So the latest Trouble with Comics question time entry is a little different, in that it’s a roundtable discussion with the TwC contributors on the topic of “comics blogging: what was up with that?” Okay, Alan was a little more eloquent with how he put that particular query, but we all chimed in with our thoughts, and though I wish I’d contributed a little more, I’m in the mix nonetheless. So go on over and relive those long-ago, nigh-mythical days when comic blogs existed.
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Well, I hate missing a Monday post, but sometimes things just get away from you and, well, What Can You Do? I’ve had some real-life type stuff of late that’s been getting in the way of blogging fun time, so content may be a bit sparse…well, more sparse…around here for a little bit. But, I assure you, I’m still here. Watching. Waiting.
In the meantime, I still participated in the Trouble with Comics Question of the Week, which in this week’s case was “The nine-panel grid. Love it or hate it?” As I explain in my response, the question caught me off guard a bit, which is exactly why I’m joining in on this…to be caught off guard, to stretch my writing muscles a bit so that I’m not always posting on how great Frank Miller’s The Spirit is and other such topics about which I’m completely correct. I never gave the nine-panel grid much thought, really, especially why anyone would hate it, but…well, you can read my response there, which, as I’d mentioned to Mr. Doane as I was working on it, is basically “I’m dumb; here’s why.”
There’s also an accompanying gallery of nine-esque panel grids for you to enjoy. And here’s what TWC got up to in the past week or so, like this bit of business someone beat me to. I’ll have my revenge, oh yes.
Anyway, I’ll try to be back in the blogging groove later this week. Thanks for your patience, pals. Remember, you can always find me on the Twitterers if you really miss me. Also, please visit my store‘s eBay store, if, you know, you’re not busy or anything.
So the big hoohar over the last couple of days is the new Daredevil TV series, all thirteen episodes of which were unleashed on Friday and, apparently, everyone on the planet except yours truly somehow managed to burn through every one in the first couple of hours they were available.
Okay, perhaps I exaggerate slightly, but while I was workin’ hard for the money at my store (that would be Sterling Silver Comics, located in the shining heart of Camarillo, CA), all the rest of youse guys were relaxing in your easy chairs, a cool drink in one hand and probably another cool drink in your other hand, using your toesies on your smartphones to Twitter and Facebook at your pals to let them know what episode you’re on and to spoil the shocking cameo appearances of Odin and Squirrel Girl in the last episode.
Phooey sez I. I’m going to spoil the end of Frank Miller’s Spirit movie, and see how you like it! (And I know it’ll be a spoiler, because none of you had the good sense to experience this masterpiece.)
…Ah, okay, I’m not as bent out of shape about it as all that. Some of y’all are all excitable-like about this Daredevil show, which has turned out to be pretty good, so I can’t blame you for your enthusiasm. I’m only through episode 4, but this is shaping up to be an interesting, if surprisingly violent (for a Marvel product) program. I saw one of my Twitter pals describe it (or retweet someone describing it) as a 13-hour superhero movie, which I’m sure is certainly the effect generated by grinding through every episode one after another. I’m experiencing it with long-ish intermissions, but I suspect I’ll have a similar opinion by the end.
At the very least, it’s likely better than whatever the end product of that other Daredevil show might have been, as seen in this PROGRESSIVE RUIN FLASHBACK! Though, on second thought, that show could have been fantastic in its own right.
In other news: sorry about the Low Content Mode lately…turns out working a shop (that shop being Sterling Silver Comics, still located in the still-shining heart of Camarillo, CA) by yourself seven days a week can take a lot out of you, so I haven’t had a lot of energy to generate content here. I’m not going away…as I promised you all a while back, barring my surprising demise in a shocking deep sea diving accident, I will give you advance warning if I’m shutting down the blog. Which, by the way, I have no intention of doing. I’m just letting the batteries recharge a bit.
You can usually find me annoying anyone who made the mistake of following me on Twitter, so feel free to check in on me there if you somehow believe I’m more tolerable in smaller doses. But I promise, I’ll still be here on this site doing whatever it is I think I’m doing. Thanks to all of you for still reading.
Johanna’s long-running site Comics Worth Reading recently had some behind-the-scenes tech trouble, resulting in a corrupted database and years of lost posts. She’s going through and restoring some of the older reviews as she’s able to extract them, but…man, talk about a nightmare. My most empathetic thoughts are sent her way as she deals with this problem.
While this can be a drag, suddenly losing all that work built up over a decade or more, on the other hand I can see where it can almost be…liberating, in a sense. A lot of my posts, once you go back far enough, are so link-rotted or just generally awful that I’d almost prefer you didn’t go back and just read each and every post I’d made. There are lots of links to Haloscan comments that all went away went Haloscan vanished. There are interlinks between my posts that go to the old Blogger version of my site, which I still maintain copies of on my server just to that any old outside links to those old versions of my posts won’t be dead ones. Basically that means for entries from 2003 ’til whenever it was I switched over to WordPress — in 2010 or so — there are effectively two versions of my site here (though I’ve blocked the old Blogger pages from indexing, which should reduce any Googling confusion). Anyway, it’s a mess.
I’ve said before I’d almost want to start a Progressive Ruin 3.0 (2.0 being this site, 1.0 being the site I talk about in my first anniversary post), where I could just begin completely anew, and leave this site as a frozen archive for what has gone before. Or, I could bring over all the best posts from this site, leaving behind the worst ones, and retool the posts slightly so that they are less dependent on off-site links.
But that sounds like a mess, too. What I have been doing, on and off over the years, is that if I link to an older pre-Wordpress post in a newer post, I’ll go back and fiddle with that old post so dead links are either removed or noted as such, or any in-site links are corrected to the modern WordPress site rather than the archived Blogger pages. I haven’t been consistent about it (like in that first anniversary post I just linked to), but at least I try. At the very least I keep checking my first post to make sure it goes where I want it to go.
Ultimately, if I plan on keeping this site around for a while, I’m probably just going to have to bite the bullet and fix each post individually…or somehow program something into the site so that if you access a page here older than, say, 2010, something pops up that says “Abandon hope all ye who enter here” or, you know, something similar.
Anyway, again, my sympathies to Johanna, mixed with a little “there but for the grace of God.” Should probably look into backing up my WordPress database.
In other news:
- Pal Dave just started “I Played That!” – his series on computer games he’s played and enjoyed. Very fun (and nostalgic!) reading.
- Pal Andrew on the usage of pop-culture references, and the pitfalls and / or practicalities thereof.
- Bully, the Little Bull Who’s Stuffed Even More Than Mitchell, gives us your stealth Mystery Science Theater 3000/Star Wars crossover for the day (with what looks like a little Bender from Futurama mixed in).
…though I should have an End of Civilization post up tomorrow. Sorry, gang, I’ve had some long days of late and my blogging muse has temporarily flown the coop, apparently. I’m not asleep, I’m just resting my eyes.
Here’s a thing about my site that you probably don’t know about. When I started, waaaay back when, the plan was to some some kind of audio programming…I’m not sure “podcasting” was even a thing in late 2003, but I had half an idea of somehow broadcasting my dulcet tones across the internettings and into your earbuds. (Hmmmm…”PODgressive Ruin,” maybe?) I even have a soundboard here donated to me by pal Dorian toward such a purpose.
Alas, that never came to pass, but “never say never” I suppose, as someday the bug may bite me and I’ll put the effort into actually speaking to you, instead of hunting and pecking at the keyboard with this pen in my mouth, please, someone send help, I’ve been tied up here for days. Anyway, I created a subdomain on this site back before I even posted my first post, and that subdomain is right here. No idea where I snapped that clip art, though I’m pretty sure the coloring of said clip art is my fault. Also, that’s your reminded that my original color scheme for the site was going to be bright green lettering on a dark background, like the clunky ol’ personal computers of my rapidly receding youth. Friends advised me “that’ll make me want to put my eyes out,” so I wisely opted not to go with those colors.
It’s also a reminder that I should never use the phrase “coming soon” because that’s almost a guarantee I’ll not get around to it. Or only get around to it grudingly.
Well, enough about that. Remember, a new End of Civilization is coming…er, soon. Yeah.
Second, some instances of the unwanted pop-up video ads and possibly the page-redirect ads may have been traced to a stat-tracker I’ve had on this site for years that seems to have just recently (like, within the last few months) been causing these problems for its users. I’ve removed that plug-in, and hopefully that’ll solve at least some issues. (Please note that similar problems can be caused by installs on your browsers as well, so keep an eye on all those Firefox/IE/Chrome add-ons!)
Third…well, there is no third. I said only a “couple” of updates, after all.
1. I’ve had reports from folks using the Silk browser on the Kindle that they can’t access my site, receiving a “script not responding” message. (I’ve also had a message or two from folks who say they can bring up my site in Silk just fine.) Have any of you Kindle users had trouble accessing my site? I mean, I suppose if you only have a Kindle for web access, you’ll not see this message, but if you happen to also happen to have a Kindle in addition to whatever magical computo-box you use to look at my ramblings, please let me know.
1a. Alan tells me that searching for my site with the Kindle’s Duck Duck Go app seems to be a workaround, if that helps.
2. I also hear tell that Safari on a laptop also brought up some glitches recently. The only change I’ve made was installing a WordPress plug-in that would streamline the mobile access to my site, which shouldn’t affect Safari browsing, but who knows. Anyone else have recent trouble with my site via laptop browsing?
3. I’ve also once again heard about pop-up ads turning up on my site. Last time this happened, the culprit was adware/malicious plug-ins/etc. on users’ computers, not my site, so I’m hoping that’s the case this time. Well, “hoping” makes me sound like a jerk…I’m not really hoping you guys have viruses on your computers, but as far as I know and can tell, I shouldn’t have any pop-up anythings on my site here. If you see any, let know in as much detail as you can manage (like what they’re advertising, and if there are any “ad supplied by [x]” notations somewhere in the window).
I have multiple computers and phones and even a Nook, at home and at work, with various operating systems and browser types. I have about five different browsers on my personal desktop computer alone. I have never been able to duplicate any of the problems that have been reported to me, which makes me dependent on you folks to let me know when something seemingly goes haywire. Last night, I spent a lot of time bugging Twitter pals about this, including a couple of comic pros who probably could’ve been writing/drawing stuff rather than helping me debug my dumb webpage.
Now, it’s not like my site is cleanly-scripted pure HTML5 poetry. There are a couple of security plug-ins installed, this particular WordPress theme I’m using seems to have vanished from the Internet entirely so it hasn’t been updated in a while, and, well, those Amazon ads in the sidebar which everyone should use and click hint hint shouldn’t be doing anything to my site, and plus I’m secretly installing cookies on every visitor’s computer that will redirect Google image searches to pictures of Swamp Thing and Sluggo, but most of these things don’t seem to cause any access problems as far as I can tell.
The absolute last resort is refurbishing the entire site, getting a new WordPress theme, dropping all the sidebar plug-ins…well, no, the really absolute last resort would be restarting completely from scratch, burning down the old and setting up Progressive Ruin 2.0 (well, 3.0, actually) on the ashes, but nobody wants that. Well, I don’t want that, anyway…some people out there would be glad to see all this nonsense go up in flames. But I’m not ready to give up, and hopefully I can work out whatever quirks exist so that I can still talk to you all about comics without worrying whether or not anyone can see what I’m saying.
I started writing a long ol’ post about comic book ordering, but I’m not going to finish anytime soon, and it’s already really late, and your pal Mike needs his beauty sleep. I mean, really needs it. Have you seen Mike lately? Sheesh.
Anyway, I know my site has been a bit light in content lately…I’m still here, I promise. My goofin’-around-on-the-blog time has been in short supply, and some nights I’ve been getting in too late, too tired and too scatterbrained to put together an entry of any real substance (not that scatterbrainedness has ever been in the way before).
My comic ordering post should be up on Sunday, then I’ll be back on Monday and I’ve got an End of Civilization post coming this week (already? are months like only two weeks long now or something?) so I’ll be back up to speed soon.
I was going to maybe do a Sluggo Saturday post, but I almost can’t bring myself to get up, go to the other room, grab the stack of Nancy comics and flip through ’em for inspiration. This is terrible. My mind is going, I can feel it. Daisy, Daisy, give me…your answer…do
So for some reason, instead of wanting to write new content for this here site, I spent an awful lot of my allotted late Sunday evening comics blogging time looking at some old posts of mine, and old posts from a friend’s site from a number of years back, the heyday of “let’s everyone get in on this comics-blogging thing” activity. Don’t know why I was feeling this weird sort of nostalgia for that particular era, where folks (including me!) were a little more earnest and angry and some of us bumped heads over things for no real good reason (and I don’t even remember who or what this was about at this late date).
I posted a links to a couple of old things I wrote on my Twitter account last night as I found them, and even reblogged some old Photoshopped thing of mine onto my hardly-used Tumblr, but…yeah, sorry, I just don’t have real content today. Just had an evening of thinking back to the way things used to be, the interactions I used to have with the other comics bloggers, and so on. This isn’t a “COMICS BLOGGING IS DEAD” post…it’s “COMICS BLOGGING IS DIFFERENT” what with your Tumblrs and Twitterers and I’m just feeling old, don’t mind me.
I really need to get back into regularly looking at the ol’ Comics Weblog Update-A-Tron (and it’s nice that the person running that site remembers that I was the one who came up with that name for the original comics weblog update lister) and see what new names are out there. I’ve been fairly insular, just doing my own thing here and not doing a whole lot of looking around beyond friends’ sites and whatever linking trackbacks I happen to spot in my referrals.
Plus, we had an enormously busy weekend at the shop, so I’m a little fried from that. The only unusual comic-related thing I did this weekend was that I finally got around to straightening up our poster racks, since apparently someone took all the rolled posters out of their proper slots and just shoved them back in there randomly and that was terrible. And I got it all rearranged just in time for our friendly Traveling Poster Salesman to pop on by the shop and offer his wares, and I was totally prepared for him. See, how exciting is that story?
Thus, no post today. Well, aside from all that you just read. Or skimmed, which I wouldn’t blame you for.
REMINDER: As noted a couple of days ago, pal Mark (cocreator of Fake AP Stylebook) and his wife can use a little financial help due to health issues and loss of work. Thanks to your generosity, they are way past their goal, but the fund drive continues for a few more days and getting that much more of a cash buffer would be of great help to them. If you have a couple of spare bucks, please consider donating. Thank you very much.
…as I have been too short on time in the last couple of days to give it the proper attention it deserves. It will be up Friday, I’m reasonably certain.
In the meantime, a few clarifications:
- It sort of dawned on me that perhaps I wasn’t clear about the origins of that “Mike Sterling is a jerk!” image that Bully, the Little Photoshopping Bull, made for me and I linked to at the end of this post. It was created in response to this Twitter post of mine in which I quote Employee Aaron expressing his opinion of me, based of course on the famous X-Men comic splash page. So, to be very clear, Bully does not actually think I’m a jerk, nor did I ever think he did. I know he was just teasing!
However, Bully does think Professor X is a jerk, and for good reason!
- For this post, my example of Power Pack #27 was used almost entirely at random. In fact, as I was writing the post, it was originally New Warriors #27, until I decided to write a little something about New Warriors #1 at the end. I thought “well, that’s two mentions of New Warriors in one post, clearly that violates some sort of zoning law” and Power Pack was the first thing to pop into my head to replace it. So, I wasn’t really making any kind of specific point about Power Pack #27, just a general one about guide-pricing versus real world sales potential.
However, in response to my mention, this nice person (who also says a few much-appreciated kind words about my goofy site) takes a more in-depth look at the comic in question.
- MrJM was only kidding with the “Thanks, Obama!” comment. Honest!
- A few of you have noted that Howard the Duck #1 was a comic that was once red hot and inflated in value, due to its 1970s popularity, and remained fairly pricy up until a certain movie of some note was released. I wish I’d remembered to dig up some of the old guides while I was at the shop to double-check pricing, but in general I do recall a sudden dip in demand and value on the comic. Exactly how much, monetarily speaking, I am not sure, but yeah, it certainly happened. In recent years prices have been creeping back up, partially because those comics are sort of crawling out from under the shadow of the film and regaining some critical appreciation again, and partially because it’s a noteworthy series that’s approaching its 40th birthday and it’s getting more difficult to find high-grade copies.
Anyway, that’s enough of that. I’ll bring a proper end to civilization tomorrow, I (mostly) promise!