Working on WONK has been a continual (and potentially valuable) learning experience for me. Going in, I was more than a little nervous to be approaching talented writers and artists and asking them to submit (for free) to our little experiment. Fortunately, everyone I’ve been able to get in contact with has been extremely supportive and really awesome to work with. Really, the biggest obstacle in getting even more amazing contributors in WONK is me and my big mouth.
The best/worst example of this (so far) is my exchange with a very agreeable and cool Todd Babiak, who not only took the time to write me back, but also asked for our submission guidelines. In my attempt to be the perfect mix of professional, approachable and extremely cool I reply:
“Our submission guidelines are very lax. In fact, if you sent us some poop in a beret we’d find a way to print it. Alright, that might be a little too graphic. But you get the idea. We reek of desperation. And, actually, if you’ve ever been to Wetaskiwin, there are a lot of other kinds of smells too (one less since the mink farm closed).”
That’s the exact moment when we lost Todd Babiak.
Admittedly, it’s not my crowning moment as an editor. But, in my defence, he is living in France — the beret capital of the world.
Amber, needless to say, was not happy. Quite embarrassed actually. She says we owe the entire Babiak family (past, present and future) an apology. And, of course, she’s right. But how do you go back and even apologize for something like that? First, you’d have to address it and then apologize for it. No thanks, I’ll just chalk it up to a lesson learned: just shut your big yap and stop trying to be clever.
PS. Sorry Todd.