Yesterday I wrote about the past of ComicBookBin’s first 15 years but today, I’ll focus on its future. The future of ComicBookBin comes from its team. It has never been a solo outing for long.
The first writer to join ComicBookBin was Philip Schweier way back in 2003. He’s still with the site today. You can read his regular columns who used to be called Thought Bubble but that I encourage him to rename Cult Favorites. And this is where Philip’s interests lie. He’s a true comic fan but also a fan of the pulp genre and other cult aspects of popular culture related to comics whether it is about The Shadow, Doc Savage, Battlestar Galactica, or Tarzan. His wealth of knowledge is incredible.
Often the pulp aspect of comics is disregarded and minimized as something fans of a certain generation do but that is of no interests to the present. I argue that the current fan-favourite aspects of popular culture such as Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Steven Universe, or even Transformers are just the future cult properties of millennials when they will be 40 plus. These projects have histories and borrow from the past. A cult favourite historian like Philip is able to put these in perspective and explain why these cool projects appeal to us.
Leroy Douresseau is the second longest ongoing writer at ComicBookBin. He’s been with us since 2003 also. Leroy is best known for reviewing manga, and alternative comics since day one. But Leroy is not the kind of reviewer to snicker at super hero material. He applies his critical eye to all genres. He is also a favourite reviewer for many independent creators, having been the first writer to pay any attention to several writers at Tokyo Pop and many other publishers. Leroy is steady and always busy. Every week since before 2010, he has posted the new comics of the weeks on Mondays at ComicBookBin.
Manga is a difficult area to understand for many Westerners. But Leroy has read more manga than most people who call themselves manga comics experts. Leroy’s contribution to the understanding of comics has been ignored and minimized by many outside of ComicBookBin. I would argue that he is the premier reviewer of manga comics in the United States. If you don’t believe me, go read on the 2000 plus reviews on manga he has written since 2003.
Avi Weinryb joined ComicBookBin way back in 2006 when he was still an undergraduate student in Toronto. Avi was just an comic fan who decided to share his voice with us and make a difference. Avi has since attended graduate school and left his native Toronto for New York City where he has fallen under the charms of his new wife and the American life!
Avi is now a professional communicator and community advocate for an important Jewish American lobby group. Yet, he still finds the time to share his love of comics with us and you, our reader. I will venture that Avi is a big fan of Green Lantern but I haven’t asked him. Avi is a careful reviewer and solid critic of super hero comics. But he is also open to other kinds of comics. Like the rest of us at the Bin, he just loves comics!
Zak Edwards is an English language scholar, former news editor at the Bin, a professional writer and new media strategist who completed a master that analyzed Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles. Zak’s reviews and analyses of comics are superior than the norm. His grasp of literary concepts and how they apply to comics is unique and an expertise that he should pursue further. Zak’s command of the English language is probably superior to most.
I really enjoy exchanging with Zak even though we are both so busy. Zak is smart and understands comics’ narratives textually and visually. Of course,’ Zak’s strength is explaining complex literary theories and how they relate to comics, like Morrison’s Invisibles. Serious comic analysis is no longer rare but it still that few reviewers have mastered. I always pay attention and read Zak’s articles carefully and so should you.
Andy Doan is a best friend of mine and the creator of the famous comic wallets. He knows me well which includes the good and the bad. Andy has participated on and off at ComicBookBin for close to a decade now. An expert web developer who once live the brilliant life of the start up, he has helped me many times with back-end and front-end development at the Bin. But Andy is a dad and a fan of comics and related popular culture such as Magic the Gathering. What I like about Andy is that he makes sure that his kids like comics too. He’s a cool dad!
Andy’s greatest skill is his flair for new trends. He reads a lot and is always aware of new developments in technology, culture, politics, and of course comics. That breadth of knowledge and understanding is necessary to be aware of what comes next especially in the world of comics which is always in transition.
Doctor Beth Davies-Stofka is a freelance writer and an academic in religious studies. But she is also a comic scholar whose influence and words are sought by many. I’m glad that Doctor Davies-Stofka writes with us whenever she can. What she brings to her understanding of comics is a humanity that often evades writings about comics. The same humanity, many would argue is also missing from comics where nihilism and brooding often rules over joy and candour.
When reading an article by Doctor Davies-Stofka, you will be exposed to a smart mind that while being critical, is open to new ideas and the world. She will make you want to find out more about anything that she reviews, including children’s books. Doctor Davies-Stofka’s has been a dialogue on comics and religion. You can read many of her articles on the topic here at ComicBookBin.
Andy Frisk is the energy ball of ComicBookBin. By energy ball, I don’t mean overactive. I believe that Andy is about my age. Andy loves comics. He loves Superman and the hell with anyone who gets in the way of a good comic and him! Andy is pure passion. If he loves your comic, you will know. But if he doesn’t like it, he will have the discretion to not disparage your work publicly. I could learn a thing or two from him….
Andy loves Superman, the X-Men, super hero comics and what they say about our society and represent for us. Andy was once the editor in chief at ComicBookBin while I was overwhelmed with my PhD studies. He is the best networker at ComicBookBin, a quality that I seriously lack! Working and reading Andy’s work is never boring. It can be controversial at times though! He’s a liberal!
Sean Booker has the distinction of being the first ComicBookBin writer to be underage. Since we lived in the same town at the time, I met his dad after we found out that he was a minor and made sure that we had parental approval for his work at ComicBookBin! Sean is an adult now, so we don’t worry about any of his work which is related to gaming. Gaming used to be big at ComicBookBin. Sean is keeping that flame alive.
Sean is techie who works in technology and start ups. He’s the Silicon Valley type and an amateur athlete. I’m not sure what his next project is about, but I expect him to start a new start up at any point now. He is very active on social media as well as reviewing games for ComicBookBin since about 2009!
Deejay Dayton is a great friend of mine that is the ultimate reference of anything DC Comics-related. He knows everything about DC Comics and writes the DC History column here and has his own blog on the same topic. Deejay probably has photographic memory about comics and everything else. He knows things about popular culture and history that baffles me. But everyday, Deejay is a playwright and an actor who produces plays every year all over Canada.
Deejay is a tireless writer and his work has probably been used as reference by many DC Comics writers in the last few years. No one else has written such an extensive history of DC Comics ever. He has read these comics and the only people who could realistically challenge him on any topics related to DC Comics would be Roy Thomas and Mark Waid. Anyone else will be schooled. One of Deejay’s life goal is to complete his history of DC Comics which you can read about several times per week here at ComicBookBin or at his own blog.
Paul Mason is another friend of mine in Toronto who has always loved comics and use to review comics and books at Goodreads. But I think he’s better off with us where people care about his reviews. He’s a fan of the cinematic and television universes that were built around comic properties.
This kind of knowledge is essential today to understand the exchange between television, film, and comics. This is what Paul brings to ComicBookBin and I’m glad that he is with us as opposed to Goodreads!
These gentlemen and lady are the future of ComicBookBin. I am nothing but the steward here and am honoured daily when I see one of their contribution pop up at ComicBookBin. Our team used to be much larger and as I wrote yesterday, we are always looking for new dedicated writer. You too could be part of the next fifteen years at ComicBookBin.