Friday, February 20, 2009

Well, that was fun while it lasted

Back when the newspaper that employs me had a books page, I'd occasionally run short reviews of comics, more as a space filler than anything else. One of the higher-up editors, however, who was in charge of redesigning the Living sections at the time, was a comics fan and said "You know, we should turn that into a weekly column. It would go great with that new Friday section we're putting together."

Thus Graphic Lit was born. Overall, the weekly column has been extremely good to me. I got to talk to a lot of artists and writers I admired, I got to be exposed to a lot of great books and new talent, and it led to some interesting and exciting gigs, like giving lectures at my local library or blogging regularly over at Blog@Newsarama, er, I mean Robot 6.

But all that is over, for now at least. The last Graphic Lit column ran a few weeks ago and I've been pretty much told there's no real interest in bringing it back. There's a number of factors responsible for it's passing, the biggest one being a simple lack of space. With the ever-shrinking news hole, we don't have the space to run full-length movie reviews, let alone a weekly column extolling the glories of folks like Kazuo Umezu. Add to that a renewed focus on local news and some changes in my job duties and you've got a death knell.

But what about the video games I hear some of you cry? Well, those are pretty much dead in the water as well. Again, the lack of space is mostly to blame, but to be honest, I've been less and less able to get fired up about video games lately. They require a huge time investment that I just don't have right now. More to the point, though, I find it harder and harder to get interested in the constant cookie-cutter sequels and third-rate "party games" that are glutting the market right now. It seems there's little inspiration or creativity going on in the industry, at least from where I'm sitting.

Don't worry, I'm not going to stop blogging. I'll still be contributing regularly over at Robot 6.

As for Panels and Pixels, well I haven't quite figured out what I want to do with this blog yet. I'd like to keep it going -- I have a lot of ideas, some comics-related, some not. Robot 6 eats up a lot of my free time, though, so I don't know if I could commit to keeping track of two blogs on a regular basis.

At any rate, I have a few more GL columns to post here, including an interview with Ed Brubaker that never got to see the light of day. In the meantime, if you feel like it, drop me a line in the comments and let me know what you'd like to see me do with this space. Should I try to keep Graphic Lit going online? Thrust myself into the video game breech again? Write about something else entirely, like movies or macrame? I'd love to hear your thoughts.



At 1:55 PM, Blogger Dick Hyacinth said...

That's too bad. I always wondered how you had time to devote to video games, given your work, blogging, and family commitments. I'd like to see more video game stuff, but I would understand if I didn't.

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous spopp said...

I'd love to continue reading your comics-related writing, couldn't care less about video games.

At 6:53 PM, Blogger Mike Rhode said...

Chris, sorry to hear this, although I've been expecting it since we talked at SPX. You're still with the paper though, right?

Perhaps more older interviews that were cut in the paper, or short pieces not really suitable for Robot6?

At 10:20 PM, Anonymous evie said...

MACRAME! MACRAME! Why doesn't anyone properly cover macrame in this market?

Or not. :P

Gaw, you should just keep putting up occasional "Gee whiz! This DS game actually has something to offer" pieces, and any comics pieces not put online at Robot6, for whatever reason.

If you write about macrame, though, I think you'd have a wider audience share. . .. .just saying, is all.

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I didn't have the opportunity to read it but I think that it was a great idea. Right now it would be handy with digital comics and manga. that you do that kind of reviews for those that they like to buy it on itunes store or darkhorse digital.

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