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Monday, December 31, 2012

State of Comics "Journalism", 2012

It is now a full week since Frederik Schodt posted about the passing of Keiji Nakazawa five days earlier.

Of seven major English language comic book news websites, including six which have been nominated for the Eisner Award for Journalism, four appear not to have mentioned it at all. Of those, only one has been completely absent of updates since Schodt's posting. The others have all maintained regular posting, including numerous articles which could not have been written in advance for holiday posting.

[update, The Comics Journal returns from holiday with a great piece by Matt Thorn and a 2003 Nakazawa interview from the print magazine archives]

Of the other three sites, one only linked to an external site with a short article on the news, and another had a very brief article of under 150 words which might as well have had the byline "Wikipedia".

Only one of the seven sites had a half-way decent obituary for the creator of BAREFOOT GEN and I SAW IT, and even there it was relegated to a side blog posting, where it quickly scrolled off, rather than getting coverage on the front page of the site.

This is, by any measure, a pathetic display of the state of on-line journalism in the comic book field.

It's now New Year's Eve. I welcome any evidence that any comic book journalist has resolved to do better in 2013.

On a brighter note, go read this 3-page comic by Raina Telgemeier, creator of the books SMILE and DRAMA, from 2002 about reading BAREFOOT GEN at age 9. A great piece by one of the biggest names in young adult comics. Any comic book news site not at least linking to it, and possibly asking Telgemeier for permission to reprint it, isn't doing their job.

Update, now January 5, I guess we've gotten all we'll get.  Final tally, Comics Alliance, Newsarama and Bleeding Cool all decided that Nakazawa's death wasn't worth reporting to their readers, not with the big Spider-Man "news" going on. The Beat and The Comics Reporter thought it was important enough to link to some other sites reporting on it, but not provide any substantial original content themselves. Comic Book Resources did get a decent article out quickly, but didn't think it was worth publicizing on the front page of the site, just leaving it off to the side to  quickly scroll away. That just leaves The Comics Journal providing a detailed article and giving it prominent placement, perhaps a little later than it should have been, but understandable given their holiday break and peculiar lack of coverage of the Spider-Man breaking news.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:41 pm

    Completely agree, and just what I would expect. The idea of journalism in comics is basically a joke. Most of what passes for it conforms to a weird buddy system, a closed circle of people who meet up at comic book conventions to show one another their MMMS badges.

    patrick ford


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