The Fish
for 9 August 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Suck Staff

Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff
Editor in Chief


[Tim Cavanaugh]
Tim Cavanaugh
Special Guest Editor


Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director


[the fixin'
pixie... ]
Emily Hobson
Production Manager
& Rhythm Guitar


Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor


Ian Connelly
Marketing Manager


[Copy Edit]
Erica Gies
Merrill Gillaspy

Copy Editors

Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text

Carl Steadman
Carl Steadman


Ana Marie
Ana Marie Cox
Executive Editor


Sean (Duuuuude)
Sean Welch


Owen Thomas
Owen Thomas
Copy Editor


T. Jay Fowler
Production Manager
& Ass Kicker


[yes, it's
a plunger. i'll l
eave the rest up to your imagination ... ]
Erin Coull
Production Manager


Monte Goode
Ghost in the Machine


Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager


Forsyth, " we're just spanning time "]
Brian Forsyth
Production Editor
& Pool Monitor

Suck Demeans Sex!


I was recently directed to a
bit of writing on your site,
and after having read it (it
was informative, though
highly smart-alecky), I felt I
should write to you about the
name you've chosen for your
organization, which has
irritated me every time I've
seen it since I initially got
online some years ago. What's
my beef? Read on.

Conventionally speaking, I
presume suck doesn't refer to
a baby being nourished by its
mother, but the act of
sucking a penis, dick, or
what have you. I guess that's
a job mainly reserved for
inferior women or fags,

The implication seems to be
that there's something wrong
with people who do the
sucking. I'd suggest that all employees make this
clear to their spouses,
sexual partners, pets, etc.

The expression might be mean
if it weren't so juvenile,
but I guess it's in place now
and ain't going anywhere.
Just like "fuck you" demeans
an act of love (in spite of
the fact that fucking is all
most people are capable of
doing), the expression "suck"
cheapens sexual acts —
not to mention demeaning the
aforementioned women and

In other words, suck is to
sex what nigger is to a black


Mike Hoffman

This might come as shocking
news, but you are a hilarious
person. Sure, most of your
friends think you're
humorless and sullen, but
they're very wrong, Mike.
Why, we bet every single word
out of your mouth is a source
of major amusement to those
around you — particularly
those who aren't your

Anyway, thanks for clarifying
the point that sucking is
reserved for those who wish
to be demeaned. We've never
wanted to suck so bad in all
our lives!

But nonetheless, all Suck
employees will be required to
explain to their spouses,
sexual partners, and pets
that there are negative
implications to the term
suck. And after we're done
fucking, we'll all get a huge
laugh imagining how awful it
must be to make love night
after night.

Demeaned and loving it,


Fish With Letter Icon

Ink Blot

First, set the record
straight — most of the
"big-name artists who fueled
the speculator boom" didn't
go start up Image. I'm not
going to try to defend their
adolescent crap that does the
traditional Marvel/DC
adolescent crap one better.
Yet I can't help but notice
that, somehow,
hack-work-for-hire isn't the
only available business model

Many of these big-name
artists have been going out
and doing interesting art
under their own control that
doesn't pander to the fanboy
crowd. And there are a lot of
up-and-coming artists
following their example.

Yes, I'm an alternative
comics addict. So sue me.
Don't call me trendy; call me
a snob for being alternative
before it was cool.

I first started paying
attention to comics in the
mid 1980s, at the peak of the
black-and-white boom. The
idea that you could get
comics that weren't Disney or
sooperhero was appealing. Too
bad most people either don't
know or don't care. Blame
Marvel and DC and Disney, I
guess. Blame the distributors
even more. Blame the Comics
Code Authority, most of all.

Maybe someday the general
public will twig. Until then,
I won't worry how many copies
Superman sells.


First of all, let's not get
into a comics alterna-cred
pissing match, my friend,
because you will drown.

I notice you don't name any
of the artists you describe
— maybe because there
aren't any that fit your
description. Image's founders
include Todd "buy my new
Spider-Man #1 with its rare
alternate covers" McFarlane,
Jim "buy my new X-Men #1
with even more alternate covers"
Lee, and Rob "the lightbox is
my only friend" Liefeld; they
are precisely the big-name
artists who fueled the
speculator boom.

Fish With Letter Icon

All sad, true, and amusingly
presented. Once, when writing
about one of the more heinous
Image spinoffs for a Major
Youth Culture Mag that shall
remain nameless, I wanted to
make the hook of the piece be
the moribundity of comics qua
comics — where the auteur
was clearly and openly
drawing and publishing (or,
as you say, paying
talentless, young sycophants
to draw) comics as a way of
selling dumb ideas to
Hollywood. I am relieved to
see that the TV show
allegedly forthcoming (which
ended up as the only hook of
the story) never aired. The
editor at said MYCM didn't
want this angle; he wanted
the story to explain "what
was so cool about these
comics." Nothing, of course.
They then edited a fact error
into the lead, paid me US$50
less than promised, and we
all lived happily ever after.

Hey, if Mallrats couldn't
save the comics industry,
it's hopeless.

Brian Doherty

Well put. You just summarized
every freelance writing gig
we've ever experienced, heard
of, discussed, or lost sleep
over. And to think of all the
copies of The Writer's
that get sold every
year to people aching for
such torture.

Speaking of which, where do
we find these talentless,
young sycophants?
We've got some very
important Bavarian
creme–filled doughnuts we
need delivered into our

Fish With Letter Icon
Ink Blot


Joey's most excellent idea
worked fine until that
fateful day in September,
1993, when the fans did their
math and saw the slim
probabilities of making any
money on their investment of
10 copies of anything.

We had fun while it lasted.
But hell, when the bottom
dropped out ... we retailers
were dumb, but the comic book
companies were dumber,
churning out multiple copies
of the same issue
with different covers.
The fans did not buy it.
Perhaps they are not as dumb
and dumber as we thought!

Anyway, I had the grandest
ride ever and the greatest
fall ever. But now that I too
am gone from this business, I
am not very surprised to find
other retailers are having a
very tough time, even with my
old faithful fanboy
patronage! It is truly the
death of an era that no
longer serves effectively to
bridge the span from
childhood to adulthood.



And, y'know, the really scary
part is that the comic book
companies are still churning
out those copies.

The Cloud of Unknowing

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: 26 July 1999

Good article.

Marvel was recently acquired
by a toy company, so numerous
variant costumes may be in
store for their characters
(to push different action

Not my concern, in any case.
It isn't just girls who are
pushed away from comics, but
most young kids (preteen);
most stores put their
nastier, blood-soaked fare up
near the door. Parents walk
in with kids and freak. Some
stores get it right and put
Archie-esque fare in front,
but far too few.

I say don't sweat it and just
pick up anything Alan Moore
does, or Milk & Cheese when
it comes out.

Oh, and the Hulk is stronger.
C'mon — no contest.

Shawn Metcalf

I'm starting to have my
doubts about the
anything-Moore rule,
especially after the last few
issues of Supreme. I loved From
but honestly, the guy's
cruising on automatic these
days. Especially when his
characters start talking in
highfalutin' diction, which is
always just straight iambs
— ba-BUM, ba-BUM, ba-BUM.

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Indie comics and the
coming apocalypse.

1. Marvel deserves it's slow,
painful death and it can take
DC with it.

2. Indie comics, though not
huge moneymakers, are 1,000
times better.

Read any of the Superman-
bathtub comics on the stand

I dare you to go to your
local shop and pick up Scud:
The Disposable Assassin,

Preacher, or Transmetropolitan
and read them.


I know and love all three of
those (and The Invisibles and
Cerebus and even
Black Panther), but here's the rub:
Everything depends on the money.
As much as the Big Two deserve
to croak, the comics distribution
and retail system is currently so
precarious that if Marvel
wakes up one morning and
realizes it's no longer
cost-effective for it to
publish comics, we're all
screwed. Without the traffic
that X-Men brings in, most
retailers can't possibly
manage enough income to stay
open; likewise, if Diamond
folds, that's it, it's the end of
comics as we know them in
North America. Yikes.

The Cloud of Unknowing

Fish With Letter Icon

Normally, your Fish section
is at least as entertaining
as the columns you run. But
that letter by Kate
Powers was better than
anything you've run all week.
Then there was that Canadian
guy and the Kornheiser
Kid. It increasingly seems
you just publish the main
part of the site as bait for
the letters. Which I approve
of, mind you.

Oop, gotta stop writing —
I just noticed the snaps on
my shirt say "gripper" on

Ben Mazur

You're right, the site is
just an excuse for the
letters. Why don't you write
an essay for us about your
reactions to the letters
you've read on our site? Now
that would be truly

After all, just look at Kate
Powers — she recently got
promoted to editor in chief,
and Kornheiser is practically
running the place. The great
thing about those two is that
they bait people into writing
more letters. Sometimes we
make up fake "controversial"
letters by people with names
like Dumb Butt just so we can
provoke readers to write us.

Fish With Letter Icon

Dear Sucksters,

You heathens disgust me. I
can't imagine anything more
worthless than reading your
pathetic site. The president
is a crook. Hillary Rodham
Clinton is a man-hating
bitch. Women belong in the
home — in the kitchen
part of the home, more
specifically. The United
States' military action
during the Gulf War was
completely justified. America
kicks butt! The Ayatollah is
an ass-a-hole-ah. Little
bunny rabbits should be
tortured by major cosmetic
companies worldwide. Baby
seals deserve clubbing.


You can say that again!

Fish With Letter Icon

 The Shit
"Gary's Trajectory," A Wanderer in the Perfect City, Lawrence Weschler, Hungry Mind Press, 1998
The Parallax View, Alan J. Pakula, Paramount Pictures DVD, 1974
Rogues to Riches: The Trouble with Wall Street, Murray Teigh Bloom, Putnam,1971
Actual Air, David Berman, Open City Books, 1999
Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist, Peter Hall and Michael Bierut, editors, Princeton Architectural Press, 1998
Canary-wing parrots, Dolores Street, San Francisco
Super Shitty to the Max, Hellacopters, Man's Ruin Records, 1998
Request magazine (any issue after June 1999)
On the Road to Vietnam, Bob Hope, Cadet 4046 vinyl, 1964
The Flying Ballerina, Drums and Tuba, TEC Tones, 1998
Dino, Nick Tosches, Delta Alpha Publishing, 1999
The Soft Bulletin, The Flaming Lips, WEA/Warner Brothers, 1999
Big Red soda

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