Brewery Arts Centre

Report: The Lakes International Comic Art Fest 2013

In October of 2013, I headed out on my first trip to The United Kingdom as a guest of inaugural Lakes International Comic Arts Festival – http://www.comicartfestival.com/. Held in the village of Kendal, the gateway to the Lake District (and about 2 hours North of Manchester), I was glad to be on hand to witness the birth of a new comics event and especially one of such great ambition and vision. The festival took place October 18th through 20th, and I was on hand from the 17th to the 21st to observe the goings on.

I’ve been meaning to write a little report on the Festival for, oh, about a year now, but I wasn’t writing very much and things just sort of came up in the general. However, I’m set to be headed back to the second iteration of the event which is taking place THIS WEEKEND, from October 16th through the 20th, and hopefully you are too. Again, more details at http://www.comicartfestival.com/.

I’ve basically taken a whole year to write this and I’m literally on my way out the door…Apologies for spelling, grammar, forgotten names, and for taking so long!

Now, on with the show:

Kendal

First things first: Kendal, and so far as I can tell, The Lake District, is gorgeous. However when I was down in Manchester for the few days before the event, when people could immediately tell I was from out of town (and I immediately had to say “I’m from Canada” to get those frowns to turn upside down), people would be like “Oh you’re going up to the Lake District? Oh it’s lovely up there…” like a mantra. You get the sense that it’s ‘cottage country’, that nothing’s thought to be going on… and that was an idea that the organizers of this festival were desperately fighting back against.

The Box

The festival takes place in the old buildings scattered around town, in the city hall clocktower, in the mall, and in the art school with its beautiful modern buildings. The town was energetic, decorated, and full of unique buildings and spaces. As I was saying, they really are trying for a very ambitious program.

Luke Pearson

Speaking of, I was happy to host this drawing demonstration with Luke Pearson, creator of the Hilda series of books. Luke was sweet and charming and drew like magic, for an hour, for the standing-room-only crowd. It’s only just filling up in this photo…

Luke Pearson

Afterwards, Luke stayed and signed and sketched for fans for another hour as well, what a gentleman! His presentation, as most, took place in one of the large classroom buildings and the signing in an anterior building. Despite the drizzle, people had no problem showing up adequately attired, and spirits were very high.

Fest Merch

Book Sales

I think things like decorating and branding the spaces with pennants, posters, and merchandise, make a huge difference for these sorts of events. What might be a somewhat boring classroom becomes a “Festival Space”, and it’s one of the things that I thought LICAF did very well indeed.

Seen above is some of the custom merchandise, and a few of the wonderful volunteers who helped for the weekend.

Comics Clock Tower

One of the two main spaces was “The Comics Clocktower”, or city hall, and you can see the decoration continued throughout the whole town and into all spaces. Banners and signage, both hung and freestanding, dotted all of the festival spaces and the spaces in between, and it really did lift the atmosphere wonderfully. Of course, when you have as naturally photogenic a town as this, that doesn’t hurt either.

The Map

The comics clock tower featured multiple floors of exhibitors, including a special room for an on-site show store and sponsor. The space reminded me very-much of TCAF 2007, which was held in Victoria College, with exhibitors lining the walls of smaller rooms and customers invited to explore both the lovely old building and all of the wonderful art on display.

Exhibition Area

Of course I may be biased, but my favourite space was the large, high-ceilinged main room, held for town meetings, plays, and presentations, and repurposed to hold a number of wonderful artists and their creations.

Adam Cadwell

There’s my friend Adam Cadwell, chatting up a potentional customer.

NoBrow

The fine folks of Nobrow, including Luke Pearson on the left, Sam in the middle, and you’ll have to pardon me as I forgotten then chap on the right’s name.

Comics

Of course it isn’t a comic show without back issue bins… I guess? I found it hilarious to come across this on the first floor, but a few quid for an old issue of Sandman is hard to argue with at a comics festival.

Mantle!

Also, that fireplace is something else? That’s the best part of repurposing existing buildings.

Canadians

Look! Another Canadian! It’s Anthony Del Col of Kill Shakespeare.

Exhibitor

Kristina Baczynski selling some amazingly lovely comics and art…!

Exhibitors

Stephen Robson

Fanfare/Ponent Mon Books

Here’s Stephen Robson from Fanfare UK, and a wonderful selection of his new projects (well, new a year ago, heh). He’s also started distributing some other wonderful works, very exciting!

Darryl Cunningham

And of course TCAF exhibitor Darryl Cunningham!

Exhibitors

Exhibitors

Exhibitors

Paul Gravett

Friend of TCAF Paul Gravett, showing of his newest survey of the medium, Comics Art.

Comics Clock Tower

Comics Clock Tower

Really, the town is quite lovely, and even with a bit of rain it was marvelous to walk through the spaces, from venue to venue, and see all of the great sites along the way.

Brewery Arts Centre

Brewery Arts Centre

Speaking of, the other major venue is the Brewery Arts Centre, a massive arts complex converted from a brewery! Featuring several restaurants, theatre screens/auditorium, and a gorgeous outdoor space, BAC is where many of the large-scale and keynote events were held, and the town and the Festival are certainly lucky to have such a large and gorgeous space to use. You could pop by any time of the weekend (or to the bar round the corner) to meet many of the participating cartoonists as they grabbed a beer or a bite, and that greatly contributed to the warm and positive feeling of the event.

Brewery Arts Centre

And we’ve reached the end, more or less.

I’ve probably got another few thousand words in me about the first Lakes International Comic Arts Festival, but I’m actually now just about to head to the airport in time to attend the second. I will say that the show was very well organized and really took advantage of its locale in the way that very few shows do. I think it’s a sterling and necessary addition to a comics scene that already includes wonderful events like Thoughtbubble, and I hope to see it continue a long and healthy life.

If you’re within a few hours of Kendal (2 or 3 hours from either Manchester or Glasgow, 4 hours from London), I’d strongly recommend attending. Comics events are so far apart and expensive to get to in the U.S. and Canada… for us 3 or 4 hours away IS considered a local show.

Congrats to the organizers and volunteers on an excellent event, and I look forward to the next one with great anticipation… in about 48 hours.

– Christopher

 

 

Convention Culture and the Modern Artist

So, I’d been meaning to write something about this since things erupted last month on Denise Dorman’s blog [link]. But the topic is a very, very big one, and I couldn’t wrap my head around the entirety of it, and still can’t, and so I’d resisted anything other than a few tweets on the subject. I do think, though, that there are a couple of very basic truths on the subject that I can get out here, so let’s dive in and see where this takes us:

1. The make-up of the attendees of comic book conventions is changing.

I’d say this is a no-brainer, but for those in the cheap seats: There are more fans of nerd-culture things, like superhero comics and science-fiction, than there have been in a very, very long time. The success of DC and Marvel’s movies, the easy availability of sci-fi and fantasy on specialty cable networks, the goddamned Big Bang Theory, all of it has contributed to ‘geek’ culture being embraced by the widest swath of people in history–with the possible exception of Star Wars and Star Trek on the big screen from 77-85.  Despite the fact that I have been going to comic-cons since 1994, and despite the fact that I have been going to Comic-Con since 1999, my mom finally figured out what Comic-Con was last year and that’s basically the only dividing line that anyone needs.

Because of this, the interest in comic-cons is increasing, attendance is up at most shows, and the audience is significantly different from the ‘initiated’ or ‘hardcore’ fans that made up the bulk of attendees as little as five years ago now.

2. The make-up of comic convention organizers is changing, too.

Here’s the one that’s not getting as much play. Comic-cons have always been half way between a labour of love and something resembling a scheme, but their incredible success has attracted a lot of people and organizations in recent years that had previously stayed away due to the specialized nature of the events. Because the sorts of material covered by comic-cons is now material that’s largely in the mainstream, it has gotten much, much easier for those sorts of organizers only tangentially in the know to put together a show that will draw a crowd. The ‘gentleman’ who’s running the Salt Lake Show trying to challenge San Diego’s TM on Comic-Con, or the large-scale trade show organization that has been buying up medium-sized and large-sized shows, like the one in Toronto a few years ago… Comics conventioneering has a long and great history of events being run by passionate businesspeople, passionate groups of fans getting together to organize events, and other only-vaguely capitalist types.  It has a history of hucksterism and scam artists too, but it’s getting a heckuva lot tougher to tell the well-funded and well-run show from the guy who’s trying overselling admissions to cram as many people through that door and who doesn’t give a damn about the exhibitors, attendees, or the fire code for that matter…

The person in charge of an event matters, a lot. Most fans don’t really do the research or even care who’s running the show, as long as they get the access that they crave (access to guests, access to goods, access to other fans). I’d even wager to say most attendees don’t really know the actual name of the show they’re at. Speaking from personal experience we still get fans, exhibitors, and artists that can’t tell the difference between TCAF (indy show, May every year since 2009, set in a library since 2009) and Fan Expo (fan show, August every year for a decade, at the convention centre). That sort of… undiscernment… is to everyone’s own detriment, but you can’t force people to be good consumers, and that lack of discretion always has collateral damage, as badly run shows negatively impact impression of all shows.

3. Professional Fans & ‘Personalities’, which is to say Youtubers, Professional Cosplayers, etc.

I think Denise Dorman’s railing against the ‘instagram’ generation is hilarious but actually has a point–she’s just not using the best terminology to describe what is an actual phenomenon–before 5 years ago, no one (in their right mind) would go to a show thinking that they were an ‘attraction’ without buying themselves an exhibition space, a booth, an artist alley table, something. However, in the last few years the number of people who think that a badge (whether paid for or comped) entitles them to an audience within a convention space is on the rise dramatically. It’s been pegged as cosplayers, and honestly there are more cosplayers at shows than ever, and more professional cosplayers who are going to shows to make money and build an audience. Cosplayers attending shows as businesspeople, who aren’t contributing to the economy of the show.

But professional cosplayers (and I think there’s an important distinction there between people who cosplay and people who earn money cosplaying) are literally nothing compared to the other social media personalities who have begun to call comic-conventions theirs. Where previously you had nerdlebrities like Wil Wheaton building a social media empire out of their cred, today’s social media personalities have amassed huge followings through their postings, videos, and photos on YouTube (largely) and other video and media services. They are the product, they have 100,000, 200,000, 300,000 subscribers on social media, and they announce that they’re going to COMIC-CON X and all of their fans should meet them there. It’s easy to see how that’s a boon for a convention looking to sell tickets… they get a crazy-popular ‘guest’ and they don’t have to do any of the work of actually bringing this personality as a guest. The dude with the media badge AS the thing being covered. But tell me that a fan motivated to go to a comic show to see a dude who talks about shit on Youtube is gonna buy the same way, at the same level, as the fan motivated to go to a comic show because she likes comics.

(This also includes the type of Pro-Fan who has a thriving eBay store, an Amazon store, who is a toy-hunter or exclusive-hunter, basically any sort of fan actively deriving income from attending a convention)

Which brings us to point four.

4. Comic Conventions Are Filling Up And Selling Out, Earlier and Earlier

So all of the above, all of it, almost-completely doesn’t matter at a comic convention with infinite size and infinite space. In that situation, then, yes, it DOES come down to how good of a salesperson Denise Dorman’s husband is, because (in theory) every potential customer will walk by his booth and make a decision about purchasing his wares.

But comic conventions are not infinite. San Diego sells out the year before. New York sells out months out. Emerald City sells out eight months out. I could name a dozen more shows that sell all of their tickets well before the doors open. What that means is that demand is higher for tickets than there were tickets available. So when that happens, you’ve got to ask yourself, what ‘type’ of fan got the tickets before they sold out? Probably the most-dedicated fans. The fans most-in-the-know about how shows are run these days. And, probably, The Professional Fans, who while not exhibiting nonetheless derive income from being at that show.  And when your casual buyer who just wants to go to a show and maybe drop some money on comics can’t make it, because she didn’t want it bad enough, well sir I think it’s safe to say that it’s going to be a different kind of sales show for exhibitors, that’s for sure.

Now until this point, all of this has been more or less neutral, as far as I’m concerned. Like I said, I believe that these are truths about the business–the way things are. I don’t particularly think these new fan economies within shows are good or bad, because there’s clearly a give and a take between all involved. Capitalism, you know? It’s where advice like the somewhat facile “Adapt or Die” comes into play… If the economy of shows is changing, adapt to it and make your money. Sure, why not.

However, I actually do have opinions about this stuff, beyond the statement of simple truths. Here goes.

The changing convention landscape is inherently shitty for people who make comic books. Art comix, indy comics, mainstream comics, whatever comics, the changing makeup of conventions is hostile to people who want to make and sell comics at comic conventions. And let me be clear, this is comic books and graphic novels, as opposed to ‘prints’ or crafts or whatever manner of tchotchkes makeup most exhibitor tables these days. Basically, comic book conventions are aggressively attracting an audience who don’t necessarily value books, or comic books.

This is sure to be controversial, so before you scroll down to leave an angry comment, please hear me out.

Let’s go back to points 1 to 4 a bit, and talk about those points okay?

1. I think it is a very safe assumption that people who come to comic books, sci-fi, or fantasy through adaptations in other media like television, film, video games, don’t necessarily place the same value on the medium as the message. Sure, some of them become converts–it’s hard not to! Comics are great. Novels are great. But I’d say a large percentage don’t really care about the original media, they’re just interested in the story (or if I’m being less generous, the ‘property’). This is bourne out by my experience as a comic retailer and convention exhibitor for the past 20 years or so.

2. The changing make-up of convention runners means that more and more people are entering the field who could give two-shits about anything other than paid admissions and filling the con floor with whomever has the money to pay. There are still lots of great shows, lots of great con-runners, but their are very few shows at all with an ideology, particularly one that values comics. This has a pronounced effect.

3. I don’t mean to beat this particular horse any further, but let me just say there are no vloggers or YouTube personalities with 300k followers regularly talking about comics, to my knowledge.  Games, current events, their own lives, but if there’s some sort of comics vlogger out there that’s defining a generation of criticism and winning new fans, please let me know! I’d love to subscribe. Professional fans, again, are there for their own reasons.

4. I’d say hardcore comics fans are just as likely to be extremely motivated to jump through the necessary hoops as Pro-fans, as personalities, as people heading to shows like they’re a “Nerd-Happening”, to attend sold-out shows. But that does leave the casual attendee or comics fan out in the cold, and being able to convert those casual attendees is what the prior economy of shows is built on.

All of this adds up to fewer folks that actually care about getting comics at a comic con. Again, I want to stress: I have 20 years of exhibiting at shows, including Comic-Con, backing this up.

When you have people who are attending and otherwise interacting with comic conventions who aren’t coming at them from the direction of comic books (whether physical or digital, I should clarify), then the folks who aren’t selling books are at a tremendous advantage in battling for the dollars to be earned from an attendee’s wallet. There is a very different perception in value of a book or a comic book, or a print/craft/tchtchoke. At a show like this, if you’ve got a $20 Punisher comic on a table, a $20 Punisher action figure, and a $20 11×17 colour photocopy depicting The Punisher next to each other on a table, you are going to sell that 11×17 Punisher colour photocopy 7 times out of 10, the toy twice, and the comic book once. And it doesn’t matter if the comic is full price at $20, half price at $20, or if the artist himself is there and selling the Punisher comic with an autograph. The print, almost always the print.

Example: I have exhibited at shows for UDON, and had a $40 (really nice lithograph) Street Fighter print on the table, and a 200 page Street Fighter book which contained the image on the print and 190 other images, also for $40, and the print always sold first. When I asked the customer why they didn’t go for the book with the image they loved (reproduced at a nice size, I should add) instead of the single image, the answer always came down to the print feeling like an object with higher perceived value.

The same goes for other merch. There’s a thriving world of grey-market collectibles based on other peoples’ intellectual property out there, and honestly as long as the creators (if not the IP holders…) are fine with it I don’t really care. But being an exhibitor, or being in artist alley, and having a book versus having a piece of merchandise is not a level playing field, it just isn’t. Which, again, is not to say that the unleveled field cannot be overcome. In a vacuum, again, that’s fine, that’s capitalism, but:

  1. It’s not a vacuum, because of points 1, 2, 3, and 4, and
  2. Comic-cons have traditionally (and until very recently) been places that have been immersed in book-culture, have been pro-book, and whose attendees value the medium.

Saying “Adapt or Die” to someone who has been placed at a severe economic disadvantage by forces entirely beyond their control in the space of 2 or 3 years is, at best, terribly unsympathetic. And I don’t mean to pick on the writer of that piece specifically, but that response is emblematic of the responses I’ve seen to Denise Dorman’s pieces, that (without knowing anything about her or her husband’s con setup) they just weren’t trying hard enough, ‘and have you considered making eye contact with people and not hating cosplayers.’ I mean… ugh. That poor woman. Anyway.

So, in short: The makeup of contemporary comic conventions has changed dramatically, and is changing, at every single level. The deck has become stacked against people selling book product (and particularly original book product versus licensed or tie-in material, in my opinion). I think every creator out there should think long and hard about the shows they do, how much money is being charged of attendees, who their fellow exhibitors and guests are and what that says about what sort of show they’re likely to have. Moreover, it would be nice if more comic book conventions made a concerted effort to privilege comic books (and novels) in the make-up of their shows at all levels, to at least attempt to level that playing field a little. Creating an environment where comics, and their creators, are celebrated is positive in a great number of ways, not the least of which because those television shows, films, and video games are going to have to come from somewhere, and it would be nice if comics creators could at least break-even at a show where they’re trying to promote their work, and the medium.

So those are my thoughts–a few things that I don’t think are being talked about, and some conclusions I’ve drawn from them. I’ve enjoyed reading other folks’ responses to this issue, and if you’re reading this 2500 words later I appreciate you taking the time to read mine.

Thanks,

– Christopher

P.S. and Full Disclosure: For those of you new to my writings, hi! I Manage a shop called The Beguiling in Toronto. I co-founded and am Festival Director of The Toronto Comic Arts Festival. I’ve also been involved in the running of comics conventions, and have been making and promoting comics for quite a while now. 

My great big attention-whoring, histrionic-filled blog post about ello, and you won’t believe what happens next

THIS BETA PIECE OF SOFTWARE DOES NOT LIVE UP TO MY BASELESS EXPECTATIONS.

AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE, I BELIEVE IT IS LIKELY THAT THIS SOFTWARE WILL DISAPPOINT ME, AND SO I AM LEAVING IT NOW.

THE FUNDING MECHANISM OF THIS BETA PIECE OF SOFTWARE IS NON-EXISTENT! BY WHICH I MEAN IT HAS NOT YET BEEN IMPLEMENTED OR TESTED. THEREFORE, IT WILL FAIL AND I AM LEAVING IT.

OH, AND IT’S UGLY, TOO.

ello.com/comics212

 

jocelyneallen-1280

An interview with my friend Jocelyne Allen

My friend Jocelyne Allen is a translator and interpreter, and I’m fortunate enough to work with her a bunch on TCAF. One of her favourite things to say about her job is that “Translation should be invisible, the translator should be invisible,” meaning that the job of the translator is to bring the strongest version of the original author’s words and intent to the focus in this secondary language, and the translator should use the lightest touch possible… which is why I chuckled to myself when I saw that she consented to be the subject of a (very) long interview over at Tofugu. There’s even a lovely illustrated portrait!

I thought Allen-san offered some nice insight into her profession, though having spent many long conversations over a pint with her I know that this interview just scratches the surface of the intricacies of translation and her own thoughts on the art of it. I’d like to interview her myself one day, I think… For now though, go check it out! :)

– Chris

Illustration by ??? I couldn’t find any credit at the Tofugu site…!

Nakameguro-14

ShootTokyo

I’m enjoying this photo blog, ShootTokyo. I actually discovered it through Kickstarter, the proprietor was Kickstarting a book of his photos and it looked cool and so I backed it. As I spend more time on his site, I become ever more impressed with his shots and how evocative they are of the city, and its many moods.

Photo from http://shoottokyo.com/.

Nakameguro-14

fuji_tokyo

America X England X Japan X France

Shockingly, I’ll be travelling soon.

I know, I know, I’m always travelling, it seems, but I’m really excited about these next 4-5 months, as there’s gonna be a lot of cool stuff happening. Basically, all of my dreams for TCAF, of repping awesome Canadian comics to the world are coming true, and it’s great and I’m stoked.

Next weekend I’m off to SPX – The Small Press Expo in Maryland for the first time since 2005. I’m running Coach House’s table, and they are the publishers of a very important ‘lost’ classic called THE CAGE by Martin Vaughn James as well as a book of writing by critic Jeet Heer called IN LOVE WITH ART, about Art Spiegelman. We’ll also have some cool TCAF books there, so if you’ll be at the show please stop by and say hi! I’ll be at table J2.

Then in October, I’m headed back for the second year of The Lakes International Comic Arts Festival, in Kendal, England, which runs from the 17th through the 19th. I got to attend last year and it was great fun (I still have to write up that trip…) and I’m excited to head back for another go. I’ll be hosting a few panels at the event, shaking hands, kissing babies, and hopefully inviting a few folks over to TCAF.

Moving along to November, and TCAF will once again be exhibiting at Kagai Manga Festa / International Comic Festival, Japan’s only event for international comics. TCAF will have 3-4 tables, repping Canadian cartoonists and books, and it should be great fun. The event is on Sunday, November 23rd, but we’ll be there for a few days before and about a week after. We’re still open to Cartoonists who want to exhibit with us at the show, head over to the TCAF site to read about it.

Then, I’m quite pleased to announce that TCAF will make its first showing at the Angouleme International Comics Festival in Angouleme, France, January 27 to Feb 1. Angouleme is one of the bigger and more important comics events in the world, it’s quite exciting to finally get to attend! I’m honestly not sure of the shape of the trip just yet, we’re still working out the finer points. ;)

Anyway, now you’re up to date! If you want to say hello while I’m in your neck of the woods, drop me a line!

Best,

– Christopher

Image by Gary Sherman

adidas

R.I.P.: Awesome Sneakers,
2011-2014

I found you in 2011, in Tokyo.

You were a replacement; I was on the rebound from my last love… You were busier, flashier, but still the same beautiful shade, like a cheap glass of red wine. You were a compromise, I admit.

I didn’t love you at first.

As I sit in this hotel room in Seattle, my flight home inching ever closer and the good night’s sleep I’d promised myself getting ever-more-distant, I feel I owe you more than simply leaving you behind in the morning.

adidas

This isn’t the first time we’ve broken up. Or tried to. 4 or 5 others have come into my life, and each time I thought they were the one, but I always came back to you. You were comfortable, even at the beginning, but now you’re like a second skin. Whenever I was given the choice, I chose you. I hated myself for it, as you fell further and further apart.

This time, we’re done. For real.

You finally gave out on me, and gave up on me. I ended up getting hurt (and wet), so I’m getting over you. Getting rid of you, for good.

Despite it all, what we had is special. I mean, we traveled, we did amazing things, we met wonderful people. We’ve been back to Tokyo 5 times together, and to England, and all over America. It was real. I’ll miss it. But I’d rather fondly remember the good times than sully those memories with what you’ve become.

So thank you, and goodbye.

– Christopher

P.S.: I found someone new—they’re Japanese too, what’re the odds? XOXO

adidas_new

punpun

Furuya Usumaru
X Inio Asano

In my absence, a great blog sprung up called Mangabrog, the proprietor of which has been translating Japanese-language interviews with manga into English for us poor non-Japanese-reading fans. Truly, God’s Work.

I’ve now availed myself of all of the site’s treasures, but I gotta say I loved this just-posted interview between Furuya Usamaru (Lychee Light Club, Genkaku Picasso) and Inio Asano (Solanin, Nijigahara Holograph) from Erotics F magazine volume 79.  Here’s a great bit:

Asano: If you were to ask me what my aim has been with the manga I’ve made up until now, I’d say that I’ve inevitably been making stuff that I myself like — but since I imagine there are a lot of people like me, I figured I could count on there being a decent number of people out there who’ll be able to “get” my manga. The problem, though, is if my readers are people are like me, and I don’t really like people who are similar to me, then that means that I dislike my readers.

Furuya: They do say that people tend to dislike people similar to themselves.

Asano: That’s what it is—it’s hard to like someone when you can see through them like that. I understand the reason people read my manga, what they like about it and what they’re going to eventually dislike about it, so I just can’t fully accept my readers. Hence my urge to mess with them.

The whole interview is fantastic–it’s very honest, and goes into great detail on the creative side of things too.

As for the rest of the site, I’m absolutely loving the two Taiyo Matsumoto interviews that are there, two more interviews with Asano, Daisuke Igarashi, Hiroki Samura, the dude who does Gantz… haha. It’s an awesome site that seems to exist solely for me to enjoy, so I hope you’ll make it more-real by sharing it with me.

http://mangabrog.wordpress.com/

– Chris

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comics212_august2014

Suddenly, Everything Has Changed

Long story short: My wordpress install for comics212 corrupted in some unknowable way, and could wordpress could no longer be updated except manually, which is a pain in the behind. This necessitated a full reinstall. It meant that everything might break. It means a fresh start.

I’d had my previous site design, my previous, gorgeous site design, for many many years. Nadine Lessio did a lovely job of it, but no web design is meant to last that long and it’s a testament to how solid it was that it lasted as long as it did. I used to redesign my site every week, when I was on blogger. By hand. Nadine’s lasted for 5 or 6 years, I think. Thank you, Nadine.

This blog had very much started to feel like a relic of a previous version of myself. It was written by the guy who was passionate about the worlds of comics and manga, who blogged with that swanky red-white-and-blue design for years. It was nostalgic visiting my blog. That’s awful, in a whole hell of a lot of ways.

So, a fresh start.

I’m hoping it leads somewhere.

– Christopher

Never Safe For Work