Posted by Bob Greenberger on November 4, 2008
My pal Heidi MacDonald wrote this at The Beat:
Looks like ComicMix is downsizing in the widespread economic slowdown. First, all the columns have ended — Michael Davis and Martha Thomases did farewell columns — and one of their programmers Twittered about his comics job being on hiatus. Inquiries to various parties suggested that a bunch of folks have been let go; an announcement of some sort is forthcoming. However, news editor Robert Greenberger remans on board. He has turned the news element of the site into a wide ranging pop culture news outlet.
Launched back in 2007, featuring comics news, ComicMix started presenting webcomics under editor Mike Gold last October. Webcomics were viewed as the main purpose of the site and the mix included returning titles with lengthy print histories, such as Jon Sable and Hammer of the Gods, and new comics such as Original Johnson. ComicMix dipped a toe into publishing with some POD books at Baltimore, but several observers have wondered just where their revenue stream was coming from, and these personnel cutbacks may be part of that.
So here’s the deal: yes, there’s been some downsizing and it means I can no longer use outside talent for the news space. Some will do so on a pro bono basis but for the foreseeable future, it’ll be me doing the news, reviews, and interviews. I hadn’t real noticied a substantive change in content between what Rick Marshall was doing and what I have been posting but if there’s been a drift so bet it.
A frustrating element has been that some of the stories and interviews I’m really proud of, have gone with barely any notice or comment which is shame. I have tried to make certain levels of journalistic standards have been applied so if we get a press release we put things into context. Same with news and notes we cull from across the internet since we cannot presume our readership is as familiar with this stuff as we are. So, I am very proud of what we have done the last two months.
Sadly, it hasn’t seemed to move the needle in terms of page views which is, of course, how we and most other websites generate ad revenue. ComicMix has some very exciting plans going forward and one hopes the current retrenchment means we can come back stronger. The technical delays behind Phase 3 have been very time consuming and daunting but when it launches, should change the playing field a bit and we hope in positive ways.
Of course, it should have been live months ago along with a home page redesign but I remain hopeful.
I will miss having the contributions from friends, new and old, and hope the site continues. As Heidi put it, I remain on board and will at least continue the good fight.