The Aztec's arts-and-entertainment section editor at the time, David Hasemyer, agrees that Straczynski made his life a whole lot easier.
"Like most people who wanted to get involved with The Daily Aztec, he just came and said he wanted to do stuff," Hasemyer says. "I can't remember what the first thing was, but he came back and he came back way ahead of the deadline. The piece, undoubtedly, was just so polished and funny. You said, about his professional career, how prolific he is, he was just the same way at The Daily Aztec."
In preparation for this week's feature on the writer's origin, Aztec managing editor Hutton Marshall and I spent half a day digging through the archives, looking for literary gems among Straczynski's numerous reviews, articles and columns. Here's how Straczynski described himself in one of his columns, "A View from the Rabbit Hole":
To start with, I am not a staff writer for The Daily Aztec. Neither am I a columnist. I am a foreign correspondent reporting from the Twilight Zone. I am known alternately as Joe., Mr. Straczynski, Mr. S., or upon occasion, "The Big S." To many, I am the biggest "S" on campus. To the government, I am 570-13-6119. To my out of state friends I am (714) 420-8093. To a majority of my instructors, I am a pain in the posterior.(Straczynski tells us that he wasn't really dumb enough to publish his Social Security number. There's a one digit difference.)
I am a writer, a playwright, a telescripter and registered gadfly. I have been known to walk up and down the hall of the Life Science Building, challenging psychology students to duels by striking them across the face with a live chicken. I am single and unattached. (Well, not unattached: just sort of put together sloppy.)
For your reading pleasure, here are a few scans of Straczynski's work from 1977-1978, reprinted with permission from the Aztec:
And one particularly brutal theater review:
And now a couple samples from Straczynski's Bierce-inspired "Modern Cynic's Dictionary" (we think he only go as far as "C"):