This one hurts.
Panels.net a wonderful site about comics that focused mostly on graphic novels, representation and the kind of books that are the future of the medium, with the tagline “Read comics. Be Happy” will fold into parent site Book Riot, editor Swapna Krishna reports.
As many of you may know, Panels is the sister site of Book Riot, the largest independently owned book website in North America. For awhile now, we’ve been realizing that it didn’t make sense to have two separate websites in Book Riot and Panels, when they could work so well together. That’s why we’re officially folding Panels into Book Riot, and on September 6, we’ll debut the new Book Riot Comics, the first vertical from Book Riot.
What does this mean for your reading experience? Well, there will be a new website and a new look, though you’ll be able to find all of Panels’ great back content over there. Most of the writers you know and love are making the transition to Book Riot, and I’ll still be the fearless editor, helping make sure that our comics coverage is as diverse, inclusive, and accessible to newer readers as possible. We’ll still maintain our own separate social media presence—if you follow us on Twitter or Facebook now, the only thing you’ll notice is a name change.
At least the coverage isn’t going away, but if you’ve been reading the Beat for the last 18 months you know that consolidation, moving to a mother site and just plain fading away are all signs of how hard it is to monetarily keep a site focused on comics alone going. If you’ve heard me on a podcast or on a panel that’s all anyone talks about any more.
I really loved Panels for the way the focused on READING comics and not just the latest Marvel and DC foibles. I’m very grateful that it’s sticking around as part of a larger book site; maybe mainstreaming is the way to go for comics over all.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.