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Bang Off! (November 6, 2001)

posted Feb 12, 2011, 3:34 PM by Russ Smith   [ updated Feb 12, 2011, 3:36 PM ]
No reason to stall:  This is the last Bang On! column.

And it's not even going to be a very good one, because it's mostly going to be telling you about why it's the last one, and what I'm doing next, and what was right and what was wrong.  But maybe that's fitting, because that's the kind of stuff I've maybe been telling you so far, too.

Okay, let me try again.

When I first thought up Bang On!, it was going to be a companion to the Big Bang, an editorial column, a pointer to things that complemented the reviews and a way to tell you about the reviewers.  I started out posing questions, interviewing the locals, and so forth.

Then, and this is the key, I stepped down as an editor.

So the column stopped having a purpose, and left to my own devices for direction, I had trouble figuring out what to do, although I'm still pretty proud of the recent list of five comics you should be reading, and I won't mind a bit if you go back and reread it, particularly if you go out and buy those comics.  It'll make me feel like I accomplished something here, you'll get comics you will like, and people who deserve it will get paid. Everyone wins.

I also had the chance to get Alan David Doane to open up about what's on his mind, and I think if you take a look at what he told me, you may get an insight as to what's boiling beneath the surface at CBG even now.  And I'm not just guessing; he's said as much.  So there again, it's not that nothing got said.

Anyway, I'm not disciplined enough to do the aimless column every week, and besides, I approve of a movement to a tighter, sleeker Comic Book Galaxy, aimed like a missile at your forebrain.  So I'm taking my shotgun and heading back to my own site, which needs a makeover anyway, so I'm not posting a pointer just yet.  Once I'm done, Note to Self will come back to life there, and you can get your fill of my random opinions.

So much for that.  What about this place?

I have every intention of staying on here as a web monkey.  I enjoy it and there's a lot of good to be done -- I've barely scratched the surface of my ideas to scare Alan with, and he loves it, wicked boy that he is.  So I'm not leaving that behind.  My comic buying situation is settling down and I think I see some Big Bang reviewing in my future, if there's still a space for me there when the dust all settles.  I've also got a review or two in the fire (to mangle a metaphor), so there's some possibilities there, too.  I've got a bite from a retailer who jumped out of the comic industry when he got an MBA, did the management thing in a large non-comic retail chain, then came back to inject the real world into a comics shop.  I think he'll have something to say, and I look forward to tell you what it is he said.

And a column?  Yeah, don't mind if I do.  Keep your eye out for my forthcoming new column about the online comics phenomenon.  I read 'em, I've created 'em, and you don't want to know how long I've been doing stuff online.  I don't have a name for it yet, but never mind that; it'll be fun. We'll talk about what's out there, what could be out there, and what there is to support people who'd like to put stuff out there.  I'm not going to blow smoke up your nethers about who's saving the universe for comics or what magic technology will make money grow on trees, but there are things that you and I may not have seen, enough to keep me busy finding them and pointing them out.

One last thing to share before I put this one to bed and move on with new things.  An exhortation:  Don't buy something because you've always bought it.  Don't read something because everyone reads it.  Don't avoid something because it might be different.  There's too much good work and too little time to be wasting the latter on things that aren't the former.  A complete collection is a burden on your heart, wallet and living space if it's a complete collection of crap.

See you in the future.

-- R. Francis Smith

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