Aw, I wish I could hug Kristy and Nate right now -- and Steve Heisler, for that matter. He understood when I kept saying "Anyone can do this, anyone can do videos and put up photos and posts, and more people should!"
Meanwhile, McQuern was attracting attention of her own. In March 2007, she began performing stand-up (she auctioned her stage fright on eBay), where she met the comics she’d written about. The following October, she took over as coproducer of Chicago Underground Comedy. No longer an anonymous, unaffiliated blogger, McQuern found her time disappearing to paid freelance work. She tried many times to get contributors on board, but few stuck around. “There’s just more work involved than people realized or were willing to put into it,” she says. Three weeks ago, with Mangel also slammed and no one stepping up, McQuern and Sloan decided to pull the Bastion’s plug.
Despite its short, amorphous stint, the Bastion filled a void. It was an update site for outsiders and an accessible outlet for comedians hurting for exposure. It surveyed the scene through a biased lens, but readers were okay with that. Yet if the comedy community truly valued the Bastion’s input, it’s time for its members to step up to the digital plate. “Personally,” McQuern notes, “I’m still puzzled that more people weren’t writing funny blog entries for us to quote from or editing highlight-reel clips of sets or sending photography for the photo posts.” If every other comic who’s complained about the media’s lack of caring registered a domain name, the resulting vibrant, dynamic Chicago-comedy blogosphere would be impossible to ignore.