4.09.2008

Enter "The Crowe"

In sound journalistic fashion, I’ll try not to bury my lead. Please welcome Contributing Writer Jason Crowe to 13 Minutes!

I’ve wanted to explore the notion of additional writers contributing content to 13 Minutes for a while now. The idea sprang from a desire to increase the quantity of output in a way that expanded both the perspectives and type of content under review, while carefully ensuring the quality remained (albeit subjectively) high. Jason was the perfect choice for our first foray into this area. In addition to being a lifelong reader of les bandes dessinees, friend, and former co-worker, he’s a journalist by trade and brings a more traditional approach to the art of reporting critically on a given topic or piece of subject matter.

Jason was largely responsible for getting me back into comics around 1992, after about a three year hiatus. While there was much tomfoolery going on in the early 90’s around the speculator boom and bust, the formation of Image Comics, and the litany of requisite items people typically mention when they wax faux nostalgically about the industry scene in the 90’s, it was our runs to Heroes in Campbell and Lee’s Comics in Mountain View, along with the discovery of titles like Sin City, Sandman, Hellblazer, and even Travis Charest on Darkstars that reignited my childhood fascination with comics – which had centered mainly on Batman & Robin, The Green Lantern Corps, Jim Starlin’s Dreadstar, and The Tick from New England Comics. How’d you like that run on sentence, Journalism-Lad?

Jason and I were also involved in the (mostly) online comics activism scene back in the Savant Magazine days, where a (then) little known writer named Matt Fraction used to lurk; somewhere on the interwebs there are still articles about our adventures giving away hundreds, nay – thousands, of free comic books from a booth at our alma mater San Jose State University. You may even find stories about Jason introducing excerpts of Alan Moore’s Promethea into local open mic nights back in San Jose. It was a raw, guerilla warfare style of activism that exposed new readers to the plethora of goodness the medium has to offer. An amazing thing happens when you give out free copies of Whiteout, Hellboy, Berlin, GiantKiller, and Starman to college age comic book virgins open to experimentation. I’d like to think that a handful of those lucky recipients were converted to regular readership, but I digress.

You’ll find that there are many books we agree on, and many we don’t. I think if you were to take 10 books at random, we’d generally agree one way or another on about half of them; which is to say there might be some overlap, but there would also be some unique leanings, along with a different style of analysis. Jason was a careful selection that widens the scope of what 13 Minutes has to offer, so let us know what you think! Without further delay, here’s the first installment of what I hope becomes a regular feature. Jason, take it away…

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