Waxy, @$$ies, Headmen, and blogging about blogging is a sin.

§ March 3rd, 2006 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Waxy, @$$ies, Headmen, and blogging about blogging is a sin.

Pal Andy is facing legal shenanigans from Bill Cosby’s lawyers for hosting the House of Cosby parody animations. And he ain’t backin’ down. Good on him.

Ain’t It Cool News is offering up their comic book awards for the last year. They’re called the “@$$ies.” Mmm-hmm. Anyway, it’s about 75% Marvel ‘n’ DC stuff, and if I hear that criticism about All Star Batman one more freakin’ time….

Yesterday at the store:

Employee Nathan: “I think the most underappreciated villains at Marvel must be the Headmen.”

Me: “God help us if there’s ever a MAX version of the Headmen.”

I promised you all a response, of sorts, to the mighty Ringwood Ken’s State of the Comicsweblogosphere post from a few days back, and I’ve been trying to come up with one, on and off, ever since then. And to be real honest, it’s been a struggle.

As I told Ken in e-mail, my initial attempt at composing said response ended up being longer than the Bible, and thus perhaps a bit trying of the patience of you good people. It was terribly self-indulgent, too…I mean, even more so than the very idea of “blogging” is.

So let me try to respond and further comment briefly (or as briefly as I can manage, and I think you should know by now about how successful I usually am at being “brief”) upon at least one specific point made by Ken in his essay.

First, let me establish something. Now I usually don’t hold up a specific weblogger as a “favorite” — usually, when the topic comes up, I tend to say something along the lines of “I like all the comic webloggers out there,” and to a certain extent, that’s true. Okay, there may be a couple out there that don’t blow my skirt up, but the very idea that all you folks are out there, revealing your thoughts on comics for all to see, mostly on a regular basis, is enough to make me happy. I like that fact that there are so many people expressing themselves however they can on a subject that we all enjoy, and I don’t want to play favorites by saying “this guy is better than that guy” or something similar. But…there is a list of certain webloggers I immediately gravitate to as soon as I see them on the Comics Weblog Update-A-Tron. It’s probably a given that pal Dorian and the other members of the ACAPCWOVCCAOE are on that list, as is comics ‘blogging trailblazer Neilalien. And Ken is on that list as well…I can’t get to his site fast enough as soon as I learn that he’s got something new to say. I once referred to him as “America’s only comics weblogger,” and I may have only been half-joking. He’s one of my favorite webloggers, and I just wanted you (and Ken!) to keep that in mind on the off-chance that it sounds like I’m getting down on him in the slightest.

Well, it looks like I blew the “brief” thing already, but let’s continue anyway.

Ken says:

“There’s a lot of sloppiness in blogging now; we seem to be going more for entertainment than edification….”

And I have to admit, I may have been slacking off slightly on the site lately, but not from a lack of desire. I enjoy doing this weblog, and hope I can continue for some time to come…and when the weblog fad eventually dies out, on the assumption that it’s the 21st century’s CB radio, hopefully I can continue my online discussion of comics in whatever format is to follow.

The real problem is time; Some days I just don’t have the time to devote to putting together a post. That was built into the structure of my posting schedule almost from the start…the reason you get image posts on Wednesdays and Saturdays is because I generally don’t have much time to assemble a post on those days, given my working hours. And sometimes I’m just plain rushed, even on mornings when I would normally have plenty of time to put a post together…stuff happens, can’t be helped.

And that’s when you get the news story posts…the trouble isn’t finding them, it’s making sure I’m not stepping on Tom‘s toes by duplicating anything he’s already posted.

And that’s when you get the message board posts…yes, I know it can be very Fanboy Rampage of me, but where Graeme was mostly following the comic news topics of the day via board postings, and thus actually had some kind of point to make, I’m just looking for crazy talk. I mean, how else would we have learned about the glory that is…the Kryptonite Lightsaber? And the reason I think it’s sloppy posting on my part is because I could easily do that all day. I could do nothing but quotes from crazy message boards. It’s an easy fallback position when I don’t have the time or inclination to provide my own content. I know this type of post can be fun to read, and most of you seem to enjoy it, but it can be a lazy out for me. It may not be cheating, but it feels like cheating.

Ken mentions that folks in the comicsweblogosphere are going more for entertainment than education, and…well, I don’t know that there’s really anything wrong with that. I sympathize with his point, that we all have forums for our voices, that some of us carry some minimal amount of weight and influence with our readers, and we should use our influence to guide our readers and expose them to new works and new ideas.

On the other hand…when I started this site, I never expected more than a handful of readers. That I have any influence at all on anybody, beyond (hopefully) providing a few moments of amusement, usually comes as a shock to me.

Now, do I actually think that I am educating anybody? I’d like to think so. I’ve turned a few people on to various books…even though I see pal Tom all the time, it was my constant plugging of Little Lulu on the site that got him to try it out. And a few of my other customers who are aware of my site have tried out various books due to my online recommendations.

I also like to think I’ve taught a few comic fans out there about what it’s like for the guy on the other side of the comic shoppe counter. Not all of us funnybook dealers are the Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy. At least, I hope that’s what you’re taking away from my rants and venting. (“Worst…weblog…ever.”)

As for the emphasizing entertainment part…well, to repeat, I see Ken’s point. Going for the joke or the cheap shot over the thoughtful analysis may seem like a wasted opportunity. But I think some education can slip into the entertainment…it’s not like we’re Superdickery, where it seems a lot of the people just throwing panels up for mockery don’t really seem to know anything about comics. Most of us have an understanding of the history of the characters and of the medium, and hopefully that comes across in some of the more extensive detailings of the oddities of yesteryear.

Not that there’s really anything wrong with just throwing a random bizarre panel out there, though. A good laugh is its own reward.

That there’s any kind of serious, thoughtful, and extensive analysis at all on any weblogs is something to be grateful for. I mean, what do you want for free? Most of us aren’t getting paid for this. We’re just doing this for fun, as extensions of our hobbies. I like comic books, I like to talk about comic books, and I wanted a forum for sharing my enjoyment of comics with other people, without the undercurrent of “I like this comic, and I think you should give me money for it” that can occur when I talk about comics at the store.

But the beauty of weblogging, as it exists today, is that if you don’t like your reading options out there, it’s really easy to start a weblog of your own. If you don’t think your point of view is being represented, or that topics aren’t being discussed to the extent that you think they should be discussed…well, get off your hinder and get your site going. I would like to see what you have to say.

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