EDITORIAL: Short but sweet

Hi folks,

As you’ve probably figured out by now, I’ve stepped away from running this website to pursue my own projects.

For awhile it was a real buzz, we had enough content coming out weekly to really make it a nice weekly destination for fans and creators of Aussie comics. But it just became impossible to maintain that pace, and once we missed a week with no content left, it was the beginning of the end.

In hindsight I would have released less content per week, and allowed a nice buffer of content to spill out 1-2 new articles a week, but I’m not sure that would have been enough to really drive that once-a-week traffic I was aiming for. This is not the fault of the great contributors I had recruited, I’m grateful for their work – but in the end, it’s a really thankless task. No-one was getting paid so it was all voluntary – for the love of the art form. But at the end of the day, everyone has their own things going on that are more important, and in this scenario its inevitable that enthusiasm and excitement eventually turn to a sense of obligation.

I had hoped that seeing ACJ pumping out more and more new articles every week would build a bit of a groundswell, where I no longer needed to chase people and instead the content would start flowing in unsolicited. But that didn’t really happen, and perhaps some of that was my fault – it’s a fairly cliquey scene so maybe it seemed that I was only publishing the kind of stuff that I wanted to see/read – and if so this was never my intention. I reached out to as many people as possible, even those who I haven’t had the best relationship with in the past. But in the end, the silence became deafening.

I gave it my best shot for a couple of months, and I’m proud of what my team achieved in that time. I hope you enjoyed it too. My thanks to everyone who helped me put it together, particularly Clancy Ellis, James Cassingham Randall, Jules Faber, Max Battistella, Antoinette Rydr, Shaneyah Galley and Shauna O’Meara, and everyone else who was kind enough to send me some content.

And of course to Gary Chaloner for the opportunity and trust to let me have a play with ACJ – he’s the real unsung hero without which none of this would happen in the first place.



About Darren Close

Darren Close
Darren is the creator and publisher of the KILLEROO series, and also the creator of the OzComics website and subsequent drawing challenge on Facebook. He's been around the local comic scene for far too long for many people's liking. Gary Chaloner was foolish enough to make him the new Managing Editor of AustralianComicsJournal.com

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  1. Sorry to hear this news, Darren. I hope the ACJ can somehow continue, because it is a great vehicle for Australian comics and creators. I have been trying to drop in at least once every week or two to see what is new since the ACJ has re-started. As you point out the Aust Comic Scene (ACS) does at times appear a little clique-ie. I was hoping that you as Editor would perhaps be the bridge to connect the different cliques as you have a great persona in the ACS. Too bad more participation didn’t occur. Even a one or two word comment on a post is a contribution. As I write this I notice there have been 353 views of this post of yours and not even one comment. Is it apathy? fear of stepping forward? a desire to remain insular? That clique you mention? or what?
    Where are Aust creators going to go for their news on Australian events, new releases and product advertising? Are they solely relying on Facebook, bush telegraph, etc for such things?
    I can imagine the amount of time it takes to gather info, prepare a post, and update the news. I guess time is the killer. And when you receive no feedback on the posts it must get to the point of asking yourself “Why am I putting all this effort in for nothing?” “Does any body even care about the ACJ?”
    I’d be interested to know what other websites the Aust Creators and fans go to with Australian content. I don’t know of many others … Comicoz is the only other one I know of. Many of the Australian podcasts only talk about US comics and creators. We need a vehicle and I was hoping the ACJ was it.
    I’m hoping this is just a temporary hiatus (as they say), and ACJ is back up and running again soon.

    • Danny Nolan

      Dave, I, like you were a bit conflicted. I rallied to the call and submitted a piece that was welcomed and published. I must admit the first few weeks of Darren’s reign were impressive. I contributed two other good size pieces after that and received no feed back. Maybe they weren’t what Darren was looking for, as he mentioned in his editorial. It still would have been nice to get some reply.
      But as more Kickstarters came out- most notably the last DECAY issue – and went unnoticed and Conventions came and went without review and then no wash up of the Ledgers, I just assumed the enviable had happened and like all things in comics in Australia, it faded into the ether. I hope it gets a second wind ,while it was active the ACJ was an interesting place to visit.

    • GC

      It all comes down to content. Creators and publishers need to supply content. Darren knocked the site into the best shape its ever been in and the initial content was amazing. But running a site like this, with no income and only best wishes, can be a time consuming task. And gathering content is not easy. Not just chasing up one or two reviews or articles, but essentially juggling many weeks of content ahead of time, relentlessly, so a hole in uploads doesn’t develop. That’s the killer. Okay if you have paying sponsors or an income stream for the person spending time doing this. Not okay if you are just doing it for the love of it. And Dazz was doing it for the love of it. And he warned me on how long the level of content could be maintained, so what happened is no big surprise.

      Dazz went above and beyond the call of duty with ACJ. It was finally what I wanted the site to be when I first started it those many years ago. But without a LOT of sustained content, a site of this nature can grind you down. My hat off to Darren for putting in the hard yards and trying his best.

      I still believe Aussie Comics needs a site like this and there is enough news and comics to fill it. But yes, maybe people are distracted by other websites, podcasts, Instagrams and Facebooks. Maybe a news and review site like this is old hat? Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

      Danny, I’ll ask about those two pieces you supplied and see if we can’t get them live or get you some feedback.


  2. Antoinette Rydyr

    Disappointing news, indeed. Darren did an excellent job in revitalising ACJ and getting people excited about the site.

    After my first article was published I was all fired up to write more articles and even started interviewing people.

    I’d also submitted an article ages ago which Darren promised to run if I wrote it, but it has not appeared and seems to be wallowing in limbo.

    I think this sort of news site about the local comics scene is definitely needed. Hope it can gain momentum again.

    (By the way Darren, you spelt my name wrong, it’s Rydyr not Rydr.)

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