By Hervé St-Louis
January 7, 2011 - 06:10
I decided to start the year with a bang. I successfully defended my Masters' thesis this week at the University of Calgary on cyber security. It was stressful and I didn't stop working on the thesis during the holidays. I still have revisions to do, so I'm not out of the loop yet. The Bin, the last few months has been neglected by me and I won't apologize. As much as I love the work I do here, my Master's thesis, as most of you can understand was the priority in my life. You can only get it right once. And the contribution to existing knowledge was too important. I've done a crazy amount of work and developed research methods that are completely novel, when faced with a new analytic challenge.
The writers and editors at the Bin have been great the last few months and definitely picked up the slack from where I left off. I specifically want to mention the work done by editor Alex Duclaux, who's behind the scene work you are exposed to every day, but don't even notice. Without him, the site would have stagnated.
At the Bin we're lucky to have serious writers and people that have contributed for several years. Some of the writers like Koppy, Leroy and Philip have been with the Bin since 2003. Others have been with the Bin for many years too.
That said, I did work on the road map ahead for 2011. There's a lot of work to do. The first and only one I will confirm, is the redesign of the Website which I've been wanting to do for several years now. I'm a Web developer by day, so I understand all too well the need to freshen up our image. But we have a saying in French loosely translated that says that the shoemaker is often the one with poorest shoes - Le cordonnier est le plus mal chaussé.
But beyond a visual look, there is a need to make the Bin more useful for users and I'm also working on that. A lot of planning ahead is needed. 2011 should be the year people who had any doubts about the Bin will pause, reflect and be impressed. If you already like our work, you'll feel more at home.
To end the year 2010, Zak Edwards, one of our writer who's been with us since 2007 has created the first Binnies Awards. What's novel in Zak's efforts is that we're not just another prize where writers submit names and only one winner can win per categories. At the Bin, we've always recognized that comics are wider than one genre, one style, or one publisher. These so called awards allowed all writers to contribute something and recognize the contribution of someone without having to butt head with anyone. The result was a very diverse and eclectic collection of works and people whose contribution was recognized. I've learned a lot from reading the various Binnies articles and I'm sure you will too. Zak's design for the Binnies adheres with the Bin's stated motto that all comics are equal and that the Bin is independent in it opinions, including that of its writers. Some comic book media focus on specific types of comics only. The Bin has always had a more progressive outlook. We have the best English-language section on European comics anywhere. We have a very rich manga section. Within that section we have coverage for yaoi manga that has very few peers. Not many "mainstream" sites would touch yaoi. We do. We cover many other types of comics, such as comic strips and Web comics. And of course we cover better known comics from major North American publishers like DC and Marvel Comics.
The thing about the Bin, is that whether you are a TopShelf fan or a Marvel fan, you can sample all these articles about these different comic books side by side, but read only what you're into. If by chance you want to try something new, it's right next to you.
The writers have asked me to create a new section for them, currently called Popular Culture. You can find it in the Movies, for now. It's a section that reflects the openness of the Bin. We already cover topics related to comics, such as action figures, movies, books and video games. But the writers over the years have felt that they wanted something wider. The Popular Culture section addresses those needs. it's the section where anything goes. Some of the writers at The Comic Book Bin like sports, some like theatre, others like politics. I like Flash animation. So they'll be able to write about that in the Popular Culture section. Of course, we encourage you to sample the articles once they start rolling in, but if none of that stuff is to your taste, it doesn't matter. You can still continue to read about comics.
I won't be back full time at the Bin until I'm done with my revisions, but as soon as that's done, you start to see changes to the site executed quickly. We think you'll be amazed.
cheers and happy new year.