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Thank you, but coverage of Pro-Motion lacking

To the Editor:

A kind soul finally told me that an article on my book, Pro-Motion: How Today's Creators Broke In To Comics... And Their Advice To You!, had appeared at The Review's web site, and I'm writing having just read the piece. I don't know whether or not the article appeared in the weekly printed version of The Review, since the author of the piece didn't bother to contact me during its preparation, and no clippings were forwarded to the address that accompanied my press releases (an address that can also be found in the complimentary copy of the book sent with those presumably so - by the author of the article in question).

Had the author, Dan Spalding, made an effort to contact me, or in fact had he read my introductory material more closely, some errors in his article would have been easily rectified. The interviews contained in Pro-Motion, for instance, were conducted in person and by telephone as well as on paper; it's said that Shea Anton Pensa, whose entry is contrasted in the article with Stan Lee's, "wrote a good eight paragraphs": Wrong. He spoke for a good hour, and I distilled what he said down to his still-lengthy entry after transcribing the tape, a process repeated for a good many of my contributors. Lee's response was indeed written, and it was indeed short, but I'm not so sure that it was "laughable", as Spalding contends. Sure, Lee's out of touch with the current comics scene, but I went in knowing that different folks would have different things to say and different ways to say them.

Don't get me wrong - I thank the editors of The Review for assigning a piece on Pro-Motion, as just about any exposure is good exposure for a first-time author/publisher and coverage at one's alma mater is just a wonderfully ticklish thing. But I find Spalding's coverage somewhat lacking, and with a strange slant to boot: If I was really being taken to task for not mentioning Oberlin more prominently in the book as a segue into coverage of the local comics scene, Spalding could easily have grabbed my telephone number or E-mail address and included my reminiscences of cartooning for The Review (hopefully alongside others' from my era, including the prolific and celebrated Stefan Economou) for a much more balanced article.

Lastly, I was disappointed to find that no mention was made in Spalding's essay of where to obtain Pro-Motion should his readers be interested in acquiring a copy. It's on sale at the Oberlin College Co-Op Bookstore, I'm happy to say.

Thank you for your time - and for the brief window to the past; I haven't seen the cartoon reprinted with the article since it first saw print. Obviously, I left some originals behind at the office when I left...

- Brian Saner-Lamken (OC '92)

Copyright © 1996, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 124, Number 23; May 3, 1996

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