Eye-Opening LinkBlogging

This is some smart promotion: Dark Horse is releasing Drawing Down the Moon: The Art of Charles Vess December 23. It’s a full-color hardcover, 200 pages for $40.

Drawing Down the Moon cover
Drawing Down the Moon
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As an art book, the appeal is seeing Vess’ amazing fantasy images in detail, lingering over their beauty. But in case you’re not familiar with his work or are curious about just what’s in the book, you can read the whole thing online. That’s a great way to let customers try it out without cannibalizing sales, since the art book market won’t find online images a suitable substitute for the print book.

Gownley DJs

Jimmy Gownley, creator of Amelia Rules, did a guest spot as DJ for a radio station that’s a must-listen for any fan of his comic. (It’s about 12 minutes of time.) He talks about his model for my favorite cast member, Amelia’s Aunt Tanner, and plays one of my favorite songs ever, Melissa Ferrick’s “Happy Song”, “about being happy but there’s an anger to it”, as an inspiration for Amelia’s character. Plus he says very insightful things about Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello and creativity and storytelling.

Losing the Experienced Reviewers

Why it’s so hard to make a career of reviewing: fans hate you, PR people attempt to manipulate you, and writers leave for the publicity business because that’s the only way they can make any money. The author is talking about video game reviewing, but his question, “Is this still a viable occupation — financially and spiritually — for adults? Was it ever?” is equally valid for comics.

The answer, in most cases, is “no”. That’s why people like me do this as side work to day jobs, whether related (freelance writing of other kinds) or less so (in my case, software testing). So what’s the big deal? Here’s his summary:

… there is a craft to writing about games. And that craft only comes from having years of experience; from rolling up your sleeves, paying your dues, and honing your critical instincts. Yet our oldest, most valued craftsmen and craftswomen are slowly being exiled. … These are the people who defined the very vocation from which they can no longer make a living.


One Response to “Eye-Opening LinkBlogging”

  1. Thad Says:

    Part of the problem, too, is that comics, while not dismissed as disposable fluff entertainment to the extent that they were a few decades back, are still not given the same respect as film, television, books, or music. Video games are even less respected. (In fact, film reviewers still say “it looks like a video game” as a pejorative — they won’t say it about movies they like, even ones that look A WHOLE LOT like video games. District 9 is an obvious example.)

    That said, I’m sure even reviews of “respectable” media are getting to be a tougher business. Print media in general are in a lot of trouble. Though I think game magazines have become obsolete much faster than other print media — the idea of waiting for a monthly magazine with still photos is an anachronism in an age of up-to-the-minute news with video.

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