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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday Stuff -- Mother's Day is here again, my annual reminder that I didn't really plan my wedding anniversary (in less than two weeks) with any kind of budget or common sense in mind.

My mom's been gone for well over a decade now, but I still think of her often; there are people I've worked with who I know I have completely forgotten ever existed, but I must think about my mother every couple of days. I always wish I could ask for her advice on whatever the decision of the moment is, and I wish she could have spent time with my kids. She only lived long enough to see my daughter when she was a baby, and that doesn't seem fair, but of course, fairness is a fairy tale.

I'm taking my wife and kids out for Mother's Day brunch at a wonderful place up in Lake George, which we stumbled into last Mother's Day when my initial plans fell through at the last minute. This time we have reservations and everything. What could go wrong?

We saw Iron Man yesterday. It is as awesome and well-done as everyone keeps telling you. If you haven't seen it, please do. And remember to check out my list of recommended Iron Man graphic novels at iTaggit.

Chris Butcher, one of the internet's most indispensable comics resources, has given quite a gift today to anyone who runs a comics-related website or is thinking about it. Read his thoughts on what he would do if he started up a new comic book website. There's an implied and well-deserved criticism of existing, popular sites and good, strong hints for those willing to see the big picture. I would love it if Chris actually did what he's talking about, but I'd settle for all the rest of us taking the hint and getting our collective shit together.

Certainly I've gotten a sense of what he's talking about since I started blogging about comics for iTaggit. They're paying to have me on their site as an "expert blogger," and while that money isn't going to cover my rent or pay for college for my kids, it will make my monthly budgeting easier and maybe help make my summer a little more fun. Actually getting paid for what you're doing by definition makes you take it more seriously, and most of the popular "comics news sites" don't pay much, or anything to their contributors. Which is why I would have a very hard time thinking of more than three or four columnists/writers for those sites that I pay any attention to at all. The people I rely on for the very best comics writing online do it by themselves on their own sites (or with one or two people occasionally chipping in, probably for reasons other than money), and it's unfortunate that they aren't better rewarded for their work. Because as Butcher points out, if they were, there would be a hell of a lot more of it for us all to enjoy and learn from.


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