Our annual creators survey wrapped up last with ending with the gala announcement of the Comics Industry People of the Year. This year I threw in an added question on the survey about The Beat itself. I had no idea what the results would be:


This is a little surprising in that “news” is sort of what makes the clicks fly, unless by “essays” you mean “internet-breaking controversies about industry dumpster fires.”

11-1I won’t bore you by rehashing my previous Howard Beale rants about making money making writing on the internet, but having traffic is important, so going all essays and criticism isn’t quite feasible at this time. Also, to be honest, I like the news. I have a short attention span and living in the now is more my speed.

However, I think what the industry was saying here is they want more quality writing ABOUT comics, not rehashed PR, FOC interviews and fact-muddying clickbait – things which The Beat can potentially provide if we work very very hard.

All that said, the internet is becoming a more and more challenging landscape. 

As we start this new dumpster fire year, I thought I’d throw the question out to The Beat’s loyal readers.


As always feel free to sounds off in the comments, but please don’t be abusive or crappy.



  1. Now that Comic Book Resources and Bleeding Cool are both entirely unreadable, I really, really, really need a quality source of information for breaking comics news. Reviews are terrific and interviews are great, but something that’s not a press release clearinghouse or an untrustworthy blend of satire and smug self-congratulation is very necessary.

  2. I agree with Ed. The ones I settle in to read are the in-depth pieces of investigative journalism (i.e. sexism in the comics workplace, business analysis of what is actually selling, etc…)

  3. Agree with Ed and Bill above. I know you rely on the news churn for clicks and thus, ad revenue, but there are dozens and dozens of other sites publishing Marvel and DC’s press releases. The material I come here for is the in-depth stuff — monthly sales analysis, the various columns (especially enjoy the ones offering retailer and legal perspectives), etc. In my opinion, that’s what makes The Beat unique.

  4. “there are dozens and dozens of other sites publishing Marvel and DC’s press releases.”

    Exactly. I no longer read anything from Marvel or DC, so I don’t care what they’re doing. Unless they’re going out of business. That I might read about.

    I like the in-depth investigative journalism, the commentary about issues in the industry. I don’t care to read about sales figures. And some historical articles about the industry’s past would be nice. Don’t limit reviews to current comics. This is a golden age of reprints. Those should also be reviewed.

  5. What Paul says. I still want you to raise my awareness of noteworthy works, But it would be awesome if I could one-stop-shop for (factual) industry news as well.

  6. If you’re gonna sling dirt, name names. Protecting a source is journalism. Protecting the guilty is hedging your bets so you don’t alienate the guilty parties or their friends or the companies they work for. The truth always comes out so be the place where the truth is brought to light in a thoughtful and well researched fashion. Click bait headlines that incite comment wars may be good for traffic but they’re terrible for humanity.

    I still really only come here for sales analysis articles. Posting solicitations would save from the horrors of cbr.

    Ranting makes me want to rant back. PR stuff is fine when it’s worthwhile.

    Just be interesting.

  7. I would like to see nothing about movies or tv adaptations but more news from small publishers, like Graphic India, Oni, aftershock, boom or archie.
    Anything with a personnal voice instead of a PR voice is always welcome. Keep the faith Heidi !

  8. Heidi ranting and raving like Howard Beale is inticing but I love the reviews, interviews, and essay here more. This is easily my favorite comics site

  9. I’d like essays, breaking news about the comic industry – but not PR pieces about what’s coming up in previews. An exception would be something like the rights to Miracle Man being worked out and Gaiman finishing the story, or somebody collecting a long OOP comic. I also like your think pieces about ongoing events in the comics community, in-depth investigative journalism, and business bits. I’ve dropped off reading the monthly sales but I do like some over all sales (what’s up and down) and I’m looking forward to Brian’s 2016 Bookscan analysis. Legal analysis (Trexler’s columns in particular) are also great.

    To sum it up, I like to learn more about the comics industry and part of that involves learning about the twists and turns as they happen (the Comic Con volunteers issue being a good recent example).

    I also like Heidi ranting and raving like Howard Beale. I think I’m going to choose that in the survey because the other two options don’t fully fit my views.

  10. I visit for legitimate, well researched news about the industry: upcoming titles, sales analysis, and insider views. Reviews ate also nice, but not why I come to the Beat.

  11. To me the Beat is one of the last bastions of real comic book related journalism. Someone needs to tell the Emperor he has no clothes and you won’t find it on CBR or Newsarama. Your article on the Marvel digital codes was great. Thought provoking, honest, and unafraid to to speak some truths is what I have grown to expect from you and the Beat and I really appreciate it.

  12. After far as reviews go, I’m personally looking for anything that stands out rather than a typical review. A comic or graphic novel that has a chance of making the end of year’s best of lists. I follow various writers and artists but always interested in picking up something really good outside my typical bubble.

    Beyond that, Heidi ranting and raving like Howard Beale is always good. Or since this is comics, ranting like Spider from Transmetropolitan?

  13. I like interviews and essays here at the Beat. I haven’t read Newsarama in years and I read only Brian Cronin’s articles at CBR. I check in every day until the Beat starts making “15 Things…” lists.

  14. The BEAT is my go to source for comics news. Please don’t become the TMZ of comics. That’s a waste of my time and energy. Well reasoned, thoughtful, insightful analysis, reviews, and journalism are what I crave.

  15. I wonder if a balance isn’t desirable — each day, many of the really fine newspapers of bygone days used to have breaking news on Page One, more in-depth analysis or “deep-reporting” stories on Page Two, opinion pieces on the Editorial Page, and interviews and reviews deeper inside each issue. I’m not advocating that Stately Beat Manor suddenly be reformatted to look like the Watergate-era Boston GLOBE, and I know it’s easy to say, “Sure — but where are newspapers now?” … That doesn’t change the fact that the model I describe was popular and sustainable for a whole lot of years. Did readers’ desires about content completely change, or did the newspaper moguls mistakenly convince themselves that it had changed? To me, rather than having readers think, “The Beat should be ,” we’d all benefit if readers thought, “The Beat is THE place to visit to get a fully-rounded, up-to-date view of the comics industry..”

  16. All together now…
    Who do we want? HEIDI!
    What should she do? RANT!
    Who do we want? HEIDI!
    What should she do? RANT!

    And although it’s probably not feasible in this click driven world, I agree with Lancel that no film news would be fantastic. Most of the other sites I used to read that were 90% comics feel like they are down to 10% comics (Even though on reflection that can’t possibly be true, but facts are so five years ago!)
    CBR’s dead, Newsarama’s deader, Comics Alliance has been downhill since Lauren stopped editing, and the Savage Critics have (mostly) stopped savagely critiquing!
    Feels like when comics were less in the public eye there was great pieces being written about them, and as they found greater success (and/or new revenue streams) there’s only puff.
    Fuck film! Fuck tv! Fuck variants! Fuck loot crate! Just give me COMICS!*

    *Prefeably, if not exclusively, in the form of Heidi ranting.

  17. I come for the rants but I stay for the news. And interviews. And essays. The only thing I don’t spend much time on are reviews but that’s because I’m no longer a weekly singles buyer.

  18. J seems to have mixed up the word less with the word more, and hysteria with righteous anger, but otherwise he makes a great point!

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