Eye on Comics

Comics criticism and commentary from Don MacPherson

Eye on Comics – An Introduction

Posted by Don MacPherson on September 19th, 2006

Welcome to Eye on Comics, my latest foray into online commentary about comics.  I’m Don MacPherson, perhaps best known as half of the reviewing team responsible for The Fourth Rail, my previous comics review website with partner Randy Lander.

Randy and I decided (independently of one another, actually) last month we were both tired of The Fourth Rail format and wanted to start fresh.  Randy and some friends down in Austin, Texas, had an idea for a new site that evolved into the already-popular ComicPants.com.  I also wanted to rebrand and start fresh, but I was looking to go in a different direction than Randy.

Basically, I wanted a corner of the online comics community that was mine and mine alone.  Randy and I have been partners in crime for years, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.  But I’m at a time in my life when co-ordinating my work, my personal life and my writing about comics with anyone’s schedule other than my own just isn’t as feasible as it once was.

In short, I am Eye.

Though it’s a new beginning, longtime readers of my reviews will find much of what I write on the new site to be familiar. I’m using the same review format, and I’m even maintaining the numerical ratings. I’ll also be writing full reviews as well as my Quick Critiques, and you’ll see occasional features on Eye just as you did on 4R, such as “Letter Bugs” and occasional columns from yours truly. But things will change as well.  The reviews will not be driven by primarily by the weekly release schedules of Diamond Comic Distributors. I’ll cover new releases, future releases and even releases from the recent past. And the Best of the Week? Don’t look for any of those picks anymore. There are weeks I can’t get through the new comics I actually have in front of me, let alone everything released in a week.

I hope readers won’t see Eye on Comics as just the latest addition to the comics blogosphere (although there is some entertaining, informative and insightful writing happening out there). To be honest, I had hoped to avoid the blog format, given how common it is. But as I tried to develop this new site, I recognized why it’s so common/popular: it’s convenient. I wanted to incorporate feedback/comments functions into the new site, and the WordPress blog package seemed to be the easiest way to do so.

This is also the first site I’ve undertaken that hasn’t had all the hard site-design work done ahead of time for me. I’m still experimenting with WordPress and site templates, so you may see some tweaking — either major or minor — over the coming weeks. The development of Eye on Comics has proven to be an educational undertaking on my part, sometimes frustrating but ultimately rewarding.

So welcome to my new online home. Feel free to comment not only on the reviews and editorials, but on the site in general. Don’t be shy; post your thoughts. Don’t just read what I have to say; let’s discuss comics together.

18 Responses to “Eye on Comics – An Introduction”

  1. David Martindale Says:

    Congratulations on the new site launch. It looks great.

  2. Don MacPherson Says:

    Thanks David. I expect I will tweak the look of the site in the weeks to come as problems arise, not to mention my whims.

  3. manou Says:

    Very glad that both fourth rail founders continue the great reviews I enjoyed for several years 🙂

  4. Kevin Lurz Says:

    Glad to have your reviews back. I luckily stumbled across The Fourth Rail some time ago and very much enjoyed the reviews. Although I might not always agree, I always found them to be authoritative, enlightening, and well written. Keep up the good work.

  5. Greg McElhatton Says:

    Very nice, Don! (And yeah, I understand exactly what you mean about the whole blog format. Completely there with you on all those feelings.)

  6. Nimbus Says:

    Like the new site and the informative reviews. Both this and Comic Pants are worthy successors to The Fourth Rail (which I also enjoyed).

    Also, I’m glad to see you’ve kept the numerical scoring in your reviews. It fills the function of a conclusion and is clear and concise. 10/10

  7. Nick Budd Says:

    Don, just wanted to drop by and tell you that the site looks great. I especially love the name. Congrats!

  8. Don MacPherson Says:

    I thought Eye on Comics summed it up nicely and was memorable. It’s not “Comic Pants,” though.

  9. Mike Thompson Says:

    Good to see your site up and running. I’ll be here on a regular basis, that’s fer shur.

  10. Santiago Casares Says:

    It’s great to have you back Don!

    I like the new format, and the articles you have written. Keep up the good work!

  11. Don MacPherson Says:

    To all: Thanks again for the kind words, and don’t hold back on commenting on the actual reviews/columns.

    Greg: I was worried I’d come off as “anti-blog” in my comments (which I’m not), so it was a relief to see someone felt the same way about the challenges of developing a new site.

    Nimbus: Glad you like the ratings. I know people are divided over them. I was so much in the habit of choosing a rating after so many years, I opted to stick with it.

  12. seba Says:

    hi don. congratulations on the new site. i’ve been a die hard follower of the 4th rail and was sad to see it go. but things just got better. instead of one now i have two comics reviews websites to read!!!
    anyway, the best of luck to you and here’s hoping advertisers support you.

  13. chroom Says:

    After Ninth Art and Icomics folded within a couple of months of each other, it was a bit of a shock to see that 4R was going away as well. I’m immensely glad to see that you and Randy (and Greg, for that matter) have built new online homes so quickly. I mean, you two are the ones who convinced me to try SCURVY DOGS, THE GOON, and SHE-HULK, among others. How was I going to make it without y’all?

    Congratulations on a great-looking site, and thanks for providing me 3+ years (so far) of information and reading pleasure. Now I’m just wondering how long it’ll be ’til Paul shuts down The X-Axis …

  14. JMann Says:

    Great site Don!
    I really like the look. It’s cool, elegant and doesn’t look like a teenager’s room. As for the content, I’m very glad you’ll still be reviewing new releases, but that you’ll also touch on interesting books from the past.
    Keep on the great work!

  15. Michael Harney Says:

    Welcome back … I’d missed having Fourth Rail to read through and sometimes find books I’d missed my first pass through the comic shop.

  16. Don MacPherson Says:

    To Seba, Chroom, JMann & Michael, thanks for the kind words about what Randy and I did on The Fourth Rail and my efforts here on Eye on Comics!

  17. mrskin Says:

    Yo blog is cool. I like the design!

  18. Don MacPherson Says:

    I can’t take credit for the design. As noted at the bottom of the page, Andreas Viklund and Ainslie Johnson made it possible for me and no doubt countless others who have WordPress blogs.