Comics Journalism is dead and here’s why.

1: There is no money in it. Page views and ad impressions are the conventional way to revenue for bloggers. To keep traffic up, the content must flow. 

2: But the content is poor. Much of the content comes from press releases. Be they comic book movie news, solicits, or approved interviews, most of it is pre-written and disseminated accordingly.

3: However, publishers don’t care. It’s all for naught. No matter how much traffic comic bloggers generate or how careful they are to stay within publishers’ good graces, they can’t compete with The New York Times or USA Today.

4: In fact, nobody cares. Original content, good reporting, and writing that goes beyond the surface of, say, attaching a quip at the end of a quote from another blog tend to get the least amount of traffic.

At the end of the day, comic blogs are a minor marketing channel for publishers to communicate with their existing readers. AOL knows this, Marvel and DC Comics know this. The only people who don’t are… well… us.

And so ends @comicsblogger’s twitter account. Attempts to parody, criticize, and grammar check various blogs were initially a way to add levity to what is a shallow and amateur cottage industry. As it turns out, nobody likes being made fun of. Who knew?  

Any improvements to comics journalism certainly isn’t the result of some blogger actually giving a damn about what this anonymous troll tweets (and if it is, what a dark day for journalism everywhere).

The ending of ComicsAlliance was more than just the end to a content farm with occasionally well-written articles, it was the end to a lot of jobs. Levity would not have been appropriate.  

What happened instead was the product of a community that loves comics: support. 

Comic writers, artists, colleagues, even publishers expressed sympathy and support for everyone affected. Even folks who generally did not care for the site were sympathetic to their situation. Cynicism, insults and parody didn’t and don’t belong.

Unless you’re Scott Kurtz. Seriously. Fuck that guy.

Tags: write better