Mostly because I'd rather have it here for my own reference than to go looking up what I said on THE BEAT:
Robert Boyd said:
“The funny thing is that back in the 1980s, I think Gary felt it was the duty of The Comics Journal to cover mainstream comics, and that put him in a very adversarial position. Now the worlds of mainstream/superhero comics and alternative/art/indy comics seem almost utterly divorced. I suspect Gary isn’t writing scathing editorials about the powers that be at Marvel and DC because that world seems kind of irrelevant to him. As someone who worked for Fantagraphics back in the 90s, I’d say Gary has mellowed a LOT, primarily by becoming more indifferent.”
Robert, without disputing your characterization of Gary as such– since I think it likely that you have known the man better than I– I find it hard to believe that “duty” *alone* motivated the JOURNAL to cover. From the late 70s to the early 80s, I can’t imagine the JOURNAL garnering any readership at all without covering the mainstream and genre-comics. I know that the sales may have been meager even then, but who would have bought the JOURNAL in that time period had it avoided genre comics? Leftover EC fans and head shop patrons?
Now, I’d certainly admit that by the late 80s the JOURNAL had started to avoid emphasizing the mainstream, even though the mainstream/indie scene had not fragmented as much as it has today. That’s the period when covers started featuring people like Ralph Steadman rather than Wolfman and Perez. But even at that time, I’m skeptical that “duty” alone informed the JOURNAL’s increasingly oppositional coverage of the comics mainstream.
One quick addition that wasn't relevant to the topic under discussion: that period of the late 80s is precisely the period where I began to lose interest in submitting to the JOURNAL, which I may chronicle for my own amusement sometime.