I wonder if Ian ever notices when I reference him in my blog posts.

§ June 20th, 2016 § Filed under blogging about blogging is a sin, how the sausage is made, question time § 4 Comments

Back to your questions…cruisin’ in with the following is Pedro de Pacas:

“So how DOES the sausage get made?”

Well, I take some of the excess bits of Progressive Ruin, ground it up, and…okay, that’s not what I do. Generally, before I turn in for the evening, I plop myself down in front of the ol’ Atari 800 and start to type away. Now, typing’s the easy part. I’m a goood tipyst. It’s the actual content that can be tricky, since, as you likely know, I’ve been hackin’ away at this blogging thing and generating content for nearly 12 1/2 years now, and that’s not counting my previous online behavior at LiveJournal or on message boards or on local BBSes and of course the secret journals that can only be revealed after my death and I’m long past Ian’s vengeful reach. Point is, I’ve said a lot of stuff, and covered a lot of ground, and I’m not sure I have any more “good ol’ ‘Death of Superman‘ days” stories left in me.

In general, though, posts on this site can come from just my daily adventures in retail and overall retailing philosophy, seeing something odd in an old comic, reminiscing about past events, reacting to current comics news, occasionally reviewing comics, and just being silly…you know, the usual stuff comic blogs are made of, but hopefully I provide enough of a unique perspective to keep you all coming back every couple of days. I mean, I see my stats, and that can’t all be search engine spiders and people in the Ukraine trying to crack my password.

The one source of blog content I do miss is interactions with store employees, most of whom were about halfway nuts and therefore good inspirations for postings. Like, for example, this interaction I had with Employee Aaron about the Dungeons & Dragons comic, or my conversations with Kid Chris. Sadly, now, at my own store, it’s just me and my volleyball Wilson, and he doesn’t say much.

And on a related note, googum googums

“Anything new and good in what’s left of the comics blogosphere, or is it all over?”

I’d been sort of dreading this particular question, since I felt like this would be a big topic that I couldn’t do justice to. For example, I might end a sentence with a preposition.

However, I wouldn’t say the “comics blogosphere” is over, by any means, though even typing the phrase “comics blogsphere” whisks me away on nostalgic winds to the year 2004. Even now, you can go take a look at the current iteration of the Comics Weblog Update-A-Tron 3000 and see the latest updates from many still active comic book weblogs. (And I always point out that I saddled the previous iteration of the Update-A-Tron with that particular name, an act for which I likely should apologize.)

The comics blogosphere as it existed Way Back When in the early/mid-2000s, when I entered the mess, is largely gone, of course. I don’t just mean “folks ain’t around,” though folks did move on, leaving behind blogs to move into actual paying writing jobs, or just leaving when they decided they were done, or guided their blogs toward other topics, or just lost interest and let things peter out. A lot of the interaction between bloggers is gone, too, as others have mentioned…inter-blog discussions and debates and the infrequent feud (joking and otherwise) aren’t as common as they used to be. At least, not that I’ve seen, and that’s another thing….

…I don’t frequent other blogs as much. It used to be, before I’d post, I’d do a quick rundown of the latest posts on the Update-A-Tron to make sure I wasn’t accidentally duplicating another person’s content. Seems crazy now, since I’m pretty sure I was the only person championing All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, and besides, even if I was tackling the same topic as another blogger, I’d like to think my voice is unique enough to put my own personal spin on the matter. Nowadays, however, I simply don’t spend a lot of time reading comic blogs. I mean, I do follow some, and I have ’em in my feed reader, and sometimes other sources (like Twitter) will direct me to blog posts that interest me. But that level of interaction I used to have, going directly to other sites, leaving comments, building conversations…there just isn’t enough time anymore.

Another change in the blogging world that initially discouraged me was the advent of the group blogs, the ones hosted at the comics news/press release sites that had several people creating multiple posts every day, and how was one poor dumb blogger like me going to compete with that amount of content? Why go to Progressive Ruin and his handful of posts per week, when you can go to The Big Professional Comics Blog Emporium and get dozens of posts about Lois Lane having to become a Black woman every hour upon the hour? …Okay, I’m teasing slightly, but it was a bit imposing at first, until I accepted this wasn’t a competition, that several folks working for these sites were people I liked, and that my site had the one thing I was “selling” that other sites couldn’t: me! Sure that’s a bit egotistical, but one doesn’t write a comic blog with his name in the title, relating his opinions for nearly 13 years by being a shy, retiring wallflower. (Also, I did write for the group comics blog Trouble with Comics for a while until some scheduling problems took me away from the site for the time being, so take my group-blog comments with a grain of virtual salt.)

The other thing is that online comics discussion is always evolving…traditional blogs may have been “the thing,” and for lots of people they still are, but there’s Tumblr, there’s Instagram, there’s Twitter, there’s podcasting, and so on. I’m sure there’s some platform people are actively using to discuss comic books about which I am totally unaware, because I am an old person and not hep to your current jive. I suspect I’ll be sticking with my trusty WordPress installation long after everyone’s moved on to BrainJet DirectConnext online communications since I tend to hold onto things way past their shelf life.

In short; yes, googum, the comics blogosphere, or Twittersphere, or Tumblrsphere, is not yet over. It’s not the same as it was, but that’s a good thing. …But I’ll require someone to tap me on the shoulder when it’s time to go, because I won’t be able to tell, myself.

4 Responses to “I wonder if Ian ever notices when I reference him in my blog posts.”

  • I am always delighted to visit Mike’s ProgRuin.
    It’s astounding that he’s still alive…er…i mean his BLOG is still alive.

    I try NOT to be deluded by telling myself that I have NOT shuttered my own blog. I AM actively doing what I can to free up time and space (physical and virtual) to allow for my return.

    I am also about to join a podcast and THAT will kinda FORCE me to get my blogging act together.

    Often,I ponder if I had been able to get my act together (the first time around) when I initially wanted to start a blog (1997 or so), I’d have been one of the first, but even then (newly married and having moved to a new place with a new job), time and money were cruel mistresses.

    Instead I finally pulled the trigger in 2008 (two moves, two states and a couple of jobs later) JUST before the world economy exploded.

    What was that I said about time and money?

  • Argh!Sims says:

    This reminds me of a recurring nightmare.

    I finally make the trip to Ventura County and enter Sterling Silver Comics(!), and Mike guides me to a door in the back of the store for Internet fans. He opens the door and there is a short hallway. On the far wall are a pristine copy of HOUSE OF SECRETS #92, plus copies of HOW SLUGGO SURVIVES and NANCY EATS FOOD, and original Full Frontal Harvey art for “I’M VERY DISAPPOINTED”

    I step into the hallway and realize I’ve been engulfed by a Gelatinous Cube. The books at the end of the hallway turn into beat-up copies of All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder and a giant pile of Smurf comics. I wake just before dying of suffocation and disappointment.

  • Don’t you loathe egotistical bloggers who put their names in the title of their blogs?

  • Greg Burgas says:

    I’ve been reading your blog almost since the beginning, and I know what you mean about the community. I do miss the fact that you could find bloggers commenting on each others’ posts and writing about what other bloggers wrote – it was a bit incestuous, sure, but it also created a really nice community. It’s still fun to write for our blog and read others, but I don’t get the sense of “togetherness” that I used to (even though I was never as erudite as guys like Jog or Dave or Kevin or Dorian, but I tried, damn it!), and that’s a bit sad. I mean, I interact more with David Brothers at conventions once or twice a year (he’s a very cool dude) than I do with him on-line anymore. But I still like reading comics blogs, dang it!

    I’m sorry I write for one of those evil group blogs. Those things really are the worst, aren’t they? :)