Bleeding Cool just passed its 100,000th post.
Created by Avatar Press nine years ago, it debuted on June 1st, 2009 with a story about an upcoming comic book collaboration by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons (which Mark Millar denied) that would, eventually be called The Secret Service. Which would eventually be called Kingsman. A story about Marvel executive John Turitzin on telling investors that comic book price increases on comics were “just looking to maximise our profits for business.”
This probably set the tone early on.
I’ve been a head writer of the site ever since, a comics gossip and rumour columnist given (a little) more space to expand, and I think I’ve taken one day off once. Since then, the site has grown from its four-posts-a-day maximum. Writers have come and gone, and gone onto great things, including (but not limited to) Brendon Connelly, Hannah Means-Shannon, Andrew Wheeler, Alex De Campi, Chris D’Lando, Donny Cates, Joel Ronson, Jim Kuhoric, Warren Ellis, Denny O’Neill, Grace Randolph, Christine Marie, David Dissanayake, Patrick Willems, and Joe Glass.
And some have stayed, including Dan Wickline, Jude Terror (despite my best efforts), Ray Flook, Bill Watters, Kaitlyn Booth, Lauren Sisselman, Jeremy Konrad, Josh Davison, Mary Anne Butler, Patrick Dane, Gavin Sheehan, Michael Davis, Adi Tantimedh, Aaron Haaland, Rod Lamberti, and regular convention reporters such as Joshua Stone, Erika Svensson, Will Romine, Jimmy Leszczynski, Daniel Celko, Marilyn Weiss, Nick Kazden, Endymion Mageto, and so many more.
And Avatar Press has continued to fund the site. So I thank William Christensen and Mark Seifert of Avatar Press for taking a major risk and seeing an opportunity. As other sites have been bought, sold or closed down, Bleeding Cool has… persisted. And grown. And thrived.
So has it been worth it? I hope so. I understand that publishers are more willing to pay creators what they agreed, with the threat that the creator could “go to Bleeding Cool” in a way that wouldn’t have the impact or danger from any other site. Indeed, it seems we may have dissuaded all sorts of bad behaviour — though there’s always more to write about. I think we have opened up more understanding amongst fans as to how things actually work, and ensured that some stories couldn’t be dismissed by a publisher’s press relations. But also been a bulwark against the more preposterous comics industry conspiracy theories. And it’s even possible that certain people don’t behave in a certain way anymore because they know they are less likely to get away with it.
That may be our biggest achievement: being a factor in the way that people do business. An obstacle to be acknowledged and dealt with, and the easiest way to do that, is by being generally nicer to people. That’s much less likely to merit a headline.
But I don’t know. I get fewer death threats these days, though Avatar gets more messages calling for my head. We continue to have plenty of haters from all sides, and are blacklisted by major publishers for not playing the PR game. And that’s probably the way it should be.
Here’s to the next hundred thousand.