The Comics Journal
Tom Spurgeon followed up his initial breaking news yesterday with a quick Q&A with publisher Gary Groth about the proposed changes to the venerable magazine. Among the revelations: The new site should launch next month, the magazine’s staff will stay the same and no changes will be made to the daily Journalista feature or the message board.
Oh, and there will be more Kenneth Smith. Here’s Groth speculating on some of the details:
I suspect that little of the material on the website will be reprinted in the print edition; rather, I’m anticipating that short pieces that appeared on the website may be expanded for the print edition — or the reverse, an excerpt of something we plan for the print edition may be previewed on the website. But there’s going to be a learning curve while we figure out the different editorial requirements for both the website and the print edition. My main goal is to maintain the editorial impetus of the magazine on the website, making it an intelligent and sometimes provocative source criticism and commentary.
The mood on the Internet regarding the planned changes seems tentatively positive, although a certain amount of nostalgia for the magazine as it was once still lingers, judging by the reactions from folks like Alan David Doane, Johnny Bacardi, Heidi MacDonald and folks on the TCJ message board.
UPDATE: Steven Grant considers the Journal’s legacy in his latest column.
Tom Spurgeon broke the news yesterday that The Comics Journal, Fantagraphics’ long-standing magazine of comics news and criticism, will be altering their coverage and format following the release of their 300th issue.
The announcement came via a letter sent to subscribers that Spurgeon posted online. In it, the staff unveiled a two-fold plan which entailed enhancing the magazine’s Web site considerably and turning the print publication into an elaborate, twice-yearly affair.
Acknowledging the changing role the Internet has played in comics coverage, the letter states the current TCJ site will become “full-service,” with daily updates, and deliver “everything you love about the magazine,” including the interviews, news and “real journalism” the magazine has become known for. The site is currently best known as the home of Online Editor Dirk Deppey’s daily Journalista column.
As for the print magazine, it will become “considerably larger and more elaborate” than the current iteration, and will only come out semi-annually. While the price of the new magazine is still up in the air, individual issues will cost more than they do now, though the letter promises that a single issue will never cost more than $19.99.
At Comixology, Shaenon K. Garrity presents her “Half-Assed Guide to Comic Book Message Boards,” where she painfully, but hilariously and rather accurately breaks down the various places one can go to gripe about ‘One More Day’ or how they don’t ‘get’ manga. Here’s her take on the Comics Journal’s board:
The most necrotic section of the board is the “Comics Journal” section itself, where people only post to bitch that their subscription copies are late. Many TCJ subscribers seem to be under the impression that Gary Groth runs not just Fantagraphics but the U.S. Postal Service from his basement. They get really pissed. No one ever posts about the content of the magazine itself, proving that not even the most hardcore fans of The Comics Journal read The Comics Journal.
Ouch. She also demolishes Comicon, Newsarama and, of course, Byrne Robotics, though, oddly enough, CBR seems to stay out her sights. Perhaps a sequel is in order.
Welcome to What Are You Reading, where we tell you what’s currently in rotation in our homes, book-wise that is.
Our special guest this week is Jeff Lester, best known for his reviews and insightful comments over at The Savage Critics, though he’s also made a name for himself as a writer on games like the recent Sam and Max series.
More on what Jeff and the rest of us are reading after the link …