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LenNWallace
02-06-2010, 11:09 AM
Bleeding Cool (http://www.bleedingcool.com/2010/02/05/whatever-happened-to-comicon-com/)

Comicon.com was one of the earliest big brand comic book websites, hosting both the likes of Newsarama and Heidi MacDonald’s The Beat, before both left for pastures new.

And for several years Jennifer Contino has been writing news reports for the site. However, I understand she has now left Comicon.com, owed a tidy sum of money going back many months.

Set up by Steve Conley and Rick Veitch in 1998, Comicon.com was intended to be the online equivalent of a comic book convention, offering many creators and publishers their own booth space at a time when creating your own web page was hurdle enough. Comicon enjoyed early popularity and for a time was the leading comic book website in the industry. But other sites grew in different directions, found funding and new audiences. Against the growth of Comic Book Resources or the funding of Comics Alliance, Comicon seemed to wilt.

As it stands, the news section of the site is receiving rare posts, and Cointino’s last post was in mid- January. However it’s worth noting the message board is still the hive of activity is has always been.

The item that owners of Comicon.com are sitting on that might really guarantee a payday is the domain name itself. Since it was first registered, San Diego Comic Con has become a truly mighty force in pop culture, and Wizard seem to be throwing their money at any random city to gain ownership of the term as well. And Reed would be interested, I’m sure. High six figures… or maybe seven?

But for now, if anyone is looking for a hard working reporter with a tonne of experience and contacts in the comic book industry, reaching out to Jen Contino might well be in your interest.


The Beat (http://www.comicsbeat.com/2010/02/05/contino-leaves-the-pulse-wither-comicon/#more-173)

Only the other day, a thread on Comicon.com asked Has Jen Contino left THE PULSE? noting that the prolific writer of Comicon’s Pulse newssite had been missing in action on the site, Facebook, and Twitter for quite a while. An email to Comicon.com’s owner Rick Veitch confirmed that Contino and the Pulse had indeed parted ways. In an email, Veitch blamed the tight economy for internet advertising for the move, as some advertisers had failed to pay their bills, and advertising for the site could no longer support Contino’s salary. He added that a statement was forthcoming.

Contino launched the Pulse in July 2002 — along with this writer, to make full disclosure. It was also the first home of this very blog, and the only reason it’s called the Beat is because Veitch thought it would be a good fit for the name The Pulse.

In 2002 Newsarama (which had recently left Comicon) and CBR were the only sites covering comics news, and the Pulse initially broke out of the gate as one of the leading news sites in the comics news field, with in-depth coverage of the exciting Jemas years at Marvel, the Miracleman trial and other big stories of the time. However, as the internet, the comics internet, and Nerdtopia grew and grew and big media moved into the space, it was pretty obvious that the Pulse was dropping off many people’s radar — their stories had ceased to get linked to or quoted much, with a few exceptions.

The problems at The Pulse reflect some of the problems in the wider economy and internet. It’s notable that one of Comicon/the Pulse’s biggest advertisers was formerly Gemstone, the publishing arm of Steve Geppi’s Diamond empire. Gemstone itself has had a lot of financial problems and debts, as has Geppi, although it is not believed they directly affect Diamond’s financials. However, the idea that Gemstone wasn’t paying their bills for an internet advertising campaign just adds to the picture of troubling times for all.

As for Contino, she has confirmed she is no longer working at the Pulse, but had no further comment.

This really sucks on a personal level for me to hear. Jen Contino is and has been a very upstanding lady, as well as one of my very first real supporters within the comics industry as I've struggled to break in. We've not talked as much as we used too in the last few months and while I've noticed the content of The Pulse slipping, I don't really think that can be blamed on Jen so much. Up until the recent stopping point, she'd kept a pretty steady stream of content on the site. I don't want to speculate on why or how things came to this, with Jen being owed so much back pay because while I have my theories, I don't want to stir up trouble for anyone on pure theory. I've followed Jen and her site since back before I even knew her personally back in the early '00's. As much as sites like Newsarama, CBR, and Bleeding Cool have risen to prominence today, Jen was running her site extremely well for a very, very long period of time without pandering and shilling too much for the big two. She even had Warren Ellis writing columns for her at one point or another. She clearly knows what she's doing. Even in the latter days of The Pulse, she worked pretty hard to keep the ship afloat and was a big supporter of indie, small press, and up and coming comic guys like myself.

Back around '06 or '07, Jen and I got to know each other and she began showing an interest in my book Love Buzz, (Now published by Oni Press after all these years. *plug plug*) and she asked me if I was interested in running a column for the site to interview other indie and small press creators and give their work a bigger forum to show off on. Through that column, I made a lot of the friends and buisness contacts I've made to get me to where I am now, and I owe it all to Jen. If not for her support, I'd have most likely given up on comics years ago and gotten a "real" job. I'll forever be in her debt and I know she'll eventually land on her feet in whatever she does from here. I just wish like hell there was something I could do to for her that would come anywhere near repaying for her support.

She's a tough lady though. I know she'll land on her feet.

Andreas
02-06-2010, 11:22 AM
Jen Contino is good people. I wish her only the best.

Pulse could use a face lift. And I think it's bordering on insane to put the burden of a modern comic webzine on one person's shoulders.

Andreas

LenNWallace
02-06-2010, 11:25 AM
Jen Contino is good people. I wish her only the best.

Pulse could use a face lift. And I think it's bordering on insane to put the burden of a modern comic webzine on one person's shoulders.

Andreas

Yeah, I agree. It's been kinda hard to keep up with, because I've known she's essentially been running the show herself the whole time, but it's also a testament to how absolutely dedicated she is to her job and how much she believes in comics.