AOL (the internet service provider America Online that remade themselves into an internet news and entertainment source) recently announce that Comics Alliance would cease operations as of Friday. The announcement came Monday when the site wasn’t covering the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo over the weekend. The site, started by Laura Hudson (who left the site earlier this year), has been a go-to site for many comic bloggers and commenters. It featured news, reviews, silly comic-related merchandise, comic parodies, and other articles.
This is why I don’t understand AOL’s decision to end the site. There are a lot of comic fans and bloggers–and people in the comics industry–that use and reference the site. Someone on Twitter mentioned DC being involved and then noted to any conspiracy theorists that AOL and Time Warner (DC’s parent company) have gone their separate ways. Apparently AOL has been pulling the plug on other services, like AOL Music and other news sites, with as little fanfare as they gave Comics Alliance, making me wonder if the people working on these sites had any prior knowledge. With comics, or at least comics movies, making such a huge splash you would think CA would be too important to let go. But gone it is, with no comment on the site (which as of this writing is still there as an archive with no word as to how long).
AOL, this is a big mistake, especially with Free Comic Book Day coming this weekend and a new (questionable) Superman movie about to hit theaters, as well as more from Marvel’s Movieverse and licensed films. Comics Alliance is up there alongside Newsarama and Comic Book Resources, and offers things they don’t. Parody comics, the “Ask Chris” articles hosted by comics blogging favorite Chris Sims (of the Invincible Super-Blog), looks at comics merchandise, and fun alongside the news and reviews make it a great resource for staying in touch with comics and comics-related material. In light of current trends, unless the site is doing a lot poorer than we can understand (because of how good a resource it is), you should rethink your decision. Maybe letting people know the site was coming to an end and giving the writers and editors a chance to say goodbye to their longtime fans would have also been less of a jerk move than simply ending the site without fanfare. This was a foolish move, AOL, and one you need to think about, or at least give the site back to Ms. Hudson or her hand-picked successor and them continue one of the best comic fan/commentator/creator resources on the internet.