Monday, September 17, 2007

Indie Review launches

A brand new small press site has launched today - Indie Review.

"We're aiming this site to be one where both newcomers and established fans of the the UK indie market can come to find out more information, and get a lot out of the information we have up here. There's going to be a few new exciting things happening in the coming months, too."

My only gripe so far - the excessive ghettoisation that the site seems to be imposing upon itself. Small Press this, Indie that. The one great thing about the internet is that it's a superb leveller of all things. To limit your market and your readership by immediately defining yourself in the terms of yesterday seems a little off.
Ho Hum. We wait and see.


  1. Anonymous10:53 PM

    But surely because the internet is so wide-ranging and accessible, it is important for websites to quickly define exactly what their focus is? If you want to read about DC comics, go to their website, or the many sites out there that focus on that area.

    I have to disagree with you and that you are wrong to say "To limit your market and your readership by immediately defining yourself" is wrong, I would put it another way, "To strongly define your direction and focus means that visitors know exactly what they are getting, what they came for, and are not wasting their time if they have no interest in what you put forward".

  2. Whilst I can see the point you make, I don't necessarily agree with it. Although I do realise your primary motivation is to market your site and web marketing is a much stricter keyword defined beast than other forms of marketing after all.

    My gripe probably comes from a retailing world where I continually railed against the idea of small press and indie comics being somehow marginal, minor things when their super pants wearing fellows were seen as mainstream. My contention, both in the shop and here is that it's books on the IndieReview that are more likely to have a true mainstream appeal.

  3. Anonymous11:21 PM

    But surely thats a product of the environment and the markets we live in todays world. Everything has a label, that simply cannot be gotten away from. What you are saying doesn't apply to comics only, the exact same thing can be said about music, and almost any form of art/media in the world.

    Your point is admirable, and i'm sure its also very true. I'm certain most Independent, Small Press publications, released under the influence of large publishers would be popular mainstream publications.

    Whist i think that labelling things such as comics and music etc doesn't convey the quality of those it labels as "small", i also think that such labelling is very important. It helps us as both fans and consumers to identify ourselves with different areas of the market, and self-identity is very important. Look at yourself and what you enjoy, you must surely be able to catergorise yourself, and so must agree thus that catergorisation is important.

    "This comic is small press, independently released" does not mean the same as "This comic is not good enough to be released through a large publisher". I think that is the point you want to try and get out there, an idea that may actually be present in the general public. The way forward is to try and change the views people have on different catergories, rather than not labelling anything at all. I like to say to people "yes, i like pop-punk, i like pop, i like to go to my local bar and watch the new unsigned band" Without catergories there would be no way to define myself.

    IndieReview must therefore be a good resource to try and change this view? Putting all the information out there, with straight-forward access to those independently released publications , kind of like saying "look, here you go, take a look and i'm certain you'll enjoy the read".

  4. The key difference with comics is that the medium as a whole has been stifled for decades by the perception, both within and without the medium that Comics=Superhero comics.
    We know that isn't true. It's also obvious to us that Superhero comics, although a delightful, fun genre of comics, is very limited in it's appeal outside the traditional (and tiny) comic buying population.

    To expand (and to survive) we have to change these views.
    Identifying the simple fact that the comics we've previously called indie & small press are by far and awat the most likely to actually be successful in bringing in new readers is vitally important.
    Similarly identifying the hard truth that superheroes are a mere genre and not the medium is equally vital.

    I agree that labelling is necessary in many things, but in comics the labels are simply wrong. Indie comics are not indie in the sense that indie music is. They are essentially mainstream fiction, comedy, fantasy etc etc.

    That's where I find myself bridling at your labelling.

    And it's not true that Independent, Small Press publications can only be successful if released under the influence of large publishers. Two examples in retail have to be Nostalgia & Comics and Page 45. Both have established sections for these so called indie / SP books and developed the market to such a degree that the books are outselling a lot of superhero books.

    But I think it's an agree to disagree one here!

    Whatever you're called, I do wish you success.
    Certainly pass my email / blog address along to your artists and writers. Throw some comics my way, or email me files and I'll review / plug them on the FPI weblog and my own.

    Good Luck

  5. Rachid2:00 AM

    I think I'm actually agreeing with what you are saying though Richard! I understand and feel the same as you do about these wrongly associated labels. Comics to many people simply means Superheros.

    My point is that we need to try and get the information out there that there is more to the comics medium than simply Superheros.

    This is where my labelling comes in :P We need the labels to be able to say to people "look here, you enjoy comedy? Check out this comic" or "so you are interested in drama? check this out".

    I'm on your side!!!! We need to change the views people have of comics and genres, but the actual genres themselves are not at fault, only the peoples perception of them!!