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  1.  (7081.1)
    Perks of the trade: today I received review copies of Jeff Vandermeer's novel FINCH and Bob Fingerman's novel PARIAH. And apparently the new Moon Wiring Club album is on its way to me. Every time this happens, I become part of a larger self-supporting net of creators. And, of course, you find your Kevin Bacon count gets smaller. (also, you find out that, eventually, everyone knows Michael Moorcock)

    This is sort of the work that message boards used to do. Message boards are how I know Fraction, for instance, and Brubaker, and, god, a shitload of other people. (Though, oddly, not Gillen and Rossignol -- I first met them when they came to interview me for a videogame magazine. I think it was strange days for both me and Rossignol when we found ourselves speaking at the same seminar at the Architecture Association earlier this year.)

    (Though maybe no less strange than being broadcast on the net when I spoke. Though I did make Ariana jump by saying hello to her on the video internets.)

    Vague point being: message boards were the point of connection. And Whitechapel's been no different: not for me, but for you. Hell, we already have our first married couple that met through Whitechapel. (WEF generated several, including Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick.) And a PDF-based comics "evangelism" project launched by Ali Pulling (Oddcult). And there were Rotor-style projects, and god knows what else that I've missed or forgotten.

    I'm not saying trawl Whitechapel for hook-ups. (Frankly, I have first dibs on that.) I'm saying: keep talking. Keep making things.

    John Robb, on Global Guerrillas, answered a FAQ the other day, that FAQ being something along the lines of "how can I plan to survive an uncertain future?" And his answer boiled down to "make things." If he'd been Matt Jones, he would have said GET EXCITED AND MAKE THINGS. The point is the same.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2009
     (7081.2)
    Warren Ellis - Love Swami* with prime noctis intent?

    *blame taphead for the Love Swami title, we were discussing the marriage in the chatroom
    •  
      CommentAuthorJess
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2009 edited
     (7081.3)
    Oddcult is Pulling? Heh, I should maybe stop picking on his Crypto stuff so much.

    WEFers used to meet up a lot in real life to do stuff that wasn't always comic related, too. We went on picnics, to bars, to political events, etc. But it's because we talked about those things on the forum that we realized we had similar interests, or that we wanted to try something new with someone more seasoned. Whitechapel is a bit more organized, but a less willing to engage in discussions where people might disagree with each other. On the WEF, I think the individual "Around the Net" posts would have each had their own thread (which was a spammy nightmare, seriously -- kudos to Ariana), but maybe there would also be a couple of really intense threads that talked about the world outside (not just comics) and we'd argue with each other. We were still friends by the end of the day, for the most part. But it was good for me, and I think good for a lot of us who were still young at the time, because it forced us to think about a lot of things I don't otherwise think we would have thought about. I'm still friends with a lot of people from that forum.

    And so I'm not strictly being nostalgic, I'd just like to say that I've met some lovely people on here. :)
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      CommentAuthortaphead
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2009
     (7081.4)
    @RenThing: I think LOVE SWAMI is a title Warren has used to describe himself...
    • CommentAuthorFan
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2009
     (7081.5)
    "how can I plan to survive an uncertain future?" And his answer boiled down to "make things."


    Maybe (I hope) it could be apropos to mention here, on a tangent, Poorcraft: A Comic Book Guide to Frugal Urban and Suburban Living! which is on Kickstarter.

    The author said that one of her FAQs is something along the lines of "I couldn't afford to write comics", and apparently this is to help to address that.

    It's an example of someone making something; and you (someone) might find it interesting, help to enable you to start to make things (written by a comic-book writer, in Chicago I think).
    • CommentAuthorhelloMuller
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2009 edited
     (7081.6)
    Can't agree more. I built my whole 'career' by being online at the right time and dropping in the right thread on forums and networks in general.

    (Edit: OK, I'm exaggerating a bit, but if it wasn't for forums I wouldn't have bumped into Liam, Rantz and Ivan to name just a few)
  2.  (7081.7)
    To say this forum became a vital part of my life would be a severe understatement. I've met a great number of friends here, only one of which turned out to be insane, and started several projects I wouldn't have otherwise. This is a fun and intelligent place. Thanks for that.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2009
     (7081.8)
    @Andre

    *nod* I can't agree with you more.
    • CommentAuthorredex
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2009
     (7081.9)
    I feel slightly guilty for neglecting this place because the people here are awesome but my home stomping ground is LJ. I definitely still appreciate the sentiment, though. Were there really social institutions before the internet forum that allowed people to connect like this? I feel like I could have lived my entire life without internet in my small town and never developed such fruitful relationships as I have with the aid of places like Whitechapel. Rock on, ladies and gents.
  3.  (7081.10)
    LJ? You must be one of the last few breeding pairs sheltering there.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2009
     (7081.11)
    I still use LJ, but it's mainly as a place to speak at so that I can get things off my brain without boring people on forums to death. But as a community portal it's a bit behind the curve these days.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2009
     (7081.12)
    @Warren

    *points to profile and the LJ blog therein* There's more than you think but I think we are a dying breed.
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2009
     (7081.13)
    Nah this forum is definitely one of the more interesting places to interact and think for me. The number of times i´ve astounded friends into stupefied silence this year with ideas of planet hacking, transhumanism, societal changes and weird Watchmen flash art, i´m still surprised that they are speaking to me.

    Also thanks to Warren and the rest of the Whitechapel cohorts, my cultural antennae has seriously gone haywire in 2009 in terms of film, print and especially music. And because of this It´s given me the impetuous to get off my ass and start writing again.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJay Kay
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2009
     (7081.14)
    Yeah, from what I've seen, LJ is good for collecting blog entries, but as a comm most people, including myself, seem to have lost interest.
    •  
      CommentAuthorhalcyonday
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2009
     (7081.15)
    What @redex says, right down to the LJ.

    Although, I do split my time between LJ and twitter at the moment and LJ is mostly locked down and used to keep up with the friends I know on LJ. It's also still the main method of communication for my end of the beast fandom (well, LJ and the swiftly surpassing the original source code LJ-clone, Dreamwidth) when I'm actually interacting with fandom.

    I do check in here frequently because it's generally fascinating and I like the people, although for awhile there I was in read only mode only. I owe a lot of my social development and general comfort with self-levels to communities online, originally mailing lists but forums and blogs as they came played a significant part as well.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJay Kay
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2009
     (7081.16)
    @redex Yeah, from what I'm seeing, Dreamwidth looks like it'll work a lot better. If I get an invite code for that I'll probably dump my LJ stuff and settle there.
  4.  (7081.17)
    There's the best part of 2000 people in read-only mode here every day, so, you know, don't worry about it...
  5.  (7081.18)
    I've kept my LJ since 2001. I was a 14-year-old 'goth' at the start of it. I was laaaame. Nowadays I barely use it though. I only keep it out of habit, and don't delete it because it's interesting to see how much I've changed this decade.
  6.  (7081.19)
    *nodnod*

    If not for the Engine, I wouldn't have been able to follow my art to Italy. And this place has been incredible for keeping up on what's out in the virtual world.

    So even if I don't post often, thanks again for hosting, Warren.
    •  
      CommentAuthorhalcyonday
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2009 edited
     (7081.20)
    @darkknightjared - I have dreamwidth invite codes going spare - drop me an email at meg[at]intergalactic[dot]nu and I'll send one your way.

    (duplicate word was..er..duplicate.)