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Chris Allen: People seem to place a lot of importance in Western society on increments of five years. The five year wedding anniversary is the first year in which you celebrate with gifts that weigh more than a shoe, I think. Also, one doesn't get to see high school acquaintances until five years after graduation, which is hardly enough time to get fat and work oneself up to Sales Manager at a Pontiac dealership.
Four years, though, that's a key chunk of time. A Presidential term. The length between Summer Olympics. The time it takes to get a Bachelor's degree, give or take. Comic Book Galaxy has now been around, stirring up shit, or just labeling it as such, or sometimes putting said shit in a paper bag, lighting it on fire, and leaving it on the doorsteps of the mediocre and the subocre, for four years as well. Subocre is not a word, as far as I kevolp.
Alan David Doane started Comic Book Galaxy, or CBG, as we tend to call it, with a vision. And that vision...was never made clear to us, but hey, we had the webspace! Just kidding. Hey, how come this "conversation" just turned into some sort of award show intro?! Anyway, here's what I remember about the start of CBG.
Before I was a semi-respected critic with quotes on the back of trade paperbacks one may find in bookstores, and a contributor to The Comics Journal, Movie Poop Shoot and other comics and pop culture sites, I was one-half of a reviewing team known as Sputnik vs. Modok. Sputnik was a Scottish lad I knew who had actually drawn some early Mark Millar comics, and written one for Paul Grist to draw, and we were brought together on the old John Byrne fan site. We got on well together as Byrne fans who actually could recognize that some of his work at the time was really awful, and that he was often a total ass on the message board, and on that basis, a friendship was formed(!). Anyway, we started a site to review all of Byrne's work, got about 40 or so reviews in, and then I saw this post on Brian Michael Bendis' old message board about a new site starting up. Now, I didn't intend to quit the other site, but it wasn't like reviewing OMAC and old Marvel Team-Ups was that time-sensitive, so on a whim, I wrote to this Alan David Doane guy. He asked for some sample reviews, at which point I pointed him to the site, and I was in. And Modok was pretty much dead at that point. Well, enough about me and my attempts at comedy -- Alan, how did Comic Book Galaxy come about?
Alan David Doane: Taking the long view, it is indeed, as you hint, all John Byrne's fault. I'm pretty certain the first review I felt moved to write was of his wrong, wrong, wrong Hulk comic with Ron Garney. That review was posted to my first website in the late '90s, one of those GeoCities-type things. I wrote reviews on that site for months, and I guess developed some sort of infamy on Usenet and the comics internet, and then was tapped by Silver Bullet Comics to write reviews and columns, and eventually found myself editing all the site's reviewers.
Eventually, I felt the need to have more control over my online efforts, which led to conversations about the various possibilities with Marshall O'Keeffe, who I had known since high school in the early '80s. Marshall agreed to be the financial side of what became something of an ad hoc partnership with technical assistance and web-guruism from Brian Florence, who I had met through my radio show in the early '90s. I'm thrilled to say that despite the various comings and goings over the years, both of those guys are still heavily involved behind the scenes, and occasionally in front of the scenes as well.
The first thing we did after deciding to go forward was to recruit some of the best writers about comics to come write for us; people like the Eisner-nominated Rob Vollmar, the sublime and occasionally bizarre d. emerson eddy, and of course you, yourself, Chris -- these people and others gave us not only credibility but a huge, huge variety of styles and opinions. As I would get up in the middle of the night to prepare the updates every day, I felt so lucky, so privileged to be the first every day to get to read reviews and columns by some of the writers I respected most in the world. I still feel that way today.
CA: Well, I didn't give you any credibility, as no one knew me, and looking back, a lot of what I wrote was pretty poor, but certainly you brought together a passionate and diverse group, which fit quite well the Galaxy's motto of "Truth, Passion and Diversity". Johanna Draper-Carlson, Marshall, d., Rob, these are all people who write with intelligence and passion, and are also wildly different personalities. I think, in putting together the talent for the site, these writers and others that started with us, could be said to be extensions of your own personality. We had fanboys, we had didacts, we had rabble rousers. I think we lost Johanna within the first month, and Marshall caused a bit of an uproar pointing out the similarities between Spider Jerusalem from Transmetropolitan and Hunter S. Thompson. Both unfortunate events, but you know, at least something was happening. We've seen some sites come and go, and some linger on for no reason, and it seems to me the problem with a lot of them has been a lack of personality, and an abundance of predictability. There are any number of competent writers who are all writing the same things about the same books, but I think CBG has been at its best when the personalities have really shone through the writing.
ADD: I couldn't agree more. Since I went online, I've always had a mental list of who would be the writers of The Perfect Comics site, and I'm happy to say that at times Comic Book Galaxy has had probably 95 percent of those people contributing to it.
CA: Somewhere around the second year of the site, I got a little more involved in running it, editing reviews and such, and it was then I realized just how much work it is. Handling difficult personalities is tough, but it's still more interesting than trying to get colorless writers to inject personality in their writing, and it's tough just to get guys to get stuff in on time.
ADD: It's exhausting, which is why in this latest iteration I've tried to totally let go of the competitive aspect; some contributors still worry about getting things in "on deadline," but all I worry about is that it's good and that it reflects the writer's best work. The stress of Comic Book Galaxy at its largest and most heavily-staffed was enormous; I like it much better this way.
CA: I agree, and actually wanted to go into more depth on that in a little bit, as soon as I stop reminiscing about whatshisname and the other shlomo. I remember one guy, one of our better reviewers at the time, turning in a real piece of horseshit. I called him on it, and he admitted he was just seeing what he could get away with! Who needs guys working against you like that? Then you'd have a guy committed to reviewing every issue of Thunderbolts or something, and you get to wondering why you're doing this.
ADD: Yeah, that led, at one point, to my really slamming down the hammer and declaring a virtual moratorium on reviews of Marvel and DC superhero books. Obviously that's not in effect anymore, but it worked wonders for some reviewers to force them to widen their scope and really change their approach, and more than one has thanked me for being such a bastard.
CA: Looking back, there was an interesting kind of Darwinism that went on at the site, and which goes on with every site, I'm sure. I wasn't that good, but I kept at it and was prolific and fairly level-headed, and eventually was editing and writing for other sites and all that. Chris Ryall started good and got better and now runs Movie Poop Shoot and is EiC of IDW. Rob Vollmar has written some of the most insightful pieces on the site, and was nominated for an Eisner for the wonderful The Castaways. d. emerson eddy was always too brilliant for his own good and will no doubt produce some Pulitzer-winning fiction or something. Still, some of our best writers are hardly remembered now because they just didn't produce enough work, or didn't produce it for long enough.
ADD: I don't agree at all that you weren't that good when you started, so stop fucking saying that. Even the MODOK/Sputnik reviews you were involved in were well-written, you just hadn't lived enough and read enough of the truly great works in comics to have the proper perspective. That sounds like a dicky thing to say, but, there it is, and you know I'm right whether you'll admit it or not. I suspect you'll agree and admit it, which is what makes you a superior writer -- knowing your weaknesses and addressing them, rather than getting defensive or argumentative as so many inexperienced and less-qualified reviewers have done over the years. And good riddance.
CA: Well, shucks, thank you. You're right in that I felt like I was good enough to at least "try out for the team" and felt I could hold my own with the average mob, but like you say, the good ones aren't satisfied with that and try to become better. I'd read some good stuff up to that point, but once you start reviewing, you really start to crank up your analytical powers. And then it's hard to stop. I've even reviewed beer in my column.
It was during this period that I think you became most dissatisfied with the site, right? Arguments with some creators, and the strain of putting up more content than ever in order to compete with other sites, but not really liking a whole lot of it.
ADD: Historically, your memory of CBG history is far better than mine; I am so close to it at times that I can't see the forest for the trees. I assume you're working up to the point that I stepped away as EiC and you took over, so I'll let you recount it from your point of view and unless I chime in, you can assume I stipulate to your version of events.
CA: My memory isn't that great, really. I could probably name only 10-20% of the reviewers who have passed through these hallowed, virtual halls. But as far as the period where you kinda/sorta abdicated the CBG throne, only to come back and take it and chop it into pieces, yeah, I remember that pretty well. You were burned out on the site, life, whatever, and handed me the keys, or maybe you just threw them up in the air and let the core Galaxy guys grab for them, I'm not sure.
ADD: Oh, the one thing I know for sure is that I wanted YOU to take over the site -- you were the only choice, being the most reliable, reasonable and had -- and have -- the greatest potential. I swear I don't mean this to be a CA suck-up session.
CA: Oh, who's stopping you? Anyway, I stepped up and said I'd help run it with the aid of d. eddy and a couple other guys. I think Nick Capetillo and Paul Weissburg were pretty helpful at this stage, too. I think at first you were just off to the sidelines, offering a review or essay here and there, and the rest of us were trying to keep things going. It was going all right, but then, suddenly, it went really wrong. You'd have to tell me what happened to set you off that day, shutting out CBG regulars from our own message board and all that. It was a weird time.
ADD: Again, my memory is hazy, but the worst thing about the site that I recall is that the basic structure of it was broken -- links went to the wrong places, some pages were updated but others were weirdly behind the times -- as you say, it was really, really wrong. I'm sure there was more to it, but I'll be damned if I can remember what it was. I wish I could remember, but I've either plain forgotten or just blocked it out. I really think I've just forgotten, in the wake of what I experience overall as one of the greatest experiences of my life, being involved with this site and the incredibly gifted people that have walked through its virtual doors.
CA: I don't mean to dredge up too much painful history, but I think it's worth noting that despite this incident, we ended up good, even better, friends later, and the majority of the CBG folks didn't take it too much to heart, though we did lose some. I make a lot of immature decisions, but I am proud of the fact that I quit the site so that we would stay friends. If I'd stayed, it would have just been too uncomfortable at that time, and after all, a Comic Book Galaxy without Alan Doane is like...AfterM*A*S*H or something. Sure, there's a Lebanese transvestite, and plenty of bloody triage, and...well, come to think of it, there's even a Hawkeye sometimes, though a different one. Anyway, life is too short to hold grudges about a guy kicking you off his website, you know? Especially when he comes back and kisses your ass for the next couple years and counting!
ADD: This, this writing about comics online, has really been a sharp learning experience over the past half-decade. A huge part of it, especially the CBG years, have required learning how to manage a disparate group of creative, often volatile people. Maybe it's the coincidental fact that I've also been raising two children this entire time, but I think the experience has forced me to mature somewhat. I'd never claim to be a fully mature and enlightened human being, but certainly this is a goal of mine, and balancing the needs of the site with the desires and abilities and needs of its contributors has taught me so much about human relationships, about management, about patience and kindness and understanding. The flip side, of course, is that I've been blessed with a great deal of compassion and kindness and forgiveness from the people I've dealt with in this endeavour. I've fucked up -- no sense trying to whitewash it -- I've fucked up dozens of times. I've made mistakes, miscalculations, unkindnesses, I've been goddamned stupid and I've hurt people. Almost always it's been accidental, trying to feel my way in an environment -- the internet -- that is still new to us all. It's not always easy to know the rules, the protocols, the best strategies. But, surprise, the old ways are the best ways, and over time you start to see that kindness, compassion, consideration, thoughtfulness -- all of these make you a better manager of people and a better human being. Again, this is a journey, not a destination. I'm nowhere near what I'd like to be in many respects, but I certainly think my approach here has changed for the better, and I hope that contributing to CBG is an easier and more enjoyable thing these days than perhaps it was four years or three years or two years ago.
CA: When you came back to the online world regularly, it was at "The ADD Blog" rather than Comic Book Galaxy. In its short history, the blog was actually quite popular, maybe even reaching places the site didn't. What made you want to revive CBG?
ADD: Hmm. Blogging is very, very different from being a critic, or a columnist. The ADD Blog featured reviews and lengthy pieces that I suppose you could call columns, but there's a feeling of constantly being "on" when you have a daily blog -- and the end result is that thoughtfulness and deeper contemplation of concepts and issues often is sacrificed for being there first, fastest or snarkiest. It's kind of a funny irony to me that people seemed genuinely sad to lose the ADD Blog when I stopped, and yet I've been back now full-time writing about comics for months now, and CBG seems to only attract the attention of some comics bloggers when they perceive that we've started a controversy or said something untoward. We've very quickly built a large library of good, well-written reviews and columns, and only a very few bloggers do us the kindness of letting their readers know when they find interesting content here (and God bless them for that). If nothing else, it demonstrates the agendas of some bloggers -- an overemphasis on online battles, snark and negativity in the name of getting attention or a quick laugh.
Reviving Comic Book Galaxy came out of a desire to do something better and more vital than that -- providing readers both old and new with an enduring resource of good critical writing about the artform that will stand the test of time in a way pointing and laughing at message board kerfuffles will never do. I wanted to continue writing about comics, but in a way that was satisfying and positive (even when we have to point out the negative in our criticism), rather than hollow and empty and hateful and vituperative. And while the ADD Blog wasn't always that way, the blogging format by its nature invites kneejerk responses and unconsidered thought, and that's not, at the end of the day, what I want to focus on. The most important thing is the great work being done in the artform of comics, and letting people know about it. And by now enough people have told me that CBG has done just that for them that I sleep quite well at night secure in the knowledge that, while it may not be perfect, it's working.
CA: Exactly. It's very easy to pick on bad books and bad columns and foolish comments from comics pros, and we've all been guilty of it, even recently. But I have to say, when you started talking about relaunching CBG again, with the intent to shake off those scales and focus more and more on the bounty of good comics out there, I got excited again, and it's been a lot of fun. CBG isn't perfect, and I don't think we're really looking for that, but it seems to be in a good place right now. No more worrying about being a full-service stop, with news and reviews of the week's hot releases, Previews Picks and all that. Whatever we tried, we did well enough, but the most vital part of CBG has always been you and your voice, what comics are getting you fired up, either because they're crud or because they're life-affirming works of inspiration and genius that can be found in no other medium but comics. That's really what the site is about. Four! More! Years!
Hey, before we get too choked up, and while The National Anthem is playing, maybe we should run down a list of our CBG veterans, some of whom are MIA, and some of whom are still fighting the good fight on other fronts. If we missed anybody, e-mail us and let us know and we'll correct the list.
Alan David Doane ("The Ministry of Popular Enlightenment," "A Place in Hell," "Tilting," "Two Views," "The Conversation") - The occasionally sputtering but powerful engine of Comic Book Galaxy.
Chris Allen ("Breakdowns,” "Consequential Art," "Chris Almighty," "Two Views," "The Conversation") - Sometimes called the “good cop” to Alan’s bad cop, but often, really just annoys and offend a little less by not using words like “arctic shitknife.” Loves comics. Cites ADD as big influence and biggest supporter.
Chris Ryall ("Worst Column Ever," "Chris Almighty") - Editor-in-Chief of both IDW Publishing and Movie Poop Shoot. It all started right here for him, before the hobnobbing with the Kevin Smiths and Steve Niles and Dames Judi Dench. Rule Brittania.
Rob Vollmar ("Rarified Air," "Rarified Reviews," "Tilting", “Northampton Calling”) - Eisner nominated writer of The Castaways, writer of upcoming graphic novel Bluesman. One of the most thoughtful writers ever to grace CBG.
Mike Yates - One of the original members, but bowed out after just one column, in order to write one column for Seed Catalog Galaxy, then one for Tae-bo Enthusiast Galaxy, and on and on. It’s a sickness with him.
Marshall O'Keeffe ("Vox Comica") - Original member and original financier, often working much as Charlie did with his Angels, until the intercom was busted by From Hell being dropped on it. Currently writing the occasional review and consulting behind the scenes
d. emerson eddy ("eddy currents," "I Bent My Wookie," "Made in Canada") - Always unpredictable, frequently inscrutable, and always leaping into one ambitious project after another, d. has been a vital, fascinating member of CBG from the beginning. Now online here.
Loren DiIorio ("The Batcave") - Nice guy, and he was smart enough to pick a niche early, which was to only review Batman-related comics. Once DC stopped publishing these, what were we to do but let him go? Tears were shed that day.
Paul Weissburg (“Hoopla!”) - Incommunicado. I (CA) wrote this guy a recommendation for a creative writing school when I was his reviews editor, but does he call? No. He did good stuff while he was around, though.
Nick Capetillo (“Field Manual”) - Good egg. He's currently writing "The Grant Morrison Project" for CBG, and always takes soda from the machine with the busted lock. Wrote reviews as well.
Brian Lynch (“Simulated Comics,” “Simulated Column”) - This was the Brian Lynch who did Simulated Comics, which took The Sims and added superheroes and punchlines. Funny strip, well-executed. The Christmas one was a classic we ran two years in a row. Still alive, often seen in Tri-State Area rest stops.
Jason Marcy (“Jays Daze”) - Does the Jays Daze online strip, of which there are a couple TPB collections (and about to be a third). Funny stuff, especially if you are neurotic and consumed with defecation, and you know you are. Jay has reproduced. Now online here.
Alex Jay Berman - Not to be confused with Stephen Jay Gould, but he also likes dinosaurs, at least on his pajamas. Last seen wearing pajamas, in fact, but we can't tell you who last saw him.
Aaron Weisbrod - He did some reviews for CBG, went to another site, and then had an unfortunate accident, falling into the live well of a commercial tuna boat. He has the feeling back in his fingers and toes, but that peacoat will never be the same.
Michael Crawford ("Toys in the Attic") - Reviewed toys for the site, as he went on to do at Movie Poop Shoot and his own site... Great guy, never a problem, and always ready with jumper cables, whether your car wouldn't start or you were just going through an odd sexual phase. Now online here.
Johanna Draper Carlson ("The Spinner Rack") - Never an odd sexual phase throughout her tenure at CBG, but then, she wasn't here very long. She’s such a good writer she could convince you to read Archie. Now online here.
Caleb Gerard ("Caleb-Grams") - Every site must have a Caleb, and we had the original. He's now doing that Caleb shtick at Comic World News, which has, oddly, never been about news at all. In fact, it's not even that much about comics, being increasingly concerned with steel tariffs and girdle ads from old Sears catalogs. Now online here.
Dan Wickline ("The 12-Step Program") - Steel and girdle magnate, and head honcho of the aforementioned CWN. Also authored The Conversation one-shot and numerous stories for Metal Hurlant. Now online here.
Ken Cuperus (“I Got Issues”) - I think he writes cartoons now? Nice guy, funny, and he had a great premise for a column, sort of pitting one book against another, like someone's first issue of Suicide Squad vs. a later revamp #1. Took his act to MPS for a while, then...?
Sal Cipriano ("Broken Donuts") - Sal first had his donut broken here, and continues to leak jelly throughout the world of comics. Find out more at Cactus Fusion, his studio site.
Mark Haden Frazier (produced nothing for CBG but headaches) - I'm trying to keep things light here, but bar none, the biggest asshole ever at CBG (at least, that isn’t likely to sue us for saying so). He immediately bristled at the idea that the CBG contributors and editors would actually exchange group emails to, you know, exchange information about the site, and implied we were gay. We call him "Chuckle Snort" for reasons I can't easily explain. Some expression of his. Anyway, fuck him. His last column at Perpetual Comics dates from March 27, 2004, so maybe he’s left the planet.
Anthony Schiavino (logo design and photo essay) - Created many of the CBG logos. Very talented guy. Now online here.
Dani Royer ("Royer's Rants") - Fan fiction seemed like a good idea in the early days of CBG. Egad. She was wonderful to work with, though, and also was the youngest CBG contributor ever. Now online here.
Kevin Mathews - Hard to send him review copies, or have him review anything very current, as he lived in Singapore, but a very good writer. He was the one who wanted to see what he could get away with, but I liked him anyway. He may have gotten that extra "t" put in his last name by now.
Ted Rall - Iconoclastic firebrand and target of Right Wing Wrath for years now. What's not to like? Visit Rall.com.
Tom Beland (“True Story, Swear To God”) - Very talented cartoonist. A hothead, but who isn't? His strip was a great addition to the site and he’s only gotten better since.
Joe Lawler (reviews) - Major Joe. I remember his email was MajorJoe23. Good guy. Not sure if the military thing was an affectation or not, but the jodhpurs looked authentic.
Matt Craig ("Watercooler Comics Reviews") - Described himself as Comics’ Hairy Evangelist, and, you know, hopefully that works out for him. Have you ever discussed a comic with someone else at the watercooler? Didn’t think so. Now online here.
Matt Terl - Now this Matt I know. He lasted only about a week or two here, and I don't know if he ever did a review beyond his audition samples. He growed up, though, and did a lot of stuff for Savant, and I'm sure he's around this Internet somewhere. Where are those reviews, Terl?!? You're on deadline!
Ed Douglas (“What Ed Read”) - One of CBG's debut reviewers, Ed got steadily busier with his music work in NYC. The coolest thing ADD remembers about Ed is that he had to bail out of an Instant Messenger chat once to go give David Byrne lessons in digital music software.
Tom Brevoort (“The Brevoort History of Comics”) - Longtime Marvel editor, mostly Avengers-related books. He wrote a kind of personal history of comics that mattered to him, for his own site but syndicated for a time on CBG.
Andrew Goletz (“The Gray Area,” “Life of Reilly”) ("Life of Reilly") - Co-wrote the extremely popular Life of Reilly, a 30-plus part history of the Spider-Man Clone Saga. Also founded GrayHaven Magazine. Read Life of Reilly here.
Glenn Greenberg (“Life of Reilly”) - Former Marvel editor, freelancer, and co-writer of The Life of Reilly with Goletz.
The Princess (reviews) - Very nice young woman who got into comics through her husband, Lance. There was an innocence and naivete to her reviews that I found appealing, but she didn't stick around long.
Evan Meadow -- Big Bang reviewer who shopped in the same comics shop as...
Marc Mason ("The Aisle Seat") - Marc has forgotten more about servicing a filly than you'll ever know, and he does well with human females, too! Seriously, Marc was a shining light at CBG, and by that I mean he attracted a lot of flying insects. No, seriously, seriously, Marc does a great job wherever he goes, be it CBG or Movie Poop Shoot or marcmason.com.
Adam Fischer (“That Dirty Bastard”) - Adam was a retailer who was going to give us his industry perspective, but only produced a couple columns before real life got in the way.
Brian Florence (Techno Guru) - The guy who taught Doane everything he knows about FTP, HTML and FDIC. Still our behind the scenes technical troubleshooter. Visit djbrian.com.
Mike Comeau (reviews) - Canadian or dead? An original Galaxy member who left with Johanna, possibly in the same cab. Almost came back once, but didn’t.
R. Francis Smith ("Bang On," Big Bang reviews editor) - A good reviewer, editor, and a big help in a pinch. Certainly banging on with abandon somewhere. The Big Bang, it should be noted, was a diverse group of reviewers who focused on mostly on covering monthly floppies.
Rod Nunley ("Tall in the Saddle") - Spare the Rod, spoil the site. Randy Lander once personally told Rod ADD is an asshole. Thus is exhausted our supply of interesting Rod Nunley stories.
Steve Horton - Oh, Steve Horton, you drunken, loudmouthed arsonist. Always pissing his pants and vomiting. You think Cerebus: Church and State is big new; just wait until it soaks up some of Horton’s fluids! Oh, wait, I'm thinking of another Steve Horton.
Ted Richichi - An early member who wrote one piece and had to bow out due to a family crisis. Long before CBG, Ted was on Alan's radio show once a week to review new video releases, and the two became friends and the local radio equivalent of Siskel and Ebert. Ted also worked on some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics in the 1990s.
Scott Eagan - Do you remember the early days of 90210, when Brian Austin Green's character had this best friend, Scott, who was even more of a dork, because he was into country music and wore a cowboy hat? Remember when he was twirling his dad's handgun around and before David Silver (Green's character) could save him, he accidentally shot and killed himself? Well, this is a different Scott, thank God!
Dan Coyle (“Trust No One, Mr. Coyle”) - You won't find a more dedicated X-Files fan than Dan -- at least, you wouldn't have in the late '90s. Also, Ann Nocenti's biggest fan.
Ian Shires (“Obscurity Unlimited”) - Ian self-published (and still may) a fanzine devoted to indie cartoonists, with lots of reviews and features. When the Galaxy was in a big expansion mode, we had him do something similar for the site, so that more people could discover that there are very few obscure cartoonists who don’t deserve to be that way. They need support, though, so thank goodness for Ian, and fie upon the heartless Galaxy.
Michael T. Bradley - Little is known about this one-time CBG reviewer, except that he is not the creator of The Wraith.
Chris Hunter (reviews, interview transcription) - He's RIGHT HERE, so we can't talk about him! Call back later.
Sean T. Collins (reviews) - A brief addition to CBG 2004, Sean has been providing insightful commentary on comics for some time at his weblog, which recently shut down due to Sean getting a job within the comics industry. The loss of his critical faculties is a crushing blow to the blogosphere, but we suppose the fact that he won't be living on Ramen Noodles is some sort of comfort.
Joseph Rybandt (“Lifespan: Comics”) - Works for Dynamic Forces, so he’s supported by the comics industry as well, yet he scoffs at that namby pamby Sean Collins! Loves all kinds of comics, and currently does the Lifespan column here, documenting the ever-growing pile of comics on his nightstand.
Mick Martin (reviews) - A reliably excellent contributor to the Galaxy on and off for the past couple years, Mick recently returned to college to focus on his writing. He will contribute, though, because WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE, MARTIN, EVEN IF IT IS IN THE ASS-END OF ALBANY!
Margaret Liss ("Twisted Panties") - Margaret tried her hand at an unusual premise for a column: what it’s like to be a female Cerebus fan. Perhaps it should have been called “From the Void”? Now online here.
ADD: I never guessed when we started this what a lengthy, useless look it would be at yet another goddamned comics website. But if you've read this far, Jesus, thank you for caring, and you might even be entertained by these: