Well, maybe "hate" isn't entirely accurate -- it's probably wholly inaccurate in fact. But I do seem to perpetually fall below his radar even if I just up and down, waving my arms.
Several years ago, I did send him an e-mail about researching comics and comic art. He responded, politely, that there's absolutely no money in, and that there wasn't a lot of room for new "players" financially speaking. Further, it would be unlikely that I would really be able to uncover anything new; the big stuff's been discovered already, and there's already some very talented and well-connected people looking into what hasn't been.
Not one to be discouraged, I kept pursuing my growing interest in comic book research and came up with some intriguing, if obscure and relatively minor, discoveries. I wrote some articles about them and they were eventually published. ("The Buttons of Doom" and "The Legend of the Origin of Galactus" in Jack Kirby Collector numbers 38 and 44 respectively.) Spurred on by some light praise from editor/publish John Morrow, I started doing some more research and came up with the idea for a regular column for JKC. John liked the idea and "Incidental Iconography" debuted in JKC #40.
In the meantime, Mark was plugging away on his various projects and, from time to time, mentioned on his blog the status of his definitive biography of Jack Kirby. At one point, he noted that he needed some volunteers to proofread portions of it, but they had to be extremely well-versed in the histories of comic book characters. I immediately fired off an e-mail, citing my work on FFPlaza, the Marvel Chronology Project and JKC.
I figured he probably got quite a few volunteers, and it wouldn't have surprised me to learn that he already knew several of them and how much knowledge they already had. I could easily have been an unknown quantity for him, and he didn't want to "risk" anything by showing people he didn't really know. Fair enough.
Then, after having had several "Incidental Iconography" columns published, I started work on one focusing on Mr. Miracle. "Say," I thought, "Mark was working pretty regularly with Jack at the time AND he admits to having come up with a new color scheme for the character. I should try to get some info directly from him." I fired off an e-mail asking him some relatively quick questions about the Mr. Miracle's coloring.
Mark came up on his blog a day or three later, and made some kind of general apology for not posting to his blog more, and that he had some deadline crunch. Okay, I can totally understand. So I e-mailed him again after he said his deadlines would pass, reiterating that this was for JKC and I really just wanted to get the facts straight.
I held off from submitting the article to the very last minute, and had to leave in some kind of note that I had tried contacting Mark, but he was unavailable. (Which I'm sure seemed odd to many people since he had a "Jack F.A.Q.s" in the very same issue.)
Well, maybe he's got some heavy spam filtering software on his mail program and he didn't even get the message.
I mentioned yesterday how I was looking for information/confirmation about the death of Ernie Schroeder. I also e-mailed Mark and asked if he could A) post some notice on his blog since he usually notes that stuff anyway, and B) provide some more information about it, hopefully, from closer/better information sources than I have. I even used a different e-mail account to send the message, on the off chance that he had a spam filter catching my previous ones.
It's well over 24 hours after I sent him the notice. Not only have I not received a response (which I didn't really expect anyway) but his blog has been updated five times with no reference to Ernie at all. FURTHERMORE, he did include a notice about the death of a minor celebrity that very few people outside L.A. would even know.
A couple of slights I can understand; I've missed e-mails before on occassion, and there was sufficient enough reason at first to not respond. But at this point, I have to think he's making an active point of avoiding me and/or my e-mails. I don't know what I may have said or done to cause that, but I think there's too many instances of being snubbed to not take it personally.
I just don't know what I could've done or said that would cause him to not respond like that. I'm sure he doesn't read this blog and probably not FFPlaza.com. I don't think I've ever said anything that significant in JKC, so I'm just left sitting here confused as to why he "hates" me.