Comics & Editorials
I've been thinking about newspapers and how I wish that the comics section was bigger. Hear me out: the actual real estate for a comic strip used to be quite big and then was reduced little by little, partly to make room for more comics, but mostly to cut down on the amount of pages the paper was required to print, bringing down the cost for them while giving the shaft to the comics' creators. This was the case until Bill Watterson, probably the greatest comic strip creator of all time who was behind the hilarious and thought-provoking Calvin & Hobbes became popular enough to hold newspapers hostage and force more space for himself. Since his departure, the comics section has shrunk more and more until we're left with what we have today.
Newspapers thought that in order to cut costs they should cut comics because they needed to cut cost in these hard times. No one reads newspapers anymore - they get their information from the net and how can they possibly compete? Oh, geez, I don't know, how about bolstering the comics section so they don't have to pay an online service to deliver their favorite funnies on a daily basis? How about INVESTING in the parts of the newspapers that are difficult or cumbersome to get piece by piece? Because I can tell you right now that if the comics section was bigger and there were not only more comics but more space for those comics, I would subscribe to newspapers again.
Editorials work the same way. I can't imagine a person devout enough to editorials to hunt them down on a regular basis one by one, but if they were all collocated then it's too easy to NOT read them.
Still, it would make for a pretty poor newspaper if all they had was comics and editorials. There needs to be other stuff. There needs to be headline news, business news, local happenings, movie reviews, etc. You can't have a diet of just comics and editorials, even if it seems like those are the only guaranteed-reads.
I know I've tried to offer a well-rounded offering to the guitar reading public, but the Fifth Fret is overwhelmingly editorial content and I feel like this is a very good reason why the number of Fifth Fret subscribers/followers/stalkers/constant visitors isn't as high as other blogs. Not that I'm complaining at all - when I started the Fifth Fret the dream was to have at least ten whole people come to the site a day. TEN! Who would think that I could write something that would make a consistent ten people cross my threshold?
So I think I'm going to retire the Fifth Fret. I won't retire by any means, I'll just be moving to Guitar Noize to post similar content over there, offering an editorial section to their already-high quality newspaper (this metaphor is getting a little stifling). I thought about how I wanted to break the news and was fortunate enough to see two retirements happen to blogs that I thoroughly enjoy. One was sudden: Everything was normal until one day one of my favorite bloggers said that he was tired of other bloggers (which is an odd concern considering that most of us are really strangers and you don't HAVE to interact with any of us) and he thought he was writing sub-par material (he wasn't - his stuff was consistently awesome) and that was all. He was done. He published the post and within a week was gone from the Internet.
He's probably still roaming the landscape of Japan, looking for sweet examples of Ibanez guitars since that was his passion.
Another blogger announced that he was going to retire in three to four months and counted down comic strip by comic strip (it was a web comic blog), giving us some insight into what's going on in his brain about this retirement since he put so much time and effort into it and is now leaving.
I felt severely ripped off when the former retired. I thought that it was wicked lame, but had nothing to compare it to. Now that I experienced the slow withdrawal, and acknowledgements of impending departure, I can see that this is the best way for me, so I figured I would err on the side of my own preferences in case there are others like me out there.
So yep, I'll retire the Fifth Fret. New Year's Eve 2013 will be the last day that the Fifth Fret is active with posts (other than perhaps one last surprise post later on - not much of a surprise, I know) and after that I'll be a Guitar Noize writer. I'm excited about working with Jon. Guitar Noize has always been my favorite blog, with Jon consistently giving great reviews and always keeping me in the loop of the guitar world.
I'm sure I'll get all sentimental as the days go on and the clock ticks down, so I'll leave it at this for now.