Thursday, May 17, 2007
Where I'm At -- It's been nearly two years since the ill-fated launch of "The New Comic Book Galaxy," and while my posting here has been pretty limited the past few months, the site is never far from my mind. Other than my kids, it's probably the most rewarding thing I've ever been involved in, and if anyone is even still reading this, believe me, I really regret that the site has not managed to regain any momentum in calendar year 2007.
This came to mind this morning for a couple of reasons...firstly, I realized that the site's seventh anniversary is this September, and it hit me how unexciting that prospect is to me, and likely anyone else, because of the slow petering out of the vitality that once resided here. Second, one of the columns slated for "The New CBG" back in '05 was a series of pieces on the now-defunct but much-missed Albany, NY comics shop/indy publisher FantaCo. Former FantaCo employee Roger Green was to have written the columns for the new version of this site, but that never came to pass for one reason or another. He mentions that in passing in this terrific remembrance of the Counterfeit Cerebus incident at FantaCo (and other shops) in the 1980s. I was really looking forward to Roger's FantaCo columns, and even though they never materialized, I still read his blog daily and love his personal, intimate writing.
But it never quite made it to Comic Book Galaxy, and soon after "The New CBG" launched, things started going wrong and a lot of momentum was lost. I don't know if I could have somehow prevented it, if so, I apologize. As I say, I feel the absence of a vital, alive Comic Book Galaxy as much as anyone.
For months I have told myself I will somehow get it back together, the magical combination of inspiration, vision, passion, fascination and free time. Oh, and, money. That's always an issue, isn't it?
My passion for comics is as strong as ever, I promise you. But everything else has been lacking, and to be totally honest, I can't see any light at the end of this particular tunnel. A number of factors suggest themselves as contributing causes.
* I write all day for money. This is a big part of the inertia that has settled in. I just don't feel like writing about anything by the time I get home in the evening, and even if I did, the kids expect dinner and help with their homework and sudddenly it's 9 PM and damn, yawn, tomorrow's another day.
* The sense of urgency I felt when CBG was created in 2000 has diminished. This is actually quite a good thing, in my opinion. Back in the days when Marvel and DC could still be called "mainstream comics" without sneer quotes around the term, artcomix -- you know, the good, worthwhile comics published by folks like Fantagraphics, Drawn and Quarterly, Top Shelf, Pantheon, First Second, etc. -- needed help. I'd like to think Comic Book Galaxy was at least in some small way a participant in the total revolution that has occurred in the comics artform in the past few years. I don't know that we need to push as hard as we used to, I think the tipping point has passed, maybe around the time Time named Fun Home the book of the year, correctly. But seriously, it seems like a lot of the work I thought we were doing has come to fruition, all to the betterment of good comics.
That all said, man, I miss being "Alan David Doane: Comics Blogger." If you loved or hated this blog in its heyday, there's no denying it was a blast to write, and I appreciate every reader who read what I had to say, especially those who found actual value in my opinions from time to time. Believe it or not, I still have opinions, and I still want to share them with anyone who wants to know what I think, but after all of the above, I really am left kind of scratching my head wondering how to recreate this blog so that it still in any way matters in a world where Dirk, Tom, Johanna and a select few others really have good blog writing about comics kind of all sewn up. And I don't bother to read the shitty or otherwise aggravating blogs anymore, because really, I'm 41 years old and who has the time to spare for that sort of obnoxiousness?
When I started this blog post, I thought maybe I would come to some sort of conclusion about the fate of Comic Book Galaxy. I haven't, really, but it's been kind of a relief to share with you -- whoever you may be -- what has been going on and where I am at, vis a vis comics and this website. The one thing that I have learned while talking to you (myself, really, but you know what I mean) is that a new approach is called for. None of the old methods seem to be working for me anymore. I miss having a dialogue with comics readers, and more importantly I miss having a dialogue with comics. So I can promise you that I am thinking about how to renew that public love affair, but, I'm not promising dinner and a movie, not just yet.
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