Friday, April 18, 2014

RIP: The Napalm Assault

Some of you may have noticed the sudden absence of I’m sorry to say that I have to announce the passing of this lovely website. It was fun while it lasted, and I hope it brought entertainment to at least one person. If it was just one person, the whole thing would have been worthwhile.

It was always Leo Perez’s brainchild. He came up with the idea, but more to the point, he paid for it. Lately, he’s been making great steps forward in his comics career, and he just can’t afford to keep up the Napalm Assault while making a name for himself as an artist. He gave me fair warning, and I prepared for the end.

It’s a shame. I look back at what the website was supposed to be, and it never lived up to our expectations. Originally, it was Leo, Cliff Breaux and me. There were a few other interested parties, and the main cast was joined by the Righteous Sandwich for a while. But I have my scribbled notes from when a bunch of us got together to brainstorm what the website should be, and I’ve got to say, we were ambitious motherfuckers. Here’s a look at some of the ideas:

--We were going to have a great cheeseburger competition between Jim Sauve and me. I’ve always contended that the Country House makes the best burger in the area. He was going to challenge me on that.
--We thought about having a rotating political humor column.
--We came up with strange ideas for reviews. We wanted to review things people ordinarily didn’t review, like graveyards and websites.
--Fucktard of the Week.
--The Horrors of Channel Surfing.
--We thought getting me liquored up and unleashing me on some kind of local event would be a good idea.
--The Napalm Podcast. Believe it or not, there are actually episodes of these, starring Leo and Cliff, but none of them have been posted for the public.
--Investigative reporting of funny shit, not important shit.
--Cliff had a tongue-in-cheek opinions column in mind called something along the lines of “If You Don’t Agree With Me, You’re Racist.”
--Animal Shelter of the Week.
--We were going to have a monthly contest in which readers could win a chance to date one of us. That’s not as egotistical as you might think. We figured no one would actually enter, that it would be a bit.
--Not Just Wrigleyville—meaning, fun things to do in Chicago that, well, you get it.
--Vegan food reviews.
--And then there were reviews in general.
--I also wanted to invite a few friends to write for us. Fitz would do Nintendo retrospectives, and Jason (now known as the Drudgeon at Forced Viewing) would do horror movie reviews.
--And then there was the list of things I wound up doing for my own blog and posting links on The Napalm Assault: The DUI Diary, bar reviews, whiskey reviews, Meeting Authors, etc.

That’s quite a menu. If only we could have gotten this thing off the ground. That’s one of my big regrets. At first, there were posts from all of us, but over time, I wound up being the only one posting anything. It got to the point where Leo just handed the reins over to me, but by that point, I knew it was done. The site continued slogging along for a while, but it was a lingering death. It’s probably for the best that it’s gone.

I remember when I first started working on the site. The thing I offered first and foremost were comic book reviews. I think originally, Leo was going to cover DC, Cliff would do Marvel and I would cover all of the others, including and especially the indies. But I’d reviewed comic books for the college paper, and I was kind of eager to get back to it. That led me to wanting to do Cool Shit, and other comics-related coverage.

It was fun. It really was.

What does the passing of The Napalm Assault mean, going forward? I’ll be retiring a lot of my regular posts. Comic book reviews, which were posted, for the most part, at the Napalm Reviews Tumblr, will cease. Cool Shit will end, and that’s probably for the best. I only ever talk about the same books, anyway, and it is probably my least popular column. Only about 20 of you read it on a regular basis. It’s fun to do, but it’s time has passed. (Can you believe I’ve been doing Cool Shit for almost four years?! Here’s alink to the first one, just so you can see what it was like.)

The same with other reviews. Writing them takes up waaaaaaay too much of my regular fiction writing time, and let’s face it, I’m never going to get money for my reviews. The time has come to cut the weight holding me down. Don’t worry, I’ll still be reviewing horror movies for Forced Viewing.

I’m sorry to say that I’ll be ending One Question Interviews, as well. There is a lot of positive response to this column, but it’s not turning into what I want it to be. I was hoping to use the first five posts as a springboard to get a wide variety of writers, artists, musicians, filmmakers, stand-up comedians and more to participate. I have not gotten a favorable response in that area. John Everson is the only person I don’t know personally who was interested in taking part with this column, for which I am very grateful.

I will also retire any convention coverage. It will be weird to go to C2E2 and not write anything up, but so be it.

It's weird. I started writing about comic books in college, back in the late 'Nineties. Back then, no one gave a shit about comics. The fact that there was a regular comics column in the college newspaper was absolutely mindblowing. I even won a state award for it. Now? You can't escape from comics. Somehow, I think the world will survive without my coverage.

What will continue? You’ll still get the occasional Everyone’s Got One. Whenever I have the material, I’ll post more Meeting Authors. If it strikes my fancy, I might do another Forgotten Comic Books. And as always, if something fucked up in my life happens, I’ll blog about it.

Well, that’s it, then. A door closes on a chapter of my life, and maybe another one opens. I hope you’ll join me. Whoops, there was one more regret I wanted to mention.

I really, really, really wish Leo had let me call the site The Third Testicle.

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