Rich Kreiner’s Virgin Blog

Posted by on December 2nd, 2009 at 3:27 AM


To quote the beginning of the song “Big Time” by Peter Gabriel, “Hi, there.” First time blogger, long time avoider.

I’ve been writing for the print Comics Journal since 1986 and only recently found out I am not a fan of big changes. I’ll spare you my first person account of garment-rending and ash-smearing that accompanied the magazine’s seismic shift into the netherworld of electromagnetic transmission. I thought it represented yet another example of conscientious commentary and considered opinion going to hell in an Ethernet handcart. I’ve since been patiently coaxed back from the ledge by editor and Fantagraphics wrangler Michael Dean, assured by him that said shift will not necessarily result in mutually assured intellectual devolution (unanswered was how, then, one accounts for the non-Meryl Streep principal in Julie & Julia). As a guy who doesn’t himself have an Internet connection, has never used an ATM and, until last summer was using Windows ’95, I’m not completely convinced. Please consider yourself duly warned.

In print I’ve freely owned up to being, as they say, “slow of study.” Accordingly I probably won’t be taking full advantage of this new format until I get my sea legs, or whatever the web equivalent is. For the first few entries I will be working two veins that would have had a home in the material magazine. The first will be a continuation of reviews of mini, small batch, and handmade comics from the first Maine Comics Arts Festival held in Portland. The initial accumulation of reviews was big and originally written for print. In theory it could already be floating around the site here somewhere; please consult whatever it is you all look at when you want to find something on the computer. If it isn’t around yet, just wait, as I’m sure there will be a period during this momentous transition when the Fantagraphics webmeisters are pitching and weaving about on their own sea legs.

The second vein I’ll be exploring will be a rolling “Best of 2009” survey, something that was done annually in the physical magazine. Traditionally it’s the most fun I have in print all year.

In the meantime, my newly acquired copy of Blogging For Dummies (actually, yes I did) informs me that you, as readers, could be anybody (hi, mom!). If, as is hoped, the magazine’s shift to the Internet brings a flood of new faces and we in fact are meeting here for the first time, an introduction admission: I already foresee the day where I’ll be name dropping to beat the band and throwing around comic titles as if they were shorthand references for accepted intellectual concepts. Here’s hoping we share enough of a common frame of reference. Actually, what I suppose I really mean is that while I’m hoping you’ll be gentle with me as a naïf regarding the use of this electronic medium, I won’t be extending you the same courtesy in terms of content.

That said, to quote the Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick as the final performing act at Woodstock on Saturday night/Sunday morning, “It’s a new dog.”

Woof, baby.

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