As you probably heard over the holiday, iFanboy is packing in its “day to day” operations, which seemed like a euphemistic way of saying they won’t be running a costly and unprofitable daily website any more. 2013 has been a reality check for several “blogs” — a few months ago Newsarama quietly ended its blog, and there was that whole big scare about Comics Alliance, although that wasn’t profit based. John Martz ended Drawn. Yeah I know there have been a billion tumblrs started each and every day to make up for it all, but iFanboy was a destination site for opinions and sometimes news and at least semi-informed viewpoints. I checked it out at last twice a week, and really enjoyed their iFanboy Upstarts feature which profiled new and notable artists. Chris Arrant has been doing it lately and it had everyone from Luke Pearson to Rem Broo. It was a nice eclectic site, covering a big, eclectic medium.
Really, this isn’t really a big dramatic disruption, but more like a quiet blind-pulling here and there. The podcast is still around, and the content will stay up, but as Conor Kilpatrick wrote:
The simple fact is that our lives are much different now than they were even five years ago, and with families and day jobs and other opportunities all vying for our time and attention, iFanboy.com has been suffering for it and we couldn’t watch it suffer any longer. It hurts us to not be able to put our all into this place that we’ve spent so many years building into a vibrant and wonderful community. After five years spent running iFanboy.com as our primary jobs, we had to transition back to running iFanboy part time after Graphicly handed it back to us in February of this year, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to focus on everything we need to focus on in the manner that it deserves to be.
While the farewell post didn’t dwell much on it, Graphicly buying and then cutting loose the site must have been a big financial blow. And 13 years is a long time to stay at something as a time consuming hobby.
So, as we’ve written here many times before, the sad truth comes up again: there isn’t much money to be made writing about comics. As I contemplated the end of iFanboy I kept thinking about that scene from Mickey and the Beanstalk where Mickey slices up a single piece of bread and a single bean as a meal for a drooling, quivering Donald and Goofy.
Okay maybe comics journalism isn’t quite THAT bad.
Anyway best wishes to the Fanboy drew on their continued podcasting, and thanks for all the posts along the way, and the kick-ass parties and the laughs. No one ever leaves comics entirely, so I suspect we’ll see the crew around, just doing different things.
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.