Monday, 13 July 2009

How to get into the movie business

don Murphy, movie producer, told me about this a year and a half ago and I've been waiting for something to come of it. There used to be a character who posted regularly in my comments here, who uses the monicker 'Hemlockman'. You could describe him as brash. In one of his posts here took a pop at the From Hell movie. I can't remember his words exactly , but they were probably something witty along the lines of "it was a pile of shit." Right away he set off one of Don Murphy's Google alerts, and the movie producer turned up forthwith in my comments section. What ensued is by now a well rehearsed press release:
REUTERS: Web wrangle leads to movie deal for novelist Sun Jul 12, 2009
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Producers Don Murphy and John Wells have teamed up to option "The Flock," a novel by James Robert Smith. The book tells the story of a group of highly intelligent giant prehistoric birds discovered in the Florida Everglades who are intent on protecting their ancient home when faced with encroachment by theme park developers.
Murphy ("Transformers") discovered Smith and his book by chance. Murphy was on the blog of Eddie Campbell, the artist of "From Hell," an Alan Moore graphic novel whose big-screen translation was produced by Murphy.
Smith was posting comments critical of the film, putting Murphy on the defensive. Eager to find out more about the poster, Murphy discovered Smith had written a book. He quickly ordered it, expecting to hate it and ready to trash it. To his surprise, he fell for it...
So there you go. That's one way to sell your book to Hollywood. Hemlockman doesn't comment here any more, not since he repeated some mean hearsay about Will Eisner. I asked him to delete it and he didn't, so I deleted it myself. Shortly after, I noticed he was trying to get rid of all his Eddie Campbell books under the header "I'm stuck with them." He closed with a cover of Bacchus #1 and the words "Oh well, wine makes me puke anyway." May your movie do well, James.

Speaking of the comments and blog readers, I always preferred Blogger to Livejournal and the rest because I don't have time for this 'friends' business. If you bump into me in a bar, we'll buy each other a drink and solve all the world's problems and we can declare ourselves to be 'friends.' I have a similar dislike of the word 'fans.' A con organizer referred to my 'fans' and I said, "Eddie Campbell doesn't have 'fans,' he has 'readers.' " Well recently they introduced to blogger this business about 'followers'. I haven't looked into it and I don't wish to, and I resent now having to concern myself with how many 'followers' a guy in my position ought to have and whether I'm running behind in that department. However, when I logged in this morning I noticed that while I had 64 followers yesterday, today I'm down to 63. One of them has decided to cancel his or her followship and now I'm forced to spend time fretting about whether it was something i said.

If I were a much bigger man, I'd have 'disciples.' Oscar Wilde I think it was who wrote: "Every great man has his disciples. But why is it always Judas who writes the biography?"

latest update. Don Murphy takes revenge on vocal critic by buying his book (LA Times)
update: Everybody's getting in the act. Rich Johnson calls Scorsese an arse to see if that gets him anywhere

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Blogger Matthew Adams said...

If they have taken offence the ball is kinda in their court to let you know. This is what the comments area is for... apart writing annoying and inane comments to those who actually bother to keep a blog running.

13 July 2009 at 02:13:00 GMT-5  
Blogger spacedlaw said...

Don't you go worrying about number of followers (this isn't Twitter, for goodness sake, leave the sheep behaviour where it belongs) but rather about the quality thereof.

And speaking of quality, while I might adequately define myself as a fan of yours, for terminology's sake I'd rather go for "connaisseur" because it feels so much nicer (even if it probably involves more knowledge of you than I really have right now). And, yes a reader, definitely.
And I must say that it seems that your readers are interacting more on a "gourmet" level than that of merely following sheep.

13 July 2009 at 04:03:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous John C said...

Lest we forget, "fan" is a contraction of "fanatic". Ooh, good quote:

"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject"--Winston Churchill

13 July 2009 at 07:17:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

more on this story here:

(Now if only they would all link to the blog in question, ... this one.

13 July 2009 at 07:29:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Nino Ortea said...

Hi, Eddie:
Quite an interesting story. The same happens everywhere.
I mean, that man who comes to your blog just to put down your work s must have had a legion of btothers 'cause I face the same problem. I mean, if they don´t like what we do why do they pay attention to what we do? There are far too many good blog in the Internet! Why do they read my nonsese?

I added the "followers" gadget just after the prettiest girl asked me to. Had I done it, she told me I was always showing off, we had a querrel. She left. The gadget stays.
Maybe I,m using it as a light-house in order to show her the way back home.

The other day, I´ve read for the 5th time "Graffiti Kitchen" Thnak's, Eddie, for sharing that story. It's something special.
Cuidate, amigo.
Besos a Ana.

13 July 2009 at 08:56:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Jams_Runt said...

I never have been into being a "fan" "friend" or "follower" on the internets. I do check your blog every time I'm on-line, and I'd definitely buy you a drink if I met you.
As to the first part, I guess I find something vaguely comforting in knowing that being an asshole on the internet can get you somewhere. At the very least it means that at my worst moments I've been in good company.

13 July 2009 at 10:57:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Don Murphy said...

Fuck. I wish you had told me that he went crazy and did all that. I had no idea. Shit.

13 July 2009 at 11:43:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Unknown said...

You know, I like From Hell (the movie) a lot more than I thought I was going to. Even after Alan Moore pointed out the flaws, I liked it. It had it's own style, and it worked as a movie. I know that Alan doesn't see the point of making movies out of books or comics or whatever, but I realize that most of the time (for the true artists, anyway) they do it because they want to pay tribute to materials they love, in the medium they know best. They hope that if they do a good enough job, maybe others will go to the source, and gain a new appreciation for what they were missing... and earn some dosh on the way.

13 July 2009 at 12:25:00 GMT-5  
Blogger lennardg said...

If you check out Hemlockman's blog, you'll learn that he works for the Post service.

Explains a lot, IMHO...

(speaking as an ex Post service worker...)

13 July 2009 at 13:37:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous wayne beamer said...

Granted, I've been a disciple of yours for longer than I can remember, but I'd rather be thought of as "a patron of the Campbell arts." Will that work for you? ;)

A patron until...


13 July 2009 at 14:47:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Hayley Campbell said...

"...Only cream and bastards rise."

He wasn't so much a bastard as a complete fucking idiot. But, hey ho.

13 July 2009 at 17:26:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...


Now I'll have to delete you too!!

13 July 2009 at 17:29:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Matthew Adams said...

Hmmm... has Hayley's career in Wallywood just been launched then?

13 July 2009 at 18:38:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Wayne. If I had to think about it I like 'patron'. On the other hand I like 'disciple' because it brings up the potential of dark capes, glittering knives and blood in the streets. That could just be me, though.

No one should get wiggy about the T-follow lists because when you examine them closely, upwards to 60% or so of anyone's T-follow list is comprised of spam from porn and marketing outlets that they got tired of deleting. Kill one spam, the exact same one pops up under a different name. GRRR. That's why T-follow lists are meaningless.


13 July 2009 at 18:44:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


That "I'm with Wayne" anonymous comment above was Me.

Pam in LA

13 July 2009 at 18:45:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Johnny Walker said...

What... the... hell??? I can't believe this is real! Crazy.

13 July 2009 at 18:59:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

Don Murphy!

This story is all over the net. A stroke of genius to put the 'flame war' at the heart of your press release.

I tips me lid.


(and my blog acquires a note of fame by association)

13 July 2009 at 19:31:00 GMT-5  
Blogger BattyMcDougall said...

Why do losers always win?

14 July 2009 at 17:49:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ah, the old "how many followers do I have" concern. I've been hovering around 10 or so on my blog lately, but I do hope that others are still reading here and there. Not really a problem to get too worked up about, methinks.

By the way, I just ordered the Alec book; can't wait to read it. September can't get here fast enough!

15 July 2009 at 11:54:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Don Murphy said...

Thanks Eddie... it's a funny tale. See you next week

15 July 2009 at 12:24:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

Everybody's getting in the act. Rich Johnson just called Scorsese an arse to see if that gets him anywhere

Don, I'm giving san Diego a miss this year. Have a good show!

15 July 2009 at 15:08:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Don Murphy said...

OH NOES- first miss ever. Well maybe I can buy Alec omnibus there and think of you

16 July 2009 at 15:40:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hello Mr. Campbell,

I am the "suck-ass" Cerebus fan that guy was complaining about, and his post made my day several months back. I had bid on a couple of your books, but I got tossed in the clink for a month and some immediately after I won the auction. Wouldn't you just know, the internet connection at New Orleans Parish Prison is just TERRIBLE, and I couldn't get him his money! Some time later, I came across his post, and just about died laughing at the man's ability to bitch. Talk about having a hard time separating a creator from the work. I had already gotten the books I bid on through Amazon, but I offered to give him the loot just to thank him for the laugh. No reply, though; I guess he was too good for my money at that point. Anyway, I am the one who "stuck him" with your books, so in my opinion he owes me money.

I have read loads of your work, but relatively little of the Alec stuff, so I am really looking forward to the big compilation. I gave my father-in-law 'From Hell' and 'Fate of the Artist' last Christmas. He found Artist to be befuddling, but I suppose it is tossing a first-time comic reader into the deeper end of the pool. He thought the art was great, so I count it as a victory nonetheless.


22 July 2009 at 22:15:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...


thanks for filling in the blanks. It was all a bit mysterious otherwise. it's a daft old world, isn't it!


22 July 2009 at 22:33:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2 August 2009 at 00:22:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

bloody advertizing

2 August 2009 at 00:35:00 GMT-5  
Blogger L. Keeler said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

22 August 2010 at 02:37:00 GMT-5  

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