If you read the previous incarnation of this blog over at Variety.com, I’m glad you found the new site.

For those who don’t know me, I’m Tom McLean and I work as a freelance writer covering the entertainment industry. I’m a lifelong comics fan and have written numerous articles about comics and events like Comic-Con for the likes of Variety, Animation Magazine, Metromix.com, Newsarama.com and Publisher’s Weekly Comics Week, among others.

I was on staff at Variety for six years, during which I helped pioneer the coverage of Comic-Con. I covered the show in the early 2000s and then edited their first Comic-Con specials and a tribute to Stan Lee. The previous version of this blog began on Variety.com in 2003 — at a time when you had to explain to most people what a blog was. I’ve also been lucky enough to have been a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Book Industry Awards and the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival. I also have appeared on and/or moderated panels at San Diego Comic-Con, New York Comic-Con and Book Expo America.

In addition to articles, I wrote a book called “Mutant Cinema: The X-Men Trilogy from Comics to Screen” for Sequart.com Books that is available NOW at Amazon.com and BN.com and will be coming to comics shops through Diamond in the spring. I hope you’ll all check it out.

While a lot looks the same here, this version of Bags and Boards will take a slightly different tack. Aside from small differences, like no longer having to adhere to Variety style on “comicbook” and the lack of a paycheck, this blog now is a vehicle for my perspective on comics rather than a blog that was first and foremost Variety’s take on things. Gone is the need to post links to relevent news develoments, freeing the blog to reflect more of my interests and perspectives on comics and comic book movies old and new. There may also be some diversions away from comics, but I’m thinking of starting a companion blog for that. We’ll see what happens there. And I also will use this blog to highlight the sale on eBay or giveaway of comics — I have accumulated lots of review copies over the years that need to find good homes and make space for new stuff.

As things gear up, feel free to check out the archive of the previous blog, which Variety graciously is keeping online, as well as the stories I’ve written for the publication.

Please feel to contact me at tjmclean@earthlink.net. I’d love to hear your comments on the new blog.