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Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Jam Another Dragon Down the Hole -- When I was overseeing Comic Book Galaxy, at times we had as many as two dozen or more contributors, mostly reviewers. Over time, probably 100 or more writers came and went, some lasting years, some lasting less than a day. Every single one showed promise, though, which was why they were invited to join the site.

Many of those writers have gone on to either start their own sites or write columns for other sites, and of those, quite a few have made me very, very proud to have been a part of their development as writers. One of these days I want to write a "Galaxy Diaspora" entry here, but I don't really have the time to do it now. But I want to thank Mick Martin for his comments about his days writing for Comic Book Galaxy.

I vividly remember the incident he mentions -- it came at a time when we had many reviewers, and they were all lined up ready to review the latest issue of The Defenders while better, worthier titles went neglected.

There are sites that excel at giving you cookie-cutter reviews of the same goddamned, ass-felching sooperhero books every month, and I wanted something better for our site. I was definitely pushing the limits of civility and friendship in asking those guys to eschew Marvel and DC in order to see what would happen, and many reviewers were unhappy about it. One or two may even have left, now that I think about it.

But Mick's reflection on that time and on the effect it had on him is extraordinarily gratifying to me. Because it had exactly the impact I was hoping before, and because he's willing to say so out loud.

Coming a day after I quoted Chris Butcher saying "There are too many mediocre fucking comic books and you really need to stop buying them," it's very good, indeed, to see that some people recognize that fact, even if it took me being an unfair bastard to bring that about.

Yesterday I read someone online saying that they weren't going to buy some Marvel series after the end of the current arc, presumably because they don't enjoy the book anymore. Well, why the hell would you continue to pay for a series you don't like until the current arc ends? If you don't love it, stop buying it. Give up your addiction to wasting cash on garbage, you only encourage them to produce more that way. Find a reviewer you trust, and give some of the titles they recommend a shot, using the money you otherwise would have spent on whatever crap book you're buying that you really don't like anymore. If it turns out you like that new title, keep buying it.

And just like that, comics get better. For you. And really, you're the one that counts.


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