What I’ve Learned

If the comic you’re reading is black and white, that means someone really wanted to get their story out there, regardless of monetary concerns.

You might have a problem with the work of certain comic creators, but even Chuck Austen got his foot in the door for a reason, and stuck around for a bit too. You must respect that.

The cover means everything.

If you think hot chicks don’t dig comics guys, I’d like to introduce you to Jimmy Palmiotti, Marc Silvestri, Rick Remender, and Eric Powell, among others.

You’ll spend more time organizing comics than you ever will looking for them if you don’t.

If you lived with the cutest puppy in the world, you’d put him on camera too.

Old comics smell like history and great memories.

If you’re in a random hotel hot tub, in San Diego, during the convention, and you try to make jokes about Rob Liefeld, you better make sure that he didn’t give the guy you’re talking to his start in the business, because behind every comic book is a real person, who is probably not nearly as terrible as you’ve heard.

The cover means nothing.

It’s all about networking. I wish it weren’t so, and just talent were enough, but if you don’t know people, and you don’t find a way to get to know the right people, you’re never going to write Spider-Man.

Just make your comics, and stop coming up with reasons why you can’t.

It is impossible to read everything, so just do your best, and don’t worry that you can’t get to everything. If you have an unstoppable need to read and watch everything, you probably have a problem, and need medication. But then again, you’re not alone.

There are nice, thoughtful people who read comics, but there is also some truth in the stereotypes.

Do NOT feed the trolls. Yet there are times when you must say something. But most of the time, avoid the temptation. It only makes people defensive.

If you gain weight, it will show up on camera. It’s probably a better idea to wear the dark shirt. Yet, clothes that are too big only making you look bigger.

People might not want to discuss an amazing book that not many people are reading, but they’ll talk about the Green Lantern movie for 100 posts.

Don’t post on Twitter unless you’re actually saying something. Reply directly for things that most people are interested in reading. Less is more.

Really rich, dark, chocolate cake, and really well marbled ribeye steak are the two most wonderful things in the world you can put in your mouth. Neither are even remotely good for me. They are quite the opposite. Also in consideration are bacon, french fries, ice cream, and buffalo wings.

This website proves that we actually can get along. I know there are arch-conservatives, raging liberals, deeply religious, and ardently secular people here, and yet we all manage to find some common ground, and actually build friendships. It goes against everything I’ve learned in real life.

Constantly finding new things to talk about concerning comic books is harder than you might think, but not really for the reasons you would guess.

If you’re going to go into business with friends, you better make sure they’re damn good guys. Even then, always remember it started with friendship, and the reason you’re doing it is because it’s fun. Because of these reasons, I consider myself extremely lucky.

Man, did you see that cover? I normally don’t notice them, but that right there is one hell of a cover.

Comics are better because there’s not much money in making them. So if you’re going through the arduous, hellish process of getting a comic book made for minimal financial gain, if nothing else, you’re probably not phoning it in. That does count for something.

If you don’t like a book, don’t read it. Finish the arc if you must, but come on! Demand better!

This job is hard. I’m pulling in less than half the money I did at my previous job, and I work much harder, and for way longer hours. Your positive comments mean the world to us. Donations don’t hurt either.

Geoff Johns is not of this earth, and he can’t keep it up forever. Or can he?

Comic books are meant to be entertaining, which is not the same thing as fun. When people get overly excited about comic book discussions, and someone comes in and mention that it’s just a waste of time, well… of course it’s a waste of time. No it doesn’t really matter, but thank God in this world we live in that we have the glorious distraction of comic books. That being said, don’t take them too seriously.

You might not have accepted it yet, but it really is all about Jack Kirby when it comes to superhero comics. It’s raw fact.

My opinion is not any more valid than yours. It really isn’t. However, I’ve gotten pretty good at articulating my reasons, and I very rarely use the term: “sucks.”

As soon as this is published, I will think of dozens of better points.

Comments

  1. This is a really good post. Josh’s comments on things often surprise me. Just when I think I’ve got his point of view down, he comes out with a potently true and insightful comment like the Kirby comment which I know in my bones to be true. I’m very impressed you guys are making a go of this as a business. I can imagine how hard it is, but hey, it beats working for someone else right?

     

  2. Nice list — and you guys deserve all the positive/affirming comments in the world.  You do a great job.

    I have to say that I think the Liefeld/hot tub story deserves its own episode.

  3. Once again, Josh pulls it out of the bag with another surprising, brilliant post. Bravo, sir 🙂

    And yes, Geoff Johns can keep it up forever.  And if he can’t, he’s given us a good enough run to forgive him.

  4. Well done, sir. I’m clicking on banner ads as you read this.

  5. Damn fine post, Josh!  I certainly appreciate what you and the boys do (and Sonia, too).  I did not realize you had quit all other work to just do iFanboy–that makes me excited and scared for you and glad you have a wife who believes in you.

    As one of the deeply religious, I definitely appreciate the heck out of the community you all have created here.  I enjoy what i see and read here as much as anything in pop culture that I take in, and that is saying a lot.  Group hug…

  6. Thanks Josh. This made me feel all warm and fuzzy. And don’t worry, mate, you look great! I’d hazard you’re under 11 stone, but really who cares about such things. Enjoy your steak.

  7. Great article Josh!

  8. Fantastic article, I love quick bites stream of conciousness style like this.

     

     

  9. It’s funny, sometimes I worry about just saying thanks.  THinking "Oh, they don’t want me wasting time and space gushing" but I realized last night walking home from watching MNF at a friends (how about that crazy game eh? Go Vikings!) I’ve been listening to you guys for over 2 years now. 

    That’s a lot of hours of ifanboy, a lot of time on the forums (go check them out everyone, and POST!  It makes my day that much faster.), and a lot of video shows, and lots of article reading.

    I don’t know what I’d do without the site…you rock guys.

  10. yeah I have to second what Cam said…this is the only comic site I really enjoy posting on….keep up the good work.

  11. Great article, I really enjoy your site.  You have recommended so many books that I continue to buy today.  Thanks so much for all that you guys do to help all comics.

  12. Great article Josh.

    This is my favorite – Old comics smell like history and great memories.

    Oh so true!

     

  13. "If you don’t like a book, don’t read it. Finish the arc if you must, but come on! Demand better!"

    "Do NOT feed the trolls. Yet there are times when you must say something. But most of the time, avoid the temptation. It only makes people defensive."

    My favorite ones!  I personally live by them sir.  Great post!

  14. you can add "If you don’t like a book you probably haven’t read the first 5 TPS – the fifth TP is what grabs you".

    "If you don’t like a book you probably read it in its intended order…you fool" 

    And the old smell seems to work just with comics. Snacks I opened and left in a drawer don’t smell so nice. 

  15. What I have learned:
    – If Ron likes a book, I probaby won’t, but I still enjoy hearing him talk about why he likes it.
    – If Josh likes a book, I probably will (assuming I understand it), and I enjoy listening to him talk about it.
    – If Conor likes a book, I probably will, too, and that I enjoy hearing him talk about it.
    – I really like reading what people I have never met and will never meet think about their comic books.  Good or Bad.  I want to know.

    We appriciate the hard work you do. 
    I actually have a suggestion for the capital stream: posters like Neb, ultimatehoratio, and TheNextChampion (among many others) are constantly on here and constantly offering opinions (thanks for those).  Why not start accepting fan made mini’s that you could then post here or on Rev3?  Other than hosting the file the production costs would be near zero and you could still collect the ad revenue.  I have neither the time or knowledge necessary to submit these videos, but there are a number of members of the ifanbase that surely do.  Maybe you could use the revision3beta.com experiment to post a few.  (Surely, Ron could make that work.)  Just a suggestion.  Keep up the good work.

  16. Not only did I donate last week, here’s a positive comment:

    Great article/website/podcast/video podcast.

    Keep it up!

  17. Please add Paul Dini’s name to the list of hot girls who enjoy handpuppet comedy and also comcs.

  18. "Constantly finding new things to talk about concerning comic books is harder than you might think, but not really for the reasons you would guess." – care to elaborate?

    "Geoff Johns is not of this earth, and he can’t keep it up forever. Or can he?" – all I know is, if it lasts longer than four hours, he should seek medical attention.


  19. Uh, I phrased my post entirely wrong.  Paul Dini is certainly not a hot girl who enjoys puppet comedy and comics.  You guys know what I mean.  Apologies to Mr. Dini.

  20. Slow clap sir. You are nothing but right.

  21. That was both fun and entertaining. I am better for having read this.

  22. The cover was always the deciding factor when I was younger and at times it still is,.

     

    Great Work,

  23. And for me also the size but that always was a let down (100 or so paged Fantastic Four but most pages it was in an old color style – old issues reprinted I guess) – they were the same price as the regular thin comics so I thought I found a bragain and snatched the book before anyone else would spot it.

    As for covers – the cover of spiderman in the Documentary "Once upon a time super heroes" (2002)  is great in my opinion and eye catching and it’s a shame a lot of the covers are generic "put X in X pose".

    In the cover spiderman was hanging upside down I think about a busy road. It’s when John Romita talks I think. 

  24. @chlop – That’s what my ex-wife said.  Ba-dump-bump!

  25. Great post, though I’m not sure that you’re not pandering to the people with the my opinion is just as valid as yours….. I am grateful though.

  26. The hot tub one made me think of the hot tub couple from those Saturday night live sketches.  Throw in a misplaced Rob Liefeld joke, and that could be awkward.

  27. Really great post. I heart Josh *sigh*

  28. nice one, josh

  29. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Eric Powell’s booth was a highlight of the con.  😉

  30. Great post Josh.

  31. Thank you for all the hard work. Thanks for opening up the world of comics to a new reader. 

  32. Great work. Really did enjoy it. 

    One thing I learned about comics: They really are a great thing to share.

    I bought Sandman issues for friends of mine that like this kind of stuff, bought Maus for members of my family interested in history. I bought Tintin for my little nephew. I am now making a habit of lending my TPB’s, because its great to talk about stories with different people.

    Also, I also enjoy it when people ask me what I am reading in a public space (happens quite often).

  33. probably my favorite post of all timeskies.

  34. I want to hear the hot tub story again.  Where can I hear it?

  35. Ah, yes.  I knew I heard it somewhere other than on iFanboy.  Much thanks.

  36. two that I have tried to remember for myself (to little avail):

    -Let the work speak for itself.

    -The art is not the artist.

  37. i love the smell of old comics as well. old books too, i used to go to used book stores all the time but since i moved the amount of old book store in this town is much much smaller. my friend told me that old book smell has a small halluciongenic effect. i don’t know if that’s true but it would explain a lot.

  38. Overall, I agree.

    Personally, I would add:

    The past should be respected and admired, but on the whole, the future is better. 

  39. I’ve learned that:

    (1) Perpetual slander does not a good comic discussion make.

    and..

    (2) A lot of people who wouldn’t dare compare themselves to homicidal maniacs risk their lives and the lives of others every day on the road just to get home a minute or two sooner.

  40. great article