And then there were…five. Comics Alliance is shutting down, effective today, In fitting sign of the state of comics journalism , the news was scooped by another site whose lede was about how they had known the news for a while and scooped it.

Editor-in-Chief Andrew Wheeler took to Twitter to break the news.

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Launched by AOL with editor-in-chief Laura Hudson in 2009, Comics Alliance quickly became one of the largest comics and nerd culture news sites on the web. AOL shut the site down in 2013, but TownSquare Media acquired it amid great weeping from comics readers. But 2017 is not 2013 and givent he state of the web economy it would be extremely surprising to see a rescuer scoop it up this time.

Edited to add: yep not coming back soon.

 

Over the course of its existence, played host to many top comics critics such as Chris Sims, ‘Strip Panel Naked’s’ Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, and former Comics Beat managing editor Steve Morris.

The site also provided a platform to many who would go on to become major players in other parts of the comic book industry. Andy Khouri was an editor at ComicsAlliance before going on to become an editor at DC Comics, working on titles such as 2015’s acclaimed series Omega Men. David Brothers wrote at ComicsAlliance, among many other sites, before going on to become the Content Manager at Image Comics. For a few years, the site also published cartoonist Kate Leth’s webcomic “Kate or Die.”

Under Laura Hudson, Comcis Alliance pioneered the brand of comics activism that has changed comics for the better so much. The site got a little less fiery as the years went by until, as The Beat noted in its recent survey of comics media, days when the site was leading the charge on the latest issues were farther and farther apart. That the last editor in Chief, Andrew Wheeler has thrown his comics journalist cape into the trash  an walked away also tells you everything you need to know about the state of comics media.

Comics Alliance won the Eisner Award for Best Comics Periodical/Journalism in 2015. To all those who wrote for the site, we at the Comics Beat say thank you for adding your voices to our small corner of the world. We hope you soon find new homes to invigorate you or new journeys to inspire you.

— Alex Lu and Heidi MacDonald

24 COMMENTS

  1. I stopped reading that site after the whole Chris Sims harassment thing came to light and Andrew Wheeler’s hypocritically poor handling of it.

  2. I used to love CA and it was a daily read. In the past few years as the coverage became…”safer” i started frequenting the site very rarely. Just lost all of its edge, and felt it was just a place to read Press releases.

    all good things…

  3. I too am with roto13. It’s hard to keep one’s eye shut once it has been opened. My daily read before was CA then CB. Since the sims debacle, I’m all CB.

  4. That’s a shame. We need a greater variety of voices when it comes to comics reporting. Way too many of the “stories” on other sites are just warmed-over press releases, barely researched Top Whatever lists, and speculation.

  5. I gave up not primarily due to the Sims thing but a more general increasing sleaziness about the site – too many clickbait stories about unsupported film and TV casting rumours, the once fun “best art ever” posts becoming slideshows that constantly made my browser hang.

  6. I was very proud of my blog work for editors John Anderson and Chris Dooley at Comics Allance in 2007, before massive layoffs shuttered the site in 2008. The sad part: CA was one of two sites that brought eyeballs and was profitable back in the day, way before crappy videos and lame click bait headlines.

  7. I don’t get the moral outrage about Sims. He was a cyber-bully, then matured and moved on, becoming a voice of positivity. And when called out on his behavior, he didn’t defend it and was apologetic. Personally, I’m happy to see someone mature and become a better person. If people are blacklisted forever for past mistakes, that’s a huge disincentive to making any personal changes. But the Internet is a judgmental place after all…

    I still check in with CA, but their is too much movie stuff for my tastes. They still have the odd article about comics nitty gritty, like panel composition or coloring which were very interesting.

  8. That’s some sad news, though I’ll agree the site hadn’t been as good as it had been for a few years. I used to read a lot there, by the end only went for the Chris Sims columns. Still had it’s moments though, and the comics conversation is poorer without it. Good choice of comic to end the article.

  9. You did see where they tried to just brush off and sweep under the whole Sims’ thing, right? Also, the apology was too little too late and just sounded like something they made him say.

  10. I think Sims’s apology was clumsy but well-intentioned. I don’t blame people who’ve chosen not to forgive him (especially D’Orazio herself), but I’m more inclined to agree with Ben and give him the benefit of the doubt that he really regrets his awful behavior and won’t repeat it.

    But again, I understand people who disagree.

    I also agree that, following the last relaunch, there was too much Web 2.whatever slideshow formatting, focus on videos, and cross-promotion from other sites. (“Oh God, ScreenCrush again?”) But it’s hard to blame the CA staff for that; it clearly came from the corporate parent.

    I think CA provided some valuable voices, and I look forward to following them elsewhere.

  11. Have you ever put into proportion what damage sims has done with his “cyber-bullying” against what he has failed to do to make up for it?

  12. Saying you “don’t get it” is insulting to people who are and have been cyber-bullied just because their bullies have become transformed men. Always think of the victims first and put yourself into the situation as it was happening and maybe then you would understand why people cyber bullied can be driven to depression or suicide.

  13. Damn, wish I’d lived the sort of perfect life that leads me to be able to judge people harshly for having been an arsehole and doing dumb shit in their twenties. Unfortunately it would be hypocritical for me to do so.

  14. Too bad Ben. There are many in their twenties who choose to go the high road instead of being an arsehole or dumb shit in their life.
    Cyber-bullying that leads to potential suicide or depression isn’t just doing dumb shit.

  15. Until D’Orazio forgives him, this issue will not be over. If that does not happen, so what? Sims seems to be fine with all these issues haunting him. It only means one thing: cyber-bullies can go scott free without consequences.

  16. Not sure if D’Orazio would ever be open to providing input on a restorative justice solution might be, but that would be one way to create healing and support for the target of the bullying while holding Sims accountable and at the same time providing a way to come back into the community. Past actions wouldn’t be forgotten, but forgiven after a genuine and sincere effort to make amends and grow.

    Meanwhile, CA was a great place to be affirmed and seen as a queer comics reader, I’m really going to miss them!

  17. Chris Sims is a national treasure whose love, affection and enthusiasm for comics makes his writing always a joy to read. The only reason I’ll miss ComicsAlliance is because of him, but I’m sure a man of his ample talents will find other outlets for his creativity.

    The people discussing him disparagingly in this thread are why I (and a lot of others, apparently) stopped reading ComicsAlliance a few years back. Too much fauxrage, too much hectoring, too much people high on their own drama.

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