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The creator of the great comic book site comicbookroundup.com which features some review mentions of myself and the rest of our Player Affinity staff, Dan Petersen, is here with me today to talk about his unique site. Be sure to check out his website!
Me: How would you describe your site, Comic Book Roundup?
Petersen: Comic Book Roundup is a site that gathers all the online comic book reviews that I can find in one place and attaches an overall rating to each book based on those reviews. I have three main goals for the site. The first is to make a really cool comics website that comic fans find useful and want to dig around in. The second is to promote good comics. Whether they are comics that are popular already or comics that are so good that they should be more popular, I want to help get the word out and get them in front of potential readers. And the third is to help promote the reviewers whose reviews I pull in. I’ve been reading reviews from some of the reviewers I pull into the site for years and want to help them expand their readership.
Me: How long have you been running Comic Book Roundup?
Petersen: I’ve been running Comic Book Roundup since 2009.
Me: How did you get the idea to create the site?
Petersen: I originally thought of the idea because after having spent so much money over the years on terrible comics, I found myself spending a lot of time going to each comic book review site looking for new reviews so I wouldn’t keep wasting my money. I had them all bookmarked in my browser and would scan through them all regularly. After reading a reviewer’s reviews for a while you can start to pinpoint that reviewer’s tastes fairly accurately, so I found myself reading some reviewers for certain types of books and other reviewers for other types of books which become fairly cumbersome. So in an effort to cut down on the time I spent scanning for reviews, to find a way to compile all the reviews together so I wouldn’t loose track of them, to make it easier to be exposed to well received comics by displaying an overall consensus for each book, I built Comic Book Roundup. It was basically a tool that saved me a lot of time and money. I built it originally for my own personal use and was going to leave it at that since I didn’t know if anyone else would find it useful. If other people would have found it useful I had thought someone like MetaCritic would have built it already. But it seems like more and more people are finding the site lately so I’ve been trying to change the site so that it will be useful for everyone, not just me!
Me: How do you choose which reviewers to “roundup?”
Petersen: The two main things I look for when deciding whether to add a review site to Comic Book Roundup is whether the site is consistent in posting reviews and whether they include a rating with each review. If I see a site hasn’t posted a review in two months, then I probably won’t bother adding them in. But if they’ve posted 3 or 4 reviews in the past week, then I try to get them in as soon as I can! As for a rating, I can’t go through and subjectively attach my own rating to each review I run across, so if a review does not have some kind of rating, I may still actively read their reviews on the side, but I can’t add them to Comic Book Roundup. And by a rating I don’t necessarily mean just 1-5 or 1-10. Some site I include have A-F or their own custom ratings like ‘Must Buy’ or ‘Check It’. Anything like that works as long as it’s consistent.
Me: What publishers do you focus on?
Petersen: I don’t focus on any one publisher more than another. If I find a review for a comic, I try to include it on the site regardless of which company published it. Sometimes if I find a review for a comic from a publisher that hasn’t been integrated into the site yet, that review can get stuck in limbo, but I hope that’s the exception more than the norm. It’s more a question of which comics the review sites I’ve integrated write reviews for. Most reviews I find are for DC and Marvel books so those books have the most reviews for them on Comic Book Roundup even though I don’t necessarily read all of those books. It really comes down to where the interests are of the reviewers I integrate into the site. I really like it when I find sites that review books from smaller publishers and I hope more sites pop up that focus on those books. The more I can find reviews for smaller books, the more useful Comic Book Roundup will become and the more I can help promote smaller books that readers really enjoy.
Me: What information, other than reviews, does your website provide?
Petersen: Reviews and an overall consensus of issues, series and writer/artists are the main things right now. I’ve compiled so much data over the years that I’m always trying to think of new ways to use it and what kind of new information I can start bringing in.
Me: What other work relating to comic book have you done or are you planning to do in the future?
Petersen: I don’t have any plans for other comic related work other than continuing to build up Comic Book Roundup. I’m not a comic writer or artist or anything like that. I’m just a comic fan who is really enjoying building up his own website.
Me: What plans do you have for the future of Comic Book Roundup?
Petersen: I’m always on the lookout for new comic review sites to integrate. I’d also really like to make Comic Book Roundup more interactive for the users. Whether it’s continuing to build out the user reviews functionality or to allow users to make their own 10 ten lists of favorite comics or lists of what they’re reading every month and to be able to see what other users are reading all seems really fun. Ideally I’d like to make the website as much about the users who visit it as about the reviews I pull in from elsewhere. If anyone has any suggestions for what they would like to see on the site, please let me know!
Thanks for your time!