Sequential Tart's Katherine Keller has wrote an interesting editorial regarding the "comics journalism" debate. She feels that too much emphasis in that discussion is placed on investigative journalism as opposed to journalism in general. Basically, that investigative journalism does not automatically = Journalism; it's just one facet of it. Moreover:
Right now, based on "partying with the stars" (sheah, right) I've heard some very interesting things about the day-to-day workings of things at DC, Dark Horse, and Marvel. I've also sat in while one up-and-coming creator vented about about his dealings with one of Comics' most famous creators regarding how things were swiftly going down the toilet regarding a jointly owned and created character, as well as what really happened to spur his departure from a top 30 book. Juicy stuff indeed. And I could write all that up and send Sequential Tart's hits sky high and fly the "Investigative Journalism" flag, but in the end, who benefits?
I've just burnt bridges before me.
I've just cost several people their jobs.
And the fanbois and fangurls will find something else to read tomorrow.
I think there is a place for investigative journalism -- or, as Keller jokes (I think), "Investigative Muckraking."
One can argue, for example, that the pundits who rather loudly and frankly complain about Dan DeCarlo not getting his due credit for the Archie Comics properties he created are "muckraking." Such complaints stir up bad feelings. Archie Comics are made for smiles and cheers. Why cause trouble?
But the story of Dan DeCarlo is an important one. I like reading Archie Comics AND I care about the story of Dan DeCarlo. What do I do? Do I "make nice" or do I ask hard questions or do I try to balance it?
And would it be better or worse to have serious investigative journalists hired to gather information & interviews about that and other topics than to have to rely solely on a multitude of bloggers who might or might not have the facts?
I have a business card with my cute picture on it (coincidently drawn by an "Archie" artist) and it lists me as a Writer, Editor, and Journalist.
But am I really a journalist?
I took one Journalism course in college. Wrote obituaries for 1/4 of the course. My teacher was the guy who wrote the book the movie "Blow" is based on.
I got an A. I struggled. Real journalism is a lot of work.
Has anything I've written been "real journalism?" Was "Goodbye To Comics" "investigative journalism?"
Maybe. "Goodbye To Comics" was memoir and drama. It was something heartfelt and spontaneous. Can that be considered journalism?
Before I wrote those posts, I had approached a few comic book media types for their advice about my personal story. And while they were all very nice to me, and I appreciated their time and their candor, it was not something they wanted to report on.
And, seeing the vacuum -- sitting on the story, ready to explode -- I stepped in and did it myself.
I did it myself because it was either me doing it or nothing.
Maybe blogs are the alternative journalism.
Maybe they are journalism.
What is journalism?
And is that sort of "investigative journalism" -- or memoir or whatever the hell you call it -- referred to in the Sequential Tart article worth the price you pay for it?
Was it worth it for me?
It was totally worth it.
You have one life to live. Be real. Be yourself. Talk about things that matter. Make life better for the people around you. Speak up. Share.