Editorial: Losing "Lose the Capes" / by Alex Jarvis


When Beth and I started Spandexless, we had a pretty well carved out niche. We decided immediately that we would not be reviewing superhero comics, that we would produce our work under a very progressive Creative Commons license, and that we would rely on the comics community as a whole to provide us with places to look for new stories, new books, and new writers to help keep this ship alive. And, man, we got it.

We’re now syndicating a weekly post on ComicsAlliance, we’ve become friends with some great comic sites, and we’ve made relationships with comic publishers like Dark Horse and independent creators that we would never have had otherwise, and we are really lucky to have a great team who have been diligent (in many cases, more diligent than I) in producing really high quality stuff. Thanks to our arrival at SPX, our appearances at SDCC, NYCC, and local cons all around the Northeast, the site is now at a level of recognizeable I didn’t think we’d reach for some time. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn't change anything.

Well, except for one thing.

I’m not too fond of our tagline.

We chose “Lose the Capes” because we were being fun and flippant. I am not going to pretend that people didn’t like it. It’s funny! A lot of people (ourselves included) LOVE superhero comics, and a lot of them don’t. Our tagline was funny to both.

The problem is, it’s not the best tagline we could have, and it doesn’t really solve the problem. It’s a smidgen too antagonistic for my tastes. Beth thinks I'm overreacting, but I think there's a larger issue we're not addressing. The thing is, I feel a little weird that the tagline on our site decries superheroes when I personally described that I wasn’t sure what a superhero was. In the end, there’s something more core to our site, something that has been on our minds fairly prominently since our very first post.

Words and pictures.

We care about words and pictures here. We generally don’t cover superheroes, but we’ll occasionally dote on some titles that might fit the description. We’ll be giving you the same quality reviews that kept you coming back, but we also want more. In a way, more than non-superhero comics, we really want to represent the independent comics community from smallest self-published up to the big indies like Image and Dark Horse. That's what this is about more than any genre. We will still largely keep our focus on non-superhero titles, but please don't get upset if we occasionally also indulge our fandoms to cover a "spandex book."

We still want to be your friend in the non-superhero space. We want to do more interviews. We want to start covering more news, and we want more input on what we can do to make you guys keep coming back. Want to write for us? Email Beth. Want to edit for us? Email Beth about that too. She'll love you forever. Want to tell us what we do terribly, or what you’d like to see? Shoot us an email. We’re going to try and step it up a notch, and we hope you guys keep coming to help us grow, and to push us in the right direction.

Keep reading.