Though I wrote for the zine somewhat, I'm not fishing for recognition. But I'm curious if the various brouhahas that involved the magazine ever impacted on your comics reading in any way.

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Is it still being published?

I'd say, as I often have, that I favored Amazing Heroes to The Comics Journal, because Amazing Heroes celebrated comics and superheroes, and The Comics Journal took a tone of "superheroes are terrible and stupid, and if you like them you're terrible and stupid, too."

Plus, in my eyes, it didn't help that The Comics Journal and Harlan Ellison went out of their way to heap insults on one of my favorite writers, Michael L. Fleischer. So much so that Fleischer sued for libel. The whole episode comes off as the cool kids bullying the class nerd, and getting away with it (Fleischer lost).

I'm not too familiar with The Comics Journal other than what I have heard about it. I think I bought only one issue, for the cover feature, Nexus. I loved The Comics Buyers; Guide.

At one point in the early 80s, I subscribed to The Comics Journal but its heavy emphasis on independent comics went way over my teenage head.

Plus I found myself reluctantly front and center in the Gerry Conway/Steve Englehart feud and it was very uncomfortable reading. 

Philip Portelli said:

At one point in the early 80s, I subscribed to The Comics Journal but its heavy emphasis on independent comics went way over my teenage head.

Plus I found myself reluctantly front and center in the Gerry Conway/Steve Englehart feud and it was very uncomfortable reading. 

What do you mean by that? What Gerry Conway/Steve Englehart feud?

I read The Comics Journal regularly in the late Seventies. It was the most professional looking of the fanzines available at my local comic book shop. It was that magazine-like quality that attracted me. Eventually I grew tired of the hipper than thou attitude and general rejection of mainstream comics that others have mentioned.

On the positive side it was through TCJ that I learned about people like Carl Barks and Will Eisner which motivated me to seek out their work.

ClarkKent_DC said:

       Philip Portelli said:

       Plus I found myself reluctantly front and center in the Gerry Conway/Steve Englehart feud and it was
       very uncomfortable reading. 

What do you mean by that? What Gerry Conway/Steve Englehart feud?

I've never read The Comics Journal but I have never heard of a feud between these two either.

Steve Engelhart gave an interview in The Comics Journal #63 where he says that he left Marvel in 1976 due to Gerry Conway's very brief stint as editor-in-chief where Conway allegedly "took" The Avengers away from him among other grievances.

In TCJ #68, they published a very nasty letter by Conway who called Engelhart a "liar", an "egotist" and implied heavy drug use. This went back and forth for a while and they dragged in Roy Thomas as well.

ClarkKent_DC said:

Philip Portelli said:

At one point in the early 80s, I subscribed to The Comics Journal but its heavy emphasis on independent comics went way over my teenage head.

Plus I found myself reluctantly front and center in the Gerry Conway/Steve Englehart feud and it was very uncomfortable reading. 

What do you mean by that? What Gerry Conway/Steve Englehart feud?

I never read any of the original material when it was initially published. Honestly, it wouldn't have interested me at the time. Now I did buy The Comics Journal Library vol. 8: EC Artists. Now that I loved.

Also, I believe some of the chapters in Sparring With Gil Kane were originally published in the magazine as well.

Well, that answers one of my questions; some people here do remember some of the ancient quarrels that informed the Journal's history.

While going through my blog, I came across a satiric spoof-song I composed about some of the Journal's problematic moments. Since there are no JOURNAL people here, I would think that it doesn't violate any rules about flaming; it's meant as satire of people who took themselves a little too seriously. I will post it in the hope that it amuses; if not, feel free to delete.

("To the tune of JINGLE BELLS")

Ohhhhh--

Journal Belles, Journal Belles, Journal all the way,

Oh what fun it is to ride A hobbyhorse all day, Hey!

Journal Belles, Journal Belles, The superhero's bane,

If you don't like alternatives Then "fanboy" be thy name.

Slashing through Frank Cho

Giving Sim and Miller sass

Slanting Harlan's coverage

Got GAUNTLET on their **s!

Bashing Peter David

Made no one look too bright,

What fun it is to chide and sting And start a great big fight!

Oh, Journal Belles, Journal Belles,

The patrons of the arts,

Too bad their current criticism Is

Not

Worth

Six

Wet

[Things That Rhyme with 'Arts']--!

I read The Comics Journal regularly during the '80s and most of the 90s, at least while I could find it in comics stores or book stores.  Anyhow, it seriously expanded my knowledge about comics and exposed me to a wide variety of opinions on comics which broadened my own tastes and interests.  I didn't agree with all the opinions expressed therein but then there were a wide variety of opinions expressed, particularly in the Blood & Thunder letters pages.  Yeah, founder & main editor Gary Groth expressed increasingly harsh views on superhero comics, but that didn't bother me at all.  I think TCJ served a positive purpose in providing a means of bringing to light the larger comics culture beyond superheroes and whatever was popular in the U.S. at the time.  

Philip Portelli said:

At one point in the early 80s, I subscribed to The Comics Journal but its heavy emphasis on independent comics went way over my teenage head.

Plus I found myself reluctantly front and center in the Gerry Conway/Steve Englehart feud and it was very uncomfortable reading. 

ClarkKent_DC said:

What do you mean by that? What Gerry Conway/Steve Englehart feud?

Philip Portelli said:

Steve Engelhart gave an interview in The Comics Journal #63 where he says that he left Marvel in 1976 due to Gerry Conway's very brief stint as editor-in-chief where Conway allegedly "took" The Avengers away from him among other grievances.

In TCJ #68, they published a very nasty letter by Conway who called Engelhart a "liar", an "egotist" and implied heavy drug use. This went back and forth for a while and they dragged in Roy Thomas as well.

Oh, okay. I was reading something yesterday about Jim Shooter's recollections around that time. Marvel had terrible difficulties with "the Dreaded Deadline Doom," mostly because they let writers be their own editors. Even when they didn't, often the editor was the writer's buddy and left him alone to do what he wanted, so it was like not having an editor at all.

Steve Englehart was writing three titles at the time and was often late with Avengers, so much so that half a dozen of his issues around then, up to and including milestone issue #150, were partially or wholly reprints. For #150, Conway and Shooter and artist George Pérez slapped together some framing pages around the story from Avengers #16.

I recall Englehart saying in an interview somewhere (it might have been in The Comics Journal, but possibly not) that he wasn't shy about taking revenge when he thought he had been screwed.

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