Fans of the Comics Blogosphere of the Aughts, The Wild Bunch is back for one more ride. Trouble with Comics is relaunching for the new era. The site, mostly run by Alan David Doane and Christopher Allen, has been around for a while as an on again off again thing, but it’s time to saddle up again:
Back in the summer of 2000, some friends of mine and I made a bit of a splash writing reviews, essays, news and intervews about comics for a site called Comic Book Galaxy. There were only a half-dozen or so websites devoted to comics at the time, and the idea of blogs was still a year or two away, so we got noticed a little. Then the Comics Blogosphere exploded, and wow, there were a lot of people writing about comics. A few years back Chris Allen and I spun Trouble With Comics out of Comic Book Galaxy (and then Flashmob Fridays out of TWC), but due to one thing and another (mostly covert diplomatic missions for the government, end humblebrag), the past few years our posting has been pretty intermittent. After talking to some longtime colleagues in recent months, it seemed like a lot of us had started to feel the need to start writing about comics more regularly. Like there was a hole in the discussion that wasn’t being filled, to come dangerously close to a disgusting metaphor. So here we are, in Trouble again.
Among the contributors, Mike Sterling and David Allen Jones, aka Johnny Baccardi, as well as Roger Green, Rob Vollmar and a bunch more. The complete list:
Christopher Allen, a longtime comics critic and former Eisner Awards judge who has written for Comic Book Galaxy, Movie Poop Shoot and many other outlets. Yan Basque, who has previously written for Irrelevant Comics and Flashmob Fridays (a Trouble With Comics spinoff). Scott Cederlund, who has spent the past 10 years writing about comics for Popdose, Newsarama, Sound on Sight and Panel Patter. Alan David Doane, a longtime broadcast journalist who has interviewed scores of comics industry professionals, and has written for Comic Book Galaxy, Newsarama, The Comics Journal, World Literature Today and other publications. Roger Green, former manager at the now-defunct FantaCo Enterprises in the 1980s, who in additional to his own personal blog of the past ten years, has also blogged for Flashmob Fridays and the Albany, NY Times Union newspaper website. Brian Lynch, who launched his writing career at Trouble With Comics’s parent site Comic Book Galaxy in 2001 with a celebrated webcomic called “Simulated Comics.”
Jason Marcy, writer/artist of the Jay’s Days series of autobio graphic novels and a contributor to various comic anthologies. He also produced a daily comic strip for well over ten years and has previously written for Comic Book Galaxy. Mick Martin, a writer living in upstate New York whose work has appeared in Comic Book Galaxy, Pop Dose, PopMatters, and Playback: STL among others as well as his new blog, Needs More Hulk. Logan Polk, a longtime columnist and podcaster at LooseStaples.com who began his writing career at Comic Book Galaxy. Mike Sterling, a comics retailer for over a quarter of a century who has previously written for Comic Book Galaxy and his own much-loved site Progressive Ruin. Rob Vollmar, a comics writer and critic from Oklahoma. He co-creates the webcomic Howling @ the Gates with his wife and works as the Book Review Editor for World Literature Today Magazine.
I’ve always enjoyed the writing of most of these folks even when I didn’t agree, so I look forward to seeing what they cook up. I don’t know if we’re ready for Aughts nostalgia, but the blogosphere of the pre-Facebook era was was a pretty lively place with some strong personalities. The eventual commercialization of the web—and the rise of tossed off social media—has made this kind of personal writing less prevalent, or perhaps relevant, than it was however.
There does seem to be a stirring on the webz for more substantial writing about comics from writers of all eras, and such a thing is definitely needed, as I keep saying, so I’ll be curious to see where it goes.
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.