There is a power in being anonymous. A power easily leveraged by modern technology. The anonymity of the Internet is for some a good excuse to be openly racist, sexist, homophobic, sycophantic, xenophobic, all of the above or plain old dumb. Despite my often cynical world view, I don’t believe that humanity is becoming less intelligent, nor escalating in awfulness. Nope, the Internet has given every idiot a megaphone and locked them in a room with everyone else. Idiocy has become more visible (sometimes your own). This is not new phenomena, the printing press was the Internet of its day. If you don’t believe me go read Samuel Richardson’s, Pamela, considered the English’s first novel. (Insert clichéd joke about waiting.) Thankfully, the Internet is also full of reasonable intelligent people willing to have meaningful civil discourse for the price of your fleeting attention. This logic is a dilemma for me. Why bother when I have nothing to offer that is not already available, and likely done better, by other more intelligent people?
( Pamela, By Samuel Richardson invented new ways to be popular yet awful at the same time)
Blogging about comics is a bit like beating a dead horse with a twig while the person next to you is surgically removing its organs to make lunch meat. I don’t want to do a comic review blog. I already do that in the most efficient way I could imagine. (I have a Twiter account called JohanReviewsComics, @DeanJohannessLor, if you want to hear an idiot with a megaphone) .Cultural criticism appeals to me more as comics has a hefty amount of cultural issues, but I’m already depressed enough today. Rather, I would like to tell you about my personal struggle with addiction in hopes that I might help someone going through these same issues.
A week ago I hit rock bottom. On that tragic day I was blessed by the company of a good friend that helped to comfort me at my low point. I had a choice to make between comics or food, thankfully my friend convinced me that nutrition (read: ciggs and ramen) was more important. My carcinogen craving satisfied by the ramen I was left to ponder my abysmal bank account and lack of new comics. I sank into a comic depression that couldn’t be fixed with the comic Zoloft of free online comics. I skulked around with panels drawn on my glasses and imagined everyone was wearing spandex. Right as the fight between I-can’t-find-my-coupons Lady and Cashier Man was getting interesting a comic pusher came out from the shadows with a handful of goodies. “Psst, over here,” it whispered gesturing slightly with its head, “I heard you’re looking for comics?”
“I am looking for comics!
“Keep it down.” It told me looking around to make sure no one heard me. “I got comics. Good shit too,” flashing The Private Eye underneath its Dream Coat. I pretended to search my pockets for money I didn’t have and waited until it let its guard down. Then I punched it in the face and ran off with the comic giggling manically.
The Private Eye is a digital only, DRM free, pay what you want (catching breath) comic written by Brad K. Valentine, wait, Bill K. Veldbloom, no, Grant Morrison, that’s not it either… Some guy that also writes a blatant Star Wars rip off called Saga Wars, or something. The lines are done by Marcos Martin (Daredevil, Amazing Spiderman) with colors by Muntsa Vicente (She-Hulk). It’s quite good in my opinion. I could explain the vibrant world and engaging plot, but there’s no need, you too can slap the food out of the mouths of the creator’s children. Panelsyndicate.com allows you to steal their comic like it’s the pirate bay, or if you have enough pennies to rub together you can empty your bank account if you chose. I don’t buy a lot digital comics. Partially because as a white person with a penis comic stores are not threatening. As well as, a blind adherence to belief that reading things is more enjoyable if cutting down trees is involved. Finally, I think digital comics should be priced at a dollar or less. I know this is a bit of a dick’s opinion, Not all digital comics have a big name like Bilbo K. Voorhees to prop them up. (For that matter, there are plenty of free online comics that I have enjoyed enough to fell like I’m crotch-punching their creators.) Having already invested in awkward transitions I feel like I should talk about the website its self.
Panelsyndicate.com appears to have been made with a 90’s version of Netscape Navigator. There’s no ads, or click bait, or fancy background, or front page, and the page icon looks like it was chosen from a cluster of uninspired clip-art. The only indication that it isn’t a fossil from a forgotten part of the web are the few social networking links. This makes Panel Syndicate a marvel of web design. Most web pages assault you with so much stimuli there should be disclaimers for epileptics. Bruno K. Valiant and Marcos Martian have said that the site may expand to include other creators and comics, but at the moment it doesn’t include much more than the six issues of The Private Eye. So, go get your fix, and if you do tell them Johan is sorry about the black eye.