Saturday, February 06, 2016

The State of Comics Blogging

Dave Lartigue closed Dave Ex Machina yesterday.

That's a part of what made me fire up the old blog machine this morning, and definitely part of what made me look at the sidebar. Clicking those links is a depressing enterprise. Less than half of the main blogroll is still active, and several of those post about as sporadically as I have been.

It's not too hard to see why, really. I can't speak for everyone, but I started this blog when I was in college and had tons of free time for writing. Eventually I grew up, I got a job, I got married, and all that meant less time for sitting in front of the computer or reading comics. My "to read" pile is basically a longbox and a half at this point. I suspect the same is true for a lot of the folks who fired up comics blogs in the halcyon days of the mid-'00s. A lot of the rest got snagged up by larger sites like Comics Alliance and Comic Book Resources and Newsarama, where they're still doing comics blogging, but under a bigger umbrella.

A lot of content has moved to other platforms, too. I spend a lot more time on social media than I do on Blogger, where it can sometimes feel like you're shouting into the void. Places like Tumblr and Twitter are good for short-form content and jokes that once would have been blog posts here, and allow for more quantitative feedback in the form of likes and reblogs.

Personally, I know I've never been good at finishing things or following a project through to the end. I've still got some ideas for this blog, and I'm not ready to let go of the format just yet. I'm certainly not ready to put a pin in it and close things down with that sense of finality, not when there's the possibility that I'll change my mind in six months. But the comics blogging landscape is different than it was five years ago, and it's littered with abandoned residences.