Where does the BG like to hang out? When your Friendly Neighborhood Editor needs to ream someone out over his use of semicolons, she usually heads to the nearest bar. (The Bad Genious is full of lushes.) But today, your FNE is wondering where BG writers like to hang out online. Where do they find likeminded people writing, reporting and talking about our favorite hobby? Note: Our favorite hobby is comics, not drinking, though either is certainly enhanced by the other.
NOTE: This article was put together before the unveiling of Newsrama's new format. A review of how that's going will more than likely appear in the coming weeks.
What are some good comic sites?
Vocal Minority - There is a lot to dislike about Newsarama.
GOOD comic sites, like Pink Kryptonite, which does a great job of both providing their own content and directing readers to other places of interest.
Patrick - The Comic Treadmill is a shared blog like ours, although this one has only two people. Mag and H take us through their comic collection, looking back at a lot of old school stuff from the '60s, '70s and '80s, as well as jumping into today’s stuff every now and then.
Jon Quixote - I recently started visiting Snap Judgments. It's a simple blog by a female comic book store employee, mixing "my life in comics" stuff with reviews, and it's written with a lot of joy and enthusiasm. It's very likable. I dub it "bookmark worthy.”
Thanks, guys. This is going well.
Patrick - At Comics 101, Scott Tipton does a good job of looking at different topics every week and hosting a little "101" style class on it. It's a fun look back at the books of our childhood every week.
Again, Patrick? Okay. The FNE explicitly stated she only needed one contribution from each of you. Well, practically explicitly. But that’s okay. What’s one extra?
Patrick - Dial B for Blog sometimes goes into details you won't believe, but it normally takes a pretty interesting look into our hobby. And Robby always has great art.
The General - Being a rabid fan of all things X, I don't think it's any surprise that The X-Axis tops my "To Read" list each week. Though I often find myself disagreeing with his reviews of both the X-Men comic line and the industry in general, one has to respect Paul O'Brien's work ethic as he slogs through extended reviews of each X-title (plus some extras) every week. And, while I think that the process might be slowly destroying his brain, sometimes his assessments are spot on, like his recent comments on DC's Final Crisis.
Matt - I don't live anywhere near a comic shop so all of my shopping for new books and back issues is done online. I highly recommend Mailordercomics for new books and mycomicshop.com for ordering back issues.
Dan – I was a huge fan of Randy Lander & Don MacPherson’s reviews, from the Yahoo Groups days through TheFourthRail.com. When the boys finally decided to split up and do there own things a couple years ago, I took note of Randy’s new site, Comic Pants, but honestly, I didn’t think much of it at first. Recently though, I find myself checking it out at least weekly thanks to regular features like Rumble Pants (fun tournament style polls), Top Five Fridays (the five contributors favorite books of the moment), Wednesday #1s and a Secret Invasion Update of the current week’s tie-ins. There are also some great monthly features, focusing on trade paperback reviews and the latest offerings from Previews. An all around fun site with regular content. I mean, who doesn’t love a tournament bracket of 16 Batmans going head-to-head?
Ah, getting back on track.
Matt - Warren Ellis always has an entertaining blog that is worth checking out. While you are at it, make sure you are reading his free online comic Freakangels.
Matt again? And a Warren Ellis plug besides? Shocking. Next thing you know he’ll be pimping Alan Davis.
Matt - Alan Davis has a pretty neat site that he updates by posting his art along with some commentary about it. His message board has a great, small community and Alan usually drops in every few days to answer any questions.
But along those lines, also check out Sean McKeever’s website. It doesn’t see a ton of traffic, but Sean’s always around to answer questions and defend his unnatural cheese love to anyone who drops by, be they Teen Titans lovers or defenders of the cheese free world. And the Shiny Juicy Quesadilla forums, unoffcial refuge and current home to many posters of the sadly defunct joequesada.com message boards are a fun place for talk about comics, football (the soccer kind, though watch out come NFL season!) and anything else that tickles your fancy (like possible Chinese Democracy release dates).
Vocal Minority - The journalistic standards can be generously described as somewhat lax at times. Between tragi-comic spelling errors and interview techniques that make “Hello” look investigative, the whole thing feels like a fanzine that wandered online accidentally one day and never left.
There’s no getting you off this Newsarama thing, is there? Try to keep things positive, but whatever. Although admittedly, their flagrant disregard of the spell check function makes your FNE cry herself to sleep some nights. Oh! Bring back the happy places, please!
Jon Quixote - I was an original member of the TL@ over at Ain't It Cool News, and I still swing by from time to time to see what the crew is up to. Most of the names are different, but they still do uncompromising, long-winded stuff in a Sisyphean attempt to keep the Big 2 honest, while also using the AICN pulpit to cast a light on some up & coming talents. It's still like mainlining the Internet over there, and I love their purity.
Matt - One of my favorite comic sites for news and columns is comicbookresources.com and I would like to give a shout out to the Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed blog by Brian Cronin. I have enjoyed this column quite a bit and I look forward to it when it comes out every Friday. Brian looks up and clarifies with a ton of cool information (including contacts with creators themselves) whether a comic book 'urban legend' is true or false. He usually examines three urban legends. Fans can also e-mail him with suggestions. I have got to remember to ask him about the Nexus appearance in the last issue of the Dark Horse Out of the Vortex series.
Wow. Warren Ellis, Alan Davis, Nexus....sure you can't wedge a Banshee mention in there somewhere?
The General - Also, I think it's worth giving a shout out to Rich's Comic By Comic blog. Even though he's working alone, Rich impressively manages to add several interesting new posts each day. Something we barely manage with a dozen regular contributors.
Ah. That’s better. Even if everyone is explicitly ignoring the explicitly-stated one-per-writer rule.
Vocal Minority - The Talkbacks can be generously described as radioactive, and ironically one of the best arguments for the oft quoted opinion that the Internet doesn't matter in terms of feedback. Wrapped up in a site design that was ugly in the ‘90s, is hard to navigate and is permeated by ugly screaming banner adverts, and the whole thing feels like a site that should be easily and gratefully ignored.
Vocal Minority - And yet there's something curiously compelling about Newsarama. Perhaps it's the speed with which they get stories up. Perhaps it's the access that has JoeQ doing a (now semi) regular series of Q&A sessions. Perhaps it's the very unpolished and raw nature of both the articles and the forums that seems to keep it honest. Whatever it is, Newsarama is one of those regular web-visits that you can't really avoid. If someone links a news item on a forum, ninety percent of the time it's Newsarama’s report. Despite all the things it's not, and in spite of all the things it is, Newsarama remains the place to go online for up-to-the-minute comic news.
There. Was it so hard to say something nice?
Vocal Minority - Just remember to shower afterwards.
And there you have it. Lots of cool places (and one incredibly frustrating place) to get your comic fix online. The Bad Genious also recommends When Fangirls Attack, Occasional Superheroine, Bob Mitchell in the 21st Century and Sequential Tart. What do you think of these sites? Are there any we should be checking out that didn't make our list?