Thanks, Mike, for Sticking Around — Blogging About Blogging

Stacks of manga

Mike Sterling, of Progressive Ruin and Sterling Silver Comics, put up a post recently that brought back all kinds of memories. He looks at long-time comic bloggers (a group I am privileged to be part of, having run this site for over 20 years, although I like to think of it as a combination blog/website, since “blogging” feels as a term a little more self-indulgent than I aim for). Mike has been going over 16 years himself, and he’s unique in giving us the perspective of a knowledgable, long-time comic shop retailer.

I’m going to disagree with Mike, about the phrase “blogging is dead” — I think it is dead, in terms of people being able to make a substantial difference, or make an income, or get noticed by decision-makers, or even raise a large audience. Lots of people aimed for one or more of those things. (I never did, although the occasional times they happened were nice. I kept at it because I don’t know how to shut up.) There was an opportunity for that, so plenty of people streamed in — much like Kickstarters — and now the early days are long over.

It’s still kind of fun, though, telling people about good comics and discussing opinions on comic news. I was very pleased to see a bit of discussion break out in the comments a couple of weeks ago about format and continuity. I didn’t think anyone bothered to comment any more, so my thanks to those who make the effort.

I compare a blog to having a pet. You have to feed it regularly, clean up the messes (comments and spam), and it’s more of a commitment than you might expect at first if you want it to thrive.

And it’s put me in touch with some fascinating people. I just had a meal with an old friend I first met on Usenet in the early 90s (whom I last saw around the time of C2E2, the last con this year). Such fun to catch up! And Mike points out an important lesson:

There’s always going to be stupidity and meanness out there, but reacting to it with a lighter touch and less intensity is a lot healthier for my blood pressure.

Part of it’s getting older, I know, but while I admire the passion and energy of young, justifiably angry people, there’s very little I get that worked up about any more. Like Mike, I’ll keep doing this as long as it still entertains me. (And the many piles of guilt that stare back at me, wonderful books people have been kind enough to sent me, nag.)

The weirdest lesson I learned recently: When I inadvertently took a hiatus last year (I had a rather bad six months), the less I wrote, the more books people sent. It pays to seem selective, I suppose.

Anyway, thank you all to anyone who’s ever stopped by here and found something interesting or annoying or worth thinking about.



6 comments

  • dw

    i don’t comment, but i read it all! thanks TO YOU. dw

  • James Schee

    I’ve been here since day one of CWR, and obviously knew you before then with DC on AOL where you hired me to host chats. lol My blog Reading Along is still up, mainly because I don’t have access to the email address I used to start it (I think it was Earthlink) so can’t delete the darn thing. lol

    I had noticed your hiatus a while back, had meant to send an email asking how things were going, but life got in the way.I still read CWR usually once a day at least. DC, Marvel and heck even most of the “indy” comics have little interest for me, I’m mainly into manga/anime/webtoons, so I don’t really go to any comic news sites and keep up with news there. But I enjoy coming here still seeing you talk about a small indy comic I hadn’t heard of, or about a movie or tv series.

    Or even the format as you mentioned we had a good talk about in comments section which was fun. You don’t see that much anymore, So thanks for all the hard work Johanna, and hopefully in next year or so when things are better in the country/world maybe I can get to a con or something and see you in person after so long a time.

  • Aw, thank you both. I share your tastes, I think, James, as I’ve pretty much stopped reading DC, Marvel, and Image. There’s so much more out there these days! And yes, fond hopes for convention going … maybe next year.

  • Thanks for liking my post! I take your point about blogging…yeah, it’s not the gateway to fame and fortune it once was (hey, where’s MY fortune?) but I think it’s still a valid method of yakking on the internet. Let the would-be influencers seek their gold and jewels on TikTok…I’ll continue to forge along in the blogging wastelands!

  • You and me both, Mike. I appreciate your optimism to balance my jadedness.

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