COMICS ALLIANCE was one of my favorite comics-related sites, which is why I asked editor-extraordinaire Andy Khouri if they'd be interested in having me come on board to write some things for them near the end of last year. It all worked out perfectly -- they did want me to review in-print graphic novels or collected editions for them -- and I started off with a review/retrospective on the glory of Steve Rude and the first year or two of Nexus. That post went live in early 2013.
I came up with a list of other books they might like me to review -- including things like The Creeper, and Grimjack, and The End League, and Eddy Current, and Nextwave -- and Andy highlighted the ones the CA readership (or the CA editors, or both) might care about the most, so I started working, expecting to build up a stack of reviews that could run on COMICS ALLIANCE throughout 2013, maybe sliding into a weekly routine once I figured out how to work this extra writing gig into my normal routine.
That never happened. I wrote a handful of retrospectives/reviews for CA and then, as you all probably know, COMICS ALLIANCE was shut down by its parent company without warning. I thought the site was just settling in to its witty balance of pop culture coverage and comic book analysis and had a long, ever-growing future ahead of it. That's why I was so happy to join the crew. But nope. It's all over.
I'm more saddened by not ever being able to read new material on the site, and the fact that a strong stable of writers and editors will have to scramble to find other paying work, than I am about losing the occasional paycheck for writing the kinds of reviews I had planned for CA. That was only ever going to cover the cost of the reviewed book and give me a little bit of spending money. I wasn't going to lose any money on the gig, but I wasn't going to make more than about $20 or $30 every week or two. It was just goofing-around-and-buying-a-few-comics-money. Nothing serious, but certainly helpful.
But, man, I miss the opportunity to be part of the COMICS ALLIANCE team and I'm sorry to see the site just stop dead.
I'll still be continuing my weekly "When Words Collide" column for Comic Book Resources, and though both my Great Alan Moore Reread and my Sandman Reread have come to an end at Tor.com, I have some other things in the works with the folks over there. But CA is no more.
For the record, here are my collected edition reviews that were published during my short few months at COMICS ALLIANCE:
Mike Baron and Steve Rude's 'Nexus': Exploding Preconceptions Since 1981
Jack Kirby's Spirit World: We Are on the Outside
The Inhuman Magnetism of Ted McKeever's 'Eddy Current'
Mania and Dream Logic: Looking Back at Ditko's Cackling 'Creeper'
The Anatomy of Expression: Will Eisner and 'A Contract with God'
I'm pleased with all five of these entries, and I hope you enjoy them while you can. No one knows how long the CA site archives will remain available, and AOL owns the content I've linked to above, so it's unlikely that I'll be able to ever republish the pieces I've written for them.
Yeah. Comics. They'll break your heart.