Where have all the essays gone?

October 16th, 2009

You might have noticed that Mindless Ones has been a little bit quiet on the lengthy essay front of late, and given that the lengthy essays are what we’re known for you might be a bit worried.

So what’s going on?

Nigh on 2 years of blogging takes its toll on an underdimensional fiend so we’ve decided to shake things up a little. As of now the blog proper will be the home of capsule reviews, cartoons (Terminus, Amusing Bros), podcasts, link posts and interviews. The essays will be back but in the form of a quarterly, or perhaps bi-monthly, PDF zine. The zine will be printable but should read just as well in its electronic version, and might even be commercially available as a print on demand booklet. But the real appeal rests in the sheer number of meaty essays we plan on sandwiching between the zine’s covers.

We want to offer you guys the chance to gorge yourselves on mindlessosity!

The first zine should be available just before Christmas/New Year, and will likely be themed accordingly (oh yes, we’ll be doing themes). Expect essays looking at the best books of the decade, and, I dunno, rogue’s reviews of Father Christmas (the one who fought Lobo).

For those of you who just want Mindless service as usual, fear not, the essays will be back, but drip fed into the site some time post the publication of the zine.

Lovelies and huggleties

Zom x

14 Responses to “Where have all the essays gone?”

  1. Gil Jaysmith Says:

    Slightly drunk owing to shipping a milestone at work. But let me be possibly the first to say: ever since randomly finding this site (possibly via Patrick Meaney, can’t remember now) I’ve checked in every day in order to read your collective but also still dynamically individual thoughts on stuff, and I am so completely in tune with and in awe of your balls-out appreciation of the wonders of Comics Done Well, and of how they can mean something to you as you live life, that I’ll be right there reading whatever you write whenever you write it. Mindless Ones are (imminent total failure of linguistic imagination – I blame Strongbow) “made of win”. Or possibly of awesome. I don’t know. I work with a lot of younger people in computer games, I consider myself infected. Hmmmm. Stops typing now.

  2. plok Says:

    Sounds absolutely CRAZY FUN! Can’t wait!

  3. PEP! Politics, Entertainment And Pthings… « Sci-Ence! Justice Leak! Says:

    [...] And Pthings… By Andrew Hickey I was going to leave announcing this a little longer, but the Mindless Ones have announced their new format and I didn’t want to look like I’m copying them – or indeed Alan Moore, who is [...]

  4. Zom Says:

    Cheers, Gil & Pill

  5. QueenBee Says:

    I don’t want to come across as a negative Nellie, and I’ve loved the writings of the contributors here since the early days of Barbelith, but moving into a bimonthly or quarterly format seems like a surefire way to introduce delays.

    If, for example, a fantastically written essay revolving around Christmas isn’t perfect by Dec 25th, then where do you go from there? Publish the Christmas edition in the New Year? Exclude the essay altogether?

    I would quite happily pay a few quid for Mindless Ones being published as a brilliant zine COLLECTING the online work, rather than the published work being drip-fed back into the site.

    Maybe I’m just a little negative because one of the most depressing things of that article is that there’s going to be no new articles until after Christmas. You’ve got a great sense of momentum built up here, everyone I turn onto Mindless Ones loves it, but if it’s going to be a desert, article-wise until Christmas I worry people will drift away.

  6. Zom Says:

    They’ll come back, says I. We have a lot of friends, we’ll be asking our friends to link to us and generally spread the word. Hopefully it’ll work out fine.

    But yes, it’s not ideal, QB, but then neither is the current state of affairs. The hard truth is that we are slowly becoming an essay wasteland and that the momentum that we used to have is gone. This new venture is as much about reinvigorating our old bones as it is trying out a new format. It’s also the product of certain situational realities, such as the fact that Amy Poodle can’t bring himself to write anything other than LOEG annocommentations right now, which means that there’ll be nothing new from him until he finishes wrestling with that particular behemoth.

    The good news is that if we say we’re going to get a crimbo edition of the zine done then we will. We worked our arses off last Christmas to ensure that the blog didn’t go quiet (I think we had something up every other day over the second half of December), and we’ll do the same this year.

  7. Zom Says:

    (I’ve never published anything that I was happy with, by the way)

  8. QueenBee Says:

    I won’t pretend to have any insight into the way any of you write your articles, but won’t imposing deadlines inevitably affect the quality of the work?

    It seems to me that by moving to a ‘zine’ based format, essentially moving to print, sacrifices a lot of the benefits of publishing online (benefits which are so taken for granted these days they tend to be ignored).

    Also, articles being in print initially will somewhat limit the multimedia used. No embedded songs to set the mood, no Youtube videos to reference. No comments or discussion after articles either.

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I don’t mind the occasional ‘down’ periods that Mindless Ones has – it’s always worth the wait for what comes.

  9. Zom Says:

    Ah, but you see the magic of PDFs and hosting the zine here (in its electronic form) is that we will be able to add all those whizzy things like music, hyperlinks, etc… I’m even planning on putting together a blog based, hyperlink table of contents for each issue for those who don’t want to wade through the whole thing. If a human decides to print the thing off they’ll lose all of these benefits but many will be happy to trade the bells and whistles for the chance to hold something (hopefully pretty – TMDB will be on design duties so I’m rather hopeful on that score) in their hands.

    On comments, as the zine will in effect manifest within a blog post I foresee the comments sections beneath said blog posts being just fine for the purpose.

    At the moment we’re not so much suffering a down period as a nothing period. You’ll be unaware of this but in times past down periods have never really been precisely that in that there’s always been lots of writing going on behind the scenes. Sadly, as of right now there is *fuck all* going on behind the scenes because a heavy year (death, sickness, jobs, marriages, children) has meant that we’ve all lost our way a bit. The zine is looking like it will reignite our collective fire.

    As for deadlines, I remain confident that we’ll meet them.

  10. Paul Says:

    huggleties? Why would you say that?

  11. QueenBee Says:

    Well… despite my misgivings good luck to all of you!

    I hope in the near future I’m picking up a copy of your zine from the counter of Gosh! Comics.

  12. The Beast Must Die Says:

    There’s not actually *fuck all*going on behind the scenes Zom. There is still some new content going up on the site every week…

  13. Zom Says:

    That’s very true. I’ve tried to keep emphasising the point that we’re only talking about essays.

  14. amypoodle Says:

    no, this is a good thing. it’ll be great. we love our readership just as much as we love contributing – it’s so great that we have like people to share our bullshit with – and we’re not going to stop, or fuck it up. i’m sure most of us will be banging on about comics till we die, and it’s a privilege and a massive pleasure to do it in a public forum.

    saves my non-comics mates (most of them: fools!) from my ranting head down the pub, dunnit?

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