#26 - State of the Industry Conclusion: Psycomic
You may have noticed that our updates have been a little irregular lately. No First Look reviews on Tuesday, no feature on Friday, and a considerably lighter bit of content ever since Don and Joe left. You can probably guess what's coming next.
Effective immediately, I am no longer affiliated with Psycomic. The reason being, I'm not being paid to be a part of Psycomic and I don't have any ownership stake in it, so it makes very little sense for me to continue putting forth a lot of my free time and effort into it. The only reason I've been doing it for the past six weeks or so when I wasn't being paid is because I felt I owed it to you, the fans, for the support you've given me.
So why am I leaving now? Do I consider that I don't owe you anymore? Well, not really. Starting tomorrow (Tuesday), my reviews will be posted to my home page at http://home.austin.rr.com/rlander, in the new "Comics" section. They won't be as fancy in design as they have been here, but don't worry... it's temporary. I have a deal to move my reviews (and rejoin Don) somewhere else... that announcement will be forthcoming down the road, on my webpage and at other places. And it will be soon. I'm relinquishing my "pro" status for only a brief period, and the reviews will keep coming during that period. It's just a change of venue for me.
If you have sent me something for review and that review has not appeared yet... don't worry. I will continue reviewing, as I said, on my own page, and I will do my best to make sure that items sent to me for review will appear at the equally high-profile place that I will land in a month or two. If you would like to contact me, you can still use the firstname.lastname@example.org address for now, but my permanent address is email@example.com.
Let me be clear about one thing: I hold no ill will against the guys at Psylum. We gave it our best shot, and though it wasn't always wine and roses (what business is?) I can't say I regret taking it. And though Psycomic may be going away, the heart of it, which is me and Don, will continue elsewhere. I just wish we'd had time to bring the talented Joe Doughrity onboard more fully and make him the essential component to the site that he could have been, but time wouldn't allow it. And I hope to work with Joe again in the future.
I don't know what's going to happen to the site after this. My guess is that there will be no further updates, but it's not my decision to make. Until that time, you can consider this place an archive of all the work we did over our seven-month run. I'd like to send a quick thanks out to all the pros who have been supportive of us (I'd love to single folks out here, but I know I'd leave someone important out), the helpful marketing folks Ian Feller at CrossGen, Dan Goldman and Patty Jeres at DC Comics, Bill Rosemann at Marvel, Michael Ring and Shawna Ervin-Gore at Dark Horse and Joe Nozemack at Oni Press. I know I left folks out there, but I appreciate everyone who has been so helpful in what we tried to do.
Finally, I owe a special thanks to Patrick Keller. Not only because I somehow forgot to include him in the first draft of this column (totally unintentional) but because he's stuck with me through the lean times, writing Fightin' Words. Patrick has another opportunity coming as well, and that information will either be updated in this column or included on my home page or both as soon as I have the information on it.
To quote Dennis Miller: "That's the news and I am out of here."
Randy Lander would like to remind folks to keep up with his reviews at his website and thank each and every one of you for reading Psycomic.
Addendum: Psylum took this off the front page after a week and replaced it with their own announcement which made it sound like Don, Joe and I had left of our own accord. That pretty much took the gloves off for me, and renders the "no ill will about Psylum" null and void. Here's what I posted to my forum after that, and I think it is an important part of this farewell column:
Remember that bit in my farewell column about "I hold no ill will towards Psylum"? Well, that was my trying to be professional. Since Psylum shows no inclinations toward doing the same and owning up to their methods of operation, I'm not sure I owe them that anymore.
At any rate, if you go to Psycomic now, you'll find a rosy little "Changing of the Guard" no doubt written by someone who has read about five comics in his lifetime likening it to something the Avengers would do.
Well, I somehow doubt the Avengers would fire 90% of their staff with no warning and the news that the paychecks weren't coming at the end of the next week and a half. I somehow doubt they would let their chairperson continue doing his work and then, after two weeks, tell him they weren't paying him for that last two weeks of work. I at least think the Avengers would have the courtesy to call the chairman and tell him the paycheck wasn't coming, rather than forcing him to call the Monday after the check was due to find out if it was coming or not.
Let me be clear about this, since their farewell column was not: Don, Joe and I did not leave willingly. This wasn't some thing where we "took off to pursue other opportunities." Our contracts forbid such activities. Don, Joe and I were laid off and then found other jobs after scraping by for a while thanks to the complete lack of warning we were given about being unemployed. Don't believe the rosy pronouncements and the "it's time to make a change, what do you want?"
They're using 6 months of hard work by me and Don and Joe and Patrick to try to jumpstart the dead website without acknowledging the debt they owe us. That pisses me off quite a bit.