New Year’s Resolutions for 2009

Time to stick a pin in this year and fasten the diaper on the next. Time for resolutions I very much intend to keep.

First, this will be the last you hear from me on the business of writing about comics. The inside baseball and political bickering that takes place online. I’d like to focus on the joys of comics and not the petty jabs. We’ve been a little reactionary lately, a little insular and defensive, because in the very small community where we interact with creators and critics alike, the whole concept of writing about comics as opposed to writing our own comics has been called into question. I don’t think we should get mired in that debate. Partially because it’s boring and more than ancient, but also because it distracts from what brought us here in the first place. The celebration of comics and the process of making them. If I have any parting words in the defense of comics journalism or whatever you’d like to call it, they go like this: 

Writing about the art and industry of comics is in no way a substitution for birthing them. But I don’t quite feel like a vulture in writing this column for this website and interacting with readers from around the world, some of whom have no other outlet for discussing the books and characters and artists they love.

I don’t wish to overstate the importance of what we do, but I do hope that creators consider their readers and the need for community and interaction. I don’t think the experience ends with the creation of a book, or at least it shouldn’t. Art ought to be shared and it ought to be talked about. And in some cases it ought to be argued over. We write and read with the same overall goal. To connect. And we want that discussion to reach more noggins. I don’t like the idea of a kid in Nebraska having his passion for comics prematurely bridled simply because he doesn’t know anyone else who reads the stuff. Everyone deserves the right to geek out unabashedly. Maybe that place can be here where at least it’s decently chaperoned. And if not here, then I hope they find their kin somewhere. Because enthusiasm was invented to be shared.

And that’s really that.  

Second. Creating comics, yeah? Fair enough. This year I’m going to begin writing my first comics, and I’m taking you lot with me. A while back I started a forum discussion to link some writers and artists. More of that this year, and I’ll be damned if I don’t put you clowns to work. This is going to be an ongoing discussion, and in the process, I think it’s only going to enhance our appreciation for the books we read each week and raise the level of discourse exponentially. This is a serious initiative and I’m hoping to see a lot of interaction. I’d like to showcase your work and help you find collaborators. So if you want to write or if you want to draw, make yourself known. All the while, I’m going to document my own progress every few weeks. Hell or high water. Deal? More on that soon.

Third. Your time and attention is a precious resource. Some might say nonrenewable. So I will try to refrain from writing crap this year. More substance on a wider range of topics. If I start writing fluff, call me on it. I lack the history of the other writers on the site, partially because they’re so very, very, very old. But also because I only started reading monthly comics in the last couple of years. I’m doing my homework though, so you may hear some reporting on older comics. Then again, I really enjoyed reviewing this year’s edition of The Best American Comics, which featured more independent and underground comics with a modern sensibility. So both realms are relatively new to me. The official expression for 2009 will probably be doe-eyed with some scattered child-like wonder. But seriously, if it turns out to be shit, send me an email. My dad told me that since I have brown eyes like my mother, I have a limited ability to tell what is and what isn’t. Shit, that is.

Fourth. I’ve been scared to do interviews. This year I shall man-up and call Alan Moore. Then it’ll be on him to get back to me.

Fifth. The column will never be late ever again.  

Fifth. More about the artists. I majored in writing, so I do tend to favor that side of the spectrum when it comes to reviews. I think pencilers and inkers and letterers often get lost in that shuffle. Seeing as I minored in art history I think I can come up with a few more things to say about the visual aspects of the medium. Well, I mean, probably.

 

I’ve run out of fingers on this hand and I’m typing with the other. So what are your comics-related new years resolutions for 2009? Any goals as a reader? As an artist or writer? As a caped adventurer? Nothing about your weight or anything tedious like that, yeah?

 


Announcement: Paul Montgomery’s uncle just got him a bunch of fireworks, so whoever wants to see a real show, come with him. Hit him up at paul@ifanboy.com  You can also find him on Twitter.  

 

Comments

  1. These are all fantastic resolutions.  One of mine is to pay more attention to the art in the comics that I read.  I’ve always been a words guy, first and foremost, but I feel that it’s time to start appreciating the pretty pictures that go along with them.  Second, if I buy/download/borrow something, I will use/read/play/watch/listen to it.  No longer will songs sit on my iPod unlistened to, or books sit on shelves collecting dust. No longer will I leave a 360 game to be played later for no apparent reason, nor will a movie go unwatched.  Third, I will keep my room and workspace clean, and mostly clutter free.  Right now I live (read wallow) in a cluttered, messy hellhole.

  2. Paul you have never written "crap". Thanks for all the eork in 2008.

  3. Jesus, Paul, you scared the shit out of me just then; I totally misread your second paragraph and thought you were quitting writing for iFanboy. but I kept reading and, thankfully, scare over.

    This is a fantastic idea. I’d love to particpate, but I really don’t think I’d be any good. I’ve always loved writing, and have written a couple of (very small) comics in the last couple years, but they were all joke/fun projects so they don’t count.

    But I know there’s a lot of talent on this here site, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing some amazing stuff from the iFanbase. 🙂

  4. @Eyun – I need to rework that line, haha.  I just meant that I don’t want to get caught up in insular topics about the worth of writing about comics or reactions to what a creator might have said on Twitter.  No more Inside Baseball.  I want to write more about the substance of comics and the process of making them.  I have no intention of quitting the column any time soon.  I love interacting with the iFanbase.  Genuinely.  

    To participate in the project you don’t have to produce any pages.  But it would be cool if everyone sought out information about the making of comics, whether that means reading comic scripts or checking out a book about the creative process.  It’s a twofold project.  For some, it’s maybe the year to write or draw a comic even if it’s just a page.  But it’s also a year to learn about the craft of making a comic in order to better understand what it is we like or dislike about the comics we read each week.  I want to know more about panel progression and pacing.  So maybe that’s something we can learn about together.  I think if we know more about the parts, we can better appreciate the whole.  And that means bigger and better discussions.   

  5. @ Paul.  Definitely a noble goal.  I’m sure its shared with plenty of other people on this site.  I’m excited for this project.  It needs a name though.  An awesome name.  Something worthy of how great your column usually is!

  6. My new years resolution is to fill my new longbox. I don’t think it will be a problem.

    Also, I want to start reading Green Lantern.

  7. I’d just like to take a moment to wish the iFanboys, Gordon, Paul, Jimski, Mike, Sonia and everyone in the iFanbase a very Happy New Year. Thank you all for making every day a little brighter, and I hope you all have a fantastic New Year! All the best to everyone for 2009! 🙂

  8. For the new year, I’ve decided to cut back on comics I don’t actually enjoy but still buy out of habit, and put that money towards indy books. There are tons and tons of excellent books out there no one ever hears about, so it’s time to do some research myself. Luckily, the video podcasts are a big help in this aspect.

    Also, I’ve decided to wait on picking up miniseries. I’ll wait for the reviews, and if they’re any good, I’ll either grab them in trade or find the back issues discounted online. That’s what I plan on doing with "Magneto: Testament" and "Sub-Mariner: The Depths".

    Next, I’m going to try to focus more on following creators vs. following characters. Sometimes a crappy creative team can destroy your enthusiasm about your favorite characters. So instead of complaining about it, I’ll just drop it and move on in the hopes of a new team coming along.

    Lastly: To check out more online comics. I’m looking at you Zuda…

    Happy New Year, everyone!

  9. I am going to Start branching off into some more indie and alternative stuff, instead of just straight superheroes. That being said, I have started down that path with stuff like Scott Pilgrim and Atomic Robo but if anyone has any other recommendations, that woulkd be great! I love mystery and action stuff, But I’d like to try anything

  10. Happy to be a part of any positive efforts, MontyPaulthon. Looking forward to the comic production experience. New Years resolution: less indulge and more divulge. I’ve got a lot of great material to draw from and would love to share some of my highlights with a receptive community. Just let me know when you’re ready.

  11. 1/1/2009…It’s time to cook some rice!

  12. *calls chinese take-out*

    Yes, hello? Why yes it’s me Mike. Oh the usual Lo-Mein Chicken, and an eggroll please….Huh?….Yeah order for one….as usual….

    Happy New Years

  13. I don’t have a chinese restaurant near me…just rice. Also Mike’s a lousy kisser and he’s not worth the price of the Kung Pow chicken…

    Now I want to watch Honk Kong Phooey and Mr. Bean… 

  14. I meant the delivery guy…I’m tired but I have rice.

  15. i am going to save more money, get in shape, and be a better person.

    oh and get less comics im not intrested in.