Tuesday, April 15, 2008


So a few days ago, Chimaera Studios founder George Singley calls me up and asks me what I want to be. I tell him rich and famous, because my priorities are screwy (any rational person would’ve said “healthy and happy”, but not me, oh no…). Before I can hang up, he says, “No, in the studio, what do you want to be?”

“What do you mean?” says I.

“I’ve got to have a list of all the people in the Studio and their titles,” says George. “You know, I’m publisher, Nick’s Managing Editor, Brian’s Creative Consultant, what do you want to be?”

The question surprised me a little. I’ve talked to George with some regularity over the last year, but after writing four scripts for TITUS: HEROIC FAILURE over the course of one rage-fueled week and some skills descriptions for the Chimaera Role-Playing Game, my contribution to the Studio has been limited to me listening to George’s ideas and telling him why none of them will work (hint: all my explanations of why they won’t work generally boil down to the fact that we’re in the small press comic field, which gives someone in it a longer life expectancy than someone who’s in, say, a minefield, but doesn’t have much else to recommend it.)

Now, from where I stand, there are a number of potential pitfalls in allowing oneself to be publicly attached to a corporate entity that one doesn’t have complete, iron-fisted dictatorial powers of control over. For one thing, I’ve seen people take these positions seriously. Too many people, too many of my friends, have taken bullets for companies for no other reason than they’ve been given the small press comic equivalent of an Associate Producer credit (see David Mamet’s STATE & MAIN if you don’t know what that’s worth). I’ll take full responsibility for everything Andrew Foley Writes Things NLLC does, because that’s MY Non-exitent Limited Liability Corporation. But adding my name to the board of a company that I don’t have a significant say in? What’s the point, really?

There’s only one reason I can see to accept a title like Creative Consultant or Associate Editor, and it’s the same reason I can see for the company wanting to give the title in the first place--because the title/person offers the person/company some sort of value.

Ideally, that value would be in the form of immediate financial compensation. But I did mention we’re talking about small press comics field, right? So, glass half full and hope springs eternal and all that, but that’s not likely to happen any time soon. There is, however, another kind of value: entertainment value. And I value my entertainment very highly indeed.

And that’s why my official Chimaera Studios title is “The Guy Standing Over There”.

(My first choice was “Uncreative Consultant”, but I didn’t want to undermine Brian.)


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