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The times they are a changin'

Wow.

I was skimming through Bill Hollbrook's Kevin and Kell site and found an old link to the Compuserve Comics and Anime forum. That brought back some great memories.

Back in 1994, I was just getting started in comics (not that I ever got very far in comics, but that's a different story), and I was just migrating from Prodigy to Compuserve because that's where anyone who was anyone in comics hung out. Damn, looking back on that now, I can say I used to hobnob with Peter David, Warren Ellis, John Byrne, Bob Ingersoll, Tony Isabella, Rob Davis, Jim Valentino, Joe Monks, Bernie Wrightson, Dave Olbrich and a host of others I'm certain I'll remember as soon as I finish this entry. I got to see a number of people get started in the industry too like Sean McKeever and Paul Storie. Good guys and gals.

Plus, I had the opportunity to meet and visit with a number of retailers like Gib Bickel of the Laughing Ogre in Columbus OH, the late Lee Tenant of Chicago, and Brian Hibbs in San Francisco. There was a lot of wisdom available for a new comic writer/publisher available if you were willing to listen.

The Wednesday Evening Chat was fast, furious and a hell of a lot of fun. I made a lot of good friends and it was fun to have the Compuserve get-togethers at ChicagoCon and Dragon*Con.

I also got introduced into the wonderful world of Anime and Manga there. I remember the people who got the Japanese versions of Pokemon and such and played the games, giving us a walk through while they translated from the Japanese. It was fun to get to see what a game would be like long before it ever reached America. Plus, this was the height of fan-subs and getting copies of anime videos direct from Japan . . . series that still to this day have never been translated into English.

Then, things changed. DC began requiring their people to post on AOL more, then people began setting up their own web sites with their own message boards and the group began to scatter. There are places out on the net where writers hang out now, there was something about the dynamics of the Comics Forum that is almost impossible to replicate these days.

Well, after seeing the link on Bill's site, I decided to see what was going on back in my old stomping grounds. I really wish I hadn't. AOL (who bought out Compuserve) dumped the forums out onto the web, cutting out a lot of the old users who did most of their stuff off-line using readers. There are about six people keeping the forum alive these days.

It's true, you can never go home again. But, still, tonight, I'll raise a glass to Doug Pratt, Chris Swett and the Comics and Anime Forums. Gentlemen, you fought the good fight and gave this old guy a whole lot of entertainment. I can't thank you enough for that.

Comments

( 3 howls — Howl with the Pack )
colinmurtagh
Jun. 25th, 2007 02:22 pm (UTC)
Hey Rich, nice to see someone else from the old place. Had an email from Carl Pietrianto the other day, Budgie is still around here, Quest pops up from time to time, still get the occasional letter from Sadie, so there's still some of the old gang kicking around.
I really miss the old forum, there was really nothing quite like it. It was my first home on the net, ooh, must be about 12 years ago now. was even in a Friday night conference the night before my wedding.
I've still got my CS address, pop in to a couple of the forums, but most of them have died. When I remember what the old Comics forum, UKPolitics (which I used to run), TapCis forums used to be like it's a real shame it's all died off. There's exactly one UK forum left as opposed to the 12 there used to be. Even the CSUK front page is gone. And to think at one point CS almost bought AOL out.
nightwolfwriter
Jun. 26th, 2007 04:15 am (UTC)
Good to hear from you, Colin.

There are some pretty good writer's forums out there, but it's tough to get the mixture of pros, amateurs and fans that the old forums had.

Budgie and you are the first two C/Sers I've bumped into in quite a while (not counting Peter David, who I seem to bump into almost every convention I go to these days . . . but I digress *grin*.)

I used to see Rob Davis every so often since he lived in the same town my folks did, but when they sold the house and moved to Florida, there wasn't much to draw me back to my old hometown.

I'd love to hear from Sadie. Last time I remember talking to her, her youngest had just gotten accepted into a private high-school and Sadie was really excited about that. Heck, she's probably graduated from college by now.

Sorry I didn't get a chance to try and look you or Budgie up when I came over to Great Britian back in 2003, but between the World Kendo Championships up in Glasgow and then the tour of dojos in England and Wales, we were pretty busy for our two week tour. Maybe next time!
colinmurtagh
Jun. 26th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC)
Budgie does seem to be a bit of a fixture. I always seem to end up around him.
Saw Sadie a couple of years back when she was across. saw Allan Lappin as well when he was across for the World SF convention in Glasgow last year.
I miss Rob, not talked to him in years.
( 3 howls — Howl with the Pack )

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