The Good, The Bad, & This Kid: “Fit to Print”

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Last week I ran a special addition of GBK where I gave you, the people, rumors no one else could supply you with. The reason no one else could bring you these amazing rumors (and mind you, they were amazing), is because I made them up. However, I’m sure every single person out there who read my column last week knows I made all that jazz up. I asked Craig Lemon (SBC editor guru) if it would be okay to have a lead-in column about rumors; where, I made up a bunch of rumors. Obviously he gave me the okay, and we both thought it would be fun. As it turns out, it wasn’t fun, no one cared. Not a single person besides myself and Craig posted on the message board. How insanely pathetic is that? I know my column was a give away because of its title, Gammon, but come on people. I usually get a fair amount of feed back on my columns, but last week was just a total flop. So, with that in mind I’ve been debating on whether or not to even go forth with the follow up column. I mean, what good is a follow up, if it’s following something that flopped like a strange looking fish out of water? Then I think, what kind of writer would I be if I just gave up on something because it didn’t go over well? I’d be a crap-ass one, that’s what. So, I will push aside my failure and go forth with another essay.

Now that we’ve got the sad intro out of the way, we can concentrate on examining the strange phenomenon known as rumor columns. I’ve always been against publications such as People Magazine and Us Weekly, they’re a stain on art. They promote the entertainment value of movies, namely the actors and actresses, and leave out all the heart and soul of what these people do. All these magazines care about is what people wear to P Diddy’s parties (yes, I am bitter that I’ve never been invited to a P Diddy party, okay not really). The sad fact of the matter is, since I work with the serials department at the library, I know far too much about these types of trash publications. Anyway, the point I’m working towards is, as opposed to trash like this as I am, I can’t help myself but read comic book rumor columns. The comic book rumor column is the commensurate of a People or Us. I know it’s hard to hear, hell it’s hard to say; but, it’s true. Rumor columns do nothing for the art of comics. Okay, they do promote them, but it’s in the wrong fashion. It’s mainly, Grant Morrison is writing something, go read it. That’s what I mean by the wrong means of promotion. The project isn’t being represented on its merits, but rather by the writer or artist working on it.

If you’ve read this column before, you probably know I’m a fanatic when it comes to artistic integrity. As much as I like certain creators over others, it’s always based on the art that these creators produce. If my favorite writer in the world started working on a project, and I felt it was bad, I’d stop reading it. It’s really as simple as that. You don’t find many fans like that these days, there are too many fans who will continue to read trash because of the names on the cover, instead of seeking out other talented creators. I feel that the major reason behind this is the rumor column. The bigger a person’s name is, the more press they’ll get in the column, which means the more money their project will make. It’s a nefarious little circle. Many people may wonder what the big deal is, everything is like that. Movies, books, TV, music, they’re all ran using the same house of reason. Popularity equals talent. Often times that’s not the case. Just because a large group of people like something, doesn’t automatically make it good. Rumor columns love to use this, they’ll talk about what big name creator is doing what, or what little name creator has just made it big. The more popular the writer or artist, the more time they get in the column, because they’re what people think is good. A lot of the time the writer of the column will throw his opinion in, and poke fun at the deluded popularity of something stupid. What they really poke fun at is themselves, for being a whore to the way of press.

So, what would I do to change this craziness? I couldn’t tell you. I’ve got no real solution, I’m not even sure there is a solution. Rumor columns are a vital part of our comic community. They shed light on up and coming projects to get people really excited about them. Excitement is a very powerful and positive tool in terms of marketing. If someone is excited about a product, that someone will most likely buy that product. That’s how it is with comic books too, the main tool in getting the word to fans about new products is the rumor column. Then, when the company actually comes out and announces the product everyone’s excitement boils over and out of their wallets. However, rumors are a very dangerous thing. Say the wrong thing, and all hell could break lose. Mention a product that a company wasn’t sure about, the company might decide to yank it just because of a column. Besides that, some creators and publishers don’t appreciate outside people announcing their new projects, they wanted to wait for the time to be right, but instead some writer who wants to be the first one with the big story ruins their surprise. Then, on top of all that, rumor columns usually promote big name projects and leave no limelight for the smaller projects, the projects that could actually use the exposure. Why shine all the light on a project that everyone will buy anyway, why not share the wealth so that more deserving titles get the recognition they deserve? Rumor columns do some good, but for the most part they’re just comic book versions of trashy celebrity magazines, but writers of rumor columns try so desperately hard to make themselves seem like a valuable member of the artistic comic book community. They’re no more artistic than the writers of the articles in People or Us, or any other such magazines. Rumor column writers are a different breed, they’re a mix of news reporter and fan. They’re Reportofan.

The Good

It’s the glorious return of The Good. After a couple weeks hiatus, it’s back with a vengeance. The Good has sat back and watched countless trash being called “good,” and it can’t take it anymore. It’s high time The Good got off its lazy ass and told the fine readers of SBC what’s actually good. So, without wasting anymore time with this crazed rant, let’s get into The Good.

Usually The Good will be comic related. It’ll promote a smaller comic book or a web comic, but not this time. Oh no, for a column that rants far too much about the need for more art and less “jibber jabber,” The Good delivers real, meaningful art. That art, is the art of origami. A truly gifted artist has set up a web-site where he can bring this wonderful art form to the people.

Origami Boulder. Please show your support for an art form that has spent too long at the bottom.

That’ll end this week’s GBK. ‘Til next time…

-Josh Stone

In loving memory of Casey.

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