With Further Ado #217: TRIPWIRE Turns Thirty

Those thirtieth birthdays come up fast. One minute you’re celebrating your first legal drink with friends. The next minute, you blink and you’re thirty. Where does the time go?  (Spoiler alert: it only gets worse, gang.)

But we all should remind ourselves how lucky we are to celebrate these milestone birthdays. And as fans, we’re ALL lucky that TRIPWIRE magazine is celebrating its 30th Birthday.

Many talented folks have been involved in Tripwire over the years. It’s been a groundbreaking UK magazine that always seemed to really “know its stuff”. But for me it all comes back to enthusiastic passion of my friend, Joel Meadows. He has a vision, and like the very best (and the most creative) entrepreneurs, he found ways to make it happen.  Here’s the official backgrounder on TRIPWIRE for those who are less familiar with it:

From 1992 to 2011 (with a  short break between 2003 and 2007) TRIPWIRE published over fifty issues of our magazine that covered comics, film, TV, novels and related media. We interviewed everyone from Stan Lee to Mike Mignola, Alan Moore to Joss Whedon. In 2013 we decided to wrap up our physical publishing programme and switch to online/ digital. We produced a few digital editions but it got very hard to get readers to pay for content so we decided to have another rethink. This website is the result of that rethink.

TRIPWIRE was always about real, honest journalism and while we did upset a few people early on, we gained the respect of others thanks to our approach. The landscape has changed significantly since we were a regular fixture out there but we are determined to continue to provide quality content for our audience and so we’ll be providing interviews, features, opinion columns and photo galleries here from places like comic conventions. There has been a real proliferation of comic conventions, in the UK and abroad, and we shall do our best to give our readers a small sense of what is out there. There will also be video and audio content here on TRIPWIRE, offering readers the opportunity to listen to the people whose work they admire whether that’s in comics, film, TV or novels.

Our remit is reasonably tight: we won’t be running arbitrary material just because it happens to attract a large audience as that will water down our site. We are only just starting to get to grips with the website format so please accept our apologies if some of our posts are a little bit rough and ready. We shall however make sure that we spell people’s names correctly and get facts right. In some ways, this is a little bit like when we started TRIPWIRE back in 1992, except that I am now a journalist and photographer with over two decades of experience. Thanks for reading and I hope you come back here…

TRIPWIRE is roaring back with a jam-packed issue celebrating geek culture with in-depth articles and superb artwork. Flipping through a scrumptious magazine like TRIPWIRE 30 makes me realize how much I miss coffee table magazines. To be fair, this is much more of a hefty book than a magazine.

It’s designed with passion, care and talent. There’s a celebration of the medium in such a way that you just don’t get with traditional books, or those overpriced supermarket magazines that spotlight Spider-Man or Star Trek or Marvel Movies.

Tripwire is the real deal. You can feel the authenticity radiating off the pages. Some of the content is all about a deep dive into topics and stories that hard core fans enjoy, like “The Rise and Fall of DC’s Vertigo” and “Walter Simonson’s Star Slammers.”

Some of it is a celebration of the magazine’s illustrious history. It’s an opportunity for long-time readers to remember everything they’ve loved, “Greatest Hits” style,  with articles like “30 years of TRIPWIRE Interviews” and “30 Years of TRIPWIRE in Covers.”

And then there’s articles for folks who like lists, or are even newer fans. I imagine they will get the most out of features like “30 Graphic Novels You Should Read”, “30 Years of Comic Related TV shows” and “The Marvel Age of Movies”.

Actual comics are included too! After all, you can only read about comics for so long before you want to really enjoy the comics themselves. Joel Meadows showcases several pages of Sherlock Holmes and the Empire Builders: The House that Crime Built and Fred the Clown appears in a two-pager called Talent Night.

I’m already excited to see what the next 30 years of Tripwire will be like!

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And there’s one more thing that I must tell you about. Tripwire is hosting an event during New York Comic Con. It’s not at the Javits, it’s at the wonderful Society of Illustrators.

That’s one of my favorite places in all of New York City.  I’ve loved the exhibits, but I’ve had so much fun at the weekday live sketching classes. And then there was the time, on one Saturday (when my wife and I were gallivanting through the city) that the bartender opened up that gorgeous Society of Illustrators bar and served us Tom & Jerry cocktails.

But I’m getting a little off track.  Tripwire is hosting an amazing night on Saturday, October 8th. Here’s the official write-up:

Celebrate 30 years of Britain’s most pre-eminent comics, film and TV culture magazine and website with a brand-new anniversary book in paperback and limited hardcover. Join top names like Frank Miller (Daredevil, Batman: Year One, Sin City, 300),  Jimmy Palmiotti (Harley Quinn, Rage, Painkiller Jane), Bill Sienkiewicz (Batman, Moon Knight, legendary illustration) and David Mack (Kabuki, Daredevil, Echos) hosted by Tripwire editor-in-chief Joel Meadows to celebrate this milestone

The fun starts at 8:00 and tickets are available here.