Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Old comics blogs never die, they...well, actually they do, mostly

While looking for something in my bookmarks (remember those?), I found a link to Dirk Deppey's final post for Journalista on the Comics Journal website. As I re-read it, I started reminiscing about those glorious days of yore, when comics blogs roamed the earth, and I could spend hours just reading commentary, reviews, essays and other nonsense, instead of, you know, reading comics (and books and magazines and watching movies and TV).

I also wondered if any of those blogs were still functioning. I am actually in the process of weaning myself off Facebook and returning to email newsletters and visiting sites directly. (It's all an attempt to do my part in helping support those that actually create stuff. In your face, Facebook!). A few years ago, I figured out a way to use Facebook as a newsreader, and receive everything from my "Likes" (not including friends) in chronological order. As of February, I had nearly 400 different sources in my custom feed, and still, I missed posts just by not being on Facebook 24 hours a day. I have a life, you know.

Tangent: I am a compulsive reader. I hate to miss things written about things I like, or might like. At first Facebook seemed to be the answer to my obsessive need to be constantly fed information in real time, and it still is. There is one major problem with this: Facebook keeps you on Facebook. When you click a link to read an article about, say, the resurgence of pinball or the new trend of axe throwing bars, the writer and originating website is not "credited" with the visit. Facebook is. Therefore advertising dollars stay with Facebook, and the writer opens another package of ramen.

At the same time, I began to really hate Yahoo as an email service, for reasons I can't explain, to be honest. Yes, I know, Yahoo...haha etc. I got the email back in the 90's and stuck with it due to laziness mainly. So I started moving everything over to Gmail. I use Chrome, I have a Chromebook, others I work with use Docs blah blah.

So, in an effort to streamline my digital life, I am returning to reading things online in their original state (plus books. Always books. Paper ones.) I am in the process of signing up for email newsletters from most of those 400 sources (about 95% of them offer a newsletter service). Already I'm seeing a difference - I am getting all the content I can eat plus I'm eating it at their house. Win-win, I think.

My relationship with comics has been somewhat estranged over the past five years. I sold my collection, I stopped my pull list at my LCS, and have focused buying trades online, almost exclusively. Other than visiting Heidi, Tom and Mike, I haven't been immersed in comics culture in quite a while. Back to my original point, there were many blogs that were an absolute delight to read, and I miss them now. So let's go back to a more innocent time, when the information superhighway was a random chaotic place where only AOL and their insidious chatrooms seemed to be the biggest threat.

For this exercise, I'll use Comicblogupdates and Update-A-Tron as my online sherpas, and I'll start at the bottom of these lists. That's the place to find the bones.

(Note: a lot of the links on these two sites rely on RSS/feeds. Some sites are still there; the link is just defunct)

Neurotic Ninja - dead and gone

Tales from the Longbox - Chris Mosby posted a note about Peter David about a year ago, but really lost momentum a couple of years before that. I've contacted him regarding the status of TFTLb.

JASON MICHELITCH - "Permission denied - This blog is open to invited readers only" Well, then, there's that.

Half Hour Wasted and The Legion of Dudes - now a podcast. A blog link exists but really nothing bloggy since 2015

AiT/Planet Lar: Making Comics Better - now known as Spectacularry; but other than 5 posts from 1/1/15, dormant since 2013.

Product Management Meets Pop Culture - Christopher Cummings is still there on a semi-monthly, but not all posts are about comics. Some are about product management. I guess that makes sense actually.

Chuck Dixon - appears as though someone has hijacked Chuck's site. There's still a Dixonverse post pinned at the top, but unless you're into baseball stadiums, reputation management or water heaters, go elsewhere.

Broken Glass Makes Me Laugh - another permission denied/invite only situation

Marv Wolfman - Marv moved over to Facebook about seven years ago and is active there (the FB link on his site is out of date)

Paul Gravett - still going strong, both on his site and via FB/Twitter

That's all for today. Stay tuned for more hot dead blog action!


  1. I think Google+ is actually better for "news feed"ishness than FB. FB is a black hole of productivity more often times than not.

    1. I tried G+ a few times but couldn't ever really feel it, man. Check out Feedly as another option. In order to use FB as a newsreader, you need to create a new Friend List ( then add all the people/places/things you want to see on the regular. It's easy and much much better than living on the whims of FB's algorithm.

  2. You are on target here, MT. I wondered if my growing irritation with Facebook was personal or a growing trend. There was a magical time when I could leave a session fully satisfied. Interacting with distant relatives and relatives at a distance gave me a warm little glow and I had only been disconnected from creative pursuits for an hour or so. But now - how frustrating to wade through stuff I 'might be interested in'! Really, I am quite capable thankyouvery much. Current projects of my own making keep me stimulated, busy, alert. Jeesh Facebook! I just wanted to see what cousin Bill was up to these days . . .

    1. In order to use FB as a newsreader, you need to create a new Friend List ( then add all the people/places/things you want to see on the regular. It's easy and much much better than living on the whims of FB's algorithm.