Congratulations to my friend and editor Charlie Kochman, whose promotion to Editorial Director of the Abrams ComicArts imprint was just announced!* It's well deserved, and I know it reflects the respect that his colleagues and bosses have for the work he's done developing Abrams' line of comics and pop culture books into both critical and commercial successes.
As my collaborator on both my books, Editor Charlie has been a regular presence in this blog. I've said that before I got published I had no idea people as talented and decent as Charlie existed in the book business. He really is a friend, and yes I'm just saying nice things partly in hopes he'll still take my calls, but it's also from the heart. I was honored to attend his wedding to the Lovely Rachel, and even more honored that he asked me to do art for his wedding announcement and invitation. Heck, I was even honored he let me spend an extra night on his couch when I got snowed into New York last February. I'm easily honored.
I've worked with a lot of editors in my various journalism/science writing/comics careers, and a key quality that puts Charlie at the top of the list is that he makes my stuff better without leaving fingerprints. Good editing is like good special effects in a movie: when it's done right, you don't even notice it. In my experience that's rare. If I get to do more books, and Charlie gets to edit all of them, that would be pretty much a perfect career as far as I'm concerned. Congratulations to him!
Charlie in the jaws of a giant prairie dog.
That's how much I respect him.
* I don't know why the article I linked to at "The Beat" opens with an enormous enlargement of Charlie's office door (a blow-up of the photo at the top of this post).** However, allow me to point out that you can see a picture of me at center left. So it's all good.