Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Who runs this sight?
A. First of all, it’s spelled “site”. And the compulsive proofreader who runs it is Todd VerBeek. It’s a fully-independent, not-for-profit (unless you count some trivial ad revenue) operation.
Q. What’s with the .INFO? Why doesn’t the address have a .COM or some other normal ending?
A. .INFO is a top-level domain created by The Powers That Be to alleviate demand for .COM addresses. It didn’t really work, but for someone like me running an informational site (and with the .COM version taken by a retailer), it’s handy.
Q. Why don’t you have a review of ____?
A. Either I haven’t read it, or I did read it but didn’t have the time/motivation to write about it.
Q. Will you please review ____?
A. If someone sends me a copy of it, I might. “Not for profit” doesn’t mean I’m here to spend my own money just because you asked nicely.
Q. ____ isn’t a graphic novel.
A. That wasn’t a question.
Q. OK, then: What’s ____ doing on this site?
A. I felt like covering it. Domain names aren’t exactly legally binding, you know. (If they were, there’d be a higher percentage of Wonder Woman books at Amazon.com.) My definition of “graphic novel” is deliberately broad in any case; I include serialised stories that could be reprinted in a single volume, even if they haven’t been, in the same sense that Oliver Twist or Tales of the City was already a “novel” before it was collected in a single volume.
Q. Why do you have porn on the site?
A. Because I enjoy reading it. Yes, even some of the hetero stuff. It’s just as legitimate a form of expression as a horror film, and I stand by the right of creators to publish it, and readers to buy it. The material here is not legally “obscene”, and the pages with sexually explicit material are being tagged to make them easy for parents to filter.
Q. Can I send you my book to review?
A. Certainly! I can’t promise that I’ll review it, though. The USPS gets stuff to me at: 1311 Lake Dr SE #2, Grand Rapids MI 49506.
Q. What’s the relationship of this site to “Beek’s Books”?
A. Successor would be the best word for it. I started posting comicbook reviews to rec.arts.comics.* in 1995 and dubbed the feature “Beek’s Books” (the alliteration mimicking Rich Johnston’s “Revelations”/”Rumblings”/”Reviews” articles). At first I archived them on an FTP server, then I converted them into a web site which I continued for some time, relocating it occasionally as I got kicked off one server or another, and finally setting up my own host to run it on. The site - in slight disrepair - can still be found at GraphicNovels.info/books/. I’ve always had a preference for longer-form comics, so a lot of the reviews were for graphic novels and series that could be (and often were) reprinted in book form; I’ve imported most of those reviews into this site.
Q. What’s the deal with the huge gaps between reviews?
A. Ask Rose Mary Woods. OK, seriously, I just wasn’t writing reviews during those periods. As you can see, the frequency began to trail off in 1998, and - not coincidentally - I was busy getting a degree in Illustration and Digital Media (taking classes part-time in addition to working) from then until 2004. Then after I started getting back into it, I had a rather unprofessional editor try to pick a verbal fight with me over my review of his book, blamed me for hurting his sales, etc. which soured me on the whole reviewing process. Now I’m doing reviews when the spirit moves me and I have time, which will probably continue to be somewhat irregular.