The other day we were polishing our buggy whip collection, cleaning the heads on our VCR player, and updating our RSS reader, getting rid of the dead feeds and nuking categories like “Lost blogs” and “Harry Potter.” There were, unsurprisingly, scores and scores of things that have gone away in the 7 or 8 years we’ve had a Google feed, including many that were dear to us. We were especially sad to see that after warning that they didn’t have the budget to keep running, the ASIFA’s Animation Archive did indeed vanish from the internet. There is an archive page up but it’s mostly about screenings. I mean, nowadays we have Tumblr for our image needs, but the ASIFA stuff was very well organized and included lots of original research from their holdings. The internet may be forever for things like photos of you falling out of your bikini top at the company retreat, but for research purposes, it’s ephemeral as all get out.
§ Another thing we noted was, if not gone, at least had stopped coming out with new content, was comiXology’s formerly awesome column lineup. Launched back in the primitive era of 2007 when comiXology was far from the behemoth it is now, the columns rounded up some of the very best writers of the era—Kristy Valenti, Shaenon T. Garrity, Karen Green, Jog, Tucker Stone, Jason Thompson—and gave them a regular, paying platform. We checked with a few of the writers and they all said the columns had simply drifted away, part of a business segment comiXology doesn’t really need any more.
It may sound stupid, but the number of outlets that simply pay smart columnists to write about comics can be counted on two hands—CBR and TCJ. That’s how little money there is in comics punditry. ComiXology’s column archives are still up and hopefully they’ll stay up—there’s some good stuff there.
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.