Yesterday was our 4 year anniversary, and we couldn’t be happier! So happy, in fact, that we are retiring the first recurring column this website has ever had.
Let’s back up a bit. Pardon me while I get overly self-indulgent for a minute or two.
When the site first started as a simple blog curated by myself and myself alone, I felt the only way to properly motivate myself to update my blog was to create recurring columns that I’d do on a weekly basis (something that remains true to this very day, albeit with a more broad staff). That’s where the idea for a weekly recommendation on Friday came from; something to leave off before the weekend so that, if people like my friends were reading my blog and happened to go to a store in their free time looking for books, they could pick up something they may not have read for one reason or another. I wanted to recommend books that were currently coming out that I was enthused on for people to pick up, like “The Sword”, Johns’ run of “Green Lantern” or Morrison’s “Batman”, and it quickly evolved to generic Everyone Should Have Read This By Now recommendations like “Bone” or “Preacher”. Before you knew it, the site staff grew and we had recommendations for “The Invisibles”, “Phonogram” and “Nextwave”, slowly building to where we are today with recommendations for “Ojingogo” and “Minimum Wage”, or esoteric things like what to have on your first comic shelf.
In fact, looking back now four years later, I think the average reader of this here site can really see how the site has grown since its original iteration. The first Friday Recommendation for Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker and David Aja’s “Immortal Iron Fist” (picked primarily due to the fact that the blog was almost called “The 8th City,” and which at the time was actually being worked on by Duane Swierczynski and Travel Foreman (and was, admittedly, still a good title)) is a prime example of how far the site has come in the type of content we aim to provide. Our writing has come from stunted and shy to a more full-length and engrossing style, one that we hope provides you with the reading material that you prefer (you be the judge). Not to pat myself on the shoulder too hard, but I like looking at that early content sometimes if only to remind myself of the more humble beginnings, which is what drives all of us here at the site to expand our content and the coverage we aim to provide.
But now, after four years, it is time to lay this particular faithful column to rest. Last year, for our 3rd anniversary, we relaunched the whole site with the design you now see; this year, instead of something you can see on the surface, we have a few wheels turning in the background, and in an effort to help us move forward into the future we need to shed some of the chains that kept us locked to the past. Truthfully, after four years of the same column that has one singular goal like this, you kind of run out of things to talk about. All the “good books” have been recommended, and others have been written about it in the forms of reviews or other columns. Multiversity has become such an all-encompassing beast (or, well, that’s the goal, anyway) that there’s little point to Friday Recommendation beyond another weekly obligation for someone due to the rotating nature of the column. Since we’re trying to diversify our content more, having that millstone to hang around someone’s neck week after week has become more of a burden than a fun opportunity to share a favorite story, and it was only a matter of time before the ground gave way for it, so to say. That time is now.
We won’t stop recommending books, mind you. We’ll be bringing back columns like Off The Cape and Hype Machine as soon as we can, and there is a brand new group column in the works that should be really fun to do with the same basic goal as Friday Rec. However, as we make room for those things, hard decisions regarding our personal writing schedules had to be made, and so Friday Recommendation had to be let back into the wild.Continued below
I’ve said this in the past, but the fact that Multiversity has lasted four years is beyond my reasonable comprehension. I love the site, we all do here on the staff, and we love you guys that come and read it. And, truth be told, this site would not exist without Friday Recommendation. So as we close this particular chapter, we offer a hearty salute and farewell to this Multiversity staple. It’ll always be one of my favorite columns to write.
However, if I could recommend something one last time, it would be this: just share comics. Share the comics you love with people you love, and share them with people you don’t even know a little bit. The comic community has this weird, morbid fascination with what they hate, spending too much time talking about things that are bad over things that are good (we’re not innocent of this, mind you), and it’s always something that’s a bit confusing. In a medium so rich, with so many wonderful titles to discover and share, you’d think we’d spend more time expressing that, even if it means recommending a book that came out 20 years ago over something that came out today. So, if you ask me, I think once a week you should take twenty seconds to recommend a comic to someone somewhere, even if it is so little of an action as to shoot out a quick tweet saying “I like this.” You can spend a whole week slagging off the things you dislike, but at least try once a week to recommend something that you do.
Because what are comics for, if not to share?
For more on “Justice League of America” #60, check out Brian’s Friday Rec for James Robinson’s pre-New 52 JLA run.
RIP Friday Recommendation: 5/9/2009 – 5/3/2013.
If you haven’t had the chance, look through the Friday Recommendation Archives. You might find something new to like. We’ll be back tomorrow with more of your regular non-indulgent articles, and we’ll keep the recommendations coming one way or another.