We've heard time and again how hard it is to be an independent comic book publisher, but never have we heard of trials and tribulations so harrowing as those of SLG Publishing. The San Jose, California-based publisher of such eccentric titles as Ross Campbell's Shadoweyes, Roman Dirge's Lenore, Evan Dorkin's Milk & Cheese, Van Jensen and Dusty Higgins' Pinocchio: Vampire Hunter and Jhonen Vasquez's Johnny the Homicidal Maniac has weathered storms that would make even the filthiest of indie rock labels pack up and go home. Among them, mutant rodent infestation, apocalyptic plumbing and drunk driving collisions.
In a recent blog post, SLG's plucky President and Publisher Dan Vado took stock of his company's remarkable resilience, and you can read some highlights of his victories after the cut. Beware: some of these ordeals are so outrageous that they could have come right from the pages of SLG comics themselves!
A drunk driver plowed through our office in 2004, destroying everything ( I mean EVERYTHING) in her path.
The only good thing about this incident was that it happened when it did (around 2:00 AM). Had it happened during the day, at least a couple of people would have been seriously injured or killed. The woman, who had just gotten her license back after having it suspended for drunk driving, had her own car keys taken from her at whatever club she was at by her friends who knew she was too drunk to drive. Her answer to this was to take someone elses keys and car.
What we discovered when we moved into our building is that the varmints infesting our place were of a legendary size and stature and considered US the inconvenience to be dealt with. Our building had stood vacant for so long before we moved in that these hell-creatures had set themselves up a nice little habitat just below the surface of our walls and floors.
With a combination of traps, poisons and just plain old luck we battled these beasts until we curbed the invasion. The low point was when a rat got stuck in our insulation in a place that was hard to access and died, rotting and raining rat parts down on us.
The first major crisis was noticing some younger people going into the restroom two or three at a time (the space is small and only one toilet). There was also the floor pee incident of 2010 and the foreign object incident of 2011 which had erstwhile SLG employee Bryan Dobrow driving all over town in search of a proper plunger.
One fine spring day a group of subterranean termites hatched, took wing and took flight in our building. I repeat, IN our building. Coming from every crack and crevice in the walls flying termites buzzed our heads inside the office for what seemed like forever but really was only like 20 minutes.
THE BEES NOT THE BEES
Unknown to us a bee hive had taken root in the walls of the adjoining building, where it flourished and grew unchecked for what a bee professional estimated was a good 5-7 years. Apparently once a hive reaches critical mass a second and a third queen will arise and split off to found her own empire somewhere else close by. A colony of an estimated 20,000 bees took hold in our attic, which we didn't notice until a random bee or two would drop down into the office out of one of the light fixtures.
The honey they pulled out of the building next door was a black tar looking substance that scarcely resembled any honey I have ever seen. The estimate was that there were hundreds of pounds of rotting honey in the walls of the building next door.
Kudos to Dan Vado and the whole SLG crew on their continued survival of threats both animal and human. Let's hope for a new year filled with more cool comics and minimal urine.
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