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Serious Charges!

Some site news: We’re going to keep the comments on this site, moderate them with much more rigor (as we’ve been doing the past 10 days or so, with good results), and eliminate the “Blood & Thunder” box on the homepage. Comments will now only be seen underneath the posts. We’re also fixing that nesting system. We may still be making a few additional changes based on reader suggestions, and are looking into the logistics for all of this. Thanks for all your feedback. It was very helpful.

Today Rob Clough talks to comics retailer and owner of Chapel Hill Comics Andrew Neal, who, as of today, is retiring from the business.

Was running the store starting to become a bit of a grind or boring? Given that you have a number of potential projects lined up but nothing definitive, I was wondering if there was something you felt you were missing out on as a result of the effort it took to run the store. Was there any event or trend in particular that encouraged you to sell?

I wouldn’t say that running the store had become boring, but it was definitely a grind. The weekly nature of comics retail is a double-edged sword. It ensures that customers return to the store on a regular basis, but it also means it’s hard to take a break, especially for people like me, who aren’t great at delegation.

I have loved running the store, but I’m ready to try something else. I think the simplest way to put it is that I still love comics, but I’m kind of burnt out on retail. Dan, the previous owner, pointed out to me that we each sold the store after twenty years of involvement, so maybe that’s when Comics Retail Burnout occurs?

I don’t know that I ever felt like I was missing out on anything, though. I feel exceptionally lucky and grateful to have been able to work with this medium that I love, to meet customers, retailers and creators, to use comic book money to pay the bills, and then to cash in the business. How many other people get to say anything like that about their lives?

Elsewhere:

In more news about ourselves, Comics Comics has been restored to its former self after a nasty hacking incident. So go forth and read us when we were young and excited.

Meanwhile, here’s a nice long interview with Francoise Mouly over at The Rumpus.

On the other end of the spectrum is this post about Amazing Spider-Man Annual 1. Along those lines is this nice image-heavy birthday tribute to Murphy Anderson.

Hey, Jim Rugg has a handsome new zine for sale.

Not even close to comics: I loved this piece about an exhibition at The Jewish Museum. The last paragraphs are particularly wonderful as we think about what we exhume from history and what we don’t. Wait, it’s probably too late to think about that now for some of us, but for you kids out there, think about it.

And finally, I could watch Terry Gilliam talk about animation for a long time.


9 Responses to Serious Charges!

  1. Tim Schmitt says:

    Glad you keep the comments. I wonder if it would do to move the blood and thunder box to the bottom of the page or somewhere else less prominent. Eliminating it entirely is going to make it harder to follow and join an ongoing conversation … but maybe that’s kind of what you’re trying to achieve. Anyway I’m curious to see if debates on here will be as interesting in the future as they were in the past. Thanks!

  2. If you’re going to eliminate the “Blood & Thunder” box, you could use that space to list the more recent entries from the “Features” section. You have these big “New Reviews” and “Recent Columns” listings in your home page, but I’ve always wondered why the recent Features aren’t more prominently displayed.

    (That being said, I agree with Tim that moving the B&T box to the bottom of the page would be a good idea.)

  3. Ramon De Los Flores says:

    Perhaps an RSS feed for comments for each article? I see lots of sites that have that, so it must be something self-automated and do-able.

  4. Adrian Hill says:

    I’m really glad to hear that Comics Comics has been restored in all its glory–what an important archive!

    Adrian

  5. Paul Slade says:

    The Blood & Thunder box is useful as a heads-up that someone worth reading has joined one of the current debates. How else am I to know that Mr Fiore has weighed in on something?

  6. R. Fiore says:

    Well, there’s the odor . . .

  7. Ryan Holmberg says:

    The Blood & Thunder box is the main way I keep track of people making comments on my articles, and if necessary respond to them in a timely fashion. Otherwise I have to scroll through the columns section every few weeks, try to remember how many comments each article used to have, and guess whether or not a new one has appeared. I don’t see any problem with how the front page is currently designed.

    I agree with others: it also is an easy way to see if a worthwhile comment by a respectable writer has been posted without digging through old articles.

  8. Ramon De Los Flores says:

    “The Blood & Thunder box is the main way I keep track of people making comments on my articles, and if necessary respond to them in a timely fashion. Otherwise I have to scroll through the columns section every few weeks, try to remember how many comments each article used to have, and guess whether or not a new one has appeared. I don’t see any problem with how the front page is currently designed.

    I agree with others: it also is an easy way to see if a worthwhile comment by a respectable writer has been posted without digging through old articles.”

    There’s an RSS feed for ALL the comments already, so no need to review individual articles and scroll up/down/etc.

    But, as I suggested above, a simpler solution would be a separate RSS feed for comments for EACH article. That way, no one would need to follow the Kirby/Lee threads or their like unless they were a glutton for redundant punishment.

  9. steven samuels says:

    ” and eliminate the “Blood & Thunder” box on the homepage”

    For old time’s sake though you might consider placing the “Blood & Thunder” logo right at the top of each comments thread.

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