Happy Fifth Birthday, Bleeding Cool, From Those Who Made It

Today is the fifth anniversary of Bleeding Cool. Some of the folk who write and work on the site wanted to share their experiences in that time…

announce pic HMSWhen I first became aware of Bleeding Cool through friends, it was always about the cutting edge in breaking news, not just in comics, but in pop culture, and when I learned it had only been around a couple of years at that time, I was shocked because of the stature it had already attained. I was even more shocked later on when I realized that all this had been achieved by just a handful of people working very hard around the clock. But becoming a contributor to Bleeding Cool was a very different thing—it was only then that I clearly understood the gonzo nature of the site, the way in which personal voice was key, and the freedom it granted to its contributors to have a wide range of perspectives and ideas. For me, it seemed like the last bastion of “new journalism” carrying the ethos of Truman Capote and Hunter S. Thompson, the only form of journalism that really caught my interest.

There was more to it than that, though, because the format was right but the goals and content needed to be right, too, if I wanted to be involved.

And the goals were right the more I observed the site and its writers—to stand up to big power structures as well as pay attention to the way that industry affects fans and creators alike. It was pretty far from my ken that I would ever be involved in Bleeding Cool in a big way but the kind of writing I was doing fell closer and closer to the goals of the site to celebrate the people behind the comics and speak directly to the fans who support pop culture on a daily basis. Becoming EIC was a big leap, but I saw it as a way to empower new writers and further a necessary voice in pop culture. We do things our way at Bleeding Cool, and that’s never going to change. That means contributors are allowed to find their voice and do things their way, too, in furthering the bigger mission of freedom of speech and making sure visual media gets the support it needs to continue. We have to give back to keep it going, and this is how we do it. Happy 5th anniversary of making a difference, Bleeding Cool.  – Hannah Means-Shannon, EIC of Bleeding Cool

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Five years ago, I wrote a story that ran on Bleeding Cool, about an upcoming comic book project by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. Millar swiftly confirmed it. Ish. And now Kingsman: The Secret Service is coming out as a movie. I also reported that,

Last Thursday, Marvel’s General Counsel and Executive Vice President to the Executive Office, John Turitzin told a financial audience that the price increase on a number of Marvel titles from $2.99 to $3.99 is part of an ongoing process of testing just how much money they can make from publishing comics. And they believe enough Marvel fans will pay they increased prices. But if they don’t, those prices will come down.

Well, you paid it, so they didn’t. That was the first day of Bleeding Cool and it wasn’t a bad start. It kinda set the tone.

It’s been five years since William Christensen of Avatar Press offered me a rescue package after the advertising agency I worked for fired all their writers, by founding Bleeding Cool. Since then I’ve gone from part time to full time, and have been joined by writers Brendon Connelly, Linda Ge, Dan Wickline and editor-in-chief Hannah Means-Shannon on the site, with Jim Kuhoric on the magazine and Mark Seifert making it all work. In that time we’ve broken a myriad of stories, fought with the best, dealt with the worst, been hit by all manner of legal, physical and emotional threats and launched a print magazine that has just published its thirteenth issue. It’s a long hard job, 16 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. But it’s the job I was born to do, I just never knew it – well the job didn’t really exist when I was wondering what I would do when I grew up. So I just never grew up. It’s much easier that way. We’re still breaking story after story, giving readers a peek behind the scenes of their favourite entertainment industries, celebrating the best, critiquing the worst, helping those in trouble and trying to be the kind of website that I’d want to read. I’ll keep getting it wrong, but thankfully I have an internet who can help me make it right. Thank you, all of you. Five More Years! Five More Years! Five More Years!

Oh, also, this was a photo taken that day – and one taken today. The light fittings have changed. My hair is going and my chin is growing. I can only guess where another five years will take me – Rich Johnston, Head Writer.

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Reflecting back on the history of comics, it’s no surprise to see that that interesting times have spawned interesting ways of reporting on those times.  The late silver age and early 70’s saw the launch of a wide range of fanzines which ultimately spawned professional coverage such as Comic Buyer’s Guide and The Comics Journal.  A couple decades later the dizzying burst of the early 90’s brought Wizard and its competitors along for the ride. A couple decades or so after that, BC was lucky enough to have a front row seat to see how digital, mobile, social media, and film-studio economics were about to start transforming our business — and somehow, we got to have our cake and eat it too as print comics have fared far better than most businesses that still depend on paper and ink.  Rich, I told you a year or two ago that I considered BC as sort of a fanzine in spirit — it is unpolished, it is sometimes a little broken, but the unfiltered passion in what you’ve started is unavoidable and contagious.

Twenty years from now, if you wanted to see the controversies, the triumphs, the failures, and the human side of the business of the comics of the early 2010’s, I think it’s pretty obvious where you’d look.  Here’s to having just as much fun getting there as we did during the first five. – Mark Seifert

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downloadThe first story I ever wrote for Bleeding Cool involved me being sent to the film set for a porno. I discovered that an orgy sounds a lot like a pack of zombies if you close your eyes. A couple years later I got asked to go on staff. My baptism of fire was last year’s SDCC. That was eleven months ago and I’ve learned more in that time about the comic industry than I did the twelve prior years as a freelancer. Bleeding Cool is polarizing like no other site. People either love us or hate us and those that hate us always read us so they can continue to tell folks why we are horrible. This just tells me we’re doing something right. The fact that a website run by a handful of people scattered about the globe can make so much noise is pretty damn cool. – Dan Wickline, Staff Writer.

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Rich tells me I’ve been writing for Bleeding Cool the longest, having contributed Look! It Moves! since the site launched. Blimey, has it really been that long now?

I like having an online home here. Ever since Rich asked me if I wanted to write for the site, I’ve been grateful for a place to park my thoughts on anything pop culture on a regular basis. I remember when Rich invited me to write for the site and I asked, “What you do you want me to write about?

“Anything!” said Rich.

“Anything at all? Without censorship? You know how I can get.”

“That’s why I want you to write something.” He said.

And how many years later and here I am, still.

I always thought the column should be about any aspect of pop culture I got interested in that particular week, whether it’s comics, movies, TV shows or video games, and not just about American and British works but anything from other countries that deserve attention. I knew the readers of Bleeding Cool weren’t just going to be comics fans but fans of anything, well, bleeding cool, so they deserve better than just something they already know about that every other site was reporting on. If I was going to be snarky about something, it would be analytical snark, looking at the social contexts and subtexts behind a comic, movie, TV show or video game. Pop culture may be disposable, but it takes a lot of time to create, and its creators bring their other thoughts, feelings, biases and beliefs, consciously or not and that was always rich pickings for picking apart. Something seemingly trivial, silly or just plain bad might have far more interesting roots than we think.

Look! It Moves! isn’t just my weekly brain-dump, but also a release valve from my day-job in Film and TV. Sometimes I write about something I was talking about at work during the week, sometimes I write about something I wished we paid more attention to at work. I like the weekly discipline of writing a column. It has helped keep me sane.

It’s also been interesting to watch how Bleeding Cool has evolved. I always liked how it wasn’t just reporting comics news that every other site does, but also on topics the mainstream publishers might not always want reported. I like how it also takes up crusades to help artists get paid, and exposes frauds that have ripped off creators and fans alike.  I also like how the site has taken on a greater focus on the underpinnings of comics and culture under our new editor-in-chief Hannah. It feels like Bleeding Cool is becoming even more what it always was: a purveyor of bleeding cool pop.

Thanks, Rich, for giving me a a little corner to write all kinds of nonsense and have a bit of fun. Congratulations and here’s to even more years. – Adi Tantimedh

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will romineBleeding Cool has transformed me from a Fanboy to a Fanman.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  Rich had sent out a tweet asking for the best and brightest to cover San Diego Comic Con.  I threw my hat in the ring and luckily, the best and the brightest had other plans.  Before I knew it, Rich had me interviewing Alex Ross.  The folks at Bleeding Cool have given me a platform to express my views and afforded me access to some of the biggest names in the industry.  It really didn’t hit home for me how Bleeding Cool had changed my life until, at a DC panel at New York Comic Con, Jim Lee called me by name during the Q&A.  Above all else, Bleeding Cool has allowed me to go from the guy spewing vitriol in an article’s comments section, to being the guy that writes the articles for others to direct their hateful comments towards.  Talk about coming full circle! So let me raise my glass congratulating Rich and co. for 5 years of rattling the cages of the comics industry.  Thanks buddy, I owe you everything. – Will Romine

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I had some really cool thoughts on creative comicbook’n… But my calls to George Lucas, io9, CBR, NASA, the White House, Rolling Stone and Buckingham Palace went unanswered. Only Rich Johnston returned my call and to this day I wonder if he was drunk, wanted to have a laugh or desperate to fill space.  – George Peter Gatsis

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Bleeding Cool has always since it’s inception provided a platform promoting a lot of  Brick & Mortar retailers and their initiatives, their ideas and letting our voices be heard from A Comic Show’s weekly to Jesse James, our semi regular Collectors Cornered and many more. Rich often spotlights Sales, Promotions and Events happening at LCS’s worldwide. For that I am happy BC is still going strong.

Bleeding Cool might be reviled by many, but it’s the first place most people look to for real insights & industry news even if they don’t admit it! Scoops aplenty! – Randy M

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josh_adams_galleryI got into a lot of trouble writing for Bleeding Cool. I had editors, talent coordinators, major writers at DC and even spawn of the band KISS all upset at me for various reasons and even now it was the most fun I’ve had in comics. It’s amazing to see how far it has come in such a short period of time. Happy Anniversary! – Josh Adams

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Five years, wow that’s amazing. I honestly cannot remember there not being a Bleeding Cool at some point. I think it’s because Bleeding Cool is so different than the other comic book/entertainment news sites. Sure, others have been around longer, but the thing has always been that Bleeding Cool wasn’t just straightforward news and journalism. I think that’s why when I discovered it, it was a site I would visit every day, unlike the other sites. That was because Rich Johnston put himself into his articles. Which is why when the opportunity came up to cover my 10th San Diego Comic-Con for Bleeding Cool I jumped. I have never consider myself a great writer, and I know some of you who leave comments certainly feel that way, but I felt that this was something I could do because I could definitely put myself into my writing. Rich, whatever peoples problems with him, had and still has a passion for what he is doing and that comes across in his writing and that’s something I knew I could also do. As I prepare now, for my third San Diego Comic-Con as a writer for Bleeding Cool, I say thank you Bleeding Cool and Rich, thank you for five years of passion. Long Live Bleeding Cool. – Josh Stone

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baldino-headshot-243x366My god, has it really been five years? It seems like only yesterday that I found myself knocking on the back door of the Bleeding Cool building, hat in hand, asking if they had any use for a comics journalist in Chicago.

Those were different times then; I remember Rich would stay up the whole night setting the type for the morning edition. We’d all pitch in with the distribution; piling into cars crammed full of newsprint bundles still warm from the presses, dropping them off in front of newsagents and apothecaries. Thank god they had the foresight to shift to an internet format, my back was killing me and the commute from America to the UK every night drained my bank account dry.

Ah, so many comics journalism memories. So many interviews. So many reviews. I could talk about that first C2E2 where I had to explain time and time again “No, not Ain’t-It-Cool, Bleeding Cool.” Or the inebriated publisher who told me “Your boss just… just traffics in gossip, rumors, and hearsay,” to which I could only say “Yes, it says that on the masthead.” Or the time one of my articles was quoted out-of-context on an anti-Palestine blog, which I’m sure has never happened to Heidi McDonald. I should probably not talk about the well-known webcartoonist who shared with me how sailors on whaling ships kept from getting “lonely” on those long voyages.

What I should talk about was the first editorial directive Rich ever gave me when I was preparing for the first C2E2 back in 2010: “I’m really hoping you look for things that interest you, you’ll speak with much more passion and knowledge about them.” Which was an enormous leap of trust, but it paid off for everyone. While I was writing for Bleeding Cool, I got to build up a portfolio of work that I cared about and bring attention, however much or little, to projects and creators I thought people should know about.

I’ve got five years worth of thanks for so many people. To the talented creators who took time away from their work to talk to me. To the hard-working publicists who kept me supplied with review copies. But most of all, thanks to Rich for bringing me aboard the goods ship Bleeding Cool. Long may she sail! – Greg Baldino

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IMG_01421-262x350Bleeding Cool is Five!

It’s hard for me to ignore the fact that thanks to Bleeding Cool I got to go to my first major convention, San Diego Comic Con!

Bleeding Cool gave me the opportunity to cover panels ranging from the super massive ones like Stan Lee’s World of Heroes, the DC Superman: the New 52 Era, and the X-Men comics. There where also smaller panels like Urban Fantasy and Geek Therapy, which ended up hitting very close to home as it covered the idea of comics for patients with various health issues, my own personal health issues where what brought me back to comics.

Bleeding Cool will always hold a special place in my heart by keeping me informed on all sorts of comic book news while I was sick. I would sit in hospitals with IVs running in my arm and would read all the latest news and rumours for my favourite books off of my iPhone.

Covering panels at SDCC opened my eyes to the world of DC. I was so impressed by the enthusiasm of Jim Lee and Scott Snyder I actually picked up Superman Unchained. When I met Jim Lee at ECCC this past March I told him as he signed Superman Unchained #3, that he was signing it because of his descriptions at SDCC, easily one of the coolest moments of my life.

For a small town Canadian girl with no comic book store remotely nearby, the nearest ones where either a three or four hour drive. Bleeding Cool kept me in the loop, brought attention to books that I may never of heard of otherwise, and all sorts of interesting news about future movies.

The biggest thing for me is that Bleeding Cool reignited a passion for me, saving my sanity and offered me a bit of an escape from reality while I was sick, and eventually offered an escape to San Diego and the Valhalla of Nerdom! – Ashley Piderman

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923152_595750997102251_1658054313_nLou Ferrigno charged way more for autographs than my early teenage self ever envisioned. Free Comic Book Day at the comic book shop I grew up in, Krypton Comics, was the closest I had ever come to a comic book convention. Every year I could pick up new books and meet someone from popular culture. For a kid growing up in Nebraska this day stood as a beacon to comic book culture that wasn’t afforded to me in my everyday life. Growing up, no one I knew up me read comic books. No one liked super heroes or cared about them. No one wanted to talk about Spiderman or Superman.

While standing in line to meet Ferrigno I struck up a conversation with the person standing behind me. The guy behind me, Chris Deneen, had all the Autobot symbols tattooed on one arm and all the Decepticons on the other arm. I thought his tattoos were the coolest things my tiny comic book centered brain had ever seen.

Years later Bleeding Cool posted about looking for new writers. Chris Deneen forwarded me the link and encouraged me to apply, to give it a try. At the age of 18 I emailed Rich Johnston a writing sample and he emailed me back, almost immediately, saying he would give me a shot, a shot I have been grateful forever since.

This is the first email I ever received from Rich Johnston:

“Brilliant. Listen, we can’t pay right now, but hopefully will be by the end of the year. We should be able to arrange press passes though. And we love shows big and small…

And I think Bleeding Cool specific pieces would be very different to other websites… 9-)”

I’ve still never gotten paid for anything I’ve done for the website but I’m still proud of the work, even when someone called me a crack head.

Bleeding Cool brought me into a world I had always wanted to be a part of, to experience, to exist in. From years of writing I’ve gained some of my dearest friends, friends who have done more for me than I ever thought possible.

My first year at San Diego Comic-Con as a member of the press, Kate Kotler took me under her wing and showed me the ropes. I was intimidated by working for a such a large site and needed help. Kate acted as a “con mom” for me, dispelling much of my fear.

At a small convention in Phoenix, AZ, I met a man named Omar Spahi who was selling a comic book, Xenoglyphs, he wrote and published himself. He gave me a few issues and then I reviewed them on Bleeding Cool. About a year later he hired me to work for the small publisher he was writing and helped me out tremendously when I wanted to move to Los Angeles.

At San Diego Comic-Con I met Vivek Tiwary for the first time in the flesh. Some might know Vivek from his graphic novel, The Fifth Beatle, published by Dark Horse. Vivek and I immediately hit it off and ever since his book has come out we have become extremely dear friends, so much so that I will be moderating The Fifth Beatle panel in Phoenix Comic Con in the upcoming week.

I can’t name the amazing number of people I’ve met through Bleeding Cool and how it has so positively affected my life. All I can say is I’ve loved it and it’s helped me grow as a writer. – Alex Wilson

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Bleeding Cool, and Rich Johnston, have been there for me every step of the way with my own comics , The Pride and Stiffs , and I’m so thankful for every moment. No matter how much flack Rich gets from some parties, the man is a tremendous supporter of the medium at every level, and has been kind enough to feature my books on the site, as well as allow me to make my own contributions from time to time. Whilst I haven’t had the time to be as regular a contributor as I would like, Rich and BC have always given me a place to make my voice heard when I had something to say, as well as including a vast and diverse range of voices on the medium from all over the world.

They also gave me some of the most amazing opportunities, more than I’d have ever expected at this stage in my career, like reporting on New York Comic Con last year and, all things being equal, San Diego Comic Con this year a lifelong ambition of mine. I am forever grateful to Rich and Bleeding Cool and look forward to continuing our relationship for many years to come. So raise your glasses, people! Congratulations, Bleeding Cool!” – Joe Glass

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I can’t imagine getting up in the morning and not having a Bleeding Cool article to greet me.  I have been Blessed to be part of this great team over the last 4 years with over 100+ articles or mentions.  It has been a stepping stone and platform for our growth beyond our local community and put us in front of some of the greatest fans in the world.

Congrats to Rich and his fantastic team for making sure that we are “in the know” but also entertained every day in the world we call Home, Comic Books. – Jesse James

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It’s been almost a year since I wrapped up Kicking with Cactus after 61 Sundays of me comic-making by the seat of my pants. I still get surprised from time to time by people recognizing or finding my work from it, but professionally I can’t say if it’s helped or hindered.  I know I certainly grew as an artist and storyteller in the process, and really, that was the main goal all along.  I know there’s been some confusion, and some seemed to think I was commissioned by Bleeding Cool to do Kicking with Cactus, when in actuality I was just given a wonderful opportunity to share a very personal story with the world, which wouldn’t have been possible without Rich and Bleeding Cool.

Regardless of how folks and creators might feel about Bleeding Cool, it can’t be denied that without the efforts of people like Rich and Mark Seifert and everyone else behind the scenes, there would likely be a lot more injustice and lack of accountability in the industry.  I remember when BC started 5 years ago, reading Uncle Ellis’ Do Anything column every time it hit. There’s been a tremendous amount of original content and spotlights on books and creators I never would have otherwise come across, and say what they will, everyone posts and retweets the hell out of it anytime they’re mentioned, regardless of what they say about Bleeding Cool.  I for one am looking forward to another 5 years of original content and cutting edge looks at the newest and brightest  creators crawling up the pipeline.  Happy Birthday, mind the gutters! – Chad Hindahl

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I want to reflect on the origin of the word “outlaw.” Strictly speaking, an outlaw isn’t a criminal.  The term comes from medieval times, when those who pledged loyalty to the king were given his protection by his laws.  An “outlaw” was someone living without the protection of the king.  This is why Robin Hood is an outlaw even though he was one of the good guys. As the pond of comic books has gotten smaller and the fish in it have gotten bigger, control of the message has become key.  It’s a technique seen with modern video games, where people call each other out, dox them, spread misinformation, or whatever they can to make the flag they have pledged allegiance to the only one flying.

Journalism is dying.  As departments like fact checking go away and ad revenue becomes the primary concern, repackaging press releases is the easiest way to make a living.  Because companies are not selling comic books or games or movies or anything like that. They are selling agendas. As reporting falls away and regular discussion is replaced by turfers who apparently think the company heads they serve will, I don’t know, cry at their funeral or whatever, the darkness needs to be lit. Bleeding Cool has become that light, sending people like Josh Hoopes and Rick Olney scurrying like cockroaches in the kitchen at 2AM.  The uncomfortable truth that people don’t want known, things that actually affect people, their livelihoods, the choices available for them, bubble up here.  For people who just want to keep up with comics, it’s fun.  For those who know how the game is played, it’s the daily hot sheet.

What sets BC apart from other sites that talk comics is that Mister Johnston genuinely loves the art form.  He talks about more than just the mainstream publishers.  He talks about indies.  He talks about Kickstarters.  He lets people like me spread the word of people in the trenches trying to climb over the walls that have risen over time.  And he talks about the things you need to know, to watch out for, to keep from becoming the next victim.  The next Steve Gerber.  The next Jack Kirby.  The next Siegel and Shuster.

Has working for BC changed things for me?  Oh, hell yeah.  There are a couple of publishers that have put me on their shit lists — I’ll never get to pitch to them, let alone get hired to write anything for them.  But given the things I’ve written that have prompted that?  It’s something to be proud of.  That my rejection is because of the side I’ve chosen in the good fight.  The fact that, should trouble develop, I have a potential venue to alert others to their actions is a huge consideration. (Assuming, of course, the article would appear.  I’ve had a few pitches shot down, which is not only no big deal, but my ratio of published articles to spikes is amazing.  But it’s up to them to decide if they want to roll the dice on word getting out.) This is because BC is a blog.  It is people’s thoughts, it is commentary, it is the immediate reaction to the world and the events going on.  And the crazy thing is, not only does it work, but it’s becoming the only option for people who don’t want to play ball. In five years, Mister Johnston has kicked up a lot of dirt.  And I’ve been privileged to be on the team. I look forward to another five, and the five after that. – Peter G

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Frankly speaking, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t send an email offering my services to Bleeding Cool over three years ago. I’d probably be richer and in a more stable work place, but if I had told the movie crazed 21 year old I was coming out of university the things I’ve gotten to do with my time here, I’d probably faint. I’ve gotten time to speak to some of the people in the film industry I most look up too, been driven in Batman’s Tumbler by the Stig, flown around the world for events, attended movie premieres and, of course, slept in a pile of my own clothes in Rich Johnson’s hotel room at Comic Con.

While my tenure here has become more lax due to my commitment to freelancing, I am always happy to lend a hand to Bleeding Cool. Sometimes my bank account will disagree with me, but I owe this website a lot. If I packed it all in tomorrow for an office job, I’d still be grateful to the website. I wouldn’t be doing what I (mostly) love for a living now with out it. I’m pretty sure that qualifies it as a ‘life changing’ website for myself.

Happy Birthday Bleeding Cool. I’ll get the next round. (Except not really, because you weaned me into a pop culture journalist and thus, I have no money) – Patrick Dane

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Simply put: Bleeding Cool gave me the opportunity to be a “militant geek.”

One of the things I love about Bleeding Cool is that it speaks from a fan’s perspective, and doesn’t let itself be used as a “press release clearing house” for comic book companies, television networks or movie studios. I remember reading my first “Lying in the Gutters” and thinking two things: (1)“Where the hell does he get his sources?”; and (2) “How much does he spend on security every month?” But that’s what was so great about it: I felt like someone was saying “SCREW YOU!” to the “typical” pop culture coverage and speaking directly to my raging “inner-geek.”

When the word went out last year that the site was looking for a team of field reporters to work New York Comic Con, I wrote to Rich about my “giving the readers a sense of ‘being there’ even when they can’t.” Let me be perfectly clear: I never thought for one second that those words were anything “new” or “game-changing” in any way, shape or form; but those words did represent a tradition that Bleeding Cool has proudly and defiantly established over the years, and I am honored to be part of a group that continues to build upon it through its hard work and commitment to its readers.

Plus…you just can’t beat the rush that comes with seeing your work posted and the feedback you get from those who took the time to actually read what you had to say. It’s addictive… – Ray Flook

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 Bleeding Cool has always been my go to source for all things comic related. I couldn’t believe that a site like it existed! I love behind the scenes anything, so to find a site that catered to both comics and the behind the scenes world they inhabit was a dream come true. Rich always had my respect for not compromising what he wanted the site to be as well. If there is a big story out there, you can be certain is broke on BC first. I always find it amusing when people utter Rich’s name with admiration and contempt in the same breath, it means he is doing exactly what he should be: giving us the stories we want, and the ones we didn’t know we wanted. And to have contributed anything at all to this site-the little that I have- is more than a dream come true. if you would have told me a year ago that not only would I be in a bar, at a table with Rich himself, let alone have pieces that I had written published on the site, I would have laughed at you. Contributing to this site has been the highlight of my life (well, besides the birth of my daughter……….most days) and I would not trade the last year for anything. My thanks to you Rich, for all that you do. Here’s to another 50 years. (And a special shout out to Hannah, without your guidance and feedback, I would be lost in the writing rabbit hole. You have my eternal gratitude.) Thanks Rich! Man, 5 years? Seems like longer ;)- Jeremy Konrad

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I had always felt a little out of place because of the things I like, especially where I used to live. Then, after I moved I was able to get my hands on comics, manga, Doctor Who, cosplay… and all the amazing things that being a geek entails. Comic Cons became a must and so I started looking for places that would make me feel like I was in the midst of it all—that’s when I heard about Bleeding Cool. After following for so long, last year, I mustered up the courage to contact this amazing site I followed and I was given the best opportunity ever: to contribute for Bleeding Cool. Not only I was a follower of a great source site, but now I would be able to contribute to it. It was not just a dream come true, but a chance to grow and learn more about what I love. I have been able to meet fantastic people, go to grandiose events and experience them from a different perspective, and most importantly: Bleeding Cool has given me hopes and confidence, and inspired me to be who I am and enjoy it. – Alejandra Bodden

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I’m pretty surprised Bleeding Cool is five years old. I thought it was one of those ever-present entities in life that has always existed since the beginning of time. In all seriousness, Bleeding Cool to me is one of the most important and influential sites in the comics industry along with John Jackson Miller’s Comics Chronicles and Brian Hibbs’ Tilting at Windmills articles at CBR. My last three years in college wouldn’t be the same without the in-class daily checks of the BC front page followed by a subsequent check an hour later…and another after that. In an industry dominated by a few major players, it’s refreshing to see the Bleeding Cool editorial staff bring us old-fashioned journalism and a relentless pursuit of the truth. As cheesy as that may sound, I truly think the comics industry is better off now because Bleeding Cool is keeping everyone on track. I wish Rich, Hannah and the rest of the team a happy fifth anniversary and I can’t wait to see you all again at SDCC! – Pete Sailer

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Happy 5th Birthday to Bleeding Cool! It’s strange to think BC is only 5 years old, I can’t remember a time where it didn’t feature as part of my daily routine, a time before my mid morning BC news checkup (just after the Hollywood Reporter and Variety, before the BBC). After reading the site for so long, I never imagined for a second I’d be contributing to the site and given a platform to espouse my encyclopedic knowledge of useless pop culture tidbits, or that through my contributions I’d get to meet so many of my comic book heroes, artists and writers, people I spent the early 90’s emulating with my highly unsuccessful small press ventures. Or that I’d be standing in Hall H of the San Diego Comic Con, something I’d wanted to do since I was a wee bairn.It’s sometimes hard to remember with the off topic criticisms, spellkorecking and vitriol slung around in the always entertaining BC forums, that BC is THE daily place for like-minded people to discuss, read about and embrace the things we love, form every corner of the globe. And that is a very good thing. So happy birthday to BC, Rich, Brendon, Hannah, Avatar, Bleeding Cool Magazine and ALL of it’s contributors and readers, I’m very happy to be a small part of a much bigger community. Here’s to the next 5 years, have a drink or 5 on me. You’re paying. – Frazer Brown

Forgot to write something. Will try and get something ready for the tenth anniversary. – Tom Huxley.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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