Sunday, April 11, 2010


I was going to post something - honest! - and then I noticed that, according to Blogger, this is my 1000th post. I know this is six-and-a-quarter years of blogging, so that comes out as roughly one post every 2.28 days - pretty good, considering how many dead spots and long hiatuses there are scattered throughout, owing to occasional travel or general lethargy. That's quite a lot of wasted hours, folks!

I don't have anything particularly thoughtful or poignant to say, so I'll just say thanks to everyone who reads, and thanks to everyone who doesn't read; thanks to everyone, period. Extra special thanks to every other blogger in the world - I was just going to list everyone I had had any dealings with over the last 1000 posts, but I realized after five minutes that would be impossible. So I'll just put out a blanket thank-you to everyone, even the people I hate or find annoying, because hey, we're all one big happy family.

I don't know about you, but this is my hobby - I do it because it's supposed to be fun. When it's not fun, or I'm to busy to concentrate, I step away for a while. That's why it's taken all this time to log 1000 posts. On that note, I guess if I had to single out one blogger especially as an inspiration, it'd have to be Mr. Mike Sterling. I dunno how he does it. He's only been blogging for a little over a month longer than I have, but in all those years he's never once missed a day of blogging. Never! Every time I'm feeling run down or bored with this whole thing, I go to Mike's site and marvel at his endurance. I don't know how he finds the wherewithal to keep coming back to the field day in and day out - I know I get sick of comics sometimes. Hell, a lot. Maybe one day Mike will impart the secret of his eternal enthusiasm.

And then of course I must mention Milo. He's just recently come to a significant blogging milestone of his own. Milo's blog is one of the stranger destinations on the internet, but it's always a good day when he posts something that doesn't involve pictures of his food. He's usually funnier than I am, even if I'm never entirely sure how much he's joking. (Even if you know Milo fairly well that doesn't seem to make much of a difference - Sphinx-like, that one.)

Neilalien is, as must be noted, the Grandaddy for all of us comics bloggers. But he's also perhaps the nicest, always willing to help out to ensure the HTML on my rotting Blogger interface doesn't rot away entirely. I live maybe three hours' drive away from Neil and yet I've yet to actually make the trip to say "hi" in person - maybe I'll do that soon, buy him a bottle of moon-grog or whatever it is strange palindrome creatures imbibe.

Tucker is a pal, a real mensch, and although I don't get around much to contribute to any group blogs (I can barely remember to contribute to my own!), I'm happy that he and Martin have made me part of the extended Factual Opinion family, along with brother-from-another-mother David Brothers, Matthew Brady, Jog, Sean and the enchanting Ms. Nina.

Dirk didn't invent comics blogging but it sure seemed at the time like the first iteration of Journalista was the rallying point from which a whole slew of comics bloggers were either born or found a greater audience - folks like me, Mike, Dorian, Kevin, Sean, Dave Fiore (whatever happened to him?), Laura "Tegan," Johnny Bacardi, Dave Campbell (who srsly needs to get back in the game immediately), Polite Scott . . . tons more I've forgotten because they faded away or I just plain lost track.

Remember Fanboy Rampage? And while we're on the subject, what the hell ever happened to Dick Hyacinth, did anyone ever figure that one out?

It's hard to imagine there was ever a time before Tom's Comics Reporter. As vital as Journalista 1.0 was to the gestation and coalescence of the comics blogosphere, Tom is our current lodestone. If he disappeared tomorrow, I can't help but think that the whole enterprise of writing about comics on the internet might just fall apart. Maybe that's an exaggeration, but only just.

I know I'm missing a load of other people, but rather than belabor the point I'll simply say that if I didn't mention you I've probably forgotten you because my mind is a rusty, sleep-deprived sieve.

But finally, I'd like to draw the curtain back a bit and thank two people who I've never thanked before, but without whom I wouldn't be here writing this. Even more than everyone listed above, there are two individuals to whose influence I can directly attribute to my decision to start blogging about comics:

The first of these gentlemen is the fellow who runs Gone & Forgotten. You may recognize him as the recipient of my award for "Best Comics Blog Ever, Emeritus." The reason for this is simple: the first comic-centric site I ever followed religiously, that made me scour its archives and reread my favorite posts time and again, post them to my friends until they were sick of them, was this site. In my mind the Platonic ideal of a comic book blog is still any site that spends an inordinate amount of time exhuming the character defects of old Jimmy Olsen comics. I'm a sucker for the classics, and it just doesn't get more classic than talking about how crappy the Green Team were. I don't know exactly how long he's been doing it (and I don't even know who "he" is since he prizes his anonymity), but he says he's been doing it since the late 90s, which if true would mark him as older than Neilalien. I don't know what the "official" tally on that is, but I know I've been following his site in all its iterations since before there was anything like a "comics blogosphere." He makes me laugh, pure and simple, and I still hold a fond place in my heart for any comics blog that attempts to make me laugh at the shortcomings of the comics of our forefathers.

The second is Abhay Khosla. Way back in the Pleistocene age, there was a website named MoviePoopShoot. It doesn't exist anymore and the man who ran it, Chris Ryall, has since gone on to a position of some larger importance in the comics industry. But far and away the best thing MPS ever did was bring on a guy named Abhay to run down the week's Diamond ship list. Abhay is funny and insightful now, that has never changed, but reading him for the first time online was simply astounding. Reading Abhay cold was a revelation: it was as if comics had our own Lenny Bruce or Andy Kaufman, someone who could be hilariously funny while at the same time unfolding a daunting amount of serious critical damage at whatever his target might be. His writing, for me, effortlessly crystallizes something very vital about the comics reading experience: how it is possible to hate the thing you love, how sometimes the best and most cogent response to insulting absurdity is unambiguous contempt, how our reaction to what we read is formulated by a thousand extra-textual factors which ultimately have little or no bearing on the quality of the work itself - and how all of this is OK, as long as we're honest about just why we're here in the first place. I've seen some otherwise intelligent people casually dismiss his work as mere off-the-cuff stand-up, or silly non sequitur ramblings, but I stand by my conviction that he's one of the smartest and most perceptive writers currently writing about comics. I wish I could write about comics with half the skill and insight that he does, but he usually manages to say twice what I could say in half the space. I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't have his example to strive for. He's a lot funnier than I am, too.

So, finally, after 1000 posts, what have we learned? Not a lot, and certainly nothing more important than this:

What more can I say?

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