META: 15 years...

EDMLite robrogers72 at
Fri Jun 12 17:06:14 PDT 2009

I've been thinking lately about the attributes that drew
me to RACC (well, to alt.comics.lnh) in the first place.

For one thing, it was easy to find.  At the time, there were
only a few comics-related newsgroups in the "alt" hierarchy:
alt.comics.batman, alt.comics.elfquest, alt.comics.superman
and a.c.lnh, if I remember correctly.  The others were all
self-explanatory, but alt.comics.lnh made me curious.

For another, it was easy to understand.  After reading a
handful of stories (I think I grabbed "Tales of the LNH,"
"The 501 Blues" and "Constellation"), I felt I had a pretty
good handle on what the Legion of Net.Heroes was and
what kind of stories were welcome in the newsgroup.

For a third, it provided a great deal of support and
feedback in a very short period of time.  It amazed me
(and still amazes me) that I could post a story here and
receive four or five thought-provoking, funny and helpful
comments within a couple of days.

It helped that most of the stories back then were fairly
short: it was possible to log in, read someone's story,
make a comment and log out again during a quick trip
to the computer lab between classes.

I always imagined that RACC would eventually be
replaced by something else.  As much as I loved --
and still love -- writing text-based stories about
super-heroes, I expected that changing
technology would bring us to the point where
people would be able to write, illustrate, post
and discuss comics online.  And that's happened,
to a point, but not to the extent I would have
expected.  Maybe I'm just going to the wrong
places, but most of the sites I stumble across
these days are for people who want to consume
comics rather than create them.

I want to believe that there are still a lot of folks
out there with stories to tell inspired by the comics
they grew up reading.  In fact, I'd like to believe
there are a whole lot more of them out there right
now than there were in '94, and that if they found
themselves in a place like RACC, they'd be as
excited and grateful and as continually amazed
as I was, and am.  Yet the fact that so few of those
writers find their way here makes me wonder
if the newsgroup is everything it could be.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not worried about the
long-term health of rec.arts.comics.creative.
I'm convinced that this newsgroup is going to be
around forever, if only because I've heard Dave is
making great strides in his efforts to transfer his
consciousness into a robot body.  And given that
I only write one to two stories a year these days,
I'm hardly in a position to complain about the
quantity of writing here, especially given that the
quality has remained consistent.

I'm just wondering if there are ways to provide
additional points of access to RACC, so that the
16- or 18- or 20-year-old Jeff McCoskeys and
Hubert Bartels and Jennifer Whitsons of the world
will be able to find our way here and share their
stories with us.

Is that a worthwhile goal?  Does anyone have any
ideas?  What was it that brought you to this
newsgroup, and what brings you back?

--Rob Rogers
--Easily-Discovered Man Lite of the LNH
--Still wonders if that Elfquest group was any good

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