Ninth Art - For the Discerning Reader -

Farewell from Ninth Art

A few final words of passing, from the team that welcomed you in back on May 7th 2001.
19 June 2006

After more than five years of continuous publication, Ninth Art is closing its doors. This is the last new article published on the site. Henceforth, Ninth Art will remain only as an archive, and as a testament to our ideals.

We started Ninth Art in 2001, born out of a sense of public duty to the artform and medium we loved, and a frustration at the inadequacies of comics journalism, particularly on the Internet. We felt there was a place for quality writing that encompassed the entire medium, with no bias or agenda toward or against genre, format, nationality, or a reader's experience with comics. We wanted to create journalism for the discerning reader.

Five years later, we still believe in those ideals. Fortunately for everyone who loves the artform, so do many other people. Whether Ninth Art influenced or guided some of the good folk now pursuing those same ideals - on blogs, websites, message boards, and even in the mainstream media - is not for us to say. What we can say for sure is that the bar has been raised, and we are all the better off for it.

Now the time has come for us to depart the stage and leave the obligation of intelligent comics journalism to other hands. We might have said more, but after five years we believe we've said enough. The decision to close the site wasn't taken quickly or lightly, but it was taken so that we could turn our time and attention to other pursuits.

The life of Ninth Art has been testing, to say the least. Still controlled and organised by the same three friends who started it in 2001 - a lifetime ago, in Internet time - we've endured server mishaps, staff crises, career changes, computer viruses, comic conventions, and a hot drunken week in New Orleans to update every week without fail. We've published over 1,200 articles, including interviews, critical essays, news commentaries, book reviews and satire. The Shipping Forecast, Ninth Art's examination of Diamond's weekly shipping list, has been published every week of the site's lifetime.

None of this could have happened without our contributors, from the regular columnists and forecasters to the occasional reviewers and essayists; or without our friends, from Sequential Tart, who generously hosted the site, to the people in our own lives who have kept us sane and true. We give a very heartfelt thank you to all of them for helping us make Ninth Art possible.

But the biggest thanks of all must go to you, our readers. Without you, Ninth Art would never have existed in the first place. Your support and loyalty have been a vindication of our belief that there is an audience for intelligent comics criticism. You make everyone involved in Ninth Art very proud.

All good things must come to an end. We're confident that what we've accomplished here was a very good thing. This is where it ends.

Antony Johnston,
Alasdair Watson,
Andrew Wheeler.

Ninth Art Editorial,
June 19, 2006.

Ninth Art endorses the principle of Ideological Freeware. The author permits distribution of this article by private individuals, on condition that the author and source of the article are clearly shown, no charge is made, and the whole article is reproduced intact, including this notice.