From June 2015 to June 2016, SKTCHD was a comic site that was built on heavily researched longform articles, my weekly comics podcast Off Panel, in-depth interviews, and a whole lot more.
Today, SKTCHD returns, rising from the dead like things in comics so often do. And SKTCHD 2.0…will be a comic site built on heavily researched longform articles, my weekly comics interview podcast Off Panel, in-depth interviews, and a whole lot more. It will even look the same, save for some cosmetic differences in how information can be delivered.1
But it’s a little bit different.
The biggest difference is that it will now be a subscription site. You see, the internet is broken in many ways, not the least of which is how sites can monetize their work. The accepted route is to use banner advertising, which can create horrible user experiences and encourage sites to publish endless waves of what they think people want to click on (i.e. as much Game of Thrones and Avengers: Endgame content a human being could possibly handle). SKTCHD isn’t built to work like that, as my goal is for quality, not quantity. I can’t publish as much as bigger sites do. But what I aim to do is publish content that’s always worthwhile to some.
The subscription site route allows that idea to be (theoretically) sustainable, as the hope is the content on SKTCHD will speak to a passionate group of comic fans who want a little something different from their comic site experience. What will that include? Deep dive industry analysis, exploring what’s happening in and around comics using sales figures and insight from people on the inside. Heavily reported features looking at the best and brightest of comics from yesterday, today and tomorrow. Interviews that ignore the promotional cycle and instead try to find the story behind the comics. Those kinds of things and more will form the backbone of the site, although I should note: Off Panel will continue to be free and open, thanks to the backing it receives on Patreon. Also, the first two weeks of the site will be open for anyone to read, hopefully acting as a reminder as to why you might want to subscribe.
Of course, your subscription to SKTCHD will include much more that. You’ll get access to a moderated subscribers-only forum, allowing you to have conversations about comics and beyond without fear of trolls jumping in. There will be monthly chats, both with myself and, down the line, maybe even some guests. There will even be guest writers this time, including a quarterly column from The AV Club’s comics critic Oliver Sava, in which he basically has carte blanche to write about whatever the heck he wants to write about. There’s even more in the works.
Here’s what it won’t include: previews (sorry!), reviews (except occasionally, maybe!), and really any regular “news” articles (my bad!). There will be my look at the week’s releases each Wednesday and my column every Friday that looks at the past week in comics through my perspective. But besides that, most everything you normally find as a basis of a comic site will be absent. Plenty of other sites do all of that already, and do it far better than I ever could. I’m not trying to recreate your average comic site. I’m trying to do my own thing, and as well as I can.
Welcome to SKTCHD…again. I hope you enjoy the experience.