On this week’s Dark Avenger INC Live Show (episode #20), toward the end we were asked to say what we’re thankful for. As I went first, I felt the pressure of people needing to leave and kind of rushed through mine. So, I figured – if you’d indulge me – I’d take a minute to say a proper thanks here, if that’s okay.
Now, I’m not going to go into a long, drawn-out thing here as I know this isn’t why you come to this site. But I did want to add a couple of things to my statement on the live show, and amend things I did say.
So, first off, I am thankful for my mother and brother. Even though we bicker a lot, we are a unit. My brother is considerably younger than I am, so I helped raise him. His dad sadly passed away when my brother was just a baby. So it was just the three of us. But we were and are tight, and when I think of family, that’s who I think of first and foremost. I love them both dearly, and am very thankful to have them in my life.
Second, I am so very thankful for Comic Related and my CR family. That extends beyond just the people running it to everyone that has been closely involved or supportive of the site and our community. Over the years, I’ve met some tremendous people that showed me kindness and acceptance, and I am honored to call them friend. Of course, this does include my two brothers from other mothers, Chuck Moore and John Wilson who have both been a big part of my life since 2008. And for the site itself, which has connected us all in one way or another. Bill Gladman, Frank Raynor, Darren Mueller, and so many others have been very important to me, and I can’t thank you all enough.
I am also thankful for the imaginations of others that create and inspire to create. Without those people, we wouldn’t have comics, TV shows, novels, movies, video games, etc. They entertain us and open up our minds to stories that excite us and allow us to, if even only for a few minutes or hours, escape the routine of everyday life.
Now, onto the Dark Avenger INC crew, which in a couple of cases extends beyond the group. I said on the live show simply that I’m thankful for the friends I’ve made and being welcomed into the group. While that sentiment means something and came from the heart, I didn’t get a chance to expound much on that. So I’d like to do that now.
When Chris invited me to become part of Dark Avenger INC, I was very hesitant. Not because of a lack of wanting to be involved, but because I wasn’t sure I was up for the challenge. There were other factors as well, but that being chief among them. I was honestly intimidated. I’ve done podcasts, I’ve sang on videos, and I’ve even sang before crowds and spoke before crowds. But the thought of reviewing books on YouTube was intimidating. Especially surrounded by people that had so much passion. Me, I admit, my passion was waning. I’d been through some stuff, and comics just weren’t doing it for me – or rather, I wasn’t open enough to them anymore.
Seeing everyone on INC’s passion and childlike joy when talking about these books, though, inspired me. And so I accepted the invitation and it renewed my own passion for the medium. And not only that, but my passion for discussing them with friends, which is something that was missing for me. Sure, I did a weekly podcast, but oftentimes, as anyone who listens to Zone 4 knows, it veers far away from recent comics. That’s due to the current cast, finances, reading habits and a number of other factors, but it is the fact of the matter… for now. So being on INC allowed me to rekindle that passion and talk about current comics again, and enjoy them, the good and the bad.
Now, speaking on the people that comprise Dark Avenger INC… I felt welcome and a part of the INC family from the minute I started. There was never this awkward period of transition where I felt like I had to get to know these people to win their trust and be truly accepted. No, they opened the arms and embraced me, figuratively of course, into their little family and it was a great fit. And I’ve loved every minute of it. From members no longer with the channel, like Audrey and Craig, to newer members like Pete and Jay, to members on the fringes like Stephen and Kevin, to the ones that you see and here from every single week, everyone has been so warm and kind.
Chris, Mike and Michael have especially been so generous and friendly to me. They brought me in and supported me, and I them, and I truly feel like I’ve made some genuine, life-long friends. Chris especially has become one of my best friends, and there’s not a day that goes by that we don’t talk in some form or another. I wish we all had time to converse with each other more as that would be awesome too, but life is busy for us all. Chris has become my partner in crime on so many things, both currently going on and in the works.
Mike, Michael, Kat, Jay have all been great as well. Jay I’ve only started to get to know, but we’ve already had some great back and forth, and have even collaborated a little bit. Mike Spiderslayer and I message every week about the books and videos and other things. We don’t get to chat much, but it’s always a pleasant exchange when we do.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention two members of INC that I’ve known for quite some time, one new and one on the fringes. Those being, of course, Eric Ratcliffe and Lisa Moore. Eric and I have collaborated for years on New Comic Day and even Why I Love Comics, his podcast, for a time. We’ve roomed together at a con, we’ve had conversations for hours about various things, and we tease each other mercilessly. He’s a good friend and I’m glad to have him aboard INC now.
And Lisa has been one of my best friends for years now as well. We have been collaborating on comic projects together, her coloring, me lettering, since before we knew each other at all. And since, we have done so much stuff together. But more than that, she has been an amazing friend that I am so blessed to have in my life. There have been times we’ve chatted for hours upon hours, several days long. She’s another hardly a day goes by we don’t say something to each other. It’s diminished a bit since both our workloads have greatly increased, but she has always been there for me. She even introduced me to Chris and INC in the first place. So if you like me being a part of INC and Frontline, thank her first, and then Chris and the others as well.
And in closing, I know in comic circles – heck, in creative circles in general – it’s not necessarily a popular thing. But I’ve never shied away from my beliefs, so I have to say above all I am thankful to God for all the blessings He has bestowed upon me in my life. I’ve had some extremely rough times too, but there’s always hope and silver linings and all that jazz. And with friends like those I’ve mentioned above, I can’t call myself anything but blessed.
So with that, everyone have a very Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read the emotional ramblings of this sappy guy.