2 Pitch Time

The very idea of me, the Underground Cartoonist, drawing a comic book for DC Comics seemed ludicrous at first blush. Denis Kitchen had always given me total creative freedom in the comics I drew for Kitchen Sink, but editors at the big mainstream companies were accustomed to exerting lots of control -- or at least that was my impression. But Martha Thomases insisted that I shouldn't jump to any conclusions. DC's Piranha Press division, she said, was set up to do things differently.
JOURNAL ENTRY (Mid-March, 1990)

Martha Thomases phoned me to say that she had discussed my situation that day with DC editor Denny O’Neil and that Denny had suggested I call Mark Nevelow and talk to him about doing something for Piranha.

A day or two later (after summoning my nerve)

I called the number listed for DC Comics in the phone book.

"DC Comics," said a feminine voice.

"May I speak to Mark Nevelow?"

:Just a moment."

Transfer noises. A new feminine voice.

"Piranha Press."

"Mark Nevelow, please."

"Mr. Nevelow is out of the country today. May I take a message?"

"Yes. This is Howard Cruse. Denny O’Neil suggested that I call Mr. Nevelow."

"And what is this in reference to?"

"I’m a comic book artist. I wanted to speak to him about a possible project."

"I see. Well, the procedure here at Piranha is that artists are asked to submit a proposal in writing. If Mr. Nevelow is interested, he will call and set up an appointment."

"I see. Well, thank you very much."

An understandable brush-off. How many starry-eyed comic book wannabes must get it into their heads that Mark Nevelow has nothing to fill his days with other than meeting with them to hear some vague idea about a book they’ve been concocting?

JOURNAL ENTRY (April 3, 1990)

I telephoned Mark Nevelow [again]. He was "in a meeting," which can mean many things about one’s attitude toward a caller. I left my number.

Around dinnertime he returned my call. True to [
my agent ] Mike Friedrich’s prediction, he was very friendly and full of apologies for the brush-off I’d gotten before. He was fully prepared to get together with me, he said, proposal or no proposal. Could we meet on Monday the 16th?