• All the party invite info for New York Comic-Con has been flooding into our inbox over the last few days — thank goodness, we’ve already scheduled a nourishing meal each evening, or else things would be looking way too liquid.

We’ll be posting most of our info on the show TOMORROW (Wednesday) so if you haven’t gotten us your schedule, hurry up and do it!

• Due to con-related activities, we’re only going to be posting the essential need-to-know stuff here. Assuming our server doesn’t shut us down again.

• For all those who were wondering if The Beat was caught in some sudden layoffs, don’t worry, if we ever get the boot, everyone will know loud and clear. In the meantime, you can subscribe to our Twitter feed for battlefield updates and fast breaking news — but also a lot of shit that takes place on the streets, overheard conversations and sandwich reviews.

• Speaking of Twitter, we’re as addicted to it as everyone else, including celebrities. It seems to be peaking about now, as people that we used to enjoy long, collegial message board conversations with are now reduced to fleeting 140-character bursts of excitement, hunger pangs, hype, and satisfaction with tasty sandwiches. We learn, for instance, that Neil Gaiman likes to take baths and does a lot of interviews, Jonathan Ross hangs out with famous people, and Joe Quesada and Brian Bendis have a lot of in-jokes. Indeed, Marvel’s mastery of the Twitter-verse is quite thorough, a modern incarnation of the Bullpen persona that you can follow along with in real time.

It does seem that when everyone is on Twitter, no one is on Twitter, as eventually we’ll all have too many people to follow or reply to and it will just be another swirling miasma of meaningless information that’s too vast to make sense of. Plus, how is it supposed to make any money?

• FINALLY, we’re going to let the whole “complimentary copy” brouhaha settle down. But a few parting shots: The word “complimentary” does, as Douglas Tonks suggested, lend itself more readily to a breath mint or a hand towel. If you’re going to mention where you got it, the phrase “review copy” is more in the spirit of the process — unless it was a gift, and if it’s all for transparency, you might as well break it down further.

FINALLY, we do regret that folks like Ed Sizemore took the term “amateur” to be synonymous with “amateurish,” which it isn’t. We liked Sizemore’s review of PLUTO so much we gave it a prominent post all to itself, mainly because the content was excellent, thorough and thoughtful. And the disclaimer at the end about the galley was appropriate because galleys can differ from the final product. And I respect the reviews of Johanna and Matthew Brady, as well (and probably several other people who use the dread disclaimer.)

In the end, I didn’t change my mind a bit about the disclaimer, but I did think a lot more about the 256 shades of grey on the Internet, and some other people solidified their stances. I think disquisition over ethics and criteria are part of the process of putting one’s thoughts before the public — or should be for anyone who is serious about it.

• Plus I haven’t been such a target of blogger vitriol since “CBG Dome” back in ’04!


  1. Thanks for the kind words. They’re certainly more than I deserve. I’m willing to change the wording to ‘promotional’ or ‘review’ copy.

  2. M-O: the point was, is and always shall be that how you acquired a particular comic should have no relevance to your opinion of its merits if you are a professional level reviewer.

    That spun off a dizzying number of sub-topics, including the implications of the word “complimentary.”