The little contributor profile of me in the front of the Reason issue that I mentioned in my prior blog entry almost makes it sound like I was on staff at DC Comics (whereas I merely wrote three freelance scripts for them). Some lingering guilt over this probably caused the dream I just had.
In the dream, not only was I DC Comics staff, I was overseeing some sort of big meeting at their Manhattan offices while the real execs (and editors like Scott Nybakken) were away. I was called out of the meeting by an assistant, though, who informed me that a team of execs from rival Marvel Comics — including Joe Quesada himself — had just arrived for their “visit” but that no one who knew what they were supposed to be meeting about was in the office.
I would have to be dispatched to keep them occupied. I greeted them warmly, eyeing Quesada somewhat nervously and telling another assistant, with veiled anxiety, “Go tell the others I’m making this up as I go along.”
While trying casually to get the Marvel folk to tell me what exactly they’d hoped to get out of the meeting, I did what any real-life DC staffer would do if trying to entertain Marvel staff without giving away any trade secrets: I took the Marvel execs straight to the floor (in midtown Manhattan, remember) where DC Comics’ vast nature preserve is. Through a large glass wall, we could observe the frolicking bear cubs, deer, and foxes living amidst rolling hills and endless acres of lush green pine trees.
Unfortunately, one mid-size bear who appeared to be eating from a big pile of garbage tried to crawl into a tent filled to bursting with garbage way up on a hillside, resulting in a garbage avalanche that violently buried the bear, just as the Marvel execs and I were watching. I turned to the DC naturalist and zookeeper who was responsible for the preserve and he quickly dashed out of the hallway and into the nature preserve, sifting through the garbage until finding the buried bear and, to my annoyance, picking the bloodied and semi-conscious creature up by its guide-dog-like harness and getting it to walk a few feet before it collapsed again.
The naturalist, who knew damn well he was responsible for maintenance of the preserve and the safety of its animal inhabitants, was trying to put on a big show of thinking that the bear was OK — see, he’s fine! But the bear wasn’t fine, I feared, and I knew I’d have to call for further assistance, embarrassing our whole company in front of the Marvel execs. As I woke up, I had a lingering feeling that I’d always known that nature preserve would lead to trouble.