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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Should It Be A Fourth Anniversary? -- Former Galaxy writer Marc Mason has sent in his thoughts on our fourth anniversary. They'd have gone up earlier today, but I didn't realize he had sent this piece days ago and I missed it in my e-mail. Sorry, Marc!

AhhhhÖ four years. Thatís a pretty long time when it comes to comics-related websites.

I first joined the Galaxy family of lunatics in late 2000. Alan had put out a call for reviewers on the old Brian Bendis message board, and I responded. Why not? I had written for a couple of regional APAs back in the '80s, enjoyed a couple of brief returns to being a pop culture journalist in the meantime, and I spent way too damned much money on comics. It felt like writing about them and getting some shit off my chest was a good idea. Fortunately, ADD agreed.

Those were fun times. I started writing, and more importantly, I started making friendships and relationships that would become important to me as time would pass on. Alan. Chris Allen. Chris Ryall. Rob Vollmar. Smart folks who genuinely cared about not only comics, but each other.

Eventually, I got the urge to get back to covering pop culture again, and I pitched Alan on the idea of a column that would cover pop and how it related to comics. It was called ďThe Aisle Seat,Ē and I was immensely proud of it. DVDs, film, televisionÖ if it landed in the area of comics or geek culture, it was mine, and it was a gas. I will never forget the Galaxyís hit counter exploding the week I talked about the television show Angel; a massive fansite for Joss Whedon fanatics linked to it, and every single one of them must have read the column. We were on a high.

Like most families, however, the Galaxy wasnít without its dysfunctionality. That incarnation of the Galaxy ended, and its writers moved on to other things. My relationship with Alan faltered for a while, too, but fortunately it righted itself. Folks, let me tell you something about Alan David Doane:

He can come across online as the biggest pain in the ass that God ever put on this Earth. There is no doubt about that. Not one. But he loves comics. LOVES them. More than you, more than me. Iíd bet money on it. Alan believes in comics as a medium with a lot more passion than you or I, either. He believes that comics can be transcendent things, and who am I to argue with that? But as a side effect of that, he takes bad comics personally. Bad comics take an enormous shit on Alanís passions, and in Alanís world, your passion should never, ever, need toilet paper. Itís that simple.

So you shake your head and shrug your shoulders. ďThatís Alan.Ē If you understand him, you just let it go. It might even bug the Hell out of you, yourself, but you let it go. Michael Jordan once described his good friend Charles Barkley as ďa little brother that you occasionally want to smack in the back of the head.Ē I canít think of a better way to describe my brother-in-arms Mr. Doane. But to deny him who he is? To say that he hates comics, that heís an elitist snob, or ignore his writing because of how you feel about his online persona? Thatís just a stupid idea. But youíll see it happen. Someone will take up a torch and ignite a flame war with him, thinking they will be the one to finally break him, and I feel sorry for them. Alan is Rorschach, you see, and there will be absolutely no surrendering or compromising, and fuck you for even thinking it.

I went back and worked at Galaxy 2.0, running the blog. It didnít require much of a time commitment, and that version was pretty low-key, period. That faded, and I entered into some other ventures with ADD as well that have proven fruitful. And now Galaxy 3.0 is up and running and doing quite well. Alan has generously offered me a standing invite to contribute, and I hope to take him up on that, somewhere in between writing my Movie Poop Shoot column, my comics blog, my personal website, the sitcom script Iím working on completing, and the novel Iím hoping to pitch this fall. I just have to find the time.

Wait! I just did. Happy Birthday, Galaxy, and Happy Birthday, Alan. I hope to see you turn ten!

I think being called the Rorschach of online comics writing is a compliment, so, thanks again, Marc!


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