Monday, October 17, 2005

Goodnight, Sweet Fanboy. May Your Rampage Finally Be Soothed.

As Ed Cunard(and doubtless other bloggers whom I don't read but have nothing against honestly!) have already commiserated, Graeme McMillan is closing the door on his blog, something or other about hardcore comic book fans and their acts of agression. If you read more blogs than I do, you probably don't need to read another post talking about what the place. It's insular and redundant.

Well, tough shit, I'm talking about it anyway. Deal with it. Which can include not reading this post. That's cool. All we want is your hits! They provide Cronin with life energy when he runs out of baby meat.

FBR was my introduction to the blogsphereoverse or whatever term you want to describe the collection of comic blogs. It was the first blog I read regularly and was one of a handful I still do make a habit of checking out on a regular basis before Graeme shut it down. I can't say it inspired me to start a blog, because it didn't. That was more of a "everyone else is doing it, what the hell," shoulder shrugging kind of venture, evidenced in the fact that I abandoned it in one post and decided to shack up here, where I could go months without writing anything and not feel neglectful. That, and Cronin promised not to eat my first born if I'd write something every now and again (what, he's a lawyer. Lawyer's like baby flesh. It's a fact!*).

But it was a place to get comics news, at least what passes for news in comics, without having to wade through a dozen different sites. It was also nice to find a place that was a no-bullshit irreverent as FBR when it came to Marvel and DC's constant breathless hype. That irreverence was always on display in the comments section, which is where a lot of the reasons Graeme decided to shut the site down manifested themselves. I don't feel like hashing any of that over, for a lot of reasons, mainly becuase I was never more than a spectator in most of the more heated or, for lack of a better word, controversial comment threads.

Still, the comments were as much, if not more, of a draw as Graeme's posts themselves. Partially because I was part of the peanut gallery, but also because there were some genuinely funny people there, too. Sure, sometimes the snark went too far or tried too hard, and hell, sometimes it was even the kind of thing that Graeme so often help up for mockery from venues like the Bendis Board and Newsarama. But I can't tell you the number of the times I laughed out loud reading something someone at FBR said. It also helped that, in a given thread, you'd be able to read comments from the likes of Kurt Busiek, Warren Ellis, Heidi MacDonald, Matthew Craig, Tom Spurgeon, and many other interesting, insightful folks, comics professionals and fans alike.

So, what will Fanboy Rampage's legacy be (legacy seems like a ridiculous word to apply to a blog but, hey, I like ridiculous)? As Ed Cunard put it, there are a lot of choices. Will it be remembered as fondly by its regulars as a great place for conversation and edification about comics, in the way that places like ijournalista! and the WEF were before it? Will it be remembered as a mirror held up to online comics fandom, showing it for what it is, nasty, festering warts and all, or an example of fandom's self loathing writ large, with nerds picking on other nerds for being bigger nerds? Or will it simply be remembered for being the venue for the first O'Brian/Doane battle, that served as the precursor for the great comic nerd Civil War, which eventually lead to the half of the internet left after House of M being cracked half, and created a post-apocalyptic wasteland where Scott Pilgrim-worshipping gangs of cannibals horde all of the water and copies of Previews?

I would say it's some combination of all of the above, except the post apocalyptic future. The jury's not in on that one. As the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania puts it "Don't be crazy. It was a blog. A damned fine blog helmed by a witty guy, a fanboy himself, who was willing to point out the excesses in others as much as he was willing to do the same for himself." And I can't argue with that, or Graeme's reasons for packing things in on the blog. But I will miss it as a hub for internet comic chatter and a place where I could read a wide variety of voices. But at least I will always have the solace that Kurt Busiek, indeed, wins. That constant will keep me warm in these Rampage-less times.

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Blogger Christopher Burton said...

Well, tough shit, I'm talking about it anyway. Deal with it.

Your such a bad ass, Curran.

All we want is your hits! They provide Cronin with life energy when he runs out of baby meat.

That's hilarious, man! Hilarious and true.

I'm kinda sorry to hear about FBR shutting down. I was an irregular visitor but when I did visit, I always found something worthwhile there.

10/17/2005 09:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What takes over now? I never read FBR and I have always made CBR part of my daily online comic fix since 98 or so. Any front runners to the legacy?

10/17/2005 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger MarkAndrew said...

Damn. I started reading it, like, last week. What a pain.

10/18/2005 04:23:00 AM  
Blogger Stefan said...

Damn, am I gonna miss FBR. Is there a new hydra head yet?

Also, Brad, I couldn't find your email address. Any interest in writing for PTP?

10/19/2005 04:47:00 PM  
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