I spoke with a lovely lady named Jenny, who decided, for whatever reason, to give me a chance. My job was to post press releases. That’s it. There were other editors for columns, reviews, features, etc. Over the next 4-6 months, though, my responsibilities grew. I went from just posting press releases to posting previews and features. I was only getting part-time pay, but was doing full-time work plus overtime. And my work paid off, as I was soon offered a full-time position and a promotion.
The details are a little foggy, but at some point, Comic Avalanche started to fade away into obscurity. Writers left for other sites, or to work on their comic projects, and I got very busy with my growing lettering work. Bryan had other interests he was tending to as well, and eventually the site just went dead and withered away.
About mid 2006, I stumbled across an ad looking for an editor for another comic news site, a more prominent one. One that was offering a paid position for press editor. I had only Comic Avalanche as experience, but I had excellent grades in English in college, so I took a leap and applied.
In 6 months or less, I found myself going from a freelance letterer and dabbler with comic press to becoming Editor-in-Chief for a prominent comic news website that was on the rise and starting to rival the bigger sites of the same ilk. I was suddenly responsible for managing all the other editors, while continuing to post everything I had before. And I was getting paid more to do it! It was not exactly the dream I had sought in terms of a career in comics, but it was, nevertheless, a career in comics, and I was having a blast.
(One of the only screen caps I could find of SBC)
In early 2007, Stephen King first started working with Marvel, releasing the Dark Tower comics. I was responsible for building a feature page listing every bit of Dark Tower news we could cobble together to draw people in, and it worked. See, Silver Bullet Comics was also a comic book store located in North Carolina. So all those Dark Tower issues were also linked to products in the online store attached to the site. I had absolutely nothing to do with the store side of things, save for linking to products in the store in press releases and such. But it was where the money on the site was made, and these features we did brought that in. We had a bunch of exclusive news, and exclusive variant covers as well.
We would go on to build similar features for World War Hulk and other events at the time. I was also in constant contact with publishers trying to get quick interviews and breaking news for the site, and we did manage to get some scoops. I recall getting an exclusive short interview with Jeph Loeb during the Death of Captain America at some point.
As things continued to grow, I started to expand my responsibilities even more. I took over a column called Myth Conceptions a few others had written on the site. I wrote something like 77 installments of that column, covering various things from breakdowns on comic genres, to blockbuster summer movies, to comic disciplines like lettering, and much more. Sadly, I think I lost that entire wealth of material when the site went down and my hard drive crashed.
In addition to that, I started two other weekly features. One was a TV/film wrap-up called SBC Reel. I would compile every bit of comic related TV and film news into one column every week. It was one of the most viewed features on the site.
The other was a weekly newsletter mailed out to subscribers of the site. I designed the layout for it, and did the content for it each week. It would highlight the week’s hottest stories, new comic releases from the store, my SBC Reel, the latest columns and reviews, etc.
It wasn’t all a cake walk, though. While nearly everyone I worked with at SBC was great, and some of those writers I have worked with on and off since, there were some issues that arose. There were columnists that disappeared, and editors that slacked on their duties. Some of that was understandable given certain factors I wasn’t yet privy too, but at the time it was a challenge to keep everything flowing, and oftentimes I found myself doing the other editors’ work. In the end, I was the only editor left, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Silver Bullet Comics was the dream job I never knew I wanted, but enjoyed almost every minute I poured into the site. I gained valuable experience, not just with managing staff and orchestrating coverage, but in keeping up with current events in comics and staying on top of breaking news and so forth. But, as with most things, it wouldn’t last forever. In fact, it would come crashing down…
Next week, we’ll discuss the pitfalls of having a failing comic store attached to your news website, and the problems fighting over your site’s name with another popular comic site will cause.