"You're only as healthy as you feel," Nick Spencer told The Outhouse. "And Riverdale feels like a cancer."
I met Spencer outside Hillary Clinton's former campaign office in Cincinnati, Ohio, despite Clinton's campaign being over for almost two years. I later found out Spencer had been squatting in the building as well. He did have an affinity for the former pizza shop; it had at one time been the headquarters for both his failed Cincinnati City Council runs.
I asked Spencer why he feels that way about Riverdale.
He took a long drag on a cigarette before saying, "I think someone should just take this city and just... just flush it down the fuckin' toilet."
I wasn't sure what Spencer was getting at.
He sighed. "All my life needed was a sense of someplace to go. I don't believe that one should devote his life to morbid self-attention, I believe that one should become a person like other people."
I replied, "Maybe I'm starting to get it. Riverdale was the place for you to go to."
Spencer put out his cigarette and stared at the cars driving by. He told me he had taken up driving a cab in Riverdale to familiarize himself with the city. I mentioned that services like Uber and Lyft exist and it would probably work better with his writing schedule as he could make his own hours.
Suddenly, he snapped. "Hey, I'm not square, you're the one that's square. You're full of shit, man. What are you talking about? You walk out with those fuckin' creeps and low-lifes and degenerates out on the streets and you sell your little pussy for peanuts? For some low-life pimp who stands in the hall? And I'm square? You're the one that's square, man. I don't go screwing fuck with a bunch of killers and junkies like you do. You call that bein' hip? What world are you from?"
I told him I wouldn't take this kind of insult, so I was going to call a cab to take me back to the airport. His mood instantly changed and he offered to give me a ride. It beat me waiting for another cab to come by.
Arriving at the airport, I went to pay my fare, but Spencer just smiled at me and turned off the meter. As he drove off, I watched him looking into the rear-view mirror.
Archie #700 is set to release in November, written by Spencer, with art by Marguerite Sauvage.