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Thursday, March 11, 2004

Anemic Thursday Blogging -- Ah, I got nuthin'. The comics arrived late at the shop I go to yesterday, so I wasn't able to pick up (and therefore cannot comment on) Cerebus #300, the new Promethea, or any of the other interesting things that happened this week. I already read a complete preview of Street Angel #1, but I was looking forward to holding the real thing in my hand. Hopefully I'll get to the comics later today.

I feel compelled both to point out that Chris Allen has posted a new Breakdowns and to correct his estimates of the readership of the comics blogosphere. In his interesting opening paragraph on comics blogs, Chris says "Even the most popular blogs only receive about 2,000 unique visitors a week." Unless he meant "unpopular," that's way off. I know Journalista! was getting way, way more visitors than that, and since I posted my Five Questions for Alan Moore, this site has more than doubled its previous daily average -- which even pre-Moore was a bit more than Chris's estimates.

Most importantly, though, is the fact that the people who frequent comics blogs seem, from my admittedly anecdotal experience, to be an informed and influential group of people including comics creators, editors and publishers, retailers and readers of discernment. A quick slog through the nightmarish message boards that pollute some of the old-paradigm comics news sites shows that intelligent discussion there is mostly dead, buried under mountains of angry screeds and under-informed opinionating.

Not that there isn't hope for the once-major sites. The first step -- and at least one comics-related site has ignored my private advice to their later-admitted peril -- is to not provide message boards directly under the content of the news and columns you present. Nothing says "amateur" quite louder than the appearance that you're just the first idiot to begin posting in a message board thread, which is what the end effect is for such columnists who continue to waste whatever talent they have on sites that perpetuate this egregious format. This is likely why Comic Book Resources continues to enjoy a better reputation than, say, The Pulse or Newsarama even though their glory days of being a must-read site every day are long gone. At least the good columns they retain aren't polluted by mindless bullshit immediately underneath that overshadows the content of the column itself.


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