Thursday, February 27, 2014

100th blog post anniversary!

This is a big post for me because not only is this my 100th post of The Great Comic Book Heroes but it also falls exactly on my birthday! So I would like to take this time to reflect on this blog, how it's been, where it's been and where it's going?

 100th post anniversary!
I started this blog because comics have been something that I've loved my whole life. They have  given me hope and brought meaning to my life when I needed it most. I can remember using heroes like Daredevil and Captain America as inspiration to push me to greater heights when I was young and have found joy in the great achievements of creators like Art Spiegelman, David Mazzucchelli, Jim Steranko and Tony Salmons when I was feeling down and finding little joy in life.
Tony Salmons and Bill Mantlo's Cloack and Dagger.
Looking back on the na├»ve surrealism of the Golden Age comics has been a constant joy and brings me back  to a simpler way of seeing the world.

Though I've spent most of my life reading comics or reading about them, when I first started the blog I found it quite difficult to say what I really wanted to say about them. I started off with easy posts admiring certain superficial aspects of comics like the post I did on Catwoman and the Ladies of DC Comics.

At a certain point I tried to get into more comic theory and deconstruct them  the way my heroes like Art Spiegelman and Scott McCloud did.

Unfortunately I found those post unsatisfying. I had planed a series of post to explore the different kind of panel arrangements and page layouts possible though my post on the four panel grid left me feeling confused and unsure about how to proceed.

My attempt at writing about color theory also left me more confused than fulfilled as well.

At this time I don't feel that I am capable of communicating the more abstract aspects of comics. I guess I'm no Scott McCloud though that may change and I may go back to them.

Lately I have been going through comic works that I feel are worthy of attention like Tony Salmons' Cloak and Dagger or Teddy Kristiansen's Deadman. I find this a much easier way to point out those things of interest in those strips that I find worthy of contemplation.

I have been trying to vary it up between three different areas of interest namely, contemporary comics and their creators (Silver Age on), Golden Age comics and their creators, and Alternative and Underground comics. And I will be adding newspaper strips as well like the post I Dick Tracy I just did.

In the last year I have also taken on the job of moderator of Reddits Alt Comics subreddit. This has pushed me to become more familiar with the modern alternative comics scene. It's been a joy and great inspiration for many of the posts on The Great Comic Book Heroes like the post on Kevin Huizenga, Nobrow, and RAW Comix.

My most popular post is Rafael Grampa's Wolverine! 3996 hits as of 2/27/2014. It was a real surprise to me because often what I really enjoy is not enjoyed by others. I expected some people to look at it just because it is Wolverine but I didn't expect such a high turn out.

The post it overthrew was A shocking scene between the Hulk and Umar from Defenders #3 by Giffen, DeMatteis and Maguire. I'm glad it was overthrown because I put that post up just for a laugh. I never expected it to be as popular as it became. The reason it became popular is because a popular site linked to it. Apparently the event has become significant in the Marvel U and there doesn't happen to be any good posts of it on the internet. I'm glad to get the traffic but I don't want people to think that this post represents the rest of the blog.

One post I never expected to be as popular as it was was Lynda Barry's "Two Questions". This is a great surprise to me because I love Lynda Barry and think she deserves as much love as she gets though other posts of similar subjects weren't nearly as popular. The thing about Lynda Barry is that she's got eager fans who linked to my page. It kind of went viral about a week after it was posted on Facebook.

I have really enjoyed this aspect of the blog because I love getting the word about these amazing creators and their work, though I have to say that sometimes I worry about creators getting upset about me posting their work. So I want to say to all creators that I post your work out of love and respect for it. My hope is that by presenting your work to a larger audience you will get more followers and customers buying your products. In no way do I wish to undermine your rights to the work and all that it earns. But misunderstandings and disagreements do arise despite good intentions.
As a result of this I have been moving in the direction of working directly with the creators I write about to promote their work. I would really enjoy becoming more interactive with the comic community and in the near future you will see the first of these posts where I interview  a young creator and show off his work like the post I am working on with comic creator Cristian Ortiz on his Golden Campaign.

Doing this blog has been a real joy for me though I often wonder what the audience thinks about it since I rarely get any responses, though the few that I have gotten have been very greatly appreciated. I loved receiving an appreciative comment about the not-so-popular posts on Kevin Huizenga or the thoughtful comment on The Many Faces of R. Crumb. I've also been thrilled to receive comments from comic pro Jimmy Palmiotti on Moench/Gulacy's Master of Kung Fu. But my favorite comments by far are from editor Robert Boyd and all time favorite artist of mine Jose Munoz commented on Billie Holiday!

I'm very happy to do this blog. If you also enjoy it I would like to ask a small favor. If everyone would click on an add sometimes and buy a book on Amazon using the link it would bring in a small amount of money for me which would make it more possible for me to continue the blog.

And please write me and let me know what you think and what you would like to see more of.

Thank you readers and creators!
 See you in the funny papers!

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