I can’t really say that I consider myself a journalist of any description, but I have been doing this whole comic book journo/internetery thing for 3 years now and have done over 120 interviews. Only in the wonderful medium of comics could I, and the multitude of fellow fan/reviewers/interviewers/bloggers out there in the geekosphere, have such an opportunity. So it was of great interest that I found this insightful interview with long-time and proper journalist Vaneta Rogers over at CBR. Here are my favourite quotes from the piece:
Rogers: I’m still amazed the term “comics journalism” even exists. I mean, can you believe how much news we get about comics? Outside sports, which has a much, much, MUCH larger audience, I can think of no other hobby that has so much constant news for its fandom. And such a demanding audience! Reviews, interviews, columns, opinions, blogs, instant convention news … and a lot of it is really high-quality stuff.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m glad we are so demanding. It’s why I have a job. And I am constantly trying to do better, because I’m demanding of myself. But if you step back and think about it, the fact that a few hundred-thousand fans of comics get this much attention is astounding. As an audience, we obviously have a lot of power and know how to wield it.
…There needs to be more genres represented. I think everyone knows that. I’m an avid book reader, and I like tons of different types of stories. But in comic books, my genre choices are limited. Yes, there are spy comics. But there could be more. More thrillers. More detective stories. More romance. More comedy. More sci-fi.
The perfect illustration of the genre problem is that hundreds of thousands of bookstore visitors recently bought theTwilight graphic novel, but not one comic book publisher could market another paranormal romance comic in a display right next to it. Yet that’s one of the fastest-growing genres in publishing today.
As for what we need “less of”? Repetition. This is a creative industry, right? Everyone working in comics should strive for originality, whether it’s in publishing schedules, sales goals, event planning, story approach, or distribution. I know people react negatively to change, but we have to reject the fear and try it anyway. Try. Something. New. Please. Not. What. You. Did. Before.
Yep. Great stuff.