This Wednesday is my birthday. For the past few years (online at least), I’ve been keeping quiet about my birthday to a certain extent. It’s part of this weird ritual where I want to see if anyone in my virtual circle of friends remembers my day so I can mentally acknowledge that “Yes Len. No one cares about your birthday except for you and your close significant others”. Inevitably, because of the magic of Facebook reminders, people do remember my birthday. I always get a bunch of tweets and greetings via the net. I consider it another one of the “birthday items” that I symbolically get to check off each year.
I’m strange like that.
This year, I’ve not stayed silent about my birthday for a few reasons. One, I’ve decided that if you want people to know about your birthday, you need to say something about. So I’ve been dropping big hints online and mentioning it whenever I can. Two, I just don’t care if anyone knows if it’s my birthday. I want to be noticed and I want to have my ego stroked and get fun gifts and all that stuff. Sure, it’s egotistical. But I don’t know how many of these days I have left in me in the grand scheme of things. And I don’t want to spend my remaining years on earth not celebrating the brief time I have with people - both real and online. Hence this blog post.
Did I mention that Wednesday is my birthday? That’s the 29th of October. In case you forgot the date. My daughter’s birthday is the day before mine. And my dad (who has now passed on) shared her birthday as well. It’s two days before Halloween, which is also one of my favorite holidays. It also ushers in this time of “INCREDIBLY BUSY-NESS” for my family which includes (among other things) my wedding anniversary, my OTHER daughter’s birthday, a HUGE fundraising event that my wife helps to plan every year, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.
So anyway, back to MY day.
I know my birthday is probably of very little import to you all. I get it. You probably haven’t shopped for me and weren’t planning on getting me anything. And that’s fine. I don’t expect you to.
If you were thinking of getting me something. I have a GREAT GIFT IDEA.
This Wednesday, my Birthday, I have a new comic coming out that I worked on with some incredibly talented individuals: Mikey Neumann. Kris Straub. And Tim Switalski. It’s called Exterminte and we are all wildly excited about it. We’ve been talking about it online for the past two weeks. When we put it up on Amazon to pre-order, it made it to #1 in Kindle Comics in the category of Fantasy and Horror. And for a brief time, it was #1 in Comics OVERALL (against established companies like Marvel, DC and IDW). I had a best-selling comic on my hand and it was still in pre-order. I was flabbergasted.
Please understand: I’m not a young man. On Wednesday, I turn 44. (Although thanks to my Asian-Pacific Islander DNA and my youthful choice of clothing, I’ve been told I look much younger than that, enough so that I have chosen to believe that. ) The point being is that I’m not a kid in my 20s getting started. I’m not in my 30s really laying down some groundwork for a career in comics. I’m in my mid-40s and statistically speaking, it’s highly unlikely at the point for me to “hit it big” in comics. I only started working in comics about 3 years ago (thanks to my friends Bill Corbett allowing me to work on his graphic novel Super Powered Revenge Christmas, Tom Merritt who collaborated with me on TenState and Ramon Gil who has allowed me to do some stories for his SciFies anthology). I’m definitely a late bloomer. But what I’ve realized is that I really enjoy doing comics. And I want to try and make a living doing this.
I’m not saying that by purchasing my comic it will magically make me respected in the world of comics. But it will legitimize me in some small way and open me up to other opportunities in the future.
Two years ago, I celebrated my birthday huddling in the darkness of my basement with my family, with no power, listening to Hurricane Sandy howl outside the house, tearing down limbs and trees in it’s wake. I joked after that night that Sandy not only blew away my power for a week, but also all my clients. I’ve had a rough couple of years, and I’ve somehow kicked a variety of cans down the road long enough to make ends meet. During this time, I’ve somehow been able to work on some incredible comics with some incredible people. And I’ve been able to work on a comic series that I am deeply proud of and very excited for people to see.
So, for my birthday, please go and purchase my new comic Exterminite and make it #1 on Amazon and Comixology. The idea of having a #1 best-selling comic would be an wonderful birthday gift for me. Not to mention a great shared experience with my partners in crime, Mikey, Kris and Tim.
Please pass this along to anyone you think would be interested in this. I think you’ll really like the comic and you’ll allow me to tick off something new on my checklist.
Thank you in advance. Thanks for making this the best birthday ever.
PS: Here is the Amazon Link.