As you may have noticed, The Beat has a whole new front page and a whole new look!
And yes, we don’t quite have the kinks worked out yet. But we’re getting there.
We wanted to get launched with the new New Beat because it was 15 years ago this very day, July 1, 2004, that The Beat launched as a blog! So we’re having a special Anniversary year, with an anniversary logo. At some point we may even have cake!
IMPORTANT: I’ve already heard from a few of you that you are upset that you can’t just read the stuff we’ve posted in the order it was posted. Fear not. We’re working on an “Old Beat” page for you folks who like your content rolled out in Pepperidge Farm Remembers fashion.
We can do lots of thing with this new backend: send us any ideas and suggestions!
On these occasions, I like to look back at where we’ve been and where we’re going. And every year, the state of online media – and even more so, online comics media – gets a bit more dire. Keeping this site going through its many incarnations and financial models has been a long, hard journey that involved lots of late nights and peanut butter sandwiches.
In this new world, I now eat a healthful bag of cauliflower florets instead of peanut butter. Vietnamese coffee, with its mysterious ingredients list, has also been banished. I’m older and maybe a little wiser than when I started.
The Beat is very lucky to have loyal readers, loyal advertisers and a parent company with unwavering support. We’re going to be here for a long time to come.
And of course, the world we cover – comics and comics culture – has expanded beyond the wildest dreams I ever had when I started this “blog.” Those of you who listen to the More to Come podcast I do for Publisher’s Weekly know that I’m often tempted to do a “mic drop” and sail into the sunset to the Undying Lands. Everything I believed in when I first started writing about comics (and later making them) has become stronger and better. Comics are read by a totally diverse audience and groups that were previously marginalized are being heard more. Kids/ comics – a category that was scoffed at by major publishers for years – is now one of the fastest growing categories in publishing, not just comics publishing. And of course, wherever you turn, there’s an ad for a movie or television show or video game or sneaker based on comics.
Nothing is perfect – the money that trickles down from billion dollar franchises to the creators is often a very tiny trickle. We need higher page rates, better working conditions and better distribution models. We always will.
But we’ve come a long way.
And so have I.
And we’re just getting started! We’ve got a ton of exciting stuff planned for San Diego Comic-Con and beyond including more multi-media content. But of course, there will still be my bad Hipstamatic photos and complaints about food because that is tradition!
So to wrap things up for now: thank you to David Steward II and the Polarity and Lion Forge teams for all their support and hard work. Thank you to Samantha Puc for stepping in and being the Managing Editor of my dreams. Thank you to Alex, Kyle, Hannah, AJ, Joe, Megan, Edward and the rest of the core team for keeping a steady rudder. And to the rest of the writing team, you are the best damned team to write about comics ever assembled!
I never thought I’d be doing this for 15 years. But to be completely honest, I never thought I wouldn’t be doing it, either. Writing about the things I love on a daily basis – and doing it for a living – is pretty much what I always wanted to do, from when I was 10 years old. And it’s something that’s still so fun and fulfilling that I wake up every day eager to see what’s going to happen next.
In another 15 years there may not be blogs, or news sites or the internet.
But there will be comics. I’m dead certain of that. That’s why we’re here.
[Photos via Pexels]