If you’ve been following the column the last couple years, you might remember me devoting the first official piece of the new year to a personal mantra of sorts, something that provides a clearly defined mission statement for the months to come. For 2010, I’ve chosen “not dead yet,” and naturally, I’m going to devote some space here to explain exactly why….
Much of it has to do with Miranda Mercury, my creator-owned project that refuses to die, but for several other reasons, also refuses to come out. This will be rectified very shortly, and I should have something incredibly cool to share with everyone in the next couple weeks that will help confirm that fact. I know how this has looked the past couple years—Brandon keeps talking about this important personal project that’s always experiencing some kind of publisher delay/production hiccup/emotional problem, and as much as we wish this wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t be surprised if it never came out. I know this is what some people (even those that know me closely) think whenever I start talking about Miranda Mercury once again without there being a firm release date attached to it. To be honest, I completely understand anyone who feels that way—I’ve also grown tired of explaining any and every single thing about the book, except for when you can actually walk into a shop and purchase it. But that’ll be coming to an end very soon, and the hows and whys will be here sooner than you think.
Along the same lines, I want to refocus this larger goal I’ve been driving towards of becoming a full-fledged professional comics writer. I’ve had some minor success over the years, but I would really like to appear on the stands more than once or twice a year, if at all. Yes, the aforementioned Ms. Mercury and her famous delays likely have a lot to do with that, but I don’t want that to be the only thing you see from me in 2010. Which means embracing and encouraging a more professional comics writer vibe in my musings here, leaving much of the hardcore reviewing in the capable hands of others. And getting a little more aggressive about securing work, instead of sitting back and waiting for Miranda to come through like some magic bullet.
But in general, I really want to spend a lot less time talking about how great everyone else’s comics are. And trust me, I say that meaning absolutely no disrespect or malice to anyone else out there doing their thing, but as I recommit myself to all this, I need to stop dancing back and forth over the line. One of the reasons I decided to go ahead and leave Newsarama was because of this constant bug in my ear always telling me to keep talking about and championing the books that I was the most excited about. To be on the biggest site in comics news going on and on about my personal projects, successes, and failures felt somewhat inappropriate, and honestly not the sort of thing that people come to Newsarama for. Which is probably why Matt Brady agreed to run Ambidextrous on there in the first place, but after awhile, I had stacked up yet another set of columns completely devoted to other people’s works, and that’s something that makes me entirely unique among other occasional professional comic writers. And is just another little thing that’s probably not helping my cause.
Because of that you won’t be seeing any more installments of This is Why on the blog in the foreseeable future. I know I promised to do a big one for Astonishing X-Men, and the notes are still on my phone, but this seems as good a time as any to alter course. Because bottom line, I want to be a guy who writes comics and then occasionally talks about them, instead of the opposite, which is how it was for most of this past year. Not a massive difference to be sure, but one I’m intending to stick to, and that I hope slightly changes the perception that I’m more valuable talking up other comics than I am at actually creating my own.
Stackology will remain, but with a slight twist—instead of highlighting my favorite book of the week, I’ll be discussing my favorite scene of the week. Sometimes this will appear in the exact same title that I felt was the strongest of the overall bunch, but sometimes it won’t. I’m hoping this will allow me to examine the books I’m picking up from a slightly different perspective, which is more focused on matters of craft and actual storytelling, and not the kind of fanboyish moments I usually emphasize. I’ll also be including a small list of trades and such that I’ve read during the current week. This will continue until I get bored of it, or otherwise deem it counter-productive. Also mulling another couple features that I hope to roll out in the next few weeks.
So really, things are changing a bit around here, but not too much, and with more of a focus towards the kind of process discussions I’ve always enjoyed reading and being involved in. The Fiction House is all about the creation and the celebration of good writing, and I hope to see most of you back here throughout the coming year as I approach that from a slightly different perspective.
Much more to come, ladies and gentlemen. Stay tuned…