Friday, November 29, 2019

The worthlessness of seeing the future

Everyone likes to moan about the state of comic journalism these days, and a lot of that moaning does have merit. Even with the tragic loss of Tom Spurgeon and his mighty Comics Reporter, there are still a lot of great websites putting out interviews, but there is also a lot of trash.

I do miss a lot of the long-form interviews, with creators really only sitting down to discuss their work when they have a new project to hype. The kind of long-ranging rambling interview that covers a whole career, the kind we used to get every other month in the print Comics Journal, are now a rarity.

At least some of the interviews we do get these days do occasionally offer something worthwhile, a small nugget of thoughtfulness or cleverness or humour. But the comic news sites are also clogged with a lot of bullshit that makes this stuff hard to find, with endless casting announcements for live-action adaptions and features that breathlessly promise to explain the endings of stories that didn't need any fucking explanation.

But of all this trash, I think the most worthless kind of news is the exclusive preview of comics, where you get a few pages of some story, out of context from the overall issue. So many websites are clogged with these things instead of some proper analysis, creaming themselves because they got an exclusive that nobody else gives a damn about. As somebody who has been regularly buying comics for decades, I've never been swayed into buying something because of these few pages, because they're just marketing, and there is no worth there.

There are important issues about the comic book industry that need to be discussed, like the health and well-being of the creators, with another artist who created valuable IP for DC Comics passing away last week and leaving behind a mountain of healthcare debt. Comic journalism needs more of that, it doesn't need another six pages of a Vampirella comic.

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