A post from my Marvel blog of more than a decade ago, in which I bemoan the state of comic book journalism. That period looks like a golden age in retrospect.
Maybe it’s just that this is San Diego Convention week, so the sheer volume of news stories on the assorted comics news sites has tripled. But I find myself a little bit dismayed about the overall quality of the journalism surrounding our industry. As these stories get filed—and in fairness to the people working on them, there’s a lot of material to cover—I feel like I’m reading the same quotes over and over and over again. “When NAME OF CREATOR came to us with the idea for NAME OF PROJECT, we were so excited we were over the moon! We simply had to do it—and it’s going to blow you away!” And as a result, nothing makes much of an impact, because it all feels like the same story.
Isn’t there anything more or better that can be said about this stuff? And aren’t there any better questions to be asked? So often, these interviews feel like the interviewer is using a macro he’d developed for this purpose: “Tell me what NAME OF PROJECT is about? What’s it like working with NAME OF CREATOR?” Even if you’ve got to round the bases on this stuff, surely there must be some way to make the questions at least slightly more varied.
Now, there are some good sites for comics reporting. Tom Spurgeon’s page is a good example. But for the most part he’s disinterested in the Marvel/DC mainstream. And maybe it’s just the rosy glow of nostalgia, but it seems like the coverage was better and more substantial back in the days of print, when magazines like the COMICS JOURNAL, AMAZING HEROES or COMICS INTERVIEW would include a little meat on those bones. Recently, the best interviewer about comics has been Brian Bendis, but he has a tremendous advantage, being an industry insider and able to speak to most creators on a completely different level. Nonetheless, I really miss that series of interviews he had been conducting at the Wizard site (though, of course, I’d rather he was writing scripts for books like NEW AVENGERS.) But surely there’s somebody out there who can fill those shoes.
I know, for myself, I get bored trying to answer these same-old, same-old questions whenever there’s a piece of promotion to be done. And I know that if I’m bored, the people reading the interview are going to be bored, and that’s not going to help sell any comic books. And I’m interested in the process of making comic books—if there’s a book or a creator I like, I want to know what was going on in their head as they were producing the work. And if they’ve got something new coming out, I want to hear more than just the same pull quotes that they said about their last project .
So consider this a vain plea for better effort on the part of the comics journalists of the world.
In the meantime, I’m going to open the floor in the response section of this thread to questions, and I’ll try to answer them later this week. Same rules as last time: 1) Any individual can ask any two questions, no more; and 2) Anybody can veto any question for any reason.
Lets go. More later.