Eric Mayer

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Lives of Their Own
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Do you ever search for yourself on the internet? I type my name into Google from time to time. It sounds crass but how else can I keep up with all the offspring of my imagination? Not only the books Mary and I have conceived together, which I often find reviewed or mentioned on websites and discussion boards, but the multitudes of fanzines and mini-comics I cranked out over the years. ("Cranked out" quite literally in the case of my fanzine which was printed on a hand-cranked spirit duplicator.)

Look, there's a copy of Bad Cat for sale on a comics collectors' site. How many of those did I xerox and mail for the price of the postage? Couldn't have been more than 100. That was almost twenty years ago but there's still a copy around.

I wonder who ordered that one, or was it someone I was trading with? The recipient must not have hated the comic. It didn't go straight into the trash. Of course, some people are pack rats.

Where was it all this time? In a box in an attic or a garage or the back of a closet? Might it have spent time on a dealer's table at a convention, or in the back room of a comics specialty shop? Has it traveled, changed owners? I hadn't heard of the internet back in the eighties when I sat at my basement desk in the glare of a tensor lamp and inked those cats with felt tipped pens. I didn't own a computer and the Apple I bought, a couple years later, wouldn't have displayed a photograph. But there's the cover on my monitor, blown up larger than life. That mini-comic has journeyed to a place I couldn't have imagined.

Funny how our creations take on lives of their own. We set them loose and who knows where they'll end up, or what people are saying about them or how they'll be treated.

No one's offered to pay five dollars for this feline adventure. There are going to be some sorry comic book collectors around if John the Eunuch gets as popular as Harry Potter. What do you suppose a mini-comic from J.K. Rowling would fetch?

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