A lot is happening in the world right now and the last thing you’ll probably want to hear is a final post on this blog from me. Yet, I thought it important to close this 6-year chapter of my life. Say something honest to talk about why it is I’m finally leaving, but also, to honestly address where I see the industry is going.
To be clear, this piece is meant to address why I have chosen to finally step away from The Workprint, the website and blog that for all intents and purposes, have helped rebuild since 2018. It’s very hard for me to say goodbye as I’ve learned so much here. It’s been sad to say the least saying bye to the place that taught me so many things.
Now, not many people know who I am but they have seen my work a bit of everywhere. I’ve got a couple of quotes for my gaming coverage on Steam. Death threats for my critical take on Cyberpunk 2077 when it was first released. I’ve worked with major brands covering shows from Prime Video, Netflix, Paramount, and NBC Universal. Had done more than my share of Marvel coverage for the comics and unlimited line and even, online movie premieres.
I have been plagiarized, pull-quoted, and asked a million times over to attend an event, function, or convention, writing about the most random topics and the most indie games and premieres. You name it. I’ve done it. Playing point person here for just about everything. From movies to games, to TV, Film, and indies. On average, I probably am sent 50 E-mail solicits a day.
Yet when I talk about The Workprint, almost immediately, everyone thinks that it’s my website. It isn’t. Nor has it been. Nor will it be, despite my over 100 episodes of podcasts edited and recorded along with efforts to monetize and get writers onboard. My life the past few years has been answering a sea of e-mails from every PR organization from every major player you can imagine. I am a living breathing communications network these days.
Honestly, for such a small outlet, we have such a large amount of connections, partially from the work we put out before I came on here, but also in many due thanks, to the work I put out there time and time again. Gaming. Film. TV shows. Board games. Indies. I prided for so long in myself in creating a place where voices matter. It’s what my podcast monomythic was about. It’s why I wanted to be a journalist.
My interview skills are a specialty of knowing the market while also taking deep dives into the lives of creators – getting to share their story and just how much their project, big or small, meant to be out there and find its place in the world.
In my time here, we had a longstanding relationship with Syfy working on titles such as Resident Alien. We also built a relationship with IDW—covered events in NYC during the pandemic. Even interviewed a slew of creatives from Marvel and IDW along with just about any creative product by SYFY or even NBC.
Suffice it to say I’m proud of what our little outlet achieved.
But now the hard part. The reason I’m leaving is I decided to just write for myself. I am juggling too many writing projects between my comic books, my book deal, and hopefully, a TV show that I’ve been asked to script for a pitch. Having been onboarded at TheBeat, arguably one of the last vestiges for good comics journalism with the legendary Heidi MacDonald, I can’t really pass up these opportunities right now. Not with so much going for me… which leads me to another issue I’m experiencing: getting older.
Health problems. I’m 35 now and things are slowing down with my body. I can’t push over the edge anymore and I’m in dire need of self-care that I’ve been neglecting. The past few months, I’ve had an MRI done on my brain due to a DVA I’ve had in there since I was about 17 (I’m 35 now), along with a CT scan of my lungs due to discovering that my entire workspace has been flooded with high amounts of radon that I’ve been breathing in for over a decade.
Thankfully, both ended up being clear. No signs of cancer (which was what I was afraid of) and I pray that it stays that way. However, I have to acknowledge that at this age, I can’t really neglect myself any longer. I see that now and so I am going to try and lose weight and eat a heck of a lot healthier than I have. Because none of this means anything if you run out of time. And health? Kinda the big gatekeeper of how much time you have on this planet.
Though that’s not the only reason I’m going.
In all honesty… the industry seems more doomed now than ever before.
In the past year, I’ve seen my cohorts in gaming, comics, and most especially, the journalism space of the industry get laid off. If not at least one time this year, then multiple times in the past several. People who are far more talented than I am and who by far deserve better are being laid off. People, not just with a slew of bylines, but also, a genuine work ethic in trying to get the truth out there. Just people trying to share the story…
In all honesty, journalism seems like its dying. PR maybe not so much, but even then, who do you go to when everyone is no longer there to report the story?
It makes me worry about my future. For any graduates out of college right now, the best word of advice I can give is it pick up a practical skill. To be reassured about attending trade schools. Better yet, to start your own business and brand as it seems impossible to survive right now unless you’re hustling, though to also, keep a day job while you’re at it, because this entire job market is all but non-guaranteed – no matter the skillset… Minus maybe healthcare, though not doctors, who at this point, may be better off going to school as nurse practitioners or physician assistants, as their jobs are also starting to be relegated to other services as well.
I’ve also seen a slew of people in technology be laid off. Which in total as of now, stands to be around 300,000 in the past two years. Today alone, Spotify just announced they were laying off 1,500 people. Everyone seems to say tech is safe, but from what I see, I do think this is the next sector to get replaced with AI. A lot of the tech skillsets will probably no longer be needed. At the same time, a lot of the AI replacing these types of labor is still in its early days of seeing what’s useful versus what’s noise, so there’s no guarantee for work there, either.
In the comics space, which has notoriously always been rather rife with changes, there have been layoffs at Image, Oni, DC, and IDW – the last of which, I was providing coverage for as a new beat on the site before layoffs hit them as well. Hell, even in the entire journalism space, Vox and Conde Nast just announced layoffs. G/O media just shut down Jezebel entirely. Bustle Digital group has repeatedly performed layoffs this year. In the gaming sector, about 6500 people have been laid off in what’s strangely being considered, the greatest gaming year in over a decade – though one terrible for anyone working in the industry.
What’s strange to me is that most of these places are claiming it’s because of the pursuit of getting revenue into the green. This is why you’re seeing things like WB content being pulled before debut for the sake of a tax writeoff, though all of which, doesn’t seem to coincide well with a growth-based acquire users for the sake of services as an economy, especially when interest rates were so low less and just about everyone was spending, unrealistically in favor of high-growth models of revenue.
Add on top of this AI-driven content this past year from places such as Sports Illustrated, CNET, and AI Content-driven websites and it’s become painfully obvious the direction this industry is heading.
If I had to gamble, which I am with my future, I’m well aware, I’d rather take this risk on in spaces I truly care about and feel like I can make a difference. That’s in writing, both fiction, but also, non-fiction, as there are a ton of stories I want to share that I’m starting to see… perhaps only I can.
Climate change is approaching the point of no return. We’re at war globally just about everywhere in the world. Nowhere’s entirely safe. Humanity feels like it’s at a breaking point and I refuse to sit down and watch my fellow humans go through it.
So I’m going to tell the hard truth through my writing. If not as a journalist, then as someone who can forge entertainment into a wake-up call. Sort of address things I see always being neglected and am to sick of seeing go past without something being said.
That’s why I’m leaving. I want to help save this planet before it’s too late… or die trying.
And I plan on doing that through stories
Good luck everyone. Thank you for reading. I hope you’ll follow what I’m trying to do, at ComicsBeat, but also, just the writing on the whole.