Jen Vaughn, a CCS alum and beloved Schulz librarian, has joined The Beat as a staff writer. The Beat is one of the most popular comics news source on the internet, offering late-breaking news about the industry and the medium. Heidi MacDonald has been the primary writer and editor since 2004. She gave Jen her first assignment this November.
I asked Jen about her new gig, and she was kind enough to give me the scoop.
How did you get this gig?
“My momma always said to be nice to everyone. The first time I met Heidi was at SPX 2008 and I snapped a photo of her then. You can tell how long it was ago based on how short Alec Longstreth’s beard was.
We kept meeting at conventions and I would give her my newest minicomics. Heidi lost her camera at SPX this year (she managed to snag photos with her camera phone) and I ran a fundraiser on her behalf to get her a new one. I raised over $350 in twelve hours by reaching out to cartoonists who had been linked on the Beat (and I use ‘I’ because she didn’t ask me, I just knew it would benefit the comics community if she would continue to have a camera).
So when Heidi needed someone to cover the New England Webcomics Weekend, I rapidly responded to that (thank you, TWITTER) and I think she knew she could trust me. Plus, I’m buds with the indefatigable Matthew Murray, who writes for the Beat and his own blog, 365 Zines. Of course, fate led me to some camera trouble also but nonetheless, my con report came out after I rescued my photos. The response to my piece was excellent (I even got a little hate mail) and Heidi asked me to keep writing.”
What kind of writing will you do?
“Heidi’s pretty easy-going actually and I do have some experience under this worn western belt, writing for the Schulz Library Blog with wonderful cartoonists like you, Steve Bissette and James Sturm for over a year and a half now. I got the green light to write on what I like for The Beat, comics-related of course, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to write about things not necessarily suitable for the Schulz Blog. Maybe some Milo Manara or Vittorio Giardino, ehhh ehh? There will definitely be some interviews in there since I live in a cartoonist hotspot. And most assuredly, some excessively-illustrated articles on food and comics!”
Do you have any assignments?
“I’ll have another article or two out before the end of the year, either way this will be great because I can get very picky over the right photos for such things and The Beat will encourage me to think faster or come up with alternative solutions. This will be quite fun since I hang out at conventions quite a bit with writers from the Comics Alliance (Chris Sims, David Wolkin) and Comic Book Resources (Alex Dueben). Friendly competition even? And yes, of course I will talk about White River Junction, how could I not?!”
Thanks Jen, and good luck!