Matt C: Time really does fly.
Tomorrow we hit the fifth anniversary of this little blog of ours – the Paradox Comics Group arrived in cyberspace on 2nd November 2007 with very little fanfare. When I set it all up I had absolutely no idea where it was headed, if it would be a solo venture or if I could corral some friends to assist, and whether I would be able to keep the enthusiasm for the project aloft or whether would die on its arse a few months later when I became either bored or distracted or disillusioned. But, to my surprise as much as anyone’s, it’s still here, it’s still thriving, it’s not got an audience of thousands but it’s got enough people coming back time and time again to reassure me that our thoughts and opinions aren’t falling on deaf ears.
So, rather than any self-congratulatory nonsense, I thought I’d take this opportunity to send out some thanks in the direction of folks I think have, to varying degrees, helped keep this blog alive through the past years.
I’ll start with Matt Tuffin, who was there at the beginning, and although he’s since gone on to pastures new, it’s possible that if I hadn’t had his support early on I might have given up on the whole enterprise. Then, of course, there’s my regular co-reviewers Stewart Ryder and James Randall – James I’ve known since the first manifestation of the Paradox Comics Group and Stew who came along about a year into the blog’s existence and went on to be one of its most prolific contributors. There’s the venerable Rob Nott for his Bronze Age wisdom and Tom Pike for his boundless enthusiasm, and not forgetting Simon McLean, Mike Smith, Ian Utley and even Andrew “What’s The Internet?” Butcher, all whose assistance has been gratefully received.
I couldn’t go without mentioning Gemma Bryden, whose ‘Graphic Novel Reading Group’ was the prototype for the PCG, and I guess without her I wouldn’t be writing these words now. Then there’s her other half, Boo Cook, the mega-talented 2000AD/Elephantmen artist, one of our constant supporters, and when we relaunched as The PCG back in the summer he was the only choice for designing that rather awesome logo you see at the top of the page. Other creative types who’ve helped us receive more exposure include Mike Raicht, Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemire and Sean Murphy, and while I’d obviously like to thank them for that, I’d like to thank them for the great work they’ve put out over the past half-decade even more. Hats off too to our fellow web-based comics writers like Andrew Wahl over at Comics Bronze Age and in particular Thirteen Minutes’ Justin Giampaoli, our spiritual brother from across the pond.
Of course, none of this would be worthwhile if people weren’t reading what we’re writing, so thanks not only to the silent majority but to those guys who comment on what we’ve written – whether they agree or disagree with what we’ve said, the fact that they take time out of their day to read our words is always appreciated.
There’s one chap who I’ve saved until last, and without his tireless commitment to the cause of ensuring we get new comics in our hands, week in, week out, none of this would be possible. Andy Hine, proprietor of Paradox Comics in Poole, take a bow!
So that’s five years in the can – reckon we’ll make it to ten?