We all have those songs – the ones that dripped into our ears while the world burned. The ones that fed us when we couldn’t eat.
This song is everything. It is all I have.
I lean on those songs when I’m searching for something, to anchor me to a boy who had no idea what he was doing, but could find words with great ease. The boy lives in the melodies of these songs. He is fearless and sad. He is an idiot.
We can’t begin to tell you how we’re excited to watch new episodes of Doctor Who that don’t have Stephen Moffat’s fingerprints all over them.
Not only that, we’re pleased to announce that after this season of shows wraps up later in the year, we’ll be returning in January with two episodes a month – every month – until the next series of the show airs. No breaks! Only booze.
Quite a few years ago, in the days before Variant Editionopened, my pal James and I ran a little website called Comics! The Blog. In it’s heyday, it ran at least two articles a day, every weekday, and managed to get a small, if not surprising amount of creators popping in to offer a bit of thanks for talking about their work.
The whole thing was quite the undertaking, one filled with optimism, as the site’s only two rules were simple: talk about things that you love, and be sure to be offer constructive criticism when addressing problems. Since then, I know I’ve definitely fallen away from talking about the things that I love (at least online), so part of this refocus of Submet is going to be about putting forward more joy into the world.
Every time I decide to take another run at making Submet an ongoing concern, I go through the same process. I spend days and days putting together a schedule, set it a few months in advance… and then swiftly watch the days go by while I accomplish nothing. This time, I brought Danica in on the process, and she definitely provided the extra focus I needed to really work through my goals.
One of the things she suggested was that we need to have our posts reflect a good work/life balance, which for me, means no posting about comic book industry stuff… unless it’s being crossposted from places that make more sense in terms of “work”.
I find it impossible to write these days, and I have a lot of places to place blame. The store. A lack of time. A glowing box in my hand.
A lack of talent.
The real reason is simple: I find it impossible to write, because I lack the discipline to do so. Every few months I build up a head of steam and try to make a go of regularity. A small bump in the road, and that derails and snowballs, until I stare at my phone, stare at the clock, look around the store, stare at my computer and mutter to myself, “this is impossible”.
But writing is not impossible, it is only improbable.
And so here I am once more, with a promise to write, improbable as that is.
An irregular column about wrestling, done in threes. For reasons.
This weekend was Summerslam NXT Takeover: Brooklyn IV weekend and boy howdy do those folks know how to put together a show. I love it when Takeovers roll around, because it reminds me how great the WWE product can be when the people who make it are hungry and thoughtful. The hardest part is going to be sticking to just three points, but rules is rules.
For those who don’t know (partly because I am particularly terrible at self promotion), I do an irregular column over at a site call The Beatabout comic book retail. As you can probably guess, it is usually filled to the brim with finger-wagging at backwards looking comic shops and fans who would drag this industry backwards rather than forwards.
I’m not 100% sure, but this person was probably mad about lines like this:
There’s a toxic idea that the direct market is owed something for it’s place in history and… I don’t know. Maybe there is. Maybe I’m too new that I can’t see it. I didn’t work in those trenches. But from where I stand, the direct market is owed nothing. As a retailer, I would laugh in the face of Marvel if they told me I owed it to the X-Men to place more orders for their books because they once helped float comic shops. All ideas have their time. All delivery methods do as well.
It’s as though the business is constantly evolving or something. Wild!
Anyway. Instead of just cross-posting these and walking away, I’ll be tossing a few “extras” your way in these posts, in the form of ideas that were either cut for space, or didn’t quite fit the narrative I was going for. Which is to say, for every article I write, there’s anywhere from 500-5000 extra words I wrote and discarded, depending on the day.
Writing is fun, and I am tired. Let’s get to it.
Comics have the power to change your life:I wanted to hit this idea a lot harder. As a medium and a force for change, comics can do so much. In terms of this article, it crystallized how I looked at the outside world, and at comic book retail. Comics made me who I am today.
It’s always the end of the world: If you take a look at the history of the comics industry, you’ll find doom around every corner. Portents of the medium’s demise occur frequently, but they’re usually stymied by a shift in how comics get into the hands of readers. When I say “the direct market is doomed”, I don’t mean that the comics industry is doomed – I just mean the current system has been dying for a long time, and delivery system needs to change. Retailers equating the death of the direct market to the death of the industry as a whole seem to forget that they are not the industry, they are a delivery method.
It’s about respect – or so I’ve been told: I can not count the amount of times I’ve been told that I do not respect where this industry has been, because I want to build for it’s future. Asking for change doesn’t mean I’m discounting the importance of structures that once saved an industry – it just means I want you all to be around for the next phase, and digging your heels into the past is just going to leave you there.
Out for blood:What is reallygross about the retailer reaction is the fact that if Catwoman had been murdered in the final pages, nobody would be complaining about a lack of a wedding. As it happens, Batman #50 ends with Selina making a conscious choice on her own volition. She is in charge of her destiny, and has agency. Let’s not pretend this outrage is about the story – it is about that cheap event money that retailers would have be just as fine earning with blood.
A complicated pop culture construct made from podcasts, words and gnomes, based in Edmonton, AB.