I believe it was 1996. I was scrolling through the radio, (like we did in the old days) and I heard a radio show I wasn’t familiar with. I remember thinking that it sounded like the guy who does the voices on the Simpsons.
It was. It was Harry Shearer, a long-time actor and writer and his weekly show “Le Show” on KCRW. It made me laugh, but as time went on, I realized that I was learning a great deal about – well – everything. “Le Show” was incisive, a non-partisan romp that sought out absurdity in every avenue and revealed it.
“Le Show” was full of skits, obscure music and tons of personality, and Harry Shearer maintained the whole thing for over thirty years.
In the end, he didn’t even get to say goodbye to his audience. The program was unceremoniously cancelled for reasons that I still don’t understand. Immediately after, every forum for feedback to KCRW mysteriously malfunctioned at the same time so Harry’s fan never even got to add their two cents about the whole move.
At the same time AOl shut down the Comics Alliance website.
Comics are an odd business. They are by their nature old-fashioned, an episodic, printed medium based on characters that have existed for decades, and nearly every attempt they make to go digital or update them is like your grandpa trying to be cool by wearing a leather jacket.
Then all the sudden, movies ran out of ideas and there were those struggling comics companies. It made more sense to buy the company and have access to 2,000-3,000 characters at a time than to buy the rights individually. But despite their value, few people were interested in comics.
There were other comics websites, but Comics Alliance was my favorite. I used to love Scans Daily, but battles with short sighted creators (Peter David anyone?) had made the mods gunshy about posting content, and the community had become a caricature of the liberal mindset… literally everything was offensive to say or write.
Comics Alliance was interesting, diverse and genuinely funny, so of course there was no place for it on the Internet. I’ll miss the tag team reviews of comic book movies, great lists and the spotlighting of deserving indie comics.
And that’s the worst thing about getting older. There comes a time where the things you love keep getting replaced with inferior things and I suppose after a while you can’t find that many things that you enjoy, so you spend all your time trying to recreate the past as best as you can remember it (I think I just described the Tea Party!). I don’t have anything to replace Le Show and Comics Alliance. And I don’t think KCRW or AOL does either.