This is not something that I’ve particularly looked forward to writing, but effectively immediately, I’ll be taking a very reduced approach to content production for the forseeable future. Later on this month I’ll have been working on either this in some capacity for six years and while I’m very proud of what I’ve managed to produce, I also feel that I’m holding the site back from being any bigger. Comic Gamers Assemble has been something that I’ve worked on in my spare time or during my day job and with the exception of a redesign of the site and logos in 2014, all the 1,100 plus articles that have been published have been done so by one person. In 2017 I did a lot of big series: a lead-up to Spider-Man: Homecoming with a review of nearly every Spider-Man movie title; I looked at every single Men in Black game for the film’s 20th anniversary and I broke down some Thor and Justice League games as well leading up to the big two fall movie releases last year. For the amount of work put into getting those up, they didn’t really gain the traction they thought I would and I blame no one but myself for that. I feel I have a decent grasp on creating content, but am totally ignorant in how to shout loud enough in order for people to see it. Given the explosion of independent blogs and Patreon supported YouTube channels, promoting a website with no real knowledge of how to do so is quite difficult and I don’t really have a large support network behind me either.
Another factor in why I’m not that great at promotion or really growing the website in any meaningful way is that, while I haven’t been formally diagnosed by any type of medical professional, I’m a sufferer of persistent anxiety. What that ultimately means is that I live in constant fear and doubt and thus I’m terrified to take any risks or invest in myself. For example I’ve wanted to build a streaming rig to broadcast my close to four hundred comic book related titles (I counted before Christmas; even submitted to Guiness to check for a world record, no joke) but, as I only work a low paying job more or less living pay cheque-to-pay cheque, doing so would put me in some uneasy financial waters. When you have thoughts in your mind like “who cares?” and “why bother?”, investing the money and time into such endeavors never becomes something more than a passing thought in your mind. My anxieties also manifest in some other unhealthy ways like out of nowhere stomach problems and random bouts of insomnia. 2018 is only nine days in and I’ve already suffered two sleepless nights.
I entered the post-secondary education world in 2002 without any real direction other than to get out of my small town, and it wasn’t until 2006 when I started watching the 1up Show on the now defunct 1up.com when I knew that all I wanted to do was write about video games. I’ve never been one to have a large group of friends, but seeing a staff of people passionately talk about video games and seeing the personalites behind the names I had seen in magazines for year made the EGM/1up offices look like one of the happiest places on earth. I know hard work went in to getting daily articles up, weekly shows done and of course getting out a monthly magazine, and so much hard work was probably poured in every day, but it didn’t seem like your average job: it looked like the best job ever. The way we consume news about video games has changed dramatically since 2006 with few large publications existing today as people watch YouTube personalities or streamers on Twitch, but I had always hoped to be a part of a large family of people brought together by a shared love of video games. I also know the type of personality it takes to get noticed in today’s media culture and I’ve come to realize that I don’t really have the capacity to house anything more than a hobby/enthusiast site.
As to if I’ll ever come back in any large capacity, who knows, but for now I think I need to reevaluate some things and just enjoy playing games without feeling guilty that I’m not thinking of the next big feature to go up on Comic Gamers Assemble. I had some ideas about things I wanted to put together around Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War that I may get around to putting together if I can wrap my head around doing such things. You can also look for some short stories that I wrote last year to appear in a book about the SNES that was put together by Brett Weiss, who I can’t thank enough, that should be out this year. You can get updates about the progress of Brett’s book HERE and you can pre-order from it from Amazon or Indigo if you live in Canada and are so inclined.
In the meantime if you want to keep informed on all things comic book related in video games, subscribe to Chris Baker’s YouTube channel as well as Panels to Pixels and follow the Spider Squad on Twitter to see one of the most enthusiastic communities surrounding Insomniac’s Marvel’s Spider-Man.
One thought on “ON THE FUTURE OF COMIC GAMERS ASSEMBLE”
Blair, I just want you to know that I have IMMENSE respect for everything you’ve accomplished here. But you also need to do what’s best for you, and if you’re not loving doing this, then don’t. I’ll miss your passion and enthusiasm, but I also know it’ll live on through social media and such.
At the same time, you have SO MUCH content built up over the past few years, I think you can easily recycle it for other uses:
1) Self-publish a Kindle book like I did. Just collect X number of themed reviews and put them together. I’ll write the forward. :-)
2) Convert your articles to YouTube videos. All you’d need to do is read them into a microphone articulately and with enthusiasm. Editing takes forever, but you may not even need to get that specific about your footage if you don’t feel like it.
3) Repurpose your articles for other blog-style sites with big audiences like Tumblr or Medium. You’re more likely to get discovered there than through random Google searches. (Same with #1 and #2…)
Or just take a break from it all. You’ve earned it. :-) Just don’t let any sense of failure you may be feeling get you down. You’ve done awesome work.
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