Welcome to the New Comics Journal

Hi there, and welcome to the new online Comics Journal.

So, what’s the deal here, anyway? First, let’s be clear: We’re editing the online incarnation of this magazine only. Gary Groth is the editor of the annual print edition (issue 301 in stores soon!), and Kristy Valenti is our editorial coordinator at the Fantagraphics home office. Michael Dean will be contributing to the site, and helping Gary with the print magazine. Our goal is to produce an online magazine about comics as a living medium. And yes, we’re closing Comics Comics. Or rather, we're putting it into cryogenic storage. It still lives where it always lived. The Comics Journal was a huge influence on both of us, and when Gary offered the opportunity to help shape it, the challenge was too good to pass up. So here we are.

This site is divided into several sections which will continue to grow over the days and weeks and months to come: Feature articles, including lengthy interviews, investigative journalism, and long-form critical and historical essays; regular columns on a variety of subjects; a steady stream of book reviews; thorough and easily navigated event listings; an ever-growing archive of The Comics Journal's thirty-plus years as a print magazine (by the end of 2011, each and every issue will be online)—this will be available in full to magazine subscribers only; and of course this daily blog, which will be a catch-all for short items, selective link-blogging, and a forum for guest voices and bad jokes.

We’re happy to announce all of our Comics Comics cohorts have come along with us. Frank Santoro’s regular column, Riff Raff, will debut this weekend; Jeet Heer’s Comics Chronicles later this week. Joe "Jog" McCulloch will continue covering This Week in Comics in his own inimitable style, and Nicole Rudick, Dash Shaw, and Jason T. Miles will also be contributing content in the coming months.

Our other columns include Grid by Ken Parille; What Was Alternative Manga? by Ryan Holmberg (first installment up now); Say Hello, by Sean T. Collins; High-Low by Rob Clough; Know Your New Yorker Cartoonists by Richard Gehr (also up now, and featuring a tremendous Sam Gross interview); Hare Tonic by R.C. Harvey; Funnybook Roulette by R. Fiore; and finally, A Cartoonist’s Diary, in each installment of which a guest cartoonist will invite readers in to observe five days in a working artist's life. (Vanessa Davis is up first.) We’re thrilled we are able to launch with such a talented bunch. Upcoming contributors to the site include Andrew Leland, Naomi Fry, Jesse Pearson, Tom De Haven, Shaenon Garrity, Matt Seneca, Chris Mautner, Tucker Stone, and Hillary Chute, with more to come.

As you can see, we already have some lengthy articles online (such as Bob Levin on Frank Frazetta, and Patrick Rosenkranz on the story of autobiographical comics), an exclusive preview of Seth's upcoming graphic novel, a batch of book reviews, and a ton of archival features, such as a selection of the magazine's greatest hits (which will continue to grow in the weeks and months ahead), and, for a limited time only, free access to scans of the magazine's very earliest issues—don't miss the new introduction Gary has written for the first issue. There's a lot more than that here, so … look around for yourself!

Not to be too obvious about our ambitions, but we want TCJ to be the best source for tough-minded writing and thinking about the medium and we think we’ve assembled a team that can make that happen.

We’d like to thank Gary, Kristy, Michael Dean, Jacq Cohen, and everyone at Fantagraphics for taking this leap with us. Keep reading.

Dan and Tim

P.S. The old's content is safe and sound, and will be up and available again in the very near future.

UPDATE: You can find all the old material at

35 Responses to Welcome to the New Comics Journal

  1. Daniel_Werneck says:

    We're sure glad to see the good old TCJ back…!

  2. noahberlatsky says:

    Congratulations guys! The site looks lovely.

  3. Shannon_Smith says:

    Looks nice. I'm excited about the archives. Good luck.

  4. patrick ford says:

    Wow, I’m very, very happy to hear a complete archive of past issues will be available here in the not to distant future.

    What an incredible resource.

    So much easier to use than digging through all those old issues, not to mention the ability to cut and paste from interviews, and articles.

    Thanks very much for this.

    I’m thrilled, honestly.

  5. Costa says:

    Just poking around, I'm loving this new design and layout. Very stoked to be back for more regular stuff!

  6. Douglas Wolk says:

    This looks fantastic. Really looking forward to seeing what's ahead.

  7. Kiel_Phegley says:

    Very excited for this, gents. Congrats all around!

  8. mlitven says:

    This layout is a major improvement! And these columns all look very exciting.

    and comics comics is over? and this is how i had to hear about it?!

  9. Pingback: Comics Comics Takes Over & Arthur Magazine Closes « Wow Cool

  10. benjaminmarra says:

    Very exciting stuff. The site looks awesome, guys.

  11. IanHarker says:

    In the spirit of upward mobility I henceforth nominate Blaise Larmee and Jason Overby as the new editors of Comics Comics.

    (I'm not sure if I'm serious.)

  12. Andrew_White says:

    I'm just looking forward to the launch of The Comets Journal

  13. hutchowen says:

    This is terrific news!

  14. Trebbers says:

    Fantastic news all around. Just re-subscribed; access to the complete archives alone makes it worth the price.

  15. MADdelaRosa says:

    Congratulations guys, the site looks great and exceeded my expectations. Sad to see Comics Comics go (on hiatus at least), but I'm looking forward to what you guys have in store here.

    Also: a full archive of the print mag?!!! Fantastic news.

  16. MauMatamorosD says:

    Enhorabuena! The new site just looks great, and the articles too.
    Big hurras from Mexico!

  17. johnrplatt says:

    Oh man, I foresee a lot of reading about comics in my future…

  18. steven samuels says:

    “The old’s content is safe and sound, and will be up and available again in the very near future.”

    I guess the message board doesn’t count as “content”

  19. Tim Hodler says:

    It does count, and it will be up and available again. (No more posting, though, at least for the foreseeable future.)

  20. steven samuels says:

    No arguments here. A good web site needs a strategy, and you guys have that here. When you get down to it the hodgepodge quality to the previous edition didn’t work in its favor, needless to say. I don’t doubt that the archived magazines will overwhelmingly improve the site’s presence on the web. Thirty five years of articles, that’s a slam dunk.

    Will individual sentences on the archive be searchable on the web a la google books, or will you use tags for enabling of searches?

    As an aside, I will say that there is still a need for a good indie comics message board. The concept of one isn’t completely dead if handled right. It depends on who feels like dealing with the headaches that come with maintaining one. I was always regretting missing out on the first iteration of the TCJ board, but Spurgeon’s article from this morning kind of makes one second guess that. Yikes.

  21. Really great news. Made even better by the end of the messageboard. This is like getting Christmas for Thanksgiving!

  22. IanHarker says:

    While I was certainly at peace with the quiet passing away of the message board, or as I like to call it "my old blog", I think it's worth reflecting on the ways in which it was the genesis of social media for our community. That's something that we take for granted in the age of Facebook and Twitter. We're able to share our thoughts with each other everyday which is something that I feel privileged to be a part of in whatever capacity. To whatever extent the message board laid the groundwork for the alt-comics-osphere itself I feel that that's a good thing.

  23. Pingback: Carnival of souls: The Comics Journal relaunches, Guy Davis leaves B.P.R.D., more « Attentiondeficitdisorderly by Sean T. Collins

  24. I'm fairly new to the whole Comics Journal environment – I only managed to hit the tail end of the periodical when it was coming outa touch more frequently (grabbing the Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba issue and the "final" issue, with those FANTASTIC interviews), but I have to say – I'm excited about what's to come. The site looks good, and it looks like a lot of good people will be taking part. Can't wait to see where it all goes!

  25. UlandK says:

    Everything looks amazing. Far better than I imagined it could be.
    I do think this whole idea that messageboards are outmoded is pretty silly. Message-boards are blank slates. What is facebook, if not a bunch of individualized messageboards? But yes, the board got really horrible, I know. I also get that the new editors have no obligation to keep it going. But I also know that if one third of the people who whined about it ( they obviously read the thing, right?) put some good stuff out there on the board, it would've been great ( like at was on occasion.). It's almost like people enjoyed hating it…
    One important function the board served was in keeping in touch with this idea of fandom. Are those days over? Is the world of alt-comics now centrally located in NY, with a handful of movers-and-shakers at the wheel?

  26. strifeknot says:

    A message board where no one can post messages isn't a message board. It was the most valuable thing about this site.

    Will there eventually be a new forum?

  27. Dan Nadel says:

    You can try out the archive right now. The only expedient (and affordable) way is to present each page as an image, so you won't be able to search inside the images, as they're jpegs. But each issue is extensively tagged and the table of contents include page numbers, so you'll be able to find whatever you need fairly quickly.

  28. Dan Nadel says:

    There will not be a new message board on this site. It's just not what we want to do. The old one lives as an archive and, of course, there are easy technologies available for anyone who wants to set up one of their own and take on the admin responsibilities it entails. But we really need to focus on providing focused content and getting discussions going around that.

  29. LilBitRain says:

    Long live!!!

  30. Decalicatan2 says:

    The new layout is great but the RSS feed has not been updated since March 6th. Please fix it.

  31. Tim Hodler says:

    We're working on it.

  32. Zack_Soto says:

    Saying the messageboard was the best thing about the old site is just damning any of the work anyone was doing/more of a statement on on circa 2009 than anything else..

  33. steven samuels says:

    Andrei Molotiu with his thoughts on the message board. He has pretty much my thoughts on the matter- the real damage was done with the failure to archive the original edition (1999-2006) of it. That was extremely shortsighted on the part of the powers that be.

  34. grapesgrapes says:

    looking forward to Intense Debates :)

  35. Prof MUSTER says:

    Years ago in 1973 the Comics publishing house named
    issued a story of JAI JUNGLEBOY in 3 issues bookletts
    named: The Dragoncloister/ the King-Elephant/the Dangerous Land.
    Story about an Elephant boy/assistent policeman named JAI
    the surroundings were in North Malaya names as PRASHPOUR I yet failed to detect
    Bollywood made a film about it in 1999 and again in 2004 but would not suppy information
    I don’t know the Story editor nor scenarist nor draughtsman/artist
    these informations were suppressed by the Publisher in Europe
    who unfortunately went bankrupt in 2000, leaving no FORWARDing archives-adress

    Can anyone familliar with this issue( reprinted in Dutch and German.)get me to the writer(s.)??
    the Dutch and German printer’s adresses are not valid anymore
    JAI JUNGLEBOY is a standalone issue and has no connection with Tarzan nor Korak series.

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