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Friday, March 18, 2005
The Virtual Interactions of Comicdom
A Look @ Places Where Comic Talk is Happening
Comic messageboards and blogs are both social outlets for the comic industry where fans can share their rantings, their reviews, and their love for everything comics. For all the simularity of content, the differences between blogs and messageboards are like the differences between going over to a friend's house for dinner and going to a club or party.
At most comic blogs the vibe is private dinner party, it's a personal affair. Often times just you an a couple friends just sitting around talking comics. There can be no denying the appeal of a one-on-one connection that comic blogs offer.
Click over to Tom Spurgeon's excellent critical analysis of the entire comic spectrum on Comics Reporter, or Heidi MacDonald's center of pop-culture, The Beat and it's like getting an invite to their house. Once there it's pretty apparent that Tom and Heidi have slaved over a hot stove all day to make you dinner, and you can't help but appreciate it. Those two can cook!
And then there's the "feel free to bring your friends" invites of other blogs which offer something akin to Comics Reporter and The Beat, but with a little bit of rowdiness thrown in for good measure. The smart opinion anthology of the latest industry news, The Great Curve and the "Comics Best Week Ever," Fanboy Rampage create environments that are similar to having folks over for boardgames or to watch the Superbowl. Sure, sometimes one of those guests drinks too much wine and starts throwing Trivial Pursuit cards around or won't shut up about how the Packers are going all the way again this next year. But who cares? You're having a great time and Graeme's just put another ice cold microbrew in your hand. You look forward to coming again and maybe you'll see if you can return the favor sometime.
There is a comic blog for every taste and style and most of them can be found here.
Messageboards, on the other hand, are the parties and clubs of the virtual comic industry. They might not be as intimate as the blogs, but you never know who you are going to meet or what's going to happen, but each of the industry's great comic message boards has a style that's all their own.
The venerable MillarWorld offers the impression of the happening nightclub of the comic industry with lots of talk on the latest comic news, a stocked bar, plenty of interesting comic industry personalities and a great DJ. It's impossible to know everybody, but it doesn't matter because it's a fun scene. And even though the dancefloor is always packed you can still get out there and shake your ass if you want to.
Without a doubt, the Bendis Board is comic's crazy punk rock house party. They've got a keg of cheap beer on the kitchen floor and a few underage drinkers getting sick in the bathroom, but there's no doubt that the people are there for two things, to talk about comics and to have a good time. A weekly comic review club, a low-rent band playing powerchords in the basement and there's a good chance you're going to see the wasted punks attempting backyard wrestling flips off the roof later. If you want to talk comics aren't afraid of getting knocked around in the pit, stalk on over to the Bendis Board. You'll have a great time.
For that cool, five pm after work drinking vibe, meet up with Brian K Vaughan's Board and the former Image Central Boards (crossing our fingers for the eventual return) at the local brew pub. With a good crowd of comic readers and professionals they're great places to get your comic talk on. You gotta love anyplace where you can freely chat up a favorite comic creator, get upcoming projects sneak peeks on draft, and meet some cool fellow comic fans at the jukebox. Plenty of friendly folks keep the scene tight and the discussions flowing, and make these boards excellent places to unwind and shoot the comic book breeze.
Once a year Warren Ellis throws this kick ass twelve hour rave that you hear about from some guy at the record shop or from a friend you haven't heard from in months. Each year it's a different spot and by the time the cops find out about it, it's long gone. But if you were one of the lucky ones, you had a damn good time while it lasted.
Because the Isotope staff are the kind of folks who love as much culture and variety as we can get, we truly appreciate that each of these places to make virtual comic conversation has a distinct style and presentation. And so chances are you'll see one or more of us hanging out at these various blogs or messageboards talking comics and having a good time.
Here's hoping to bump into you sometime... somewhere out there in the comic social scene.
UPDATE: Ellis knows we got it right.