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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yes, I can confirm I exist...

My little brush with historical unreality: I was interested to see the Associated Press had a feature today on Jayson Blair, the reporter who fabricated material in stories for The New York Times and resigned in 2003. His story is less familiar than that of Stephen Glass, who was portrayed by future Anakin Hayden Christensen in the excellent movie Shattered Glass, but it was no less a black eye for the newspaper at the time.

Blair is back as a life coach — good luck to him with that — but one of the things that came up back when all this broke in 2003 was that Blair was a comics fan, and had written at least two pieces on comics for the Times in 2002. I was, in fact, interviewed for one of them — ironically, a piece on reality in comics, inspired by Marvel's Call of Duty line — though as you might see in the article, he got both my name and the magazine we published wrong.

I remember The Beat saying at the time "all the folks quoted in the stories — Joe Quesada, Omar Billal, Prof. Jeffrey Brown and John Jackson Miller — are known to exist and seem to be in character" — probably the first time my existence has needed independent confirmation!

While the paraphrase and quote don't seem familiar, I can't say I didn't say what's in the article — it's been a long time, and it was one interview in hundreds over the years. All I remember about the interview was that he seemed genuinely enthusiastic about comics — and that the Times never contacted me to confirm the interview, which they spent a lot of time doing in the aftermath. Maybe they contacted "Jonathan Jackson Miller" instead! (The other comics story from the month earlier, incidentally, did have problems that the Times found — so it sounds like we were batting .500 there!)
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