This month Kabooooom celebrates a year of being an idea that a trio of nerds thought would be an honorable undertaking. The site wouldn’t launch until the end of September 2011 but it all started on sweaty July days that began with serious discussion and usually ended in alcohol and video game-fueled debauchery.
We wanted to be a place that covered the stuff that other sites didn’t, provided a fresh perspective on the stuff they did and didn’t get bogged down by reviews. Unfortunately, I think we’ve failed on those fronts. We’ve relied too heavily on mainstream comics and games coverage, not created enough original content and let our front page become inundated with reviews.
That’s not to say that we haven’t done some good. I applaud my writers for their hard work week in and week out. The reviews we write do get some responses. We’ve also had a lot of fun features such as Ron Cacace’s comics retail column, Rush Urbalejo’s Phoenix Comicon coverage and Anthony Chanza’s interview with former Traveller’s Tales Designer Joe Cavers. Plus we broke the news of Becky Cloonan and Nick Spencer’s Victor Von Doom mini being canceled. There have been highs and lows but it’s time for a change.
The first change will come in the form of our review coverage. While longform 500-750 word reviews are great and definitely have their place, they take over the site. That’s partly a function of our layout but some weeks it entirely overwhelming. To alleviate the overload, we’ll be aproaching reviews differently.
- Long form reviews for comics will be reserved for debut issues, entire miniseries, one-shots, entire arcs and entire runs. Games and films will also get long form review treatment.
- Every Monday, we will post a weekly review roundup featuring 200-300 word reviews of the previous Wednesday’s releases. This way we will (hopefully) be able to hit more weekly releases instead of just books that seem “important” or that we already know we’ll like.
- Twitter reviews will go up almost every day on our Kabooooom Reviews Twitter account. Here’s we’ll review individual issues, films, games, whatever. You might think that it’s “not fair” to review something in a sentence and assign it a rating but isn’t that what we do just about every day with our friends?
- Arbitrary ratings no more. We’re doing away with the weird five point rating scale we’ve been using. Instead, we’re going to make it simple. For comics, “READ” or “DON’T READ.” For movies and TV, “WATCH” or “DON’T WATCH.” For games, “PLAY” or “DON’T PLAY.” We’re doing it this way because we care about whether or not you experience these things. We don’t care about being consistent in point scores (i.e. Well, you gave this book a four and this other book a 4.5 for the same reasons) because it’s stupid and takes the focus away from the comic or game that we should be discussed.
We’re also going to place a premium on interviews, retrospectives, previews and other fun features because that’s what really matters. I’d rather read an interview with Matt Fraction that provides insight into the final issues of his Iron Man run rather than reviews that just give those issues a score and no creator context.
We want to do things differently here at Kabooooom. We don’t post every scrap off the rumor. We don’t regurgitate press releases. Hell, we ignore some big changes to major publishers’ lines (ahem, Marvel NOW!). We want to write about stuff we care about. Did I post about a possible Deadpool game today? Yes. But will I be posting an interview with an indie comics creator later today? Also, yes. Do both of those things have a place here? Absolutely, because I’m excited about them, my team is excited about them and I’m thinking that they just might be things that you’re excited about.