The End?!

This is the final day of my final week as co-editor of The Comics Journal. As you might expect, this event inspires mixed emotions. On one hand, it's been eight-plus years of headaches and elevated blood pressure and late nights and early mornings and I'm ready to move on to a more normal life; on the other, the Comics Journal is one of my favorite publications of any kind, it's held a central place in my imaginative life for nearly as long as I can remember, and it's an honor to be associated with it in any way. I'm not sure I've really come to grips with the fact that it's over.

While pondering this farewell, I've considered discussing the transformations that have taken place over the last eight years, both in comics and in internet publishing, but I'm not sure I have much to say that isn't obvious, or that wouldn't seem out of place. Still, I didn't want to leave without any goodbye at all. I'm leaving for no dramatic reason, but because of changes in my professional and familial obligations that have been taking much more of my time over the last year or so. Tucker Stone will be staying on as editor of the site, and I'm sure he will do an outstanding job. He has big plans, and I can't wait to experience them as a reader.

When I look back at my tenure here, my temperament leads me to focus on the missed opportunities and mistakes: articles that needed one more round of editing before publication, interviews that were never finished, emails and projects left undone. But that isn't the whole picture, and it's not the right note for today. Art matters, and so does this site. Because I do believe that even with all its faults, TCJ has for the last eight years been far and away the best, most consistent, most principled, and most thorough publication devoted to comics published in English, on or off the internet. I am proud of that.

So I want to focus on the positive today. Most importantly, I want to thank everyone who helped make TCJ the website that it is: Dan and Tucker, my co-editors, who more often than I'd like to admit did most of the work; Gary Groth, who gave us this opportunity, and whose responsibility for the ever-growing cultural health and relevance of comics over the last forty years can't be overstated; Kim Thompson, whose early encouragement and advice were immeasurably helpful; Kristy Valenti, who has put countless thankless hours into this site, and who deserves more recognition for her work; everyone else at Fantagraphics who has helped in innumerable ways; the site's many writers and contributors, too many to name individually, though of course I will always have a special place in my heart for the ones who came on to TCJ at the same time we launched, and those I personally edited; my collaborators at Comics Comics (Frank, Joe, Jeet, Nicole, Dash, Jason), the site before the site; Mike Reddy, who drew so many great illustrations at such short notice; my wife and family, who have been very understanding; the artists and publishers whose work makes all of this necessary and possible; our many critics and haters, who made this publication better, whether they meant to or not; and, of course, the readers, who make this site feel like a true community. (Any community worth the name includes a few village idiots.)

It is impossible to measure how much I've learned while editing this site, about not only comics, but everything that writing about comics intersects with, which is nearly everything. Thank you for supporting my education.