Wednesday, November 5, 2008

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION returns to the Pulse

In my previous post, I talked briefly about the fact that Dan and I have written for the Pulse. One of the best pieces of advice for writers I found on the internet came from comic author Steven Grant's Permanent Damage column over at Comic Book Resources. He wrote that if one wants to write - then write. It doesn't matter the format, the genre, the publication, as long as one is writing then it is inevitable (in most cases) that one will improve. He specifically talked about aspiring fiction writers taking a chance to write non-fiction. Despite what may seem to be wildly diverse genres, writing non-fiction will allow a writer's fiction to become better, because you're still putting words to the page, discovering the best possible way to say something while keeping it interesting. This made sense.

To that end, I answered an internet call for writers on a fledgling site a few years back, Independent Propaganda, which has since shut down due to the moderator's need to tend to family matters. I proposed a twice-monthly column that would spotlight small press and independent comic books, recommending two books - recent publication as well as one "from the vault." It was a good chance to get my feet wet, and I had a lot of fun doing that. But during a site overhaul, which was going to take a couple of months, the moderator discontinued running new pieces from the small cadre of writers he'd assembled.

Luckily, the Pulse then put out a call for writers. I answered, offering a weekly column that would again spotlight small press, self-published, and web comics, but with a small twist. It would also include a short Q&A with the creator(s)/editor(s). Jen Contino thought it sounded good and last June my column, FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION, began running. It's a review/recommendation column that leans heavily toward recommendation. I came to this decision from my time spent lurking and, on occasion, posting at Warren Ellis's previous internet home, the ENGINE. On their, Ellis had started a comic review thread wherein he required that the posts be recommendations of what was good rather than anonymous posters bashing someone else's creation.

I agreed with this policy and applied it to this iteration of my online "presence." First, there's enough garbage being spewed on the web that I don't need to add to that. Second, I didn't feel it necessary to waste my time writing about something I did not enjoy. Third, I wanted to try and turn readers on to books and comics they may not have seen, or maybe hadn't considered giving a chance. I managed to keep to the weekly schedule - with FYC being pre-empted during times of the year when the large cons (see SDCC) were providing a saturation of information on the site, or more recently when the Pulse had issues with its server and chose to overhaul the site.

Due to these server glitches, FYC has not run since mid-June of this year. But last week I stopped over to the Pulse and saw that the overhaul was finally finished. Going forward, FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION will be running bi-monthly so that I can give more attention to my fiction and see if I can make that publishing dream of mine a reality. And the first column of this new run went live yesterday appropriately enough.

VEEPS, the latest book from Topshelf Comics is a nearly-300 page book of nonfiction profiling each of our country's Vice Presidents along with some notable also-rans. It delves into the ignominy and absurdity that seems attendant to the position and is really enjoyable. A link to the piece is here. Go check it out, let me know what you think, and let me know what comics you think I should be spotlighting.



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