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Waiting For Tommy XX
The Challenge
So there I am, hanging out in the pool room when who should come in but Dynamic Forces head honcho Nick Barrucci.

I can tell its Nick. Hell, he's been on QVC selling Dynamic Forces collectibles often enough. There's a man who could sell broken icemakers to broke Eskimos. Sand to the Saharan building industry. And collectible premium priced comics to people who still had stacks of Deathmate propping up their foundation.

He picks up a cue, hits the white and spreads my balls all over the table. This was clearly a man who meant business. He soon clears the table - I don't even get a look in. Ball after ball after ball hammered into the pockets. I try to look cool and fail miserably, due to the fact that I'm a fat bearded longhaired speccy comic book reader.

So, Nick Barrucci of Dynamic Forces sets me a challenge more fitting to my portly position. And just to make it interesting, he puts a wad of cash on the shoulder of the pool table.

"I read your Peter David interview - very funny. That zany British humour of yours, right? Your Monty Python and your Benny Hill. Right. I know my onions. I saw The Young Ones once as well. All very clever, clever, self- deprecating… and all that jazz. But where's the meat? The salami? The Full English Breakfast sausage, don't you know?"

I stared at Nick. If he was going to start with butcher euphemisms for male genitalia, I was off before he started chalking his pool cue. Where was this going?

"I have a little proposition for you." Oh dear, it had started again. "Really, Nick, you should see a doctor about that. They can do wonders with collagen these days."

"Ever fancied being a *real* comics journalist?" Now I knew he was really trying to insult me. Me, a journalist? I've always shied away from the term, unless I'm on a podium accepting an award. But what could he mean? Reprinting press releases? Receiving advance information until an embargoed date when I would be allowed to release it? Or engaging in marketing stunts with a publisher, despite my integrity withering away to the shrivelled dormouse?

"None of these things" Nick said, reading my mind. I hate it when he does that. I removed from his forehead his Dynamic Forces Brainiac Cranial Replica, soon to be on sale in comic shops across the land. "I knew you were going to do that,” he said. I didn't doubt it.

"So what would you have me do?" I asked. "Interviews dear boy, interviews. Not amusing jocular filler pieces designed to titillate but then never deliver. I want the money shots!"

Back to that again. I held my pool cue gingerly.

"Eight weeks worth" he continued. "Proper interviews as well. No puff pieces, no questionnaires -- actual interviews tackling the issues everyone wants to know about. You do it, and people think you've done a great job, I'll fly you to a Wizard World East for the first American Lying In The Gutters Live and you throw a pie in my face. You fail... and you donate eight weeks worth of salary to ACTOR and the CBLDF. And you throw a pie in your own face, take a photo, and post it up for all to see. And if you still win this year's Squiddy Award for Best Journalist, you donate it... to Ian Ungstad."

Quite a challenge, I think you'll agree. But with Nick's pool cue coming closer and closer, what choice did I have?

I accepted.

Why? Well, a free flight to the US is always a bonus. Plus, Nick Barrucci's payments for Waiting For Tommy have been keeping me in crack and cheap woman for weeks now and it would be ungracious to refuse such an offer, even if steeped in the clear and unambiguous homoerotic juices that it was. What can I say? Obviously Nick goes in for Harry Knowles look-alikes such as myself. He's not the only one, the number of times I've had to fight that Matt Brady off with a scrubbing brush. And I've got suspicions about Mark Millar too - his end of year address was far too complimentary to me to avoid raising suspicions. And of course I've never been to a Wizard World before and I want to see for myself if the proceedings are as exploitative and greedy as I've been led to believe. And if those women wearing costumes that need special shaving beforehand will be there. They always go for a Harry Knowles physique such as mine. Always.

Plus, these real-journalism-interviews should be a piece of piss shouldn't it? Really easy? I mean, I've read The Comics Journal, every so often ask if the interviewee thinks Los Bros Hernandez are the greatest thing since sliced zebra. How hard can it really be?

Time to find out. Next Wednesday (I hope) should see the first proper actual interview with a major industry figure. Haven't lined anyone up yet. Um. Maybe it's time to start making my own custard pie?

The Tommy Interviews start next week. Probably.

The Waiting For Tommy Archive

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