One of the things I have struggled with as a new or returning reader is trying to remember who happened to what, when and in which universe for a lot of the big Marvel or DC titles. It's not a task that I dislike, or am surprised by, but, it is definitely one of the reasons I was deterred from getting back into reading comic books, and felt safer just watching Movies, Cartoons or TV shows to get my fix. While I have thoroughly enjoyed the process of re-discovery of what has happened to several of my favorites like the Punisher, anyone in the X-Men universe, and Thor, most of my delight has come from simpler stories put out by mostly the smaller publishers.
And then, over Christmas break, I saw this on Twitter.
James Tynion IV to me wrote what is probably my favorite book of the year in Something is Killing the Children. That book has a very interesting premise, and from release to release I am able to jump back in with ease. The same is true with several of my other favorite releases from the past year. Books like:
All have that in common. An interesting premise that is simple and strange. Easy to read, easy to remember, easy to explain. Don't get me wrong, I loved reading House/Powers of X or whatever new happened with the Punisher, Venom, and Carnage this year, but sometimes with each new issue of the big-box titles, I feel like I need to go back and check my notes on what happened 2-3 issues before (don't get me started on what feels like the 50000000000 active Spider-Man titles).
I am interested in seeing what Tynion does with his turn at Batman, will it stay true to his philosophy of simple and strange, or will he be tied to the decades of lore/canon of the Batman universe?
With all that being said, it was refreshing to see one of my authors-of-the-year who works with a variety of story styles say what I have had in my mind since July, and I hope more creative teams adopt this thought process.
Nothing like angry small children and weather continuing to mess up my plans to post things when I want to...
My "New Years Resolution" for 2020 is to focus on content-creation on my website. In the past few months of writing occasional reviews and/or participating on the Chop Shop podcast, I feel like I have at least become comfortable in finding my "voice" in regards to speaking/writing about comics. In looking at other blogs, bigger press mediums on comics, and podcasts, I feel like several things are lacking for readers like me, the folks who feel like they are playing constant catch-up in the world of long-storied multiverse franchises. In order to carve out a space in the marketplace of ideas, my goal in 2020 is to attempt to do the following, with a higher degree of consistency than in 2019:
With all of these in mind, the plan is to transition from using this blog as a sole mode of catharsis and stress relief (which it still will be, regardless) but attempting to create a broader readership or to find ways to interact with other folks like myself in the twitter-verse, and see what other folks would like to see covered which may not exist in other outlets.
Will I succeed with these five goals and create the website of my dreams? Probably not....but that doesn't mean I'm not going to spend a hell of a lot of time trying, because my journey back into the medium of comics in 2019 was something I loved a lot, so this will be a love of labor and other things.
First review and thought piece will come this week as we are facing an ice-pocalypse at home!
I've let things go dormant, but it gave me some time to reflect on how I wanted my comic book footprint to exist.
Expect something tonight with my new "vision" for what I'll write about!
The journey of a 30-something father of three who's trying to break into the world of reviewing comics after a loooooong hiatus...