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#277963 - 12/19/98 08:09 AM " . . . the small press ghetto" -Tony Isabella
Noeland James Collins Offline
Member

Registered: 11/30/98
Posts: 178
Loc: Tampa, FL.
Hey. I just read Tnoy Isabella's dec. 15 TOT, and most of it has been reprinted in other postings. I'm just looking to respond to a single line of it. Yeah, the ghetto remark.

First off, your an asshole for even thinking that, then considering yourself some kind of supporter of small press. What an ignorant, and I mean uneducated, thing to say. Not to mention just plain wrong.

I'm name calling for one reason, Mr. Isabella, as respected as he is, posted a very childish TOT in reply to a string I started here on comicon.com explianing my frustration with the mid ohio show.

I for one don't think your the right person to be supporting small press in any way, and I doubt CBG will get very far with a small press version of their paper anyway. The small press doesn't sell con tickets - your words - how could they sell papers???

You also included NOT a reveiw of some one's book, an out and out slam on the person's work, life style even, then you didn't name names like you did them a favor. Why?? What point did that make in your quest to slander small press??

Now, anyone else out there who thinks of small press as a "ghetto", you need to buy some of these books. What are you buying for a buck, or two, or three?? More often than not, the person on the other side of the table took that book from start to finish, from a mere sparkle of an idea all the way to a finished product, and that includes the friking PRINTING and STAPLING of the book at a local kinko's, or some such copy shop.

These people throw their heart and souls into a small, often digest sized book, and then pack up and head out to a comic book show expecting sideway looks, and disdain, from all the great super hero readers, and creators, but still putting on a smile, they push their products.

NO, I'm not trying to say that we are owed anything, or elite for spending our time how we spend it, but we are NO GHETTO, and you need to acknowledge that.

Tony is simply proving my point. No one on welfare in the small press Tony. We work for a living buddy. We make our comics in the fashion we make them because WE WANT to, and it is hard work.

It's the same need that drives you to write things down in TOT with no one telling you how to do it. You write what you want, how you want, then you market it how you want.

Most of the time I don't bother with negative small press remarks, because there are many. But your a respected creator claiming to be an avid supporter of small press then taking the same cheap shots as everyone else.

I'm not trying to sound like I'm the spokes person for small press. Someone else chime in here, tell me I'm wrong or I'm right.

In the last decade (atleast) small press has become a main stay on the comic book convention circuit. Con's are the only place to get some of these books.






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#277964 - 12/19/98 12:05 PM Re: " . . . the small press ghetto" -Tony Isabella
TonyDiGerolamo Offline
Member

Registered: 11/30/98
Posts: 409
Loc: Laurel Springs, NJ USA
I missed the "ghetto" remark. For what its worth, I agree.

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#277965 - 12/19/98 12:25 PM Re: " . . . the small press ghetto" -Tony Isabella
Steve Conley Administrator Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/98
Posts: 2490
Loc: Arlington, Virginia, USA
Regarding this whole mess...

First off, I think it's good that indy publishers stand up for their convictions and if they believe that they've not received their money's worth, then they should speak up.

To Tony's credit... He has been a strong supporter of many - though not all - independent comics. He has praised some indy books and helped increase the sales and even revive a number of titles. That he may not enjoy all our books should not smack of a lack of support for small press, but his honest reaction to a title. If he praised every book, how could his readers trust him? A reviewer must be be critical for his column to have value.

I think the dialogue has value, but I hope we can keep from name-calling (not to mention, I'd hate for one of the puritanical NetNanny programs to stumble onto a profane remark and deem this site unsuitable for kids - keep it clean guys - thanks!).

I hope the dialogue continues... but in all fairness to the Mid-Ohio Con - which some small press creators rave about - we should consider applying our focus to how to make things better there. What ways could they improve the show? What's missing? And what can we do help make the changes happen?

Thanks to everyone who put their ideas forward!

Cheers,
Steve

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#277966 - 12/19/98 01:30 PM Re: " . . . the small press ghetto" -Tony Isabella
Joe Zabel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 2546
Loc: Cleveland Heights, OH 44106
I criticized Tony earlier for his 'tips column' in which he called the critics 'whiners.' I think name-calling is childish, and accomplishes nothing.

Noeland, you're a good guy, with an intelligent point of view, far more intelligent and informed than 'America's most beloved comics columnist.'.

Please don't sink to Tony's level!

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Joe Zabel

[This message has been edited by joezabel (edited 12-19-98).]
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Joe Zabel

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#277967 - 12/22/98 04:00 PM Re: " . . . the small press ghetto" -Tony Isabella
Noeland James Collins Offline
Member

Registered: 11/30/98
Posts: 178
Loc: Tampa, FL.
Joe,
Hey, he upset me more with that one single remark then with the rest of the column. I had to say my peace, and I did. I've posted my thoughts all over this board. (I'm even a little sick of the subject)

I don't hate Tony, or Roger. In fact I enjoyed speaking with Roger the few times we have. He's a very nice guy. BUT he does have the "I'm doing you a favor" attitude. Screw that. He'll get no more money from me.

I'm simply not one to back down from my convictions. Now, it's not like any of this actually effects my daily life much, and I'm not on any kind of anti-Tony, or anti-Mid ohio Con crusade here. I'm not looking to hurt anyone, but I gotta put my 2 cents in there.

Tony wrote that column looking to piss some people off Joe, and he did. If anything, that will hurt the show because he came off a little like he was speaking FOR the mid ohio con, even though he said he wasn't.

Anyway, I guess it's history now. We should be looking to make 1999 a good year for ALL comics.

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#277968 - 12/23/98 07:50 PM Re: " . . . the small press ghetto" -Tony Isabella
TonyDiGerolamo Offline
Member

Registered: 11/30/98
Posts: 409
Loc: Laurel Springs, NJ USA
I second Noeland's sentiments. Sorry about the strong language, I was pretty upset. Guess I should read those rules sometime.

Steve, on Isabella, I never used to look at his column until the recent post. The only other time was when another publisher pointed out that he was plugging his own comic in a column.

I think part of the problem is the term "small press". What is it? Mini-comics? Comics that sell less than 3000? 1000? 500?

All I know is, I see other publications and they have dozens of reviews every issue and I almost never see them repeat themselves. Whereas, not just Isabella, but most of the "mainstream" comic book press seems to review the same comics over and over again.

Also, it seems to me that the quality of the "journalism" or whatever want to call it is FAR below par. There is no standard and no one to answer to.

For instance (and I hate to use him as an example again, because of the recent postings, but...) Isabella, in "Tony's Tips" CBG 1311, praises the Mid Ohio Con. Fine. Dandy. It does deserve praise, however, if I was writing an editorial column and I was raving about the restaurant I ate at last night. Shouldn't I mention that the owner is my friend, if that is true? Without mentioning that detail, the reader will conclude that I merely stumbled upon a great restaurant.

Later, once the connection is known, wouldn't my review seem much more biased than if I had just MENTIONED that to begin with? Wouldn't that lead you to wonder what other things in my columns were merely plugs for my friends products and services? In my opinion, it's unprofessional to not mention your connections with something especially when you review it or review the competition, but this happens all the time in mainstream and small press comic book publications.

If there is no professional standard here, then what's the point? Why should anyone outside the industry trust a review, when half the reviewers are artists, publishers, writers or retailers with a stake in a sale? Wouldn't it be unfair of me to post a review of Isabella's column if I had the sort of long Gary Groth/Harlan Ellison history with him?

I've heard people on this boards and through my emails lament that the opinion of "small press" will never change. How will that opinion or anything in this industry change if we don't say something when there's a problem? How can you complain when everyone in this industry is tied to everyone else? ("Well, I can't say anything about Writer X, because he's also an editor at Marvel. And I don't want to upset Artist Y with my negative review, because he does the artwork for Retailer Z's store front, who sponsors a Con.")

There has to be a standard and a professional distance OR an accounting of connections for every column or review. And it has to be every time because this could be the time someone from the outside picks up that review. And when that person finds out the information anyways, the credibility of the reviewer, his publication and the comic book industry goes right out the window with, "Yeah, kid, that comic book will be worth a fortune!"

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#277969 - 12/23/98 11:11 PM Re: " . . . the small press ghetto" -Tony Isabella
eric hess Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/98
Posts: 488
random musings...

"journalism?" tony isabella's not a journalist. he's just a guy writin' whatever he pleases. no lack of bias necessary.

ah, mid-ohio. i was there in '97 and have vivid memories of The Back Room (as in, Up The Stairs Turn The Corner Down The Hall Turn The Corner Through The Front Room Into The Back Room). traffic was indeed light. then again, '97 was the first mid-ohio in the new venue, wasn't it? perhaps people just aren't used to the new venue yet, and/or (as isabella's TOT seems to indicate) perhaps roger price just hasn't "gotten all the bugs out" yet. what seems like a brilliant idea when the hotel is empty... well, you get my drift. (i also have to wonder whether traffic was light in '97 due to the poorly-placed room, or if it was because by the time everyone got past pam bliss' table in the front room, they just didn't have any $ left.) [img]/resources/ubb/smile.gif[/img]

a small press pull-out in cbg? huh. that sounds directly counter to everything that's been discussed regarding marketing and expanding readership here at the 'con.com. why should small pressers -- most of whose work ain't any kind of mainstream -- want to keep trying to entice the average cbg reader, who not coincidentally is pretty much the same demographic as those people who do the "walk-by-the-table stare" at cons? if i were doing, say, a realistic mystery comic, i suspect my ad $ would be better spent on ads in mystery magazines, or ad banners on mystery-story sites. get that "tribal marketing" thang workin' for me. a small classified to alert cbg readers whenever i have a new issue out would perhaps suffice for that crowd.

steve conley's suggestion that we keep the language clean so as to not trigger red alerts in the netnannies of the world is farping brilliant. [img]/resources/ubb/wink.gif[/img]

ok, i'll shut up now. take care and happy holy days, all!

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