For more than three decades, Comic Shop News has been a staple in comic book stores worldwide — a weekly free newspaper written and edited by Cliff Biggers and Ward Batty, featuring the all the news that’s fit to print about the comic industry. After 35 years of reporting the news, CSN is now making some itself: the paper has been sold, with new publishers taking over at the start of 2023.
Currently one of the longest-running comic-related titles in continuous publication — it’s currently running around issue #1842; back in 2020, it joked that it would be the longest-running comics publication if it wasn’t for 2000 AD — CSN was launched in 1987 from the stores that Biggers and Beatty co-owned, Dr. No’s; originally, it was a four-page black-and-white newsletter, although it’s now an eight-page full-color publication.
Writing on Facebook, Biggers -- who has written around 10,000-15,000 words per issue for the duration of the newspaper’s existence — shared, “I am remarkably lucky to have spent 35 1/2 years writing something I loved and talking about comics, and I so much appreciate the support from my friends, the customers at my store, and the many stores across the nation and around the world that have carried CSN. For those stores, there will be no difference--CSN will continue each week as always, without a break! While the deadlines have been unrelenting (I missed one issue--the week I had my heart attack and heart surgery), I have not resented them. But now I have reached the point where I want to put my time into other things — including just spending time doing things with Karen — and this opportunity makes it possible to do just that.”
The new owners of the newspaper are David Witting and Brad Gile. Witting is a former animation and video games writer and producer who founded — and recently sold — Rocket Insights (now known as DEPT), a digital marketing agency; Gile is a former high school teacher who now owns and operates Stairway to Heaven, a comic store in Newington, New Hampshire.
The two will take control of the newspaper with #1847, due in the first week of 2023.
If you want to read more about comics journalism, revisit Popverse’s round table discussion with the nominees for this year’s Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Journalism.