My Long and Twisted Journey, Part Two

(Jason Sacks of Comics Bulletin recently offered to document how his fandom experiences helped him grow for his fellow fans in a series of blog posts.  Thanks for guest posting Jason!)

As you might remember from part one of my little story, I had been a comics fan for many years but lack of time and money pretty much drove me away from my passion. Without sufficient time or money, I had no way of turning my passion into anything close to a career.

But after I had found a good job and reconnected with some old friends, my whole attitude turned around.

A very creative and rather controversial writer named Clifford Meth was a member of  the UltraZine OneList group. Cliff and I had traded letters over the years, and reconnected on the group. Cliff is, and was, an incredibly passionate man, and a person who both wants to both do well and do good.Cliff wanted to be a professional success and perform good deeds. And for someone with my background, those two attributes were incredibly powerful.

Cliff recruited me to write a profile of him that could be syndicated to various websites as a kind of calling card for him. He was hoping to use the profiles as a way to get people to buy his books and check out his slice-of-life writing. Cliff and I worked very hard on that profile – we went back and forth easily a dozen times to create the draft – and I found all the work to be completely energizing. Suddenly I was doing work that stimulated my creative juices, and got me excited to get involved in comics again.

Cliff also was working on his latest good deed at the time. Comic artist Dave Cockrum, famed as the first artist to draw the All-New, All-Different X-Men, was in very poor health and living in a VA hospital in Bronx, New York. Cockrum and his wife Paty were having tremendous trouble making a living financially, which was devastating for anyone who loved Cockrum's work.

Cliff organized a tribute book for Cockrum, and recruited me to create a tribute website for him, <a href=""></a>. I had a great time creating the whole site by hand, and it led to my getting more and more involved with comics. If I had it to do over again, I would have created the site differently, but at the time I thought it was pretty special.

Cliff also mentioned that he wrote a column for a comics website, At his prompting, I sent an email to the editor asking if he was looking for writers. I still remember his reply: "Oh HELL yes!".

For about six years I wrote reviews and other articles for SilverBulletComicBooks, which at one point changed its name to Comics Bulletin. I probably wrote hundreds of reviews and articles over 6 years. There was one night when I actually wrote 13 reviews in a burst of intense enthusiasm that is unlikely to be repeated. I loved the work. It was awesomely fun, and put me in contact with a group of folks who were quite similar to my old fanzine pals. I finally had sufficient time  and money to devote to comics, and was reveling in it.

During the time I had been working for CB, I worked professionally as content and site manager at a large multinational, and my opinion was always welcomed when advice on Comics Bulletin was needed.

So I wasn't tremendously surprised when Comics Bulletin Publisher Jason Brice and Editor-in-Chief Keith Dallas offered me the EIC role when Keith decided to step aside. I was flattered, thrilled and very excited, but definitely not surprised.

I don't get paid for the work – though I theoretically have some equity in the site if it gets sold. But it happily lives at the top of my resume, and many of the lessons I've learned from the CB job have turned into great stories for interviews – and good stories to share in a bar, too. I'll probably share these stories on this blog in the future, too.

I love those stories and am excited to share them, but at this point I'm going to wrap up this series with some thoughts.

I'm seldom happier than I am when I'm busy working on my site. My staff is fantastic and I'm blessed with some brilliant writers and very professional assistant editors. I believe that my work on the site has helped my professional career in innumerable ways, and has definitely gotten me invited to some great parties over the years – as well as free admission to many conventions.

And ironically I feel like I got this gig in the most traditional possible way – I had a friend who knew a friend, and so on – and when I was given a chance, I grabbed it with both hands. Without my long friendship with Clifford Meth, I would never have even known to look for this job, and without my hard work it wouldn't have turned into something special. I'm really proud of Comics Bulletin, and was delighted when I received an email from F2P's own Steve Savage praising my site for its quality and diversity. Steve's writing a column for me, so the least I could do is write a guest blog post or two for him!

– Jason Sacks