Friday, February 13, 2004

The First Day Of The Rest Of Our Blogs

Well, by now the news has reverberated throughout the hallowed halls of fandom... the "Old Order Changeth" , to use a really geeky reference.

This hit me hard. Dirk's 'Journalista!' has become the focal point for so much of what is good in this here comics blogosphere . . . Hell, I think it goes without saying that if it weren't for him I wouldn't even be writing this now. I don't think I ever missed a day of 'Journalista!' from the very beginning. He wasn't the first member of our blogosphere but I'll be damned if I can think of anyone who was more important in kindling the sense of community, or more influential in terms of spreading the idea of our blogosphere's particular responsibilities.

I think the rise of 'Journalista!' mirrored a similar change of perception among the world of internet blogs in general. Somehow a critical mass was reached, the realization that these little words on our computer screens mattered in some strange way. It became more than just debating the merits of the Hulk over Thor, it became in a lot of ways a true extension, at least through 'Journalista!'s prism, of what the Journal is really about (or, at least, what I've always believed it to be about).

Its about a responsibility to the art form, to the medium; to the people who practice it and to ethical business practices in general. Its about the universality of cartooning across cultures and across continents - I know there are a lot of people who just glazed over Deppey's international links, but I think that was perhaps the most important service 'Journalista!' offered. It gave us all a little bit of context. Its about our history and our community - and not in some dippy "Team Comics!" way, but in the real sense that this is an important and vital art form we're all truly blessed to be a part of, for better or for worse.

I hope Dirk returns soon. Unfortunately, given the realities of publishing, and particularly the realities of publishing an unwieldly beast like the Journal - I remain skeptical that this will happen anytime soon. Its not all sad, though, as I am really excited about the prospect of the Journal under Dirk. If he brings the same attitude and breadth of interest to his Journal, we are in for a rare treat indeed.

Milo George will be missed. As many have pointed out, his Journal was simply wonderful, perhaps a definitive run. Mr. George sat at the helm for some truly phenomenal issues. I am upset that Anne Elizabeth Moore's run as editor is clearly underrated - she oversaw some excellent issues as well. On a more personal note, I should add that Mr. George was never anything less than an absolute prince of a fellow in my dealings with him. I only had a handful of articles printed under his stewardship, but it was a joy to work for him. It seems he was hated and derided across the land for his internet persona, and that's a shame - because the Milo who posted on and the Milo who edited the Journal don't seem like they could possibly have been more dissimilar.

In any event, from now on I'm going to strive every day to use this meager podium to build on the high standard 'Journalista!' has already established.

I think we all should feel a great responsibility now. I know I do. Thank you, Dirk, for the example you have shown me, and thank you for the work yet to be done.

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