As a kid everything i ever read in comic books led me to believe that my mutant superpowers would start manifesting themselves sometime around the age of puberty. Personally I was hoping for either superstretchiness or force bolts of some kind. Puberty arrived in due course, but no superpowers, and I have reluctantly tossed my goal of becoming a superhero on the ash heap of my broken dreams. I do, however, have an archenemy.
His name is Edward Champion, or at least I assume it is. That's the name he blogs under. I've never met him. I don't know what he looks like, how old he is, or pretty much anything about him (or her?). Except that every few months he calls me an idiot on his website.
Idiot may not be his exact word. I'm not actually sure of his exact words, because I have a hard time reading his blog entries. I don't really look at them directly--I'm kind of hypersensitive to criticism, so I just side-glance at them, squinting, with my head at an angle to the monitor. I do know that in the past Edward Champion has called me a "chickenhead" and "the Uwe Boll of the book reviewing world." (Boll, the man responsible for House of the Dead and BloodRayne, is widely believed to be the worst director in the world, if not of all time.) Champion has also tossed out "preposterous," "irrelevant" and "malarkey." The first time I noticed Ed criticizing my writing I e-mailed him a response. His answer was so sarcastic it practically damaged my retinas.
I want to be clear: I don't think Ed Champion is an idiot. I've read some of the other, non--Lev Grossman-related posts on his blog (which is mostly about books), and have found them to be highly opinionated but otherwise cogent and well-informed, and sometimes even charming. Ed Champion is not insane. He's just unswervingly committed to the position that I am a complete tool.
I know, I know, I should toughen up. Blogging is a knockabout sport, and as a writer I'm fair game. You'd think I could just ignore Ed Champion (you can find him at edrants.com yeah, go ahead, don't all click at once), and most of the time I do. But it's harder than you'd think. Blogs reach a big audience. People read him. People link to him. Google frickin' loves Ed. Not long ago I set up a website of my own, and despite the fact that it's my website, and it deals with nothing but Lev Grossman, and it's located at levgrossman.com Ed's website still comes up ahead of mine half the time. Somebody once asked me if I had killed Ed Champion's puppy, or what? (Yes, Ed, I did kill your puppy. With my mutant force bolts!)