Spandexless started almost a year ago. I remember exactly how it went down, too.
I was recently let go (read: fired) from a part-time gig I had that was mostly not paying the bills. For some extra dough, I was house-sitting in a large, rickety, old house in New Britain Connecticut. I am not a superstitious man, but this house had “Ghost Bait” written all over it. As it turns out, all that mattered was that it had decent Wi-Fi, and that it was high enough on its (presumably un-haunted) hill to get decent cell phone reception.
One day I was doing some aimless RSS surfing while making myself some mac and cheese on a gas stove (Oh, you’ve never done that? You haven’t lived, my friends. You haven’t lived.) When I get a call from Beth, she who would be Managing Editor. We talk for maybe 5 minutes and, in the lull of the conversation, I say:
“I have an idea for a website.”
10 dollars later we had a URL, and two weeks later we went live with our very first Spandexless review. Our baby was born May 10th, 2011, with one of my favorite pieces I have ever written,”Who Are We“. It was a miniature manifesto to something that didn’t really exist yet, something that I find cathartic–if often useless. I can remember telling Beth (probably over drinks one night, because the memory isn’t as solid as I would prefer) that the trick was to get our ethos down *pat*. Pretend like we were some big shot with a message, when in reality we were two cool people with a message. For the record, Beth says she remembers none of this. Beth says I talk too much to remember everything I say. Fantastic.
Anyway, apparently it worked. Much credit to Beth during this time. I got a new (much more time consuming) job, and I made it clear through my early reviews that I needed a strong editor. Beth stepped up to the plate when my horrible words didn’t make much sense.
Within months, we had a growing audience, a slightly more updated theme, and ad revenue trickling in. Our experience at [SPX](http://www.spxpo.com “SPX”) showed us how awesome the small press scene is, and how genuinely friendly and nice they are to be around. We learned how we could return the favor of them being so awesome by giving them media time–or at least as much coverage as we could at the time.
Soon thereafter came our first dedicated contributors. They really kept the site alive. For a while, I was hardly more than janitorial staff compared to the hard work of David, Erik, Patrick, Alec, and more. Through their incredibly hard (voluntary) work, we kept the lights on.
And now, we’re keeping them bright. Welcome to The New Spandexless. Welcome to Spandexless 1.0.
Our new site comes with a number of handy new features, both in the technical sense and the journalistic one. We’ve given our contributors carte blanche to think up any article, column, or feature they want to write, and then let them go at it. In this and the coming weeks, you’ll see the awesome creativity of people who eagerly want to inform you about something they can’t stop thinking about. I am so excited to be a part of that.
We’re going to be upping our news coverage as well. When sharing the page with superheroes, smaller stories can often fall by the wayside. We’ve cleared the deck, and are interested in hearing from you about news and events that we should be covering, using our new tipline. We’ll be giving you the information you want, as soon as we can shake it out of our keyboards.
On top of it all, we’ll stay true to message: reviewing and discussing comics outside the superhero genre, and supporting as many independent publishers as we can along the way. We’ve gotten tremendous support from publishers large and small and, due to their charity, we can continue to provide you with our reviews as fast as we can write them.
This isn’t a new direction, and this isn’t a new website. That’s why we’re now “New Spandexless,” or “Spandexless 1.0.” This is our official release, when we double down and (hopefully) turn this from obsession to profession. Welcome to Spandexless; we’re glad you’re back.
Special thanks to Jason Strutz for designing our new logo and working with us as we figured out exactly what we wanted. We could not be happier. You should check out more of his work, read his comic and hire him to draw things for you.