Multiversity Says Goodbye: “Some Sunny Day”

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

Elias Rosner has been the manager at large at Multiversity for the past few years, and is truly a man of many talents, from podcaster to interviewer to (perhaps) my personal favorite review writer on staff. The most local of my (Brian) MC compatriots, we somehow have never run into each other in the wild. How?

Seven years. That’s how long I’ve been writing for Multiversity. Few comics run seven issues, let alone seven years. Seven years.

I’ve been dreading writing this piece. Personal writing has always been hard, even as it often remains a fulfilling and illuminating endeavor. It’s why my “My Comics Year” pieces were always sent in horrendously late and with very little notice – sorry Brian! My eyes are bigger than my stomach, or I guess my ambition outstrips my typing fingers and I end up falling short. My Google drive is littered with half-formed longforms and outlines for ideas that never manifested – a monthly Marvel column, annotations for the whole of “Spider-Gwen,” and a retrospective dissection of Tom King’s “Batman” titled, tentatively, “Bane of My Existence,” to name a few. I’m sure I’ll find a home for at least the “Batman” one eventually.

This is all prelude to say, I’m not sure how to approach my send-off for Multiversity Comics. Do I go historical? Do I go personal? Do I avoid the subject entirely and talk about something else comics related? I’ll be honest, I never thought we’d reach this point. I figured I’d be writing here until I retired.

This is another of my flaws: I never really know when to let go of something. Once I find a place to be that I am comfortable in, I will remain until external forces move me, for better or worse. Better when it means I actually have free time again instead of writing 6 different pieces a week. Worse when it means I have to leave behind something I loved doing. This parting is less sweet, and more sorrow.

It’s funny. I never really thought I would be a comics critic. I love comics, always have and hopefully always will. However, writing critically about them “professionally?” Never in a million years. Why would I want to spend my precious free time doing textual analysis of the meaning of the gutter space in a “Wonder Woman” comic? I had enough of that kind of thing in school and I hated writing papers. Give me a math problem anyday. That’s a puzzle I can wrap my head around.

Or, at least, I thought I did. If I truly hated writing papers, why the hell did I decide to become an English (creative writing) major with a history – history – minor. That’s all paper writing! You wouldn’t know it but English and history were my worst classes in high school. Yet there was something about the subjects that called to me. I love digging into a subject and going deep, deep, deep. Thinking long and hard about the connections and then trying to make sense of it.

Turns out, my brain is pretty well suited to this kind of thing.

I initially joined Multiversity not because I was a critic but because I thought it would be a good way to earn a little money. Yeah, yeah. I hear you all laughing. Comics criticism? Making MONEY? You’re out of your gourd. I was young, okay, and ad revenue on the internet hadn’t been completely hoovered up by Big Tech or scared off. What did I know? Multiversity was a respected name and I liked the coverage – particularly Jaina’s “Black Bolt” #1 review and Mark’s “Hellboy” reading order. That’s how I first found the site, in fact. Side note: Wow. I had no idea the reading order was only 2 years old at the time.

Regardless of the money, I was happy to be writing at all. Creative writing, critical writing, it didn’t matter. Still doesn’t. To write is to express and as long as I can do that, I am content. Knowing that others could read my writing was a bonus. As such, it’s fair to say that without Multiversity, I may not still be writing today. I certainly wouldn’t have as many published pieces out there as I do and I can guarantee I would not have any longform, critical analyses of media. What outlet would I have had for that? What excuse to solidify my thoughts would there have been?

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Moreover, keeping me on a schedule ensured my critical and rhetorical muscles didn’t atrophy. I’m forced to engage with texts transcendent, mediocre, and abysmal and pick through them for why, in the process confronting me with my own limitations and quirks – the number of sentences I structure as XXXX BUT XXXX still maddens me.

Multiversity has been a home for my writing for a long time. Like any good home, it creaked and often made odd noises – we never did fix the bug that cut off searches and tags at 8-ish pages or implemented that easy series navigation I always wanted. I loved it anyway. Here I learned what a nightmare Previews could be for Soliciting Multiversity, how to turn in 3,000 words for a piece that was supposed to be 10 images and some captions, and what it means to be worthy.

Here I spent 5 summers (and falls) deep diving into Babylon 5, 5 years spent suffering through Supergirl, and 6 years banging my head against the gloriously garish wall that was Riverdale. I got to participate in our unhinged coverage of Gotham, in four, summer, comics, binges, and in years of weekly jokes at the expense of our favorite, and not-so-favorite, comics.

I wrote hundreds of reviews – some big, some small, some for a special occasion, – conducted numerous interviews, and co-ran both a column on webcomics and a podcast as a legacy host. I also did little bit of exegesis, , (fan)fiction writing, and a whole piece about why things are funny. Yeah, I know. But you should read it.

Through it all, Multiversity allowed me to grow, and kept me engaged with the world. I’ve gotten to meet and befriend, professionally and personally, a wide variety of amazing people. It even gave me an excuse, and a reason, to go to NYCC.

I’m proud, dammit. I’m proud of the work I’ve done here. I’m saddened I won’t be able to share more of it under the Multiversity Banner – and only marginally frustrated we never got a second Eisner nom, a personal failing I feel as a site manager and a long-time contributor. Multiversity was my home, and that home is reaching its incursion point. Soon, it will be gone. Who knows, though? This is the comics business. Not even EC Comics can stay dead and buried.

How does one say goodbye to a home? Do we walk through its empty rooms and reminisce about what was once upon its walls? Do we drag our fingers across the holes, through the blinds, in the door frames? Do we sit upon its bare floors and imagine? Imagine what a time-lapse would look like? Of the joy and fear and sadness and embarrassment and life that passed all around you?

Do we tour its exterior, marveling at how little it gives away of its contents? Do we gaze at the shudders, torn years ago by a snowstorm, and tell ourselves we always wanted to fix that? Or huff because we told someone else to? Do we pick at the grass one last time, as if a little tidying is all that’s needed to keep it ours?

Do we try to peer into a window, remembering that it was once blocked with curtains, hiding an old, oak desk or a slightly saggy couch, or photos of loved ones long gone? Do we break down and cry? Do we laugh? Do we yell, angry that we have to leave? Do we find relief, knowing we have done all we can? Do we mourn? Or do we celebrate?

How does one mourn a home? I do not know. I can only trace its outline in my mind, filling its nooks and crannies with what was once there, or perhaps what I believe was once there. For a home is only a home while you are in it. Once you have left, the ghost is all that remains.

How does one celebrate a home? Ah. That I know. I can call it up, bright and boisterous, full of people and sound, joyously living among the accoutrements that may, or may not, have ever truly been there. For a home will always stay with you. In your darkest moments, at your lowest points, or even in the quiet of a cool summer’s day, it can be called upon. A memory whose absence reminds you of your sorrow, but is far sweeter in the remembrance.

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I have made Multiversity my home for seven years. Now, I must let it become a ghost, and a memory.

Seven years.

Seven years isn’t so bad.

//TAGS | Multiversity Says Goodbye

Elias Rosner

Elias is a lover of stories who, when he isn't writing reviews for Mulitversity, is hiding in the stacks of his library. Co-host of Make Mine Multiversity, a Marvel podcast, after winning the no-prize from the former hosts, co-editor of The Webcomics Weekly, and writer of the Worthy column, he can be found on Twitter (for mostly comics stuff) here and has finally updated his profile photo again.


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