in tights fighting each other?
BW: That's a good question. There's really no simple answer.
Actually there is. They're FUN! Fun, fun, FUN!!!
WDIAM: Settle down pal.
BW: Sorry. I just get enthusiastic about comics. I could go
into a whole spiel about superheroes being power fantasies that
compensate for a lack of control in our lives, but I'll leave that up to
people smarter and more pretentious than myself. Ultimately, I just love
comic books and their versatility, especially in terms of the types of
stories they can tell. It's really the only medium to combine both words
and illustrations, and they have unlimited storytelling and artistic
potential. Unfortunately most non-comics readers don't think of comic
books this way. But there are plenty of folks who do. They're called
"fans." Which brings me to the point of this column.
WDIAM: Yes, we were wondering when you were getting to that.
BW: Who's "we"? Anyway, what I hope to accomplish
with this column are two things. One is to express my thoughts about
comics and how they relate to other forms of popular entertainment such
as music, movies, TV and literature (you know-the kind without
pictures), as well as my random thoughts on the industry in general.
My second goal, and this is where I really hope to
distinguish myself from other Internet comic book columns, is to
interview fans. That's right. You heard me. Fans. "But why would I
want to read an interview with some fanboy geek?" you ask. Good
question. And the answer is: because some of 'em are just as interesting
as the creators, if not moreso. Based on my experience posting on
various message boards, I've come across comic fans who work in the
movie biz, magazine publishing and who are trying to become comics
professionals themselves. The industry wouldn't be what it is, for
better or worse, without the fans, and I'd like to spotlight some of
these very interesting and opinionated people (and I mean that in a good
way). And if people actually read this column, I may get up the nerve to
ask a comics creator or two for an interview, but from their perspective
as a fan. I will also be interviewing folks who do enjoy reading comics,
yet somehow lack any burning desire to go to the comic shop and buy them
on a regular basis. This could help shed some light as to what the
industry could do to better capture their attention and to keep them as
What this column won't be about is negativity. No rants, just
raves. While I may spotlight a series or graphic novel that I think
deserves exposure and wider recognition, I won't be critiquing the
writing and art. I freely admit to knowing nothing about either. I just
know what I enjoy, what evokes a positive emotional reaction in me, and
what doesn't. The industry has enough negativity from within and
without, and it doesn't need any bitterness and anger from me. That I
will save for my family and friends.
WDIAM: Anything else you'd like to add so we can go home?
BW: Just that I hope to write a column that both fans and
non-fans alike can enjoy, with as much intelligence as I can possibly
fake. I hope that people read my column and come away enjoying it and
maybe think about something besides what they're going to eat for lunch
that day. I also want it to be funny. That's it.
WDIAM: It looks like you'll need some work on that last part.
But hey, thanks for joining us. Feel free to e-mail me at
firstname.lastname@example.org with any of your comments and insults. See
you in two weeks!