Gail Simone Asks… "Do We Need Tabloid And Gossip Comics Journalism?"

twitter_logo_headerApropos of nothing, at a little before 2am in the UK, Gail Simone posted on Twitter "Here is my serious question to everyone who reads or makes comics. Do we need tabloid and gossip comics journalism?" with a quick addition "My question is, does it serve a useful purpose in the long run?"

I was still awake (reading comics) about to hit the sack, and while I managed to fling a few responses back,  my head is woozy, my eyes are heavy and my fingers are tired. So please, feel free to join in the tweetersation – though do keep it insult free, you're ambassadors for Bleeding Cool, remember.  The hashtag is #comicsgossipcolumns (although from the response so far, the hasttag didn't need to be plural.

Here are a few initial responses. I expect I'll update in the morning…

goodmanw No. But it keep Rich Johnson in business. So someone cares about it.

kitschfactor No, it's way too tacky and can get too vicious too fast.

kenlowery First impulse is to say no, because I hate that crap. But I'm not sure comics warrants much "real" journalism either. Plus the guy we have now is pure sleaze.. but I guess that goes with the territory.

MrMessyFace yes we do!

bairdduvessa no we dont

azalben yes, in the sense that it goes outside of the standard press release parameters. But in general, no one NEEDS gossip.

jeditigger Hell no

DeWayneFeenstra it's not question of need but an unfortunate reality. When people are interested in something gossip will follow

mlewys I prefer review journalism, ala Blair Butler and Fresh Ink. Gossip journalism has never interested me.

TJoyceChin if @richjohnston hadn't investigated that jackhole Josh Hoopes, we wouldn't know nearly as much about that festering asshat.

gailsimone Agreed about Josh Hoopes, but my question is why didn't a REAL journalist do that story? Is gossip replacing the real stuff?

newageamazon Having written gossip journalism for a bit, I don't understand how people can do it continually. I felt SLIMEY.

hectorlima – dunno why people complain this much. @richjohnston is the closest to a REAL journalist that we have

aboynamedart I think responsible *independent* coverage of the industry helps everybody in the long run.

dingogary Do you really think we can avoid them? Gossip is part and parcel of any sufficiently large human endeavour.

theJohnChihak other than just mindless entertainment? No it doesn't serve a long term purpose

Lexi_Dizzle TBQH, I've sometimes wondered maybe if the comics community seemed 'sexier' we'd have more readers.

hannibaltabu The market has a demand. @richjohnston, among other, fills that demand. There's nothing fundamentally wrong w/that.

M_Burkhardt We don't need tabloid/gossip journalism PERIOD.

Me? I went with no, we don't need gossip or tabloid comics columns or journalism. But then we don't need comics journalism at all. Or indeed any journalism. Or comics. Or cars, or poodles or hairdressers or spatulas or grass or smiles or a sense of proportion. Food, water, shelter and sex, that's about it.

As to whether it serves any purpose, I believe it can keep people honest, it can help attract a certain glamour to the medium, it can promote the unjustly ignored, right wrongs that have been criminally enacted, it can be informative and it can hopefully be entertaining. And every now and then it can save someone from losing their home. But of course that's going to be my answer.

As to lifting "real" journalism onto some kind of pedastal, I would really recommend reading Flat Earth News and/or Bad Science first.

So what do you think? Tell me and I'll see you in the morning…

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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