Official Press Release
Los Angeles, C.A. - July 21st, 2004 - Comic Book Resources (http://www.comicbookresources.com), a leading comic book news and resource Web site, is proud to announce a new column from the minds of Joe Casey ("Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes," "The Intimates") and Matt Fraction ("Last of the Independents," "Bloodsucker Tales") called THE BASEMENT TAPES. Familiar names with both fans and the industry, the duo will hold a critical discussion of comics creation, publishing and even fandom.
Fraction said, "Joe and I got to talking and felt that there was a certain kind of discussion not being had about the comics mainstream; at least not in a public space. A conversation about craft, about idiom, about the how's and why's that go on both on the page and off, and how it is we arrived there in the first place. Not anything as turgid as a how-to, and not as odious as a perpetual interview, just two guys shootin' the breeze, basically. Shop talk.
"Joe, what the hell am I saying? What are we after?"
"Mayhem," replied Casey. "That's what we're after. Pure, unadulterated mayhem.
"Actually, one of the reasons for me is that comic book creators, in the rare moments that we get together, tend not to talk too much about craft or theory or some of the more artistic concerns of the job. When we get together at conventions, for instance, we're too busy drinking, getting high and gossiping to really engage in any deep discussions about our job (which just happens to be one of the coolest jobs on the planet). For some odd reason, Fraction and I tend to cut through the bullshit and actually have those kinds of conversations, which is one of the reasons I got into this business to begin with - to hang out with like-minded individuals who not only understand what I do and what I'm into, but also challenge me to think about what I'm doing."
The columns started out as simple e-mail conversations and quickly grew into an in-depth look at a variety of issues facing the comics industry.
"Basically, the first column is exactly what it claims to be - Fraction and I e-mailing each other about comics," said Casey. "I'd done a fairly in-depth 'The Comics Journal' interview early this year and Fraction was one of the few that read it and wanted to talk about it. He's a sharp tack so the conversations got real interesting real quick. We figured we should just keep talking and why not make our conversations public while we're at it? "
Fraction added, "We both miss that kind of critical eye that TCJ used to really shine on the mainstream; just because it might be a trashy culture doesn't mean it doesn't deserve some kind of serious thinking applied to it."
"Warren Ellis said a little while ago that there was less of a Column Culture than there had been in the past," continued Casey. "Funny, since we'd already been discussing this thing for a few months at that point. So, I guess we both felt the time was right."
For CBR Executive Producer Jonah Weiland, the opportunity to publish a column by both Casey and Fraction was a definite no-brainer.
"As most of you know, Matt wrote a year-long column for CBR called POPLIFE. He had some incredible observations on this industry and shared some amazing experiences during that time. Joe also had his own column years ago and, likewise, I was amazed by his astute thoughts on the industry. When the two showed me their first BASEMENT TAPES column, I was floored: these are two very intelligent guys with a clear love for this medium. This column will absolutely get people talking."
When asked why they brought THE BASEMENT TAPES to CBR, the answer was clear.
"Because Jonah was there first," said Casey. "CBR has been a constant ever since I got an Internet hookup. Personally, I've always liked CBR's set-up. I honestly don't know why more sites don't imitate it but I suppose I wouldn't want to be compared to Jonah, either. Basically, from Steven Grant to Warren to Larry Young to the inimitable James Sime, CBR is the class spot for the column connoisseur."
Fraction added, "If thinking and writing about the comics mainstream has a home base on the 'net, it's CBR."
Casey, who also penned his own comics column some years back, looks forward to getting back in front of an Internet audience.
"I miss the hate. I really do. There's no warmer feeling than raising the collective ire of comic book fandom at large. It's fun to make an ass out of yourself in public. Fraction and I both know that and we can't wait to get back to it on a weekly basis."
Readers can find Casey and Fractions THE BASEMENT TAPES Tuesday at Comic Book Resources starting July 27th.
Comic Book Resources (http://www.comicbookresources), located in Los Angeles, CA, has been online since 1995. One of the largest comic book destination sites, Comic Book Resources is a comic book community with daily news, commentary, forums and more. Comic Book Resources is visited by over ¾ million unique visitors and boasts over 20 million page views a month. Comic Book Resources is a division of Boiling Point Internet, a Los Angeles based design and hosting firm.
Jonah Weiland - firstname.lastname@example.org
Comic Book Resources (http://www.ComicBookResources.com/)