Crossposted from Newsarama.com (http://newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=510b1a99e29e0a0e500a3e0ef09c1e13&postid=691124#post691124). In an AIM conversation with Joe Quesada, Smith talks about how his block on Spider-Man/Black Cat stemmed from a feeling that he wasn't up to snuff with writers such as Bendis, Millar, et. al. What follows is my response.
An Open Letter To Kevin Smith:
Say what? *That's* the reason Felicia Hardy's been drugged up and bent over like a chick on First Time Amateurs by a supervillain for 2 1/2 years? Creative dick fear? I'm sorry, man, but that's just lame.
Now I like your work and respect your talents, so this isn't a "hang it up, you hack" letter. This is a "get over it and jump back in the saddle, you schmuck" letter. Basically the same thing Quesada told you, but from a total stranger.
From a logical standpoint (and I recognize that insecurity ahs very little to do with logic, but bear with me), you have no reason to doubt yourself as a writer. Clerks. Mallrats. Chasing Amy. Dogma. Jay and Silent Bob. Jersey Girl. Clerks Animated. Clerks: The Comics. Chasing Dogma. Daredevil. Green Arrow. 3 issues of Spidey/Black Cat. And who knows how much other stuff you've done that I don't know about. That's a body of work, man. That's material you poured your heart and soul into and made the best you could make, and that somebody liked enough to release/publish, and that someobdy else liked enough to pay money for.
Did everyone like it? No. But measured against the scripts and writers that never got anywhere near that far, it's a damn good accomplishment. You have plenty to be proud of. Hell, Clerks alone is testament to your ability to suck it up and get shite done.
And it's not that I don't sympathize. I'm a writer myself, and I go through a lot of the same insecurities. "There are so many great people already working. I can't live up to the legacy of my forebears. I'm just not as creative as he is. I'm no damn good." But, then again, I'm 23 and unpublished, and you're, well, not. (For that matter, my own insecurities go a long way towards explaining why I'm 23 and unpublished. That and how I spent a good chunk of the last 8 years slacking like a mofo.)
My point, and I do have one, is that you're Kevin f*cking Smith. That doesn't mean something to everyone, but it means something to smart people in the business, and it should mean something to you.
It's been two weeks since your conversation with Joe took place, so maybe you're out of this funk. I hope so. Kevin Smith the foul-mouthed working fanboy is a lot more fun to listen to than Kevin Smith the mopey bag of fat. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.
(PS: Which issue of Playboy did your wife appear in? 'Cause I'd like to see me some of that.)