A Thank You from Retcon Punch

Batman says thanks

Never fails: September basically makes Retcon Punch short-circuit. While we didn’t cover all the Villain Month titles this year (as we had with the Zero Issues the year before), we had our hands more-than-full with Forever Evil, Battle of the Atom, Infinity and every other thing we love. So we’ve got to hold down the power button for 15 seconds, and reset the whole system.

As we boot back up, I just wanted to reflect on some of the ways we’ve changed in the last twelve months. If you’re reading this article, then you’re probably a big part of what’s made this year successful. Our Guest Writer Initiative has been an enormous source of joy for us — your input has been integral to cultivating the intelligent, conversational culture that makes us a site worth visiting in the first place. Your contributions routinely get us out of jam-packed weeks, but more than that, we are all forever grateful to have the gift of your insight, your enthusiasm, and your infectious joy. If you’ve been reading, but have never signed up for our Guest Writer Initiative, I urge you to do it now. If you have friends that you think could get a kick out of writing with us – get them to sign up too. The more guests we have, the more we can cover; the more we can cover, the more awesome conversations we can have.

In the next couple weeks, you might notice that we are pulling back on the number of Alternating Currents we’re publishing. This in no way reflects our commitment to reading a wide variety of amazing comics and talking about them with you. Instead, we’re pulling away from that completionist mindset that paralyzes so many comic collectors. If we take a month off from writing about a comic, it does not mean that we’ve dropped it, just that we’re exploring other options. Comics are a deep, deep well and we wanna explore the whole thing. We’ve already used this diversifying tactic to discuss Lazarus and Batman Black & WhiteNext week, Rocket Girl and Astro City are sneaking on to our schedule – so it’s an unquestionably positive development. I promise, this will only cut back on the number of obligatory conversations we have in a week.

This also means that we are gearing up to provide New Kinds of Content. More Chat Caves, more Cram Sessions, more Creator Interviews, Weekly Round-Ups, Podcasts – the sky’s sorta the limit here. I’m going to thank you all in advance while we stumble our way through this new content, starting with Drew’s and my coverage of NYCC this week. If we trot out a feature that you like, please let us know. We also expect you to be just as honest with us when we churn out some crap: which is inevitable.

Also, I don’t know if I ever formally announced that Spencer Irwin is writing with us on-the-reg. He’s quickly become an indispensable voice of the site. We are also newly joined by the hilarious and insightful Greg Smith. If you haven’t already, please make then feel at home here.

It’s getting late in LA and I’ve got an stupid-early flight to New York in the morning, so I’m going to cut this off before I get too mushy. This site, everyone who reads it and everyone who contributes to it, are incredibly important to me. I don’t know what I expect you to do with that information — just know that it’s true.

-Patrick Ehlers, Co-Editor-In-Chief at Retcon Punch

17 comments on “A Thank You from Retcon Punch

  1. Patrick, you’re too kind. As always, thanks so much for having me!

    Looking forward to what we can all cook up on Wednesdays from now on!

    • I’ll absolutely echo Patrick’s praise of both you and Greg — I’m super excited to have both of you on board.

      Also, you raise a good point: all of that non-AC content Patrick mentioned will be going up on Wednesdays, in lieu of coverage of by then week-old comics. We hope folks will be into what we come up with, but we’d love to hear thoughts in the comments section. Want more videos? Would you be interested in a podcast from us? Should we just shut up and post more ACs? Let us know!

  2. Quick! While Patrick is on a transcontinental flight, let’s tell embarrassing stories about him. I’ll go first: there was this one time where we started a website devoted to in-depth comic book reviews. God, what a nerd!

  3. All right, Patrick and Drew are off playing at NCC, so I’m in charge now.

    And, yeah, I just wanted to also thank you all for being so awesome; thanks to you, this is one of the few places on the internet where I look forward to reading the comments.

    Also, I’m not actually in charge.

  4. Oh man, I would LOVE a podcast. I’ve taken quite a liking to podcasts in general recently and this is by far my favorite comic-related website (perhaps fav website period, actually), mainly because the discussions are deeper and more interesting than they are elsewhere and because you don’t feel the need to find a silver lining to every book. Some sites, and perhaps this is just to stay in publisher’s good graces, practically never give anything a bad review. It isn’t that I’m chomping at the bit to read some bashing, but if a comic blows, you have to have the balls to say so.

    Long story short, I love the honest analysis approach to the site and look forward to new content! Keep up the good work team!

    • Thanks, Gino! We work hard to make this site different from what else is out there, and it’s heartening to know that it’s appreciated. You aren’t the first person to express excitement about a podcast, which makes me feel silly for being so resistant to the idea for so long.

  5. Love this site! I think I’ve been reading you since day 1 (or thereabouts) and I often find that it has the best analysis and reviews of issues anywhere on the web!

  6. Any possibility there will be a forum as well at some point? The only thing that’s unfortunate with this site is that conversations tend to die once the article under which they’re taking place is replaced by newer content, so I think a small forum might make this all even more fun (and by extension, I’ll spend more time here and less time doing what I SHOULD be doing, but eh, you can’t have it all right?)

  7. I’ll add my two cents even though I am only a marginal contributor.

    1) I would never, ever, ever listen to a podcast. I don’t have that kind of time. I wish I did; It would be awesome to sit back and listen to nerds talk about comics for an hour. It just never would happen.

    2) It is disheartening to have tremendous insight into a comic three days after you guys post about it and realize that no matter what I say or do, very few people would ever see my comments. Just the ways blogs work. I don’t reckon there’s anything you could do about that – you even have a little thing on the side that tells me where there are new comments, but 99% of the time they’re on the daily topic.

    3) This is the only comic website I use for debate/opinions. You’re tolerant of my disagreements and not afraid to disagree with each other/readers/writers/Thor/anyone. The readers are also well behaved and intelligent. I’m not actually sure this is a comic book blog as there is none of the usual idiocy (other than what I bring myself). Well done.

    4) Seriously, read Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. It’s so fucking good it’ll make you sick. Don’t you guys have some Bendis rule, anyway?

    5) On that note, how are you all up on Gillen’s junk with his Young Avengers and somehow ignoring his Uber? I don’t get that. (I also don’t get how is Iron Man is so long winded and boring, but ignore Iron Man (yes, Secret Origin of Tony Stark is STILL going on please shoot me why did I say I’m going to stick with it until the end).)

    6) Keep up the good work. Except for the posts about, “Hey, we’re going to a convention and you’re not. Have a good week at work, suckers.” I don’t need those as much. Even though I’m a sucker. Sucker.

    7) I collected all 52 Villain Month 3d covers (I’m missing Dial E, but read the 2d version). I’m going to try reread them Saturday or Sunday while my girlfriend is working and blog about it on my defunct blog. I want to grade them all on quality of 3d cover (some were awesome) and story (some were awesome, some were too rapey). I hope it turns out.

    8) It’s getting harder for me to follow you as I’m slowly dropping my pull list and focusing on collecting older comics of things I used to love (Finishing my Web of Spider-Man and Spectacular Spider-Man collections, Invincible, maybe working on a classic run of Iron Man or Daredevil or even Super Man/Action (readily available in dollar bins). I still like what you read, but you’ve helped make me realize what I like about comics and it’s not necessarily the month to month grind of merely good comics. Sometimes it IS a grind, and there’s weeks where I spend $50 and think, “Wow, there was very little awesome in there.” There is some awesome in finding the Amazing Spider-Man # whatever that completes the Kraven’s Last Hunt story, however.

    9) Thanks again for the good work. You guys are helping keep comics awesome.

    • @kaif01: perhaps this will be no help to you, but if you’d like to listen to a podcast but don’t have the time, do like me, listen to them while you do boring shit. I don’t have time to actually sit down and just listen to a podcast, but I put ’em on while I do the dishes/fold laundry/sweep the floor and that kind of stuff, it makes the task at hand less dull. When I’m done I just note down where I’m at in the ‘cast and save it for later. Just sayin’.

      Also, your point about comments ties into my idea for a forum, guys (and Shelby), please?

      I’m totally with you as well on the quality level of debates here, perhaps it’s because the site is less mainstream or because the articles are more in-depth than elsewhere, but you don’t get any fanboys calling each other names over internet opinions, which is great.

      Lastly, I’d just like to wish you luck on your endeavor to re-read all of Villain’s month. I read like 36 of them and most were a slog, I can’t imagine 52. Just thinking about re-reading Nocenti’s “Joker’s Daughter” makes me feel a bit queasy.

    • 0) You are in no way only a marginal contributor. I relish reading any one of your comments, because they usually come out to challenge something we’ve written. I know we get as comfortable as the next comic fan with liking what we like and hating what we hate – you’re part of the system of checks against that.

      1) I know I tend to listen to podcasts passively (like while commuting), but I also know the frustration of trying to do that and then becoming lost because you’re not committing your entire attention to it. Happens to be with Improv4Humans all the time.

      2) I know! I do the same thing. Drew and I are also both really trying to pay attention to comments that go up on articles days after they’re posted. Maybe we can add a feature that highlights some of those long-forgotten comments, and bring the conversation back around to them.

      3) I don’t know how we have such a civil commentariat, but we do.

      4) Isn’t the Ultimate Universe being destroyed by Galactus? Okay, Okay, you twisted my arm. We’ll do something Ultimate before it’s anhiliated.

      5) Uber – also on the list

      6) Every time we can brag about our experiences, we will. Sucker.

      7) Too much rape all around if you ask me. Let me know how that experience was.

      8) Every couple weeks, we have a crisis of what to cover and what not to cover. If you ever want to guide that pull list at all, we do have a “suggestions” form on our pull list page… which appears to not be working. Add that to my to-do list…

      9) Thank you Kaif.

  8. You know what I’d like to see? A post each week about the comics you didn’t read. Something like, “What did we miss this week? (10/16/2013” The post would be, “This week we’re covering . What should we have written about? What did we skip that we should have skipped?”

    I’m sure everyone (you guys included) reads things they want to say good things about but aren’t covered. This week I’d comment, “Hey, you know how Suicide Squad turned around under Ales Kot? It was EVEN BETTER this month with Matt Kindt writing it. Holy crap it was good!”

    I’d like something like that.

    • Great suggestion! Actually, this was one of the ideas we had kicking around, and we’ll actually be doing that this Wednesday (today). There was plenty of great stuff we weren’t able to cover this week, and you’re absolutely right about how valuable a forum to bring those to our attention would be.

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