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i used to be the editor-in-chief of an international JUSTICE LEAGUE fan club. seriously.

when i was 14, i somehow found out about a fanzine being done as a JUSTICE LEAGUE fan club newsletter, and i joined.  i remember none of the circumstances of joining, but once i was a member, i started shmoozing the dude running it, sending him drawings and letters pretty regularly.  i already knew that i was gonna be a badass, famous penciler for AQUAMAN or for the JLA.  but since dude had been planning since before i joined to ditch the club and leave it to someone, my enthusiasm for showing him my drawing skills and for letting him know that i was friends with some people hooked up with the JUSTICE LEAGUE books (read:  met them at con) convinced him he should offer control of the club to me.

i was 14.

i had no idea what the job meant or how much it was gonna cost, in terms of money and time, to put out the newsletter.  but i agreed wholeheartedly when he offered.  my awesome mom ended up paying for the brunt of my position’s cost.  we’d sneak into her office after hours and fully abuse the copy machine.  then we’d take everything home and i’d stay up late with a friend on the weekends, collating copies of our ‘zine and stuffing envelopes (also courtesy of idanta partners, the venture-capital firm where mom worked).

we had some good times.  i got a letter published in WIZARD right after i took over the club, saying that we had (then-current) artist of JLA howard porter as a member of the club.  it was true, but just barely.  letters started pouring in from all over from people who were interested in the club.  from nearby, from around the usa and from all over the world, we got letters.  i was on top of the world.  we went from being a pretty chill, 12-page fanzine with sketchy fan art to doing a 30-plus-page magazine with cover art from the dude who was drawing the actual comic that our fan cub was for.  i even had sal velluto (artist from JUSTICE LEAGUE TASK FORCE) doing covers before that.  the club members were stoked.  we were having a good-ass time, and our letters columns were fucking epic.

while running it, i continued to be a contributing artist for the ‘zine for quite a while.  and i think i put out like seven or eight awesome ‘zines of JUST US LEAGUERS.  but once i met my first girlfriend and was seeing her regularly, the ‘zine kinda fell apart.  i’ve always been a little down on myself about this, figuring that if i’d organized my own retreat from the ‘zine, as my predecessor had, it’d still be around.  but i was too caught up in my own teenage shit to think about anyone else in the club. the ‘zine fizzled out.

it’s too bad, too.  i mean–i don’t exactly read JUSTICE LEAGUE  comics anymore and haven’t for years.  and i wouldn’t wanna be anywhere near a club now.  but i got to know a bunch of those guys, and besides a couple that i’ve found on facebook–and my belgian buddy that i’m still tight with–i really wonder how they’re doing and what they’re up to.  especially dude who was in jail in chillicothe, OH.  and the british guy who’d just got married.  and dude in pakistan.  and the INFINITY, INC guy, working on his masterpiece, who sent me the fat check after i’d instated membership dues.  our club was a good bunch of dudes who were just DOWN with the justice league.  super down.  we wrote some good stories and fan letters, put together some awesome fan art–and we all enjoyed the chat, the  news and the art.  hell, we had pros donating art for our mag.  it was my first lesson in taking something i knew nothing about and running wild with it.

good times.

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