One of the best articles I have read in the past few years was about chess.
Seth Stevenson’s longform piece on the Sinquefield Cup, a tiny chess tournament in St. Louis that doubles as one of the most elite events for any field in the world, introduced me to a world I never thought I would be interested in. Yet for the thousands of words that the piece was comprised of and the significant span of time it took me to read, I was absolutely riveted. Not only that, but I couldn’t help but recommend it to anyone who would listen, including my wife, friends, coworkers, Twitter followers, and I’m not quite sure but I think the baristas who make the fancy coffees I so love.
The strangest thing is that, save for a passing fascination with chess as a child, I’ve never been a major fan of the game, or at least not to the point I’d dedicate an hour of my time to reading an article about it.
But that’s the magic of a great story, isn’t it? When a story is told in an engaging and entertaining manner, it doesn’t really matter what the subject is. It’s why Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is the best game in town. He can make infrastructure go viral merely because of the quality of the research and the storytelling.
Those types of stories are still a rarity today, but when they hit, they hit hard. There are few things as impactful as a really well crafted exploration of a subject, even if it’s something you weren’t interested in before. But if you are interested in it already? Well…then that’s even more exciting.
Those are the stories I’m looking to find on my new comics site, SKTCHD.
I know what you’re thinking: another comic book site? Do we really need someone else writing about set photos from the latest comic movie or aggregating the latest creator blow up on Twitter? No. We don’t. There are plenty of sites that do that already, and they do that far better than I could ever dream of.
This site’s goal is a little different. My aim is to look at angles in comics that are focused on less often. To take a unique perspective to stories we thought we already knew. To remember the past and think of the future without perpetually getting trapped in the now. Above all, its goal is to celebrate comics and to appreciate the people who make them in unexpected ways, covering the realities of their world in an unflinching and proactive fashion.
What does that mean for you, the reader? For one, there will be less content than other sites, with all of it written by me (for now at least). The backbone of the site will be longform articles that dig into the meat of a story through research, with new pieces running every Tuesday. Art and artists will be a regular focus of content. Reviews will look at arcs and collections rather than single issues. Interviews with creators – both in print and in podcast form – won’t just be about the characters they’re working on. Maybe I’ll even write a listicle or two, as I’ll be honest, those are pretty fun to write.
If that sounds like something you might be interested in, then stick around. It’s just getting started.
Welcome to SKTCHD. I hope you enjoy the experience.