Q & A: Rob Bricken
Rob was the Editor-in-Chief and creative leader of animeOnline. Rob was the guy who made sure the site ran, oversaw its content, and made plans for its direction and development. Rob was also the guy to hunt down when any problems came up. An editor of Anime Insider before joining up with animeOnline, Rob has been in the journalism scene for over 6 years (or more, depending on when you read this). Some of his old works include interviews with Akira's Katsuhiro Otomo, Cowboy Bebop's Shinichiro Watanabe, composer Yoko Kanno, and Fruits Basket's Akitaro Daichi.
With animeOnline closed, Rob is now working for FUNimation on a contract basis, as well as helping out his old buddies at Anime Insider from time to time.
Tell us a bit about yourself! Who are you? What do you do? How are you involved with animeOnline?
Rob Bricken: I am Rob Bricken, former editor of Anime Insider magazine, and the ex-Editor-in-Chief and creative developer of animeOnline.com.
How did you end up at animeOnline?
Rob: Gen Fukunaga, the president of FUNimation, mentioned an online project to me, and we brainstormed it together until it became the basis of animeOnline. After five years of working on running Anime Insider, I was looking for something new. After talking with Gen, I thought aO would be a great challenge, and I signed on.
Tell us what's a normal day at animeOnline for you, how do you work?
Rob: As Editor-in-Chief and creative lead on animeOnline, I didn't have a "daily" work schedule, per se. I coordinated and edited each weekly feature, including art. I managed the other editors, assigning news articles and providing feedback to shape the editorial content of the site. Finally, I worked to plan and develop new features for the site.
Any interesting stories you'd like to share?
Rob: The people who worked on aO were a truly exceptional group; they uniformly did outstanding work, and gave their all to the site. I'd just like to recognize Tiffany Johnson, Toby Davis, Kelly Bisson, Dale North, Bryan Hartzheim and Gia Manry. I've never worked with a more talented group of people.
What are some websites you visit everyday? Share you "bookmark" with us!
Rob: Likes Neko Case, noir mystery novels, Akira Kurosawa movies, scotch. Dislikes The Fray, The Da Vinci Code book, Michael Bay movies, gin.
Rob: The Urusei Yatsura anime, the FLCL anime, and both the One Piece anime and manga.
What do you think make a great journalist/webmaster? Any advice for the aspiring anime/manga fans out there?
Rob: I can't really comment on the webmaster side, but I'm happy to give advice for aspiring journalists. There are thousands of insane anime fans out there, so the best thing to do is to set yourself apart with your skills. Major in journalism. Write for your college paper. Get an internship. The more practical experience you have, the more professional you will be - and that's what will allow you the opportunity to write about anime for a living. Also, don't expect to get rich - nerd journalism does not pay much, because there's always another nerd willing to work for less.
What's the future for Rob?
Rob: I've kept myself from starving by helping out my old pals at Anime Insider for the time being. But beyond that, I have no idea.