[REV] End of Month Reviews - August 2004 [spoilers]

Eagle eagle at eyrie.org
Mon Sep 6 11:16:34 PDT 2004

Arspitzer <arspitzer at aol.com> writes:

> Looks like there's been a significant drop-off for posts to
> rec.arts.comics groups since 1997.

> They way I see it is that ten years ago if you wanted to post about
> comics you had no real choice, but to post to USENET.  Now, you've got
> tons of comic web forums to choose from.  And since these people aren't
> checking out rec.arts.comics they're not checking out RACC.

I'm not really in a position to know, not collecting or reading comics
these days any more, but I wonder how much of that is related to a general
drop-off in the popularity of comics compared to the huge boom in the
1980s and early 1990s.  They just don't seem to be as big of a deal these

This could just be the group of people that I talk to regularly, though.

> This is true.

> There's always the possibility that kids writing original superhero
> fiction and posting it for free was something people did back in the
> 90's.  It was just a fad.

> Then again maybe on some web forum out there, a group of kids is
> creating its own version of the LNH.

Well, this is all speculation, but I have a few theories.

One agrees with yours, namely that the real heyday of both RACC and
particularly Superguy happened before everyone had easy access to a web
page, before there were tons of web sites that welcomed other people's
submissions, and before the web became pretty much the only way the
average Internet user interacted with the rest of the world outside of
private e-mail.  I wonder how many people are just posting stories to
their own web sites or to various web boards for story posting.
Personally, I like the newsgroup / e-mail list format better, but I know a
lot of other people don't.

(I really do need to update the RACC archives.  It's been a busy year.)

> Yeah.  I know.  And I'd rather see these people making money off their
> writing than posting stuff for free.  (I'd also rather see myself making
> money than posting stuff for free.)

We've certainly served as the springboard or early practice ground for a
fair bit of commercial success in writing, which is neat.  I just ordered
a copy of Badger's book.  :)

What happened to me personally is that I found a medium that suits me
better.  I've never been particularly excited by writing as craft; I did
enough of it to have a vague idea how to do it, but it's a lot of really
hard work, I don't have aspirations of being any sort of professional
writer, and while it makes it easier for other people to enjoy my work, I
personally don't get a lot out of it.

What I loved most is writing as collaboration, so when I found a really
good group of free-form, rules-free on-line role-players, that just
clicked with me more than writing episodic stories ever did.  So that's
what I've been doing for the past seven years or so.

> I think that's fine.  There are more important things in life than RACC.
> It's just a hobby.  And probably a hobby for the young person.  I'm not
> wondering about why the old timers left.  I know why they left.  I'm
> wondering what ever happened to the new blood that was supposed to
> replace the old timers.  Why they never came.

Well, truth be told, I was actually a touch surprised that we got such a
huge infusion of new blood during the Omega period and picked up a ton of
new writers that had nothing to do with the original LNH genesis.  That
was pretty neat.  I don't know if it will happen again (most on-line
fiction universes seem to steadily decline after the original surge), but
the way I look at it, as long as the newsgroup is here, there's a place
for it should anyone decide to try it.  The AC folks have since shown up
and that's been really good.

> Is there anything that can be done to attract this new blood?

> Or five years from now will RACC be dead?

This I don't know.  I've put some personal efforts into finding new blood
for various writing groups over the years (not this one so much as
others), and I've met with very little success, so I'm not a good person
to ask.  I think it's hard to put one's finger on why things like this get
started; there's a weird critical mass effect that's hard to create

> Arthur "Just trying to depress you people.  Is it working?" Spitzer

Oh, not really.  :)  I guess I personally am not as attached to particular
places as I used to be.  The friendships and collaborations are important,
but the universe backgrounds and even the individual fora and
technological underpinnings come and go, and even the friendships grow and
change and drift over time.

Eagle (eagle at eyrie.org)                            Windrider of Crossroads
<http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>          rec.arts.comics.creative moderator

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