Today on The Beat, Heidi MacDonald published an in depth article sharing her thoughts on comics journalism. Heidi has been doing this for a long time - just look at this photo of her interviewing Frank Miller in 1987:
The point is that Heidi has a lot of experience and she's worth listening to, whether you ultimately agree with everything she says or not. The Beat is one of the few websites we actually respect here at The Outhouse.
So go and read her article, and then join us back here. She needs the hits to make up for spending three hours writing it.
Ok, now I want to share my own experience on comics journalism, because I too have not produced any other content today, and we need to get some clicks going on. So here's a little bit of advice for you up-and-comers looking to make a name for yourself and, potentially, tens of dollars in advertising revenue and some free review copies if you really set your mind to it and work hard.
Years ago, at The Outhouse, we hit on the secret to bypassing the need for access to publishers - just make stuff up. Want a quote from Jason Aaron in your article? Make one up. Not only do you not have to worry about kissing ass to keep your access to EXXXCLUSIVE content, but made-up Jason Aaron is likely to say far more entertaining things than real Jason Aaron, like suggesting Wolverine has two dicks - one for fucking, and one for making love. Does real Jason Aaron actually believe that's true? It's certainly not outside the realm of possibility, and I feel it accurately reflects his work on the character. So really, it's a win/win situation for everyone involved.
Axel Alonso in weekly interviews on CBR is boring. You know what he's going to say. Blah blah extremely excited blah blah super-mega-crossover event blah blah change the Marvel Universe forever blah blah Black Panther. Booooooring. When Axel Alonso visits The Outhouse, he communicates via freestyle rap with Joe Quesada beatboxing. Infinitely more entertaining, and honestly, often more informative than his PR double-speak in actual interviews. You can even shoehorn it into stories that have nothing to do with Marvel, if you're willing to try hard enough.
It also helps on slow news days when nothing is going on. Did Bob Harras really get his head stuck in a bucket while performing the Ice Bucket Challenge? While it's plausible, it probably didn't really happen. But would you rather read articles about the title card to the new Harry Spinoff, or read about Bob Harras stumbling blindly around the DC offices, waving his hands around and shouting for people to pull a bucket off his head? The answer is clear. To me at least.
So just go ahead and say that Dan Slott was mistaken for a bear and had to be tranquilized in the Marvel offices. Claim that Dan Didio is out to catch the punks that keep egging his house each Halloween. Is IDW's VP of Sales Alan Payne, or Max Payne? It doesn't matter!
I've been doing this for a few years now, so, like Heidi MacDonald, I think I have some good advice to offer aspiring comics "journalists." Just make shit up. I encourage everyone to start doing this. The truth is, no one will be able to tell the difference anyway, because the comics industry is so messed up, anything is possible.