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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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11 Comments:

Blogger Stephen said...

Well I for one hope you find the time/energy/money/best approach to begin blogging regularly again. I enjoyed your blog when it was being updated regularly & I'd be happy to read again.

17 May, 2007 16:02  
Blogger ADD said...

Thanks, Stephen. Much appreciated! Browsing your blog now, looks like some great stuff. And lots of it. :-)

17 May, 2007 16:28  
Blogger Johnny B said...

Personally, I think things started going downhill when Johnny Bacardi stopped writing for CBG...

Aw, I kid. Kinda.

I had been wondering where you'd been and what you'd been up to, and believe me, I certainly understand the whole "write all day, don't wanna write all night" part. Of course, I do graphics all day, so I guess you can substitute "sit in front of a computer all day" in that spot for me. Anyway, all I can say is that your input has been missed, and we'll all still be interested in it, whenever you choose to put it out there.

17 May, 2007 18:19  
Blogger Eric Reynolds said...

You are missed, Alan!

17 May, 2007 18:24  
Blogger the Isotope Communique said...

Alan,

Thanks for so many years of great comics blogging. I've always enjoyed what you've done for the comics industry with your investment of time, creativity, and passion... even those times when you were dropping bombs on *my* head!

I wish you the best and will definitely be here to read your words when you decide it's time to share them regularly again.

Also, I have to say I can empathize with the feeling that "the good fight" is over and that we actually won! Comics is a different world than it was just a few years ago, and I for one, couldn't be happier. To you, and everyone else who moved the industry forward over the last five years, I'm hoisting my scotch glass high.

Cheers.

James Sime
http://isotopecomics.com

17 May, 2007 18:27  
Blogger Álvaro Pons said...

You inspired my blog La Cárcel de Papel (http://www.lacarceldepapel.com), the first comics related blog in Spain, opened for almost five years. Now in Spain we have over 400 blogs and a lot of them have taken my web like inspiration. So you have also part of the evolution which it has happened in Spain... :)
Thanks again for all your work.

18 May, 2007 02:58  
Blogger ADD said...

Thanks, everyone. It's more than a little inspiring to check and see so many positive comments. I really appreciate it and hope to get things moving soon.

18 May, 2007 09:01  
Blogger josue said...

Alan,
I have personally enjoyed your writing over the years. I do understand that loss of vigor with the comics industry. We are all looking for something to rekindle the magic. I hope you continue to write or create some other new project. I am grateful to you for appreciating my work. You have been very supportive and encouraging. I will always be grateful for that.
Josue Menjivar
www.freshbrewedillustration.com

18 May, 2007 10:07  
Blogger CHunter said...

Alan,

Working with you on CBG was such a great time in my life. I feel really bad that my schedule changed so much that I was no longer able to help you with it any longer.

CBG opened eyes, slapped faces, and slit throats with the infamous "Arctic Shit Knife". I'm really looking forward to what it will become when all of the dust settles.

Chris Hunter

18 May, 2007 12:03  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Whatever you end up doing, Alan, you know we'll follow it when/if it happens!

20 May, 2007 12:55  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Whatever you end up doing, Alan, you know we'll be following it!

Cheers.

20 May, 2007 12:56  

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