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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

 
Packin' Up and Movin' Out -- This post was originally much longer, but I pushed the wrong key and three wonderfully written, melancholic paragraphs on the subject of moving and the unexpected emotions associated with packing up my graphic novels and related ephemera went >POIT!<

So, one angry, profanity-laden outburst later, I have to tell you that this is probably the last update to Comic Book Galaxy until we get moved into our new home, with no update likely until at least Tuesday, October 5th.

The good news is that I'll still be able to write during that time, so hopefully I'll get some reviews done -- and Chris Allen tells me he has some reviews he's polishing up, too, so when we see each other again, there should be some good, comicky goodness for you to pore over.

Ironically, or at least coincidentally, Chris, too, is moving this weekend. So I do ask that you wish him, and me, all the luck you can in whatever method is traditional for you. Prayer, meditiation, cast a sigil -- whatever works for you will all go toward helping the universe understand the need for a pleasant and uneventful move for your friends here at Comic Book Galaxy.

Quite seriously, we'll miss you terribly -- this is about all the fun we have in life, so please stop back early next week and hopefully we'll have everything sorted out. Until then, be well and enjoy yourselves.

Monday, September 27, 2004

 
The Monday Briefing -- My review of Following Cerebus #1 and Joe Rybandt's latest installment of Lifespan: Comics are both up -- check out the Most Recent Updates section of the main page for the links.

This past weekend was somewhat downbeat, knowing as I did that it was my family's last weekend in our home of nine or so years. Even though I know our new home will be bigger and better, it still feels strange to watch the final moments of this place tick away. Among other things, Comic Book Galaxy was conceived here, just for starters. It feels so weird to know we're leaving it behind, and at a time of year -- autumn -- when so much of my life historically has been about change, this is just another one of those melancholy changes.

The next Five Questions for Newsarama.com is in the can, HTML coded, images and all shipped off to Matt Brady for posting on the next scheduled date, Friday, October 8th. Due to e-mail oddness, it's not going to be with the creator I originally thought, although that one will still get done (it's in his hands now) and likely be posted two weeks after the October 8th one. That one, the October 8th edition, should be popular with the readers, given that it's a frank discussion with one of the most popular and controversial people creating superhero comics today. So mark your calendars. And again, wish us luck as we pack up and move this week. We need all the luck we can get right about now.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

 
McElhatton on American Elf -- Greg's review of one of the year's best graphic novels includes this noteworthy point:

Kochalka's American Elf really does show the continuing evolution of its creator, both as an artist and as a person. It's absorbing from start to finish; I can't imagine anyone not loving Kochalka's comics.


Absolutely true. I assume by now that everyone reading the CBG Blog has discovered how good Kochalka's stuff is. If for some reason you're still behind the curve, get over to the Top Shelf website and order American Elf, the massive five-year collection of Kochalka's daily diary strips.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

 
Why Bother? (UPDATED!) One of my favourite thinkers about issues pertaining to the comics industry and artform is Christopher Butcher. When he gets going, man, he can really rock the room. Here, he gets to the heart of my more-than-occasional despair and doubt over this entire comics internet endeavour. My thoughts on the subject are tenth down in the accompanying comments thread. Also well worthy of attention is Ed Cunard's response to Butcher.

UPDATE: Much more from Christopher Butcher here and again, check the comments section attached to that post to read more of my thoughts. I love getting into a dialogue with smart people on issues I actually care about.

I'd love to post a brief list of the blogs, sites and columns that I think are worth checking out, but in my self-loathing, I try to read just about everything. I will point you to my recommendations, but there's probably a blog, site or column or three missing, as my list is subject to change, and it seems great new blogs pop up almost every week. Which is as good a time as every to say that if you would like to be linked from here, or if you have a link to Comic Book Galaxy on your site and would like me to consider reciprocating, drop me an e-mail and I will mull it over when I get a chance.

 
Ghosts -- You live anywhere long enough, and it feels like home. When we first moved into our current apartment, our daughter was 2 years old and our son was as yet unborn. Now she's 11 and he's about to turn 9 and we're moving in less than a week; this is the only home they've ever known.

I've gone through three jobs in this apartment, while my wife kept plugging away at the one she does, and very well at that. We've gone through two kittens (neither worked out, and were gifted to better homes), three fish (whoa, none of those worked out either, much less happy endings), and it suddenly occurs to me I'm not even sure how many cars. Six, maybe, counting the two radio station vans that I was lucky enough to be allowed to drive 24/7 by one particularly generous (when it came to vans) radio station owner.

So now we're leaving. This is my last Friday night and Saturday morning in this building. We move Thursday, into a house instead of an apartment, and my kids will finally have the yard my wife's dreamed of, and she'll have the place she's been dreaming of decorating for as long as she's been watching those home improvement shows on TLC. It should be an interesting time.

I know we're going to be without cable (and therefore with cable modem) for at least a few days, so expect a little bit of radio silence at Comic Book Galaxy between September 29th and October 4th or 5th or thereabouts. And please wish us luck as we pack up our books and our dishes and our DVDs and our kids and our lives and move into a new phase.

Did I mention that I really hate moving? Please do wish us luck.

Friday, September 24, 2004

 
The New 5Q -- Up now at Newsarama.com is my new Five Questions for Jason Marcy, whose new autobiographical Rise and Fall of the Pasta Shop Lothario is solicited in the new Previews. Read the interview, read my review, tell your retailer you want it now! Well, in December.

And thanks as always to Matt Brady for hosting the 5Q at Newsarama and for using my new-and-improved (I think?) 5Q logo.

Go, click something!

Labels:


 
The Hate-Monger -- Just in case anyone thinks John Byrne's racist rantings about Jessica Alba are anything new, The V has resurrected some classic Byrne quotes demonstrating that he's been fueled by hate for a lonnnnng time. It's really hard to see how anyone can justify supporting this thug's work at this point, with his vile hatemongering out there for the world to see. Honestly, if I were Paul Levitz, by now I'd seriously be looking through Byrne's contracts to see how to get this fart out of my church...

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

 
The Week in Comics -- Been a while since I've run down my list of comics I'm getting this week...but here it is:

COMING WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 22nd


DC COMICS

SLEEPER SEASON TWO #4 (Of 12) $2.95 -- Seems like the Comics Internet is awfully quiet about this second volume; in my opinion, it was a mistake to begin again with a new "season," as the series was rolling along nicely and anecdotally seemed to be reaching readers through the trade collections...online comments seem to indicate that the creators are already planning for their post-Sleeper projects, and that's a shame, because it kind of paints this as a lame duck. I've been enjoying it as much as ever, but I'll tell you, if the market can't support a monthly title as good and readable and exciting and entertaining and unpredictable as Sleeper, what will it support, short of crap like Hush and Transformers? Maybe the monthly is already dead, for people who enjoy good comics?

AMERICA'S BEST COMICS

TOM STRONG #28 $2.95 -- Not by Alan Moore. I am a fanboy completist, apparently. In other Moore news, I am currently re-reading Voice of the Fire, and Jesus, it is just about the best thing Moore's ever written. I took my time with the first chapter, which is written in a seemingly difficult-to-parse approximation of 6000-year-old English, and you know, it's really not hard to read, it just takes a bit of immersion and concentration, sort of like Shuck, if you've read that. But yeah, if you love Moore, read Voice of the Fire, and if you don't love Moore, why, seriously, are you here?

IMAGE

SMALL GODS #3 $2.95 -- Diverting entertainment so far, surprisingly good, but I'm not yet sold on its long-term potential.

MARVEL

ASTONISHING X-MEN #5 $2.99 -- Can you believe he's back? I wasn't reading any X-titles at the time he died, and he's still alive in most of the X-comics I ever bother to read (the Claremont/Byrne stuff still holds up for my inner teenager), so his SHOCKING RETURN didn't really shock me, but, anyway, yeah, Astonishing X-Men is pretty swell, other than District X, the only X-comic currently at all worth reading. Lucky for all those X-Fans that I'm not Paul O'Brien...


DIAMOND

PREVIEWS VOL XIV #10 (Net) $4.50 -- Yeah, I only get it to see if I'm quoted in any of the ads.

IDW

REMAINS #5 (MR) $3.99 -- My other favourite zombie comic, after Walking Dead. Not quite as complex, but the art's very nice and the story's entertaining, if slight. Probably read better in the trade. Fucking floppies.

Monday, September 20, 2004

 
New Jay's Days! -- One of my favourite autobiographical cartoonists is Jason Marcy, who you may remember as a graduate of the Comic Book Galaxy School of Being On The Comics Internet. He sends the following note:

Just a note that in the new PREVIEWS that ships this Wednesday, September 22nd, you'll find the solicitation for my latest opus, JAY'S DAYS 3: RISE AND FALL OF THE PASTA SHOP LOTHARIO!! It's a 140 plus page trade, retailing around $10.95 U.S. You'll find it under LANDWASTER BOOKS in the Indie comic section!! Please help a fellow out and order up one, and/or get your retailer to order for his/her shop!!


Look for my review of Jay's Days 3 this week.

 
The Graphic Novel Review -- I've been curious to see how The Graphic Novel Review would cover the artform...and damn if out of the gate they don't feature Milo George interviewing Eddie Campbell. SCORE!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

 
Oh, That Alan Moore Interview -- For some time I've received e-mails from readers wondering where the text of my Five Questions for Alan Moore went to, since all the other 5Q interviews are linked from Comic Book Galaxy's interviews page. Now I can tell you that the text version of the interview will appear later this year in Avatar Press's trade paperback collection of Alan Moore's Yuggoth Cultures mini-series.

I'm thrilled that the interview will be part of the collection, because this means it will be read by even more Moore readers than those who read it when it originally appeared on my ADD Blog. And I'm also thrilled because the Yuggoth TPB includes one of my favourite Moore stories, "I Keep Coming Back," with artist Oscar Zarate, in addition, of course, to a number of other Moore stories. In addition, the 192-page book will include 50 pages (!) of material not in the series itself.

But I have to be honest and say that the idea of my 5,000 word interview with Moore finally being in print is about the most exciting news of my year. Here's what a couple of noted bloggers had to say about the interview:

Jessa Crispin, on March 08, 2004:


Alan Moore's Voice of the Fire has been released, and he discusses the book with Alan David Doane. It's one of the better interviews I've read with him, if only because Doane actually lets him talk. If the Internet has been good for literature at all, it's been the space allowed interviews with writers. It's also very refreshing to read an interview with Moore that doesn't use up three or four paragraphs explaining just how weird he looks and that whole snake worshipping thing. So thank you for that.


Sean Collins on March 4th, 2004:


Alan David Doane continues his string of amazing gets with a 5,000-word interview with Mr. Alan Moore. It occurs to me that I don't think I've ever read an interview with the writer before, but this one's a great place to start. Moore talks about his new prose novel Voice of the Fire, the legal machinations surrounding his old superhero book Miracleman, the pros and cons of his influential work on Swamp Thing and Watchmen (including a tip of the hat to Frank Miller), and more. He comes off both intelligent and warm. Check it out.


The interview is probably one of the two or three most exciting comics-related bits of business I've ever been involved in, and I hope you'll pre-order the Yuggoth Cultures TPB so you can own a copy of it. The book is solicited in the new Previews coming out this Wednesday, September 22nd, so you have about a month to tell your retailer you want a copy.

 
When They Say Definitive They MEAN Definitive -- I haven't had a chance to dig in to it yet, but I've received and flipped through the new Definitive Dreadstar collection from Dynamic Forces, and this is one of the best-looking comics hardcovers I've ever seen. If you're a fan of Jim Starlin's galaxy-spanning space saga, or if you are looking for a thick, beautiful graphic novel to immerse yourself in, you could do a LOT worse than pick it up at your local retailer. If they're already sold out, I'd bet you could order it directly from DF, too.

Friday, September 17, 2004

 
Happy Anniversary to Modern Myths! -- Tonight is the Second Anniversary party at Modern Myths in Northampton, Massachusetts. My family attended last year's party, and it was an absolute blast. Here's what you can expect tonight, stolen from Jim Crocker's Modern Myths blog:

I am very happy to announce that Friday, September 17th will mark Modern Myths' OFFICIAL SECOND ANNIVERSARY!

We've come a long, long way in that time, and to prove that we couldn't have done it without everyone reading this, we're having our second annual ANNIVERSARY PIZZA PARTY, starting at 7:00 PM at the store.

We'll have complimentary pizza, soda, birthday cake, and door prizes, and we're doing special stock-ups on graphic novels, games, and NEW DICE to make sure we're ready for everyone to check out the store. We'll be unveiling at least one new regular product line, and announcing a special program for the College and University clubs to give a little back to the community that has allowed us to prosper so much in such a short time.

Please pass the word along to anyone you think might be interested, whether they've visited us before or not, and feel free to post this announcement to other lists and Journals you may frequent.

We're really excited, really grateful, and really looking forward to this special night. Bring a friend, and bring an appetite.

Anyone who's within a couple hundred miles of Northampton should try to head to Modern Myths this evening. A great time is guaranteed, and come on, free pizza! Make sure you tell 'em Comic Book Galaxy sent you.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

 
Noted Beagle Saves Noted Publisher -- Great profile of Fantagraphics in the Seattle Weekly. The best part, to me, is that the newspaper isn't afraid to come right out and call Fantagraphics "the most widely respected comics publisher in America." The article is a terrific history of the company and its highs and lows, focusing on how The Complete Peanuts has turned things around financially, insuring even more great books from the publisher that brought you Ghost World, The Acme Novelty Library, Love and Rockets, and many of the other best comics published in the past couple of decades.

 
Kinda New Kids on the Blog -- Former Four Color Hell (remember that one?) comics blogger Todd Murry has a new blog and today is reviving his little-seen Blankets review. Give him a click and see what you think.

And while we're on the subject of established writers in new places, the gifted artcomix commentator Shawn Hoke has landed at Comic World News with his new column, Past the Front Racks.

Go forth and make with the clicky.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

 
Timely Reminder -- I see Neil Kleid's Ninety Candles is arriving in comics shops tomorrow. Read my review and be sure to ask for it at your shop.

 
The Journal Comic Returns! -- Well, sort of! Cartoonist Drew Weing used to post a daily strip called The Journal Comic, and after James Kochalka's American Elf, it was my favourite online comic. Weing is now collecting the strips with a slew of extras:


Yeah, after something like a year, I've finally gotten all of the Journal Comic strips together in one big book. Hopefully it should be out in time to debut at the Small Press Expo (October 1st,) but you can preorder a copy right now! "But wait a second," you ask. "Why should I buy this book when I've already read all the strips online and/or bought all of the minicomics?" Why, I'm glad you asked! Let me tell you about some of the...

BONUS FEATURES

30 New Strips - Not only does this book contain every strip that appeared online, there are over 30 "new" strips! These comics were painstakingly reconstructed from unfinished strips and rough sketches, and fill in some of the gaps between the original strips. And they're exclusive to this book! Okay, I'll show you one. But that's it.

Bonus Comics - Two full-page supplemental comics by myself, a comic "rebuttal" by my roommate Antar, and a 2-page bonus comic by my girlfriend Eleanor! These are good comics, not just nepotism, I swear.

Journal Comic Fully-Illustrated Tour Guide - Find your way around the exotic locales of the Journal Comic!

Supplemental Material - A gallery of the Journal Comic-related art, including the covers of the original minicomics.

$13 gets you the book, shipped anywhere in the continental U.S. If you live somewhere in the rest of the world, email me and we'll work it out.


Weing says the collection is 128 pages with black and white interiors and a full-colour cover. If you say the gorgeous illustration he did for the recent Comics Journal young cartoonists issue, you know Weing has a wonderful colour sense, and the cover of the new collection is absolutely divine. Pop on over to his website, check out the details, take in the art, and damn it, send the guy thirteen bucks.



 
Tuesday CBG Update -- Click over to the main page for my new review of Superman Adventures Volumes One and Two by Mark Millar and Friends, and read Jeet Heer's examination of McSweeney's Quarterly Concern #13, the hardcover comics anthology edited by Chris Ware.

Monday, September 13, 2004

 
11 Years Ago Today -- My wife and I had been up for 72 hours while she got through a long, long labour only to give birth to our daughter in the very early morning hours. Now she's just started middle school, and can get through a whole meal eating only with chopsticks. Amazing how time flies. Happy birthday, Kira.

Friday, September 10, 2004

 
Teen Titans Rape! -- Hey, while my 8-year-old was watching Teen Titans Go! on Cartoon Network this evening, I noted with discomfort that the villain was established anal rapist Dr. Light. But it looks like he didn't rape anybody in this episode. Whew! What a relief!

 
New Kochalka Interview -- Everybody's favourite superstar, James Kochalka, is featured in this new interview. The introduction is in Norwegian, but the interview is in English so scroll down to get to the part you can read.

 
Signed Absolute Danger Girl HC! -- Just added this listing to the fundraising sale page, courtesy of Earthworld Comics:

LOT #82: ABSOLUTE DANGER GIRL HC SIGNED BY J. SCOTT CAMPBELL. Written by J. Scott Campbell and Andy Hartnell; Art by Campbell and Alex Garner; collecting the phenomenally popular DANGER GIRL: THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION and THE J. SCOTT CAMPBELL DANGER GIRL SKETCHBOOK as a limited-edition, signed-and-numbered, oversized, slip-cased, two-volume hardcover set. This Absolute Edition features the full 7-issue miniseries plus a ton of behind-the-scenes sketches and a cover gallery. Limited to 10,000 copies. HC, 8x12, 326pg. Brand new, unopened.

PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $55.00 (cover price $75.00)



For details, e-mail me or check out the fundraising sale page for this and other items at bargain prices.


 
BLUESMAN Alert! -- One of the most exciting releases of the year is Rob Vollmar and Pablo Callejo's BLUESMAN. It's just about here, and I'm hoping you'll take a look and pre-order it NOW from your retailer. BLUESMAN is by the same creative team as the Eisner-nominated CASTAWAYS, which was one of the best debut graphic novels I've ever read.

I've been priviliged to read much of BLUESMAN in advance, and I'm telling you that you're in for a great read, scary, funny, dark and more human than just about any graphic novel I've ever read.

The Absence Of Ink website is now updated to reflect the BLUESMAN
solicitation at absenceofink.com, so if you have a website, column or blog, please link to that and let people know this book is coming.

BLUESMAN is solicited in the current issue of Previews, so anyone who wants to order a copy needs to tell their retailer now or very soon they want it. I've already ordered mine, won't you join me in supporting great comics?

Thursday, September 09, 2004

 
Good Doom Patrol News From John Byrne -- Fans of Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol will be delighted to hear this from John Byrne:


"Doom Patrol", as I have noted on many a previous
occasion, suffers from much the same problems as
all the post-Morrison incarnations --- we (loyal fans)
know this stuff isn't "real". We know everything since
Morrison left must somehow get erased from history, along with all the
events surround it.


Oops, he's only talking about Star Trek (11th post down).

Funny how Byrne only gets pissed off about people talking about how his work is irrelevant.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

 
Daredevil Love -- Received this in my e-mail...

Dear Alan,

Just a quick note to congratulate you on such an excellent piece on the DD #191 issue. Very thoughtful, a great deconstruction of the work of a master deconstructionist! It's always nice to see such intelligent, mature treatment of an art form that sometimes demands it. Great work!

I write for silverbulletcomicbooks.com, and I did a feature on Miller's Daredevil recently - much more of an overview than your article, but still might be worth a look if you're into Miller's DD? You can find it at:
http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/soapbox/109126889738256.htm
...if you're interested. Not as in-depth as your piece, but I think it's always worth bringing Miller's DD to people's attention...

Dave


Dave's piece is a nice overview of Miller's Daredevil work; go give it a look.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

 
Brilliant But Cancelled Meme-Building -- Casey Parkman is blogging about
Brilliant But Cancelled comic books, so I thought I'd contribute to the meme pool with these offerings:


All right bloggers, your turn. What's on your list of Brilliant But Cancelled comic books?

 
Tuesday's Galaxy Update -- In Part Three of The Conversation, ADD and Chris Allen engage in a little Galactic Navel-Gazing; Joe Rybandt has Lifespan: Comics Week Seven, and ADD's Quick Hits has new reviews of Tim Sale Black and White, Freedom Fries: The Political Art of Steve Brodner, In The Shadow of No Towers and Lackluster World #1. We've also updated the Fundraising Sale Page with new items and marked down some prices on others. Have a look at and check out the bargains! It's all in the Most Recent Updates section of the main page.

Update: Perhaps timed to coincide with the release of Art Spiegelman's In The Shadow of No Towers, reviewed today at Comic Book Galaxy in the reviews section, The Village Voice has reposted Ted Rall's controversial essay on Spiegelman. (Thanks to Kevin Melrose).

Update to the Update: Time.comix's Andrew Arnold has a well-written review of In The Shadow of No Towers.

Monday, September 06, 2004

 
Hall of Shame Closes Doors -- Well, this sucks. One of my favourite comics columns is going away. If you never read it, check out the archives and have a good laugh (or a dozen) at the foolish excesses over-monied comics "investors" will go to.

 
New Stuff, Lower Prices in the SALE! -- I think this'll likely be the last week of the fundraising sale, and I'm sure you'll be glad to hear that! Anyway, today I've lowered just about every price on every remaining item, and added an item or two as well. So if you haven't had a look at the page in a while, give it a look and help support the site.

If you already placed an order, I'm planning a huge mailing this week, so your stuff will be on its way shortly. A big THANK YOU to everyone who's helped out during this fundraising effort.

In other site news, I'm working on a major interview with one of my all-time favourite comics creators, more news on that as it develops. Coming tomorrow, most likely, new reviews and the next Conversation between Chris Allen and myself...and whatever else I have time to work on. I thought Labor Day was a day off?!?

Sunday, September 05, 2004

 
Five Questions for Ed Cunard -- No, not from me, but Ed Cunard answers Five Questions About Independent Comics over at his fab new blog The Low Road.

“Indy,” in terms of usage, is a horrible fucking descriptor. It means something different to everyone, and no one seems to be able to get around that problem. I mean, are Dreamwave books “indy” because they aren’t published by one of the big four? But, let’s say distribution is the core of the indy definition, and include those books that look like big, corporate comics.

That's why I generally use the term "artcomix" these days to discuss the vital alternative titles that are worth seeking out; generally they have the creation of enduring art as one of their primary goals rather than the creation of commerce, which is what any book featuring The Transformers or whatever godawful shit it is that Dreamwave is dredging back up from the sediment of the Reagan Years is created for. I also endorse Ed's list of quality artcomix publishers, although it's a little more inclusive than my mental list is. You're still more likely to be entertained and doing a better thing by supporting any of the companies he mentions than the ones that profit from rape, of either the Jack Kirby or Sue Dibny variety.

Friday, September 03, 2004

 
September Five Questions -- Check it out now at Newsarama, my Five Questions for Renee French.

 
Online Comic Art Exhibit -- Check this out, an online art exhibition including James Kochalka and Ariel Bordeaux.

 
Augie on Flagg -- Thumbs up to Augie for his tour de force salute to American Flagg today at Comic Book Resources. Augie goes in depth into the reasons why this was such a landmark series, and why Image and Dynamic Forces are to be thanked for re-presenting it after all these years. Like Augie, I'm concerned that the look and reproduction of the new editions will be of prime importance, but recent books like B. Krigstein Comics have shown me that it IS possible to provide pristine reproduction of old comics even in the absence of the original art. So, here's to hoping -- and thanks again, Augie, for such a terrific summary of one of the most significant series in comics history.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

 
Ultra Help Needed -- My shop is out of Image's Ultra #1; if your shop has a copy and you are willing to get it to me (I'll Paypal you for costs), drop me an e-mail. Thanks.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

 
What's Cooking? -- Good stuff on the way in the next couple of days. Chris Allen and I are working on the next Conversation column, and on Friday the next Five Questions should be up at Newsarama, featuring one of today's best and most interesting comics creators. I also have a stack of stuff I want to get reviewed, hopefully in the next day or so. So that's what's cooking.

 
The Low Road Takes The High Road -- Big thanks to longtime online pal Ed Cunard for his kind comments about CBG's 4th Anniversary at The Low Road, his new blog. Thrilled to see Ed start a blog, because he is really focused on the best in comics, and he's a damned fine writer, to boot.

 
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!

Ahhhh… four years. That’s 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 “The Aisle Seat,” and I was immensely proud of it. DVDs, film, television… if it landed in the area of comics or geek culture, it was mine, and it was a gas. I will never forget the Galaxy’s 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 wasn’t 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. I’d 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 Alan’s passions, and in Alan’s world, your passion should never, ever, need toilet paper. It’s that simple.

So you shake your head and shrug your shoulders. “That’s Alan.” 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 “a little brother that you occasionally want to smack in the back of the head.” I can’t 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 he’s an elitist snob, or ignore his writing because of how you feel about his online persona? That’s just a stupid idea. But you’ll 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 didn’t 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 I’m working on completing, and the novel I’m 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!

 
Four Years Later... -- Today is the fourth anniversary of Comic Book Galaxy's September 1, 2000 launch -- with its dedication to promoting passion, truth and diversity in the global discussion about the comics artform.

While there actually was some discussion of a "five year plan" among the site's founders, I have to be honest and say that I'm as surprised as anyone else that we're now in sight of that half-decade mark. I've actually been writing about comics online for over five years now, but nothing has been as fulfilling or exciting in my writing life as creating, implementing and maintaining Comic Book Galaxy.

Oh, sure, it's been rocky at times -- every website has its highs and lows, but the great comics and graphic novels that have been released recently and the incredibly gratifying reader response to this year's relaunch and redesign of the site have me feeling more positive than ever that this site is not only needed, but wanted. Each and every one of you that has read, supported and enjoyed the site has my undying gratitude for giving me one of the best experiences of my life, and selfishly, one that has led me to discover even more unique, exciting and unusual comics than I otherwise would have been exposed to.

Here's what some possibly familiar names are saying on this fourth anniversary of Comic Book Galaxy:

Growing up I was a Journal kid, but I always read Amazing Heroes and, later, Wizard. Similarly, I'm as happy with all those light, fluffy forums on the net as I ever was reading the old, tabloid mags, but the weighty balance of sites like this are absolutely integral to getting a proper, well-rounded approach to the medium. It's just nice having writers like Alan and Chris, who's opinions I absolutely trust, to point out all the books I'm currently missing and should be shelling out my hard-earned royalties for. Plenty of sites have heart, but CBG has a brain too.

-- Mark Millar




Alan David Doane and Comic Book Galaxy have been a thorn in the side of the
dim-witted and ill-informed for four years now... and here's to another
four... At the very least.

-- Joseph P. Rybandt




I literally came upon Comic Book Galaxy by sheer accident, and it wasn't even the website, it was the old Delphi Forum. Here was agroup of people who not only read my fanboy books, but were also hip to some of the smartest books on the planet. They spouted out names like Kolchalka, Los Bros. Hernandez, Chris Ware, along with names I recognized, Alan Moore, Brian Bendis, Garth Ennis, and even the likes of Chris Claremont, Frank Miller, and many other old favorites.

While I often disagreed (at the time) with some of their views, I finally felt like I'd found a home on the web. Here were people that were interested in meaningful conversations about comics, and they read books that could literally change your life, and in the very next post they'd talk about the X-men, or Spider-Man.

For someone who's always felt out of place in the fanboy world, this was a dream come true. Still, this was before I'd become hooked on ADD's blog, and hung on the words of D. Emerson Eddy (who we definitely don't hear much from these days, which is extremely sad).

Once I found the reviews, blogs, recommendations, I was hooked for life. In the few years I've "known" Alan he's influenced my buying habits more than any other single force. Thanks to him I truly discovered how vast and far comics can reach.

Not to say my mind wasn't always curious, but like most things (be they good are bad), all one needs is a push, and Mr. Doane provided that push. It was like rediscovering comics all over again, like finding there was a whole new, unexplored world out there.

Well, it's been a few years since then, and my tastes have changed, which I'll forever fault Alan for, and here we are, celebrating CBG's anniversary. It's a testament to how wonderful everyone who's been involved with Comic Book Galaxy is, that it has made it through the toughest of times, and even been resurrected from the dead, which fits right into the Comic Book World. In comics dead is never dead, even if you see the headless body.

I'd like to thank everyone at the Galaxy, both past and present contributors, for the tremendous influence it's had on my life. Hopefully we'll see it last through another five years, and if not, I'm sure we're likely to see all the names associated with it in some from or fashion.

You just cannot keep the passion these people have for comics caged for very long.

Thanks guys, best wishes,

-- Logan Polk




I first encountered Comic Book Galaxy and Alan David Doane when Tony Isabella posted a link to Alan's column where he skewered Augie De Blieck. I was hooked.

Alan has mellowed a bit over the years (he apologized to Augie in the Pipeline forum); but just a little bit (see his recent eviscerations of Geoff Johns).

What hasn't changed is his passionate commitment to comic books that engage the mind, heart and soul. CBG has seen contributors come and go over the years but Alan has been the one constant. And thanks to him, myself and many other readers have been introduced to a whole lot of great comics we otherwise wouldn't' have heard of. Palomar, Strangehaven, James Kolchaka, and Joe Matt are just a sample of the comics and creators that I have discovered through Alan and CBG.

Congrats on the 4th anniversary and here's to four more.

Constant Reader,

-- Christopher Jones




About four years ago, a random message board poster made a snide, somewhat
insulting remark about legendary artist, Alan Davis to which a fellow named
Alan David Doane made quick mince meat of the ignorant poster. From this, I
came to know Alan David Doane as one of the most blunt and passionate
persons I've ever known and he just so happened to have his own website.

Over the following nine months or so I became hooked on Comic Book Galaxy
and its cadre of writers striving toward a unified purpose of promoting
truth, passion and diversity to comic readers and non-comic readers. My
enthusiasm for the site grew to the point where I contacted Alan in the
hopes of contributing to the Galaxy in some way which he accepted. My first
assignment was supposed to be a simple comic convention write-up but it
quickly turned into a 5000+ word rambling, incoherent odyssey. I was
eternally grateful Alan didn't just drop me from the staff right then and
there.

Flash-forward to the present time where I've been both a writer and
sometimes editor for the Galaxy for over three years now, on and off, in
every incarnation of the site. I have found my time working under and along
side of Alan David Doane (and in its early days, Editor Chris Allen) and
with the great Galaxy writers, past and present, to be the most rewarding
working experience of my life. Congratulations, Alan. And on to year five...

-- Nick Capetillo


Thanks to everyone who wanted to share their thoughts about Comic Book Galaxy as we enter our fifth year, thanks to everyone who has contributed to the site in every incarnation of its existence, thanks to all the great comics creators and publishers who work so hard to give is our very reason for being here, and most of all, thank you to everyone who has read and supported our efforts since that first day of September in the long-ago year 2000. The world has changed a lot since then, as has this comics internet -- but my personal passion for what we're doing here is greater than ever, and I can't wait to see what the future holds.

-- Alan David Doane

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