Saturday, 1 April 2017

RIP Comics Alliance... Again

Not an April Fools joke, sadly. 

On Thursday, 2 May 2013, I wrote a sincere farewell to Comics Alliance, which, In my opinion, was the best comics related website in the business. Fortunately for me and it's millions of other readers, Comics Alliance was resurrected, and would go on to inform and entertain for many years to come.

Yesterday it was revealed that it wasn't so much a resurrection as it was a stay of execution.

You can go back and read my original article, pretty much all of what I said at the time still stands, except I probably would consider myself a comic book academic by this point, in all manners other than legal, and that's all thank to the work and the talent that Comics Alliance had on show.

But 2017 is not the same world as 2013, and I'm all out of sincerity. What the world needs more than anything is righteous anger, and what made Comics Alliance stand out from all the other sites was it's anger.

It's telling that this news lands at about the same time Marvel's David Gabriel comes out with this shit about backing down on diversity. It's important to remember that for all the joy, and wonder and sense of community that businesses like Marvel and DC bring, they are not your friends, and like all businesses, they'd sell you half the product for twice the price if they thought they could get away with it.

Most Comics sites forget this, often, but Comics Alliance never did. When the big two acted like gracious hosts, when they were giving away breadcrumbs, Comics Alliance were always at the ready to call them on their shit.

I'm ever grateful for the work they've done over the years, their focus on important subjects like diversity, harassment and LGTBQ issues are as critical now as they ever have been. Even outside the more topical stuff, their dedication to exploring lesser known comics and unknown histories keep the spirit and the heart of the comics world alive. It's exit leaves a hole in the comic book world that might never again be filled.

As a coda to this article, I got to meet current editor-in-chief Andrew Wheeler at Toronto Comic Con just a couple of weeks ago. He's one of the most intelligent, charming and driven people I've ever met, and the news that he'll be moving on to writing comic books full time is the silver lining to this cloud. Comic journalism's loss is definitely Comic writing's gain.

On that note, I'd like to give the biggest thank you to all of Comics Alliance's writers and staff, both past and present. The comics world wouldn't be the same without you. I hope you all go on to even bigger and better things. And in particular I'd like to give a special shout out to some of my favourite writers, Jon Erik Christianson, Katie Schenkel and James Leask, your work has shaped me as both a reader and a writer.

Godspeed Comics Alliance, and stay angry.

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