Heroes Con 2013 is only 14 days away! Table listings just went up and it looks like the 1000 block in Indie Island is going to be the place to visit!
Kelly Williams and I will be at Table 1008 selling comics, prints and souls. Kelly’s also doing sketches and if you haven’t seen his original art before, check out this selection I pulled in a post last year.
Several of our comics cohorts are in the same block. Come visit all of us if you’re at the show!
From 2011 until the beginning of 2012 I wrote about comic books and comics culture for CNN. In recent months, that experience and others have led me to decide to transition into more freelance writing. What professional advice sites like Writer’s Digest and Freelance Switch tell you to do in my situation is build your own blogging portfolio so you can potentially guest blog or “pitch queries” at paying sites in your wheelhouse. Comics Alliance was at the top of my list of sites I was aiming for. Now it’s gone.
Many people decry the state of journalism about comics. Common complaints include the following:
Sites fish for hits with sensationalist, misleading headlines
Sites paste text from corporate press releases and call it “news.” Previews are the same thing, an alternative form of advertising.
Writers post gossip trawling for hits, without verifying its accuracy.
No one can agree what “geek culture” is or if it even exists at all. But some sites purposefully mislabel content with that phrase to build their traffic.
Typing a summary of a convention panel isn’t investigative. It’s simply distributing free public relations for the presenters.
Pieces reviewing comics spend too much time focusing on context and story and not enough on the art and craft.
Sites cite tweets as evidence of news.
I’m sure there’s probably many more to list but you get the point. The interesting thing is that most of these complaints are also applicable to general, mainstream news media. It’s not just comics journalism that has these flaws. It’s inherent to our consumption culture as a whole right now. I don’t usually follow cable news, but I was in Massachusetts visiting family when the marathon bombing happened. Every channel we watched committed several of these transgressions, and acted like they were par for the course.
While they may have occasionally strayed into the above territory to pay the bills, I thought Comics Alliance did better than other major comics news sites at being investigative, insightful and sincere. Heidi MacDonald’s great analytical pieces on The Beat were their only competition when it came to critical thinking about the industry. Otherwise, Comics Alliance set the bar for the kind of non-fiction pop culture writer I want to be. Take David Brothers’ thoughtful diatribe about Sullivan’s Sluggers. Or Andy Khouri’s analysis of the fiasco between Apple, Comixology and Saga. Or pretty much anything Laura Hudson wrote while she was still editor there. While other sites chomped at the bit to be the first to post sensational comics “news,” Comics Alliance took their time to dot their i’s and cross their t’s before leaping into the fray.
Tim Hodler at The Comics Journal said this morning that Comics Alliance was:
… very important to a certain kind of comics fan, still emotionally attached to the popular superhero properties of their adolescence, but beginning to question some of DC and Marvel’s corporate decisions — the type of people who would invoke (and celebrate) the idea of “geek culture” in earnest. That’s not my bag but it was a lot of other people’s, so it’s a shame to see it end so abruptly and unceremoniously.
That’s a bit of a backhanded compliment. But let’s pretend Hodler’s right about one thing… if Comics Alliance caused its readers to question the decisions of any media corporation, that’s significant. In the “circuit of culture,” journalists can cover the representation, identity, production, consumption and regulation of comics. While many of their competitors are satisfied with only one or two of those categories, Comics Alliance ran the gamut, giving us a broader spectrum of understanding for the entire medium.
For that I’m thankful and continue to be inspired to write better.
Poll: Which lettering size do you like better for THE CABINET?
On the left is 7pt Brian Bolland. On the right is 6pt.
Trying to design lettering for both print and digital reading.
Colleen Coover: For Your Consideration: BANDETTE -
As you may have already heard, Bandette has been nominated for four Eisners this year! The voting is now open to comics industry professionals. If you are eligible, your support would be appreciated. There is a deep pool of brilliant comics in the running this year, and people are…
In 1967, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston marathon. After realizing that a woman was running, race organizer Jock Semple went after Switzer shouting, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers.” However, Switzer’s boyfriend and other male runners provided a protective shield during the entire marathon.The photographs taken of the incident made world headlines, and Kathrine later won the NYC marathon with a time of 3:07:29. [Wiki]
Awesome women in history.