Sunday, September 11, 2011

Winds of Change

Yes, it's me, back on the "retired" blog to make another post. I am working with buddy Darren to get my revamped site launched soon, which will incorporate a new blog. So bear with me.

In the meantime, had some thoughts on my mind and wanted to get them down.

The comic news website I have been involved with for the past few years was sold last week to a new owner. For those that didn't know, I was a part owner of CR, but, well, I won't get into how the sale took place. Not for a public forum such as this. Let's just leave it at I wasn't happy.

Anyway, the new owner is Robert Hickey, another friend who founded Blueline Pro, the comic and art supplies company and publisher of Sketch Magazine. Bob has been in the business for a long time and is respected in the industry, so that's fine.

For the time being, I am still with CR, but without the freedom and decision making power previously afforded me sadly. And Bob is making changes, not all of which I'm a bit too happy about. We've spoken, he knows my general feelings, so I'll leave it at that.

I am supportive of Bob and of the new CR, don't get me wrong. But at the same time, I am just wondering what happens from here.

I know this blog has been dead for a while now, but at the risk of someone reading this, I'm not going to go into things too deep here. I have stayed completely silent about this for several days now and am even hesitant now to break my silence. In the end, though, I just feel like letting some of the frustration out, and those I'd normally vent to are actually on the opposing side of my viewpoint, so it would do no good.

Ever since the sale was announced (and believe me, folks, I only knew mere hours before the public did) I have been giving a LOT of thought as to my future with the site I gave every day of my life for almost four years to, and actually ran practically by myself for almost a year.

As I said previously, I am supportive, and I am staying on for now, but beyond that will be determined by how things go from here, both with the changes being made and my much less significant role in the grand scheme of things.

This does cause me to pose a question to myself, though, and it's not the first time it's crossed my mind. Am I a creator or a news guy? I have loved comics since I was a kid, and I have been involved within the comic industry in some shape or form for the past 13 years. I have run two comic news sites for a total of 5-6 years, and I have lettered comics for several years. I now flat as well, and of course I design logos. I think of myself as a writer and have had a couple of things published, and I'm somewhat of an artist, and have had a few pieces published as well.

So where is the line? I'm both, and I'm good at both. I enjoy both. But at the end of the day, I feel there will ultimately be one path to take, the creative side or the journalistic side. I don't think I could ever go back to JUST the fan side of things, though I will always be a fan. But I do feel a choice will have to be made eventually, and with change in the air, maybe that time is coming sooner than I anticipated, or maybe not.

I have been a comic editor before as well, for a few small studios. One time I asked an established comic editor for one of the top five comic publishers how she got into it at that level, how she found clients, and what advice she could give me. She said something very simple and very obvious to me, though. And that was that if I intended to be a writer then I shouldn't pursue editing, because editors are those who wanted to write but couldn't.

I''m paraphrasing, and she said it much more eloquently, but basically it's the same thing as the old adage of "those who can, do, and those who can't, teach." And that really hit home with me at the time.

Granted, there are some editors out there who also write, but you don't typically see writers who also edit. That may sound confusing, but it's a matter of both perspective and of what you mainly devote your time and craft to.

For me, I many times feel like a jack of all trades, master of none. And while those trades typically put food on the table (well, the lettering and flatting do anyway), they're honestly not where my heart lies.

I enjoy working for a comic news site. When I fell into the first job where I quickly went from a department editor to the guy who ran the entire site in only a few months, I found something I loved doing and got paid to do. After that site went out of business, though, I wasn't fortunate enough to find that combination. I did find CR, and within it a lot of friends and the fun part of the job, which was posting and for a long while running a comic news site. But again, with both sites I had quite a bit of freedom. In between the two, I had nearly started my own site of the kind even.

But without that freedom, and with a much more limited capacity, is it going to be the same?

That's not something I can answer just yet. What I can answer is that if I had it the way I wanted it I would either be a successful writer or singer. Those are the two things I'm most passionate for, and sadly the two things I've most had to sacrifice for a long time.

So maybe that time is coming where I have to make a decision, I don't know. I just hope when the time does come I have the strength and the wisdom to both make the decision and know which decision is the right one to make.



Brant W. Fowler said...

For some reason today's date didn't register with me as I posted this today. I have been up all night, so I still considered it Sat. night. My dilemma seems somewhat lessened by the gravity of this day now. Sorry about that. Just wanted to write what I was feeling at the time.

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