Your 2019 Predictions, Epilogue: Changeling.

§ February 1st, 2020 § Filed under blogging about blogging is a sin, predictions § 5 Comments

Right on the cusp of February I’m finally finishing up this whole “your 2019 predictions” thing. I’ve directly responded to the forecasts themselves, and now it’s time to go back and do a little mopping up regarding your comments to said responses. (Said posts are located here: one, two, three, four, five, six).

So first off, Brian fills my brain with some thoughts on blogging:

“The metaphorical — and too often literal — death of the old comic blogosphere continues to sadden me. Having been just too young for the Usenet era, I’ve always seen blogs as the right format in my mind for internet discussion (the transition to social media just feels wrong, not withstanding that I’ve gotten off social media myself in recent years). Of course, I then stop and think back to how many of those bloggers I’ve been reading across sites for 15-20 years, and it doesn’t necessarily surprise me that the numbers have gone down so dramatically (whether by death, moving away from posting, or moving to new monetized venues or social streams). But it’s still always an odd sense of not so much an end of an era but an era that ended a while ago. All the more reason to love having The Mikester still doing his thing here!”

Yes, this ties into the prediction posts. The very first 2019 prediction involved readerships of blogs and the lack thereof. I mean…there still are comics blogs out there, though perhaps it’s not the close-knit community it used to be. A lot of the folks I used to link to and virtually pal around with have either severely curtailed or ended entirely their blogging activities, or, as Brian mentions, have moved on to the seemingly less work-intensive social media outlets. I know I’ve been tempted to just go Tweetery-only…it’s a lot easy to be more spontaneous and less worried about feeding the blogging beast there, tossing off whatever brief thoughts and funny images I have handy.

But I think there’s always going to be room for longer-form, slightly less ephemeral content like this, on more permanent venues rather than being buried beneath, or washed away by, the crush of endless aggregated content feeding through social media. Maybe it’s not the “in” thing that it used to be, blogging still remains a useful way of getting your ideas out there and expressing yourself and hopefully entertaining or informing readers.

Now am I going to do this forever? I mean, it feels like I already have, doesn’t it? No idea when I started this back when blogs where just beginning to peak in the early 2000s that I’d be one of the last comic blogs standing from that initial comicblogosphere explosion. Sure, a number of folks used their blogs to get paying gigs or comics work (not necessarily the same thing), but blogging has always been an extension of what apparently is going to be my lifelong career, flamenco dancer funnybook salesman. I like talking about the hobby, the industry around it, and also my eyeballs, apparently. I figure as long as I’m in this business, I’ll probably want to talk about it, and right now blogging is the best way for me to do so. And if something better than blogging comes along…or rather, something I like better than blogging…then I may move onto that.

The other issue of course is, well, time, which a lot of us seem to have less of the older we get. Case in point: this post is going up on Saturday instead of Friday as planned. And there have been a few times over the laset few months where either my life gets in the way, or I have health issues, or I just plain don’t feel like typing, that results in a skipped day or two. I try to stick to the 3-times-a-week schedule, but it doesn’t always work out that way, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. And other folks, I’m sure, just realized one day “no time for blogging, Dr. Jones” because there’s too much other stuff going on, and effectively shuttered their sites. It can be a lot of work for not a lot of return, and that effort may need to be redirected towards other more important tasks.

For me, while the actual comcis blogging is a reward to me in and of itself, there is a small measure of self-promotion at work here. I do have a store, after all, and I have a not-insignificant number of customers who have come to me because I’ve been blogging the better part of twenty years. That’s incentive in addition to whatever drive it is that already compels me to blather incesseantly at you.

Ultimately, there may come a time when the only reader I’ll have for my blog is my roommate at the old folks home that I badger into looking at my posts, but I suspect I’ll continue writing about comics online ’til they pry my keyboard from my cold, dead hands. Or that long-promised meteor falls on me, whichever comes first.

• • •

Thelonious_Nick and Chris V both kinda made the case that Black Label is fine, and it was probably time for Vertigo to go, which I do agree to, despite the facetiousness in my “voice” in that post. There is good stuff coming out from them, and that Joe Hill line, as Chris notes, is pretty exceptional and a fine use of the imprint. I was just saying that the huge success of that first issue of Batman: Damned, penis-driven or not, simply sealed Vertigo’s fate, and DC now had a new imprint for grown-ups that was getting the attention Vertigo used to get and seemingly could no longer. Having Black Label a little more closely tied to the DC brand certainly helps its visibility.

• • •

Cassandra Miller is crossing me with

“At Emerald City Comicon last year, Matt Wagner was asked if there could ever be a Mage 4. He basically said not at this point, but never say never.

“So don’t give up hope! We could get a Matchstick Disco Boogie yet!”

Now there’s nothing in Mage 3 that really precludes more Mage stories. The main thread of the three minis is concluded, sure, but I can see exploring the Mage world a little more.

Yeah, yeah, I know, “it’s done, leave it alone,” but I wouldn’t object to it being revisited. Preferably by Matt Wagner, but I can see other creators dabbling in the milieu. In fact, I bet we see some kind of “Mage Stories”-type anthology with other folks taking a crack at Mage short stories, kinda like that Hellboy: Weird Tales. THAT’S A FREE IDEA, IF ANYONE’S LISTENING

• • •

Rob Staeger steals me blind with

Good news! ‘There’s Swamp Thing About Mary’ won’t be the swan song of Legends of Tomorrow that John predicts… the show’s already been renewed! (As have all the other CW comic-based shows, aside from the soon-to-end Arrow, and the yet-to-debut Katy Keene.)

For half a second there, I had to remind myself there wasn’t actually a Swamp Thing episode of Legends of Tomorrow. But I’m glad it got renewed (wasn’t so sure it would, given that ratings weren’t necessarily wonderful a lot of the time. (But considering the sheer amount of options for TV watching nowawadays, maybe folks should scale down their expectactions for what would count as “good ratings.”) I do hope that more of these superhero shows follow its model of fewer episodes. More killer, less filler, sez I.

• • •

Daniel T terrifically reminds us that the John Byrne Man of Steel omnibus was in fact canceled, with supposedly that material seeing print elsewhere. I hope it’s brought back into print soon…that is the beginning for the Modern Age Superman, and thus of some note.

• • •

Andrew-TLA truly notes

“Personally, I draw a distinction between Dark Horse’s licensed titles and their creator-owned lines. That said, Usagi may not be nearly as big a deal as he should be, but the book had become a DH mainstay, and Stan Sakai jumping ship for IDW is a pretty big deal. Especially combined with Eric Powell taking The Goon back to self-publishing.

“If I’m Mike Richardson, I’m doing whatever I can to make sure Mike Mignola stays happy. And maybe trying to squeeze more Umbrella Academy and Groo from Way and Aragones.”

Yeah, I was having trouble thinking of other big licensed books from Dark Horse, but fell back on the creator owned stuff. They still have Aliens, Predator, Terminator, Stranger Things, a couple of other Netflix-related titles (mostly snapped up to flip on eBay, it seems)…not a lot that’s huge (save maybe Stranger Things) and I’m not sure how much cash flow those are bringing in anway. Used to be I’d sell Aliens comics by theh handful…now it’s very niche.

But every title/franchise that moves away from Dark Horse has got to hurt. I’m honestly surprised losing Star Wars wasn’t a crippling blow. I’m glad it wasn’t, and I hope the company sticks around for a long time.

• • •

Rob Staeger (that guy again?) laments

“Ha, when I predicted the return of Autumnlands in early 2019, little did I know how long the Astro City hiatus would last! Last year was CRUEL, man.”

I believe Kurt Busiek noted that there was some business type stuff to take care of re: Astro City but I hope its return is sooner rather than later. I did see mention of a possible TV show based on it, though, so we’ll see what that does to the comic production should that show actually happen.

• • •

Okay, that’s it. PREDICTION TIME IS OVER until next year when I look at your predictions for this year! Thanks for reading, pals, and I hope everyone got the double-reference in Cassandra Miller’s intro.

5 Responses to “Your 2019 Predictions, Epilogue: Changeling.”

  • Brian says:

    Thanks for blogging your thoughts on my blogging thoughts!

    The timing/delay issues are probably actually reflect a strength of the format. If you were just posting on Twitter, for example, readers would need to sort through all the various links and comments in real time to not miss something. On a blog, you can control what’s posted and in what order/format; just as you can post just a few times per week and have a complete page filled out here, so too can a reader pop in once a week or so and easily read the few posts they missed in the proper sequence (without the FOMO of tracking constantly updating social feeds). For a community known for reading discrete issues-in-order of book series, it works well (even if the release schedule falls behind over time).

  • Hooper Triplett says:

    In edition to connecting with a comic book reader that’s the same age as me (only we understand the appeal of a single X-Men title), I appreciate the perspective of a shop-owner as well. Been going to comic book shops for many decades now – the shop is part of my life and insights into the “how” is always interesting.

    Off-handed question – who is the world is buying the Top Dog TPB just solicited?!

  • Hooper Triplett says:

    Sigh – addition, not edition.

  • Cassandra Miller says:

    Heh.

  • Matthew Murray says:

    I wonder if some of the creators/audience from comics blogs have moved over to podcasts.

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