The Comics Industry Roasts and Toasts Bleeding Cool For Its Tenth Anniversary, Today

Today is Bleeding Cool’s tenth anniversary. I mentioned this was happening yesterday and it got quite a reaction. Here are a few of the messages that trickled in through the day and overnight… thank you one and all. Well, okay, almost one and all. Here’s to another ten years…

“Is Bleeding Cool a cheap gossip rag about tiny, inconsequential ‘celebrities?’ Yes. But Rich has also tirelessly fought to expose poor business practices by hustlers and hacks and brought justice for the abused numerous times. I, for one, am glad to have him these past ten years.” – Tim Seeley, creator of Hack/Slash.

“Bleeding Cool has always been the place where creators and fans get the news before the news in comics and related entertainment. It’s the place where the unspoken has been spoken. A unique website that would see beyond the big two and where a brand new story would appear, at times, every other hour to keep news junkies totally satisfied. Like it or not, Bleeding Cool is always interesting and that says a lot in this day and age. Happy anniversary.” – Jimmy Palmiotti, co-creator of Monolith, The Pro.

“Bleeding Cool is the site we love to hate. They can be very nice to you on a good day and very bad the very next day. It is in their nature, I guess. They are the scorpion, we are the frog.” – Mike Deodato, artist on Savage Avengers.

“Rich Johnston is blackmailing me to say something niceFrank Tieri, writer on Absolute Carnage and Jughead.

“I hated Bleeding Cool until I stopped working comics. Now I read it every day.Tom Brennan, former Marvel and Valiant editor/Current D-List Political Hack.

“Bleeding Cool’s non-politically correct sensibilities tickles my New York fancy.” – Fred Pierce, Publisher, Valiant Entertainment.

“Bleeding Cool is the only comics news site that seems to be just as much the subject of gossip as they are the source of it.” – Leah Williams, writer of Adventure Time, Age of X-Man, Barbarella/Dejah Thoris and Giant-Man.

“Dread it. Run from it. Bleeding Cool arrives all the same. And now, it’s 10.” – John McCrea, co-creator of Dicks and Hitman.

“People would probably hear about your latest project without Bleeding Cool, but MORE people will hear about it— and pay ATTENTION to it— on Bleeding Cool. Speaking from personal experience here.” – Karl Kesel, co-creator of Section Zero and Kon-El.

The confessions.

“I confess. Back in 2015, I was the one who was shouting about Tim Drake’s secret upcoming death at the bar at SDCC. Damn you for overhearing! Damn you for printing! And damn me for all the rest! Happy 10th. I’ll try to be quieter.” – Tom King, co-creator of The Sherrif Of Babylon, writer on Mister Miracle, The Vision, Batman.

“Bleeding Cool, where I go to find out who I’ve disappointed and to what degree I’ve done it before it’s actually happened!” -Rob Liefeld, co-creator of Deadpool, Cable, X-Force, creator of Major X, Brigade and Youngblood.

“Before Bleeding Cool, Rich had a column called All the Rage, in which, on more than one occasion, he repeated comments I said in, well, a less than pleasant mood. I hated that damn column. But, sure enough, it grew into something bigger. Something better. Though Bleeding Cool may be… umm… full of pricks, sometimes there’s a rose. Here’s to 10 more, Rich.” – Patrick Zircher.

The complaints.

“Bleeding Cool is like when you take a sip of your soda but forget you ordered orange juice; both options delicious in theory, but the experience often leaves a questionable taste in your mouth that haunts you for years to come.” – Heather Antos, former Marvel editor, current Valiant editor.

“Bleeding Cool, the web page we all constantly complain about and yet ALL (not-so-secretly) constantly still read. Congrats on your first 10 years Bleeding Cool, and keep stirring the $#!t for another 100!” – J. Scott Campbell, creator of Danger Girl.

“For ten years, when something incredibly toxic and stupid happens in the world of comics, Bleeding Cool has been one of my top 4 websites to visit to see a collection of tweets that chronicle the f-cksh-t. At least they spell my name right most of the time tbh.” – Ramone Villallobos, artist on Wild Cats.

“Finally old enough to hire a copy editor!” – Sean McKeever, creator of The Waiting Place, writer on Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane.

The memories.

“Rich Johnston made fun of me for once posting a picture of myself in a Halloween costume, at Halloween. Now they call it “Cosplay”. Was I hailed as trail-blazer? No. I was made the subject of ridicule. This is the fine level of journalism from someone, who I thought was a pal, delivers with the use of his brutal, unforgiving website “Bleeding Cool”. Somehow, they’ve managed to stick around for a decade, shattering all hopes that he might sink into obscurity, leaving me having the last laugh. And goddammit, if I don’t love seeing my name appear on his site. He’s tough, but fair. Now excuse me, I have to get my cape attached…” – Darick Robertson, co-creator of Transmetropolitan and The Boys.

“I remember Rich’s ramblings when they were called just that – earlier even. To think I’ve lived through them, Lying In The Gutters, and 10 years of Bleeding Cool makes me feel old … Thanks, Rich. As for Bleeding Cool, my favourite memory was from a little while before I met Rich, and just a few days after the site had launched. I knew what Rich looked like (thanks to him being such a shameless pimp) and spotted him waiting for a bus in Fulham. I sidled up next to him and whispered, ‘I have to say you look Bleeding Cool tonight’, then disappeared into the crowd as Rich laughed and scratched his head. It was months later that we officially met, but I will always remember that first time. To think I’m now sharing this for the site’s 10th anniversary is simply mind-boggling. His alignment may change from chaotic good to chaotic evil to chaotic neutral, but there’s definitely a role Bleeding Cool has played (and continues to play) in this industry we all love. That’s it from me, but I can’t wait to hear what Dan Slott has to say!” – Chris Thompson, now one week into his new role as Brand Manager for Hero Collector at Eaglemoss.

“Bleeding Cool is only 10-years old? It feels like y’all been around since the dawn of comics. Cheers! May the next 10-years help make comix better.” – Dean Haspiel, creator of The Red Hook, artist on American Splendor.

“I owe Bleeding Cool a lot, though I would never say it to Rich Johnston’s face. He’s done for me what he’s done for countless others and helped people’s work be seen and exposed to new audiences. I don’t think my career trajectory would’ve taken the course it did without that boost. And even though once I started doing Marvel PR it became the bane of my f-cking existence, I was always thankful for that. Happy 10th birthday you son of a bitch.” – Chris D’Lando, of ReedPOP.

“I knew Rich Johnston before he started Bleeding Cool. We all thought he was foolish for starting it. We laughed, saying that he’d fail, and then fade away, like so many other comic news ‘names’. Many of the big two actively hoped for this.  But he didn’t.  Instead, he feasted on fanboy and publisher tears and gained in strength. He even looks younger now than he did then, but whether that’s down to a good diet or a Bryan Hitch-drawn portrait in his attic, we’ll never know. Love him or hate him, we still read him. He still gets the scoops that others don’t, and he uses these sometimes clickbait headlines to gain traffic to the site, allowing him to also shine a spotlight on new creators, new books and more importantly new scam artists that must be avoided. Sure, he gave us Jude Terror too, but that’s just something we have to deal with in our own ways. I for one am glad that Rich exists. But I dread the day he turns his ire upon me…” – Tony Lee, co-creator of The Gloom, Midnight Kiss, Baker Street Irregulars.

And the congratulations.

“Our comic industry will always need people involved in it who don’t just create the books or are strictly a fan, but also those who will scream from the mountain tops when they see things they love or when they think an injustice has been delivered (either because the product stinks or something in the process does). Bleeding Cool serves a purpose that needs to exist in every profession. Rich and his staff’s opinions won’t please everyone, that’s okay., because for ten years they’ve given us what every creator wants from those that follow us…and that’s passion! Good or bad they have earned their place at the comicbook table.” – Todd McFarlane, creator of Spawn.

“Congrats Rich! Congrats Bleeding Cool! I would spew a lengthy, complimentary “slap on the back” in lieu of a pint of Guinness, IF I knew it would help reviews of my work, further down the line. It wouldn’t and that, in a nut shell, is Rich Johnston and Bleeding Cool! Ass kissing just doesn’t cut it!! I know, I’ve tried!! Keep on keepin on, boss!” – Johnny Romita Jr. – co-creator of Kick-Ass, creator of The Gray Area, artist on Superman: Year One.

“Is it news? Is it gossip? Is it sensationalism? Is it journalism? Throughout 10 years it’s hard to argue against the fact that Bleeding Cool is always all of the above. Love it AND loathe it – sometimes both on the same day – but I sincerely hope I’m reading it for at least the next 10 years.” – Mike Perkins, co-creator of Carver Hale and Spellbinders.

“There are PLENTY of folks in the comics industry who would love to take Rich to task for what he writes at Bleeding Cool. That said, Rich has never been anything less than kind to me and generous with his/BC’s coverage of my work. Of course, when that sweet-sweet studio money comes rolling in and I catch him spying on me from the bushes surrounding my kidney-shaped pool outside my Hollywood Hills mansion – well, then that S.O.B. and I will have some motherfu@king WORDS!” – Brian Schirmer, co-creator of Fairlady.

“Bleeding Cool is a cornerstone of the comics community. We all love to hate it but they are a necessary voice that brings equilibrium to a small industry where the few have power over the many. And it’s the one place online where fans can find out your book has been announced before you do!” – Zac Thompson, co-creator of The Dregs, Relay, writer on Cable.

“The comic book community needs more critical discussion. Bleeding Cool is a step in that direction and deserves recognition for being a building block of a small but important creative community.” – Matt Fitch/Chris Baker, creators of Apollo.

“Congratulations, I think, to Bleeding Cool on their ten year anniversary. Equal parts destructive and supportive. I’m nervous any time they mention me.” – Tom Taylor, writer of DCeased, Injustice: Gods Among Us, X-Men Red, maybe the new Batman writer.

“Keep on trying, mate, ‘til you get it right! – Chris Claremont, legendary X-Men writer.

“When Nick Cave said that the only things that will survive a nuclear holocaust are cockroaches and goths he missed out RICH F-CKIN JOHNSTON, who has been doing this since before your granddaddy was peeing through his first baby boner and will be here long after there are no more boners at all. This man turned a gossip column into the internets number one comics website and frankly I am terrified to find out what he turns THAT into. Ale Jaca est.” – Akira The Don, rapper.

“The real world has had a 24hr news cycle for decades, when I first heard of Bleeding cool 10 years ago and saw how fast they were breaking stories I said ‘about time the comic industry got real journalism breaking in real time’. I’ve been proud of the work Rich Johnston and Bleeding Cool have done to expose the dark secrets and hidden stories lurking in our industry, and it’s impossible to make the big bucks in this biz without following every story they break! Here’s to many more years of keeping comics honest, cheers to BC!” – Dennis Barger, comic book retailer of WonderWorld Comics.

“When other sites are discussing the 97th time the fate of all mutants hangs in the balance, Bleeding Cool is posting about inequities in hiring for women and people of color at major publishers. When other sites are doing lists about the latest ‘shocking’ event comic you won’t remember in a year, Bleeding Cool is talking about Joshua Luna or Steenz or Raina Tegemeier. Most important personally, when other sites don’t care about what I’m doing with Aspen Comics or Top Cow or Wunderman Comics or The Operative Network, there’s coverage on Bleeding Cool. I know that a lot of people in comics hate Bleeding Cool. They’ve said so on panels and in private conversations. I’m pretty sure they shouldn’t — without a counter current, without snark and scuttlebutt and salaciousness, the staid and status quo will loom like a hegemon in the comics zeitgeist, meaning voices like my own, like Spike Trotman, like Tess Fowler, like Brandon Easton … we’d all be out in the cold.  To be blunt, screw that. Hate it or love it, Bleeding Cool offers an alternative to the blah press releases and carefully controlled responses you get from the biggest names in the industry. That alone is worth its weight in vibranium. Congratulations on ten years, and here’s to ten times ten times ten more.” – Hannibal Tabu, co-creator of Scoundrel and Irrational Numbers.

“Congratulations to Rich Johnston and the “staff” at Bleeding Cool for 10 years of world-class journalism, without which I’d be limited to sending browser crash reports to Apple to about once every month or so. So I raise a glass for BC doing its part to keep tech unemployment down and the fine folks at Norton on their toes. Manga Fox would be jealous. I’m looking forward to the Bleeding Cool party at San Diego Comic-Con and anxiously await my invitation by the post box. Any day now. Any day.” – Tom Akel, Official Comics Person, formerly of LINE Webtoon.

Comics Industry Roasts and Toasts Bleeding Cool For Its Tenth Anniversary, Today

About Rich Johnston

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

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