Thursday, September 01, 2005

Celebrate Good Times

It's the beginning of another month, and gladly the end of summer. I hate the summer, not only is it the worst three months for business (Just about any business too...), but it's hot, most especially here in the South. I think our hottest day with the heat index was 120, but I may be wrong about that. We surprisingly had a wet summer too, last year there was a drought, this year it must have rained twice a week or more.

Anyway, I didn't come here to talk about my shitty summer, I came here to talk about a man.

Five years ago today Alan David Doane launched Comic Book Galaxy. I wasn't there, so I don't have any funny stories to tell about the site's early beginnings. Hell, I can't even pin down the date I discovered the site, though I'd say it's been about four years or so, so I was almost there from the beginning.

Instead of talking about CBG like she was a person, I'm just going to talk about the man behind it all, because, really, without him, there is no site. Even when he's not there, he's there. Lots of people have lots of things to say about Alan David Doane, some of them good, but I'd wager most of them bad, and for the life of me I just don't get it.

What's so bad about a guy that goes to great expense to get his opinion out there? Does the geek world at large find him too forceful? I don't see why, because you can walk into any comics shop in America and find someone (who probably looks a lot like me) waxing poetic about how they'd change comics if they could. And by comics they ALWAYS mean Marvel or DC. Well, guess what, Alan David Doane DOES change comics. He changes them every day of his life. He changed them while you were scratching your ass and deciding which Claremont book you were going to buy then trash on the internet. He changed them while you were typing up your diatribe about how Bendis is the greatest thing since sliced bread, he changed them while you were filing away your books in their neat little bags into those long ass boxes, never to be opened again, he's changing them right now as I type this.

How does he change them? Why, by demanding more. And when he doesn't get what he wants, well, he quits buying the damn book. He doesn't buy every issues of X-Shit just because he's been buying it since he was 12. When it stopped being good, well, he stopped fucking buying it, and you should to. He's changing the face of comics by reading books he enjoys, and when he finds a book like that, he champions the living hell out of it. Castaways, Street Angel and Bluesman are three books that come immediately to mind. They'd be great even if Alan had never read them, sure, but how many copies got sold because he got off his ass (or rather, sat down on his ass) and shoved them down people's throats. It won't be in the thousands, but even if it was just one, he changed comics.

So, why does everyone find it so appalling that he has a strong opinions and is very abrasive? The entire superhero reading world is opinionated and abrasive, why the hell should Alan David Doane be any different. Thankfully he's not, and thankfully he finds books that deserve champions, and he opens his mouth about it.

Alan David Doane is a lot of things to a lot of people, a friend, a boss, a dad, a husband, a jerk, and loud-mouth, a co-worker, and to most of the world he's just another face in a sea of dorks talking about dorky things. But to comics, he's a hero, and this world definitely needs heroes.

-L

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