Press Passes Columns 

Multiversity Says Goodbye: “Smile, Because It Happened”

By | May 31st, 2024
Posted in Columns | % Comments

(Header image courtesy of Kate’s personal photo collection.)

Kate Kosturski has been the face of MC’s social media for six years now. She’s also been my (Brian) consigliere over that time, running ideas both good and bad past her, and truly appreciating her sage words.

I never expected to get emotional over writing a tweet but here I was, the morning of Memorial Day, getting teary eyed in my basement office scheduling up our Rundown tweets.

Now the reason I’m crying over a damn tweet is because this community that I have been a part of for since 2017, and on the management team since 2018 as the face behind the Twitter account, is putting away the longboxes and turning out the lights.

The rational part of my brain was having a WTF moment.  You were part of the decision making to shut the site down, and you yourself had been tired and mentally spent.  In the time I have been at Multiversity, I’ve been through one major apartment move, two day job changes with increasing responsibilities and travel (fun fact: 75 percent of Multiversity tweets the past two years, along with a few reviews, were written in some form of a Marriott hotel room), and an explosion of new friends and interests.   It’s no lie to say that the comics aspect of my life was starting to fall by the wayside, so in one way I was relieved that this season of my life is coming to an end before I was too depleted to do the job properly.

But Multiversity, and comics, and comics writing, predates a lot of things in my life.  It predates my love of the beautiful game: my Arsenal family in New York and my Charlotte FC family in the Carolinas.  It predates the (still percolating) desire to move to the Tar Heel State.   It predates my glamorous (and not so glamorous) travel life.    It predates my rediscovery of my childhood love of baseball.  It predates many of my other hobbies: vinyl collecting, Lego, Funko Pop collecting.  It just about pre-dates my time on the board of my knitting guild.   There’s very little of my present life that existed before Multiversity Comics.

And thinking about that then reminded me of words I often hear from my favorite bartender/Arsenal fan/cyclist, Cristiano: “The emotion is real.”  When you give yourself to something for as long as I have here, you can’t shut off that side of you that cared and still cares, no matter how much sense the decision to walk away makes.

And it’s time to lean in and let that emotion be real.

But as the cliché goes, I’m not going to cry (or cry too much).

I’ll instead smile (through the tears) because it happened.

Now my body of work from this site and elsewhere speaks for itself.  There’s been reviews of both comics and graphic novels.  There’s been all kinds of TV show coverage from Doctor Who to Umbrella Academy to Gotham (oh, Gotham, I won’t miss you too much) to all the various Summer TV Binges and Summer Comics Binges. There were recurring columns where we helped you spend money wisely and made jokes at the expense of comic panels (most of those jokes always sounding better in my head).

There were interviews with some amazing creators and celebrities.  My first ever press junket with Patrick Fugit of Almost Famous and Outcast, where I threw up into my office trash can from nerves five minutes before HBO’s press department called.  Meeting and chatting with Halt and Catch Fire creator Christopher Cantwell at New York Comic Con, his passion project AMC show set in the early days of computers that I am enjoying on a different level now that I work in the computer science sector.

NYCC 2019 with Christopher Cantwell. Hopefully I'll get to meet him again and tell him 'damn, you really made Gord an asshole, didn't you?'

There were advance screenings of films.  I got to see Captain Marvel and Birds of Prey on early press screenings. I saw Ewan MacGregor wearing Harley Quinn pigtails and was thisclose to Margot Robbie that I could clearly tell she was not wearing a bra. (There was also going to see that final X-Men movie under the Fox umbrella on a press screening where I couldn’t even PAY friends to go with me.)

Continued below

My first ever press screening!

And then there’s one that is perhaps the most treasured to me, a tribute to the late Peter Robbins, the original TV and film voice of Charlie Brown. The Peanuts films and TV specials were such an integral part of my childhood. To not only commemorate the life and legacy of a voice of my formative years, but to later receive the following note from one of his friends, will always be more invaluable to me than any paycheck I would ever receive from this work:

All of these together have made me a better critic, a better writer,  and (because we’re still leaning hard into cliché here), a better person. (I’d like to think I write pretty amazing birthday cards by now.)

But that’s only half of the story.

The other half was one I realized when I was putting together the aforementioned bartender’s birthday present the previous week, looking back on what was an amazing season of Arsenal football.  The results on the pitch was only half of that story of a season, though.

The other half rang loud and clear when I stepped back to look at the photos I put together for him.

It was the community.  The people.  The fans that packed the bar at ridiculously early hours on Saturday and Sunday mornings (and played hooky from work on some weekday afternoons) to cheer on the Gunners. The people that cheered on victories, grumbled about defeats, celebrated birthdays, and came together to help one of our own when that person suffered a serious health issue earlier this year.

And that’s what will forever make me smile most about Multiversity through all the goodbye tears: the people.

It will be our Slack chats with the managers and staff, sometimes silly, sometimes helping each other through the darker periods in our lives like job losses, relationship troubles, and losses of loved ones.

It will be New York Comic Con (NYCC), our home con with so many of our writers based in the Northeast, and the source of the majority of these memories.

It will be meeting Zach from the DC3 Cast for the first time and saying “damn you’re tall.”

It will be all our NYCC staff dinners.

MC NYCC Staff Dinner 2019
MC NYCC Staff Dinner 2018

It will be all of us taking over tables at the New York Comic Con press lounge (or rather, the table, since that damn press lounge got smaller and smaller every year).

It will be eating $15 Javits Center hot dogs with the man who steered this ship for so long, Brian Salvatore, while I was waiting for the fallout of my resignation from my day job to blow up my phone.

It will be running around the Javits Center with the lone staff video camera, chasing one person for it to deliver it to the next.

It will be the creators I met and spilled tea with (Sina Grace, if you’re reading this, I loved our Sunday afternoon end of con chats more than you might know).

It will be that one time fellow editor Elias Rosner and I were so spent we just camped out in the back of the Dark Horse Comics booth by their conference rooms in between interviews and no more than three people asked us “hey do you work here?” (Followed by the Dark Horse staff that took pity on us and gave us some sandwiches from what they had for their actual staff.)

It will be the people that packed a room for a Titan Comics interview I did with author V.E. Schwab about her comic based on the “Shades of Magic” novels that prompted me to start with “wow, I know I only bribed like five of you to show up.”

I think that's my friend Craig waving to me in the back.

It will be the other friends I made past Multiversity: the team at Women Write About Comics, the creators who shared their passions and inspirations, and my extended network of journalists in and outside of comics.

Continued below

And since no story of our recent time is complete without a pandemic or pandemic-adjacent story: it will be Brian turning to me at that early screening of Birds of Prey on February 7, 2020 and telling me “hey I have a wedding the weekend of NYCC this year so you’re going to be in charge of the staff for the Saturday” and me laughing and silently cursing under my breath because Saturday at NYCC is always its own brand of madness.  Neither one of us realizing in that moment that there would be no NYCC that year, and that our comics world would be irrevocably changed in only a few weeks.

Long after that body of work goes away from this site, the people behind that body of work – – what they stood for, and how we stood for each other and our comics community – – will be the legacy: the legacy of this site, and my own personal legacy.

I joined Multiversity Comics in 2017 at a point in my life when I was trying to figure out what to do next with it.  And I leave it at a time where I am again figuring out what next to do with my life.  Maybe I will go back to writing, but moving from comics to sports.  With my passion for sport, I’ve certainly given some thought to moving into sports journalism or podcasting, especially since I’ve dabbled in it already. But I’m not sure when or if that will happen, and certainly not until after a long summer’s break of rest and reflection.

Whatever decision I make, I’ll have the benefit of time, experience, and that wisdom that comes with age on my side – including everything and everyone from Multiversity to guide me on the way, now and into the future.  We’re all bonded for life after this journey.

An amazing collection of memories from these four passes.

And I’ll forever smile.  Because all of it happened.

//TAGS | Multiversity Says Goodbye

Kate Kosturski

Kate Kosturski is your Multiversity social media manager, a librarian by day and a comics geek...well, by day too (and by night). Kate's writing has also been featured at PanelxPanel, Women Write About Comics, and Geeks OUT. She spends her free time spending too much money on Funko POP figures and LEGO, playing with yarn, and rooting for the hapless New York Mets. Follow her on Twitter at @librarian_kate.


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