Comics Anonymous started back in August 2011 and with it running for the last 10 years it was time to reflect on the changes both on the site itself & the wider comic book world.
While it started as a way for a group of friends to bring their comic book chat to a wider group of fellow fans, it also allowed us to experience comic events, meet & interview some amazing comic creators and get a firm look at the world of comics within the mainstream & beyond. Initially we were firmly focused on mainstream books and the site was setup to tie- in with DC’s New 52 reboot but we covered a number of mainstream books that caught our eye, nestled on our pull list or just got us excited about comics.
Within that first year or so we had really started to develop a direction with more and more interviews and speaking with the likes of Mark Millar, Frank Quitely, Tim Sale, Scott Snyder, Bernie Wrightson & many others became a regular thing alongside the reviews we put out. The number of comic events we attended increased with us travelling around the country to London Super Comic Con, Kapow!, Thought Bubble, and as many others as we could fit in, which gave us more of chance to meet some big names but also a chance to widen the scope of the comics we read.
Not long after the year mark though, the group dynamic changed and interest in keeping new reviews and other content flowing on the site slowly disappeared for everyone involved with the exception of myself but exactly what I wanted to do next was still something I was tying to figure out. Picking up the reins again, I altered direction with the site and began really focussing on the small press & indie comic scene in Scotland and then the UK & beyond. This proved to be a catalyst for me wanting to do more and more and with a redesign of the site a few years later things became a constant flow of new things to read, new things to shout about and new experiences as a solo reviewer/editor/blogger.
This new direction helped grow the circle of creators I was aware of and creators I was in regular contact with and many of these writers, artists, colourists, letterers, editors & designers have become friends over the years as the interest in comics became common ground for us to chat about online and in person when our paths crossed at comic events.
I occasionally added in some movie reviews here and there as the comic influence on the big & small screen increased but the draw to the indie comic scene has always been kept at the forefront of what this site is all about. As a result, I was fortunate enough to make Comics Anonymous an award-winning site when I won Best Specialist Website in 2017 & 2018 at Edinburgh Comic Con’s Yancy St. Awards and that recognition bolstered an already strong sense that the indie scene was growing and improving all the time.
Having been in & around the indie comic scene for the last ten years I’ve been fortunate enough to see that growth & improvement first hand and in many ways the titles have surpassed the mainstream comics on offer on a regular basis. Although I still have a regular pull-list from some of the mainstream titles for entertainment, it’s the indie comic scene that reignites my interest time & again and with titles becoming more varied, more diverse & more accessible, there is no doubt in my mind that creating comics is much more than just spandex outfits and supervillains.
The increasing quality of the books themselves has been matched with the increasing quality of the printing on offer too and that all adds up to a slicker final product that allows these titles to nestle in the pull list I have in my brain just as easy as any others. The indie comic scene is now in my comic book loving blood and with each new title spurring me on to see an ever-growing review pile it’s clear that I have many more books to read. Here’s hoping I can still be shouting out about indie comics for another ten years and beyond.