Perry White called me with some good news last night. Well, it wasn’t really Perry White, but it was the big boss at a major metropolitan newspaper: The caller was Los Angeles Times Editor Russ Stanton. He sounded positively giddy, which is kind of, uh, you know, weird. “Congratulations, you won! Great Caesar’s ghost, kid, you won!” (I’m not absolutely sure about that “Caesar’s ghost” part; there was a lot of crowd noise in the background, but I think that’s what I heard.)
Stanton was calling from San Francisco, and he was attending the Online News Association’s 2009 Online Journalism Awards, where, it turns out, the blog you’re reading won a big fancy trophy. I knew the Hero Complex was a finalist, but considering the distinguished competition (the BBC’s smartly written blog called Mark Easton’s UK and the Boston Globe’s sports report called Mazz) I assumed that grown-ups would never give the prize to a guy who writes so much about spandex, zombies and boy wizards. Go figure.
The judges said some very nice things, and Stanton said there would be some Champagne in the newsroom this week. Lovely. The people who will be smiling the most are Jevon Phillips, my most frequent partner in this ongoing pop-culture crime, and wonderful contributors such as Denise Martin, Chris Lee, Gina McIntyre, Yvonne Villarreal, Susan King and Linda Whitmore. There’s also our crackerjack copy desk, notably Blake Hennon, Marina Levario, Amy Hubbard and Ms. Whitmore again. Also a major Metropolis thank-you to Tony Pierce, the blogs editor at The Times (and blogger extraordinaire off the clock), who kinda looks like Lex Luthor, now that I think about it.
This blog had 1.2 million hits in July, and now underway in our second year we have high hopes for the future. I told Stanton all of that and, oddly, my grumpy old chief didn’t mention anything about giving me a raise. “Geoff, the blog is amazing, keep up the good work,” he bellowed into the phone. “But don’t call me chief!“
— Geoff Boucher