Sean Maher's Quality Control

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Promotions Week, day four: Blogs & Mailing Lists

Hey, you don't have to just be talking about your goddamn comics all the time.

A lot of creators and publishers create great promotional outlets for themselves with blogs, columns and mailing lists.

What I like about this is that the promotion becomes something worth my time in and of itself - I don't have to be invested in your comics to enjoy the promotion. This is pretty damn adventageous for the folks who pursue it, because while I'm sure it takes a hell of a bigger time investment, it's a great way to get your hooks in me; if I've been reading your blog or been on your mailing list, I've gotten to know your style, and if I dig it enough to read pretty frequently, I'll probably take the time to track down whatever comics you put out.

Jason Rodriguez is a blogging champion. The Moose In The Closet is an experimental storytelling device, a "blovel" as he's called it, and it's fantastic. Every day, he opens his post with a comics shout-out - whether he's pimping his work with Hoarse and Buggy (publishers of Elk's Run), letting his readers know what books he's digging that day, or what have you - and follows it up with a personal story from his past. The stories are generally really goddamn funny, more often than not painting a great picture of Jason acting like an idiot, but he gets a serious side that becomes more interesting because of its contrast against his usual humor. This is probably my favorite blog.

Of course, Warren Ellis' Bad Signal mailing list is a lot of fun. Though it can be wearying sometimes to weave through the messages about his latest cell phone or what he's been watching on television, it's worth it for the brilliant drunken nonsense, the occaisional "flash fiction" short, the "behind the scenes" discussion of what kinds of ideas he's working on, and rumor leaks such as he made today - apparently Matt Fraction and Gabriel Ba are working on a comic in the same format as Ellis' upcoming Fell, which sounds really goddamn interesting.

Some comics stores do a great job with their blogs. James Sime keeps The Isotope Communique updated with local cultural events and exclusive comics material (as well as pointing to stuff the rest of us might have missed elsewhere); it's a wild, enthusiastic mix of material that does a great job representing the kind of vibe you'll find at the store itself. And I discovered the store in the first place by reading about the Ed Brubaker Armwrestlethon in James' excellent CBR column, The Comic Pimp.

I also regularly enjoy Brian Hibbs' Savage Critic, because while he can be a grouchy reviewer, he and Jeff usually have some sharp, succint points about the comics they read - they shoot straight from the hip. Again, you get a good idea of what the in-store experience is like from the online persona.

And then, there are the columns I'll read because I'm already a fan of your work or interested in your stuff. Erik Larsen and Robert Kirkman both recently launched columns on CBR, and I'm looking forward to where those go.

Wheew. I'm tired today. This ain't a game, and blogging ain't easy.

Just ask Graeme McMillan.


  • At 2:40 PM, Blogger Grim said…

    Hi. I'm Graeme McMillan, and I'm here to tell you that Blogging Ain't Easy.

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