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#504510 - 12/24/02 11:22 AM Re: Whatever happened to Michael Fleischer?
The OC Offline
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Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 1985
Quote:
Originally posted by Matthewwave:
Ah, good ol' Michael "Bugfuck" Fleischer.


I figure Ellison was sincere when he said that "bugfuck" was intended as a compliment, but I also think that Fleischer was justified in being offended by it (and "twisted," and "crazy"). Taking offense doesn't make it libel, though.
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#504511 - 12/24/02 01:31 PM Re: Whatever happened to Michael Fleischer?
Robert Morales Offline
Member

Registered: 06/30/02
Posts: 38
Loc: New York City
Quote:
Originally posted by King of the Seven Seas:


I figure Ellison was sincere when he said that "bugfuck" was intended as a compliment, but I also think that Fleischer was justified in being offended by it (and "twisted," and "crazy"). Taking offense doesn't make it libel, though.


Harlan's unchallenged testimony was that, upon hearing Fleischer was upset, he called him to make amends and assure him no offense was intended. However, Gary Groth and other TCJ staff were openly derisive--at one point announcing they'd throw a "Let's Kick Michael Fleischer in the Ass" fest. Still far short of libel or slander, but the opportunities for the thing to blow over diminished greatly. And had either Shooter or Fleischer come off on the stand as well as Harlan and Gary, the jury (or so they told us immediately after the verdict) would have found for Fleischer out of sympathy.

It's too bad the Journal never got around to publishing Fleischer's testimony, it was...something to see. (And now I'll shut up and go back to work.)

Happy holidays!
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#504512 - 12/24/02 01:44 PM Re: Whatever happened to Michael Fleischer?
The OC Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 1985
Quote:
Originally posted by Robert Morales:

Harlan's unchallenged testimony was that, upon hearing Fleischer was upset, he called him to make amends and assure him no offense was intended. However, Gary Groth and other TCJ staff were openly derisive--at one point announcing they'd throw a "Let's Kick Michael Fleischer in the Ass" fest. Still far short of libel or slander....


Hypothetical testimony and witness deportment aside, Fleischer severely shot himself in the foot by agreeing to be a interview and cover feature in an issue shortly subsequent to the Ellison one. Not a good way to shore up allegations that the publisher is out to destroy you.
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Posted by Otto Chelman

"You have [my] contempt." -- Alan Light to disappointed TBG subscriber.

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#504513 - 12/24/02 08:17 PM Re: Whatever happened to Michael Fleischer?
James Van Hise Offline
Member

Registered: 02/14/02
Posts: 265
Loc: Yucca Valley, CA
I know this all happened about 15 years ago but I don't recall that Fleischer himself ever issued a statement after the verdict. Nor, to my knowledge, did he appeal it even though the judge found Fleischer libel for all court costs (amounting to 30 thousand dollars). At the time I heard that a lot of people who weren't bothered by the interview in the least nonetheless egged Fleischer on so that they could see Gary Groth get nailed (and it did cost Groth a lot of money in legal fees). One interesting thing which came out of it is that a fund rasier was held for Harlan's legal bills in the form of a roast attended by such lumnaries as Robert Bloch and Robin Williams. I went to it and it was funny but it was poorly staged in the auditorium in that there was only one microphone on the podium so you couldn't hear the comments Robin Williams made all through the proceedings to whatever anyone said, and that surprised me because the event was recorded (audio only, even though I know someone who volunteered to do a professional level videotaping of it for free, but no one ever got back to him).--James Van Hise
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#504514 - 12/25/02 06:07 PM Re: Whatever happened to Michael Fleischer?
metron Offline
Member

Registered: 10/13/01
Posts: 937
Fleischer couldn't have been all bad. The only comic book my poor late lamented mother ever read on a regular basis was--you guessed it--Jonah Hex.
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#504515 - 12/26/02 09:57 AM Re: Whatever happened to Michael Fleischer?
Rodrigo Baeza Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/98
Posts: 81
Loc: Santiago, Chile
Quote:
Originally posted by Robert Morales:


Harlan's unchallenged testimony was that, upon hearing Fleischer was upset, he called him to make amends and assure him no offense was intended. However, Gary Groth and other TCJ staff were openly derisive--at one point announcing they'd throw a "Let's Kick Michael Fleischer in the Ass" fest.


Part of the problem was that TCJ was initially willing to run an apology and/or clarification, but Fleisher specifically asked that the Journal should publish the apology that he (Fleisher) had written, and that the Journal editors and Harlan Ellison should sign their names under it. Since they understandably weren't willing to do that, Fleisher went along with the lawsuit.

Rodrigo Baeza
http://rodrigobaeza.crimsonblog.com

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#504516 - 12/31/02 05:04 PM Re: Whatever happened to Michael Fleischer?
GMSLegion Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 284
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Fleisher was headhunted for 2000 AD on the basis of his work on THE SPECTRE. He was a regular contributor from around 1990-92, writing Rogue Trooper (with art by Ron Smith), Harlem Heroes (art by Steve Dillon) and Junker (art by John Ridgway).

I mention the artists because, charitably, these were the worst scripts any of these talented men have ever illustrated. There's a character in the last part of that Harlem Heroes story who delivers Fleisher's immortal line "Hey! What the hell happened to our quintuple X-rated movie?"

2000 AD has been a lot better since his absence.
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