So, I finally – after completing the Three Month Work Sprint From Hell And Back Again – have a little more time to think about my newsletter, and newsletters in general. As I said at the top of the chain:
“I need to think about what kind of thing it is, and how I should develop it going forward. It needs different voices in it — I’ve tested that in the past with good effects — and it needs to be a bit less work for me.”
None of this has gone well. I managed to convince Lordess Foudre, bless her, to let me run four pieces of new art across four editions of the newsletter, to publicise her online print shop operation. Matthew Naftzger kindly did me a WORKSPACES piece. All other attempts to convince people to let me catch a break have not worked out.
What even is the newsletter, in my conception of it?
Let me tell you a thing that defined the way I operate in public, long before we had the idea of agalmic internet attention economies.
When Alan Moore was writing the lead comic for a Marvel UK magazine called THE DAREDEVILS, he also convinced the publisher to release space for a page where he could review fanzines and stripzines – what are now called mini-comics. He did this on the following understanding — if, for whatever reason, he’d been given a position where people were going to listen to what he said, then he should use that to direct attention to people who didn’t have any. You don’t pull the ladder up. You reach over and help the next people.
And early teenage me, reading Alan Moore comics and devouring Jack Kerouac novels, learned from that page Alan wrote every month that there was a comics creator in the town down the road from me, Southend, doing comics like Jack Kerouac. And that’s how I discovered the work of Eddie Campbell.
So if I can introduce you to one new thing you might like, every week, from somebody who may not otherwise have the ability to get your attention, then I’ve done one good thing that week.
It would be nice for that to be easier. But, you know, maybe it’s not supposed to be.