Monday, July 28, 2008

Junk Press

Read some comics interviews lately? At Newsarama? Or Comic Book Resources? Or, uh, The Pulse? Well, it seems like Marvel Comics editor Tom Brevoort has, and what he's found does not amuse him.
[...] I find myself a little bit dismayed about the overall quality of the journalism surrounding our industry. [...] So often, these interviews feel like the interviewer is using a macro he’d developed for this purpose: “Tell me what NAME OF PROJECT is about? What’s it like working with NAME OF CREATOR?”

[...] I know, for myself, I get bored trying to answer these same-old, same-old questions whenever there’s a piece of promotion to be done. And I know that if I’m bored, the people reading the interview are going to be bored, and that’s not going to help sell any comic books.
Now, there are a couple of things worth noting about this. First up, it's hard to argue with Brevoort's point that the bulk of what websites tend to label as "interviews" hardly deserves the description, obviously.

That aside, though, you'll note that Brevoort doesn't differentiate between "journalism" and "promotion." As a Marvel Comics representative, he doesn't need to, of course. But the people writing for websites like the ones mentioned above certainly should, if they harbor any pretensions of being outlets of journalism. And I wonder how many of those interviewers (and, by extension, their editors, if they exist) actually care - or even think - about this stuff.

On a side note, I suppose you can raise an eyebrow or two at the notion of a top editor at a major comics publisher frowning at the appalling quality of the unreflected free promotion his books tend to receive from the comics press.

1 comment:

andy khouri said...

What Mr. Brevoort seems to be forgetting (no doubt a side effect of what must be considerable convention/press fatigue) is that a great deal of what comics news sites cover are projects that are not yet announced, newly announced, weeks or months from release, and have not been read by anybody who might be reading the interview -- except people like Tom Brevoort.

As such, getting the new project's name right is a pretty good place to start.