Saturday, November 20, 2010

Karin, Don't Write to Me Again

Every time the name "Schwaller" (the last name of a dear college friend) appears in Sally Forth, this person (let's call her "Karin" since that is her real name) sends me an email saying that's her family name and what an odd coincidence that is and do I know anyone in her family. I always write back (admittedly not within the next few minutes), thanking her for her message and letting her know that I was not directly referring to her family. Then a few months later she sends the same message.

Now, I understand that seeing your surname in print is fun--it's why I use friends' names in the strip--but the tone with which this individual employs when I don't immediately respond or stand up and applaud upon receiving her comment is astounding.

Please take special note of her use of quotation marks in today's message (never minding the curious legal document approach to the number "two") .

It has been almost two (2) months since the below email was sent to you - with no response. At least you responded to my first email in 2007 even though that was not in a timely manner either (you were "in the middle of a divorce" then).

Here, just for the hell of it, is an excerpt from her email of 2007, which she sent to my syndicate:

I tried getting in touch with the cartoonist by calling (my fucking home phone number!) and left a message which was never returned. This is my second attempt. Hopefully I will get a response from someone.

And here is my response to her latest message:

Wow, you really have the nastiest, most childish, self-involved demeanor I have ever encountered. Putting a painful time of my life in quotation marks as if that should have been a minor concern of mine in light of your email?!? There will be no further response from me to you. Your email will now be sent directly to trash and I will alert my syndicate not to forward any of your messages.

On the bright side, I will get to have a laugh about your email with other readers, so thank you for that.

I like to think I'm a relatively calm, reasonable individual when it comes to my readers, for I am very fortunate to even have readers. And once a comic strip is published it belongs to the readers, not me, so any response they may have is personally valid and I have no right whatsoever to tell them they are wrong to believe such. Write to me to tell me you really didn't like a particular strip? At least you read the strip and took the time to write and I thank you.

But, Karin, dear, if for some reason you are reading this, you really are in a class all by yourself.


Dennis said...

I have to side with Karen here. Just because your life was "falling apart" and your life was a "living hell" doesn't mean you couldn't stop your life to respond to the rude and discourteous messages.

Roto13 said...

The best part is she's being a psycho over a question that has already been answered for her anyway. There is clearly something wrong with this girl.

D.B. Echo said...

You had Ted Forth lose his job at the same time I lost my job. You had the Forths cancel a family vacation because of a dying pet at the same time I cancelled a trip to Ireland because my dog was dying. And this woman thinks you're writing about HER? She must be nuts!

Stephen said...

Crazy fans deliver both fun stories and a little bit of horror.

I can't find it online, but Harlan Ellison delivered a great speech many years ago on his 50th birthday about fans. He collected a few horror stories, all regarding fans of science fiction writers.

What's stayed with me all these years is that a kindly, older science fiction writer once had a cup of warm vomit thrown in his face by a fan at a convention.

I think the sooner you identify a person as crazy, the better.

Thumper said...

Hmmm. My real name is Karen. Clearly you're talking about me and just changed one letter in my name, even though we've never met and I've never emailed you about anything, and I'm too phobic to make a phone call. Well hells bells, if you're going to write about me, could you at least do it in a way that makes me famous and earns me some money? really. Point people to my books. I need the royalties.

What? You do TOO know me from a hole in the wall. You SAID MY NAME BUT YOU MISSPELLED IT.


Some people.


Just said...

I can't believe someone just referred to Harlan Ellison as "kindly."

D.B. Echo said...

I was thinking that the kindly, older science fiction writer was not Harlan himself, but the subject of one of the stories he had collected. Stephen, can you clear that up? Because it seems that Harlan Ellison is probably fairly used to having cups of warm vomit thrown in his face.

D.B. Echo said...

Ah. It was Alan Dean Foster.

DEO said...

I thought Sally Forth was a coded messages to me telling me who my next victims were going to be.

Thanks for setting me straight.