On this blog’s first anniversary in February 2010, I gave a State of the Blog report
— coining it “The Slog” by contraction due to technical problems and vandalism that had rendered dealing with Blam’s Blog more of a trudge than it should be.
The post was as much about why I hadn’t been writing, and why I’d resumed, as it
was about where the blog itself was headed. A couple of Mini-Slogs came along later
in the year, even if neither really had any more to say than did the usual periodic complaints about various gremlins (now their own blog label) that have kept me from being productive here. I’d hoped to have thoughts on the blog’s present and future when its second anniversary rolled around six months ago, but life — which, as John Lennon reminded us, is what happens while you’re busy making plans — got in the way, partly in the form of my grandfather’s passing. What follows is very like what I would have said this past February except that certain deadlines are now ever closer upon me, so many posts backed up in the pipeline, making the current state of the blog less a
slog and more of, well, a clog.
I’ve long talked about taking a planned break from Blam’s Blog to attend to a few
other projects. Unplanned breaks have allowed me to do some of that work, although insofar as I haven’t been able to get online or I’ve just been too exhausted they’ve been stymied as well.
My original impetus for this blog, as I mentioned last year, was to learn my way
around blogging and exercise my too-long-dormant writing muscles after not owning
a working computer for several years so that I could make a go at I Have Issues, a chronicle of the methodical organization of my collection of comics. The physical aspect of it is an absolute bear; I hit a ceiling — only metaphorically... barely — in terms of the logistics of moving around boxes and separating things out, and of course the time spent on this blog has curtailed the time spent in those efforts. I’m anxious to get back to Issues for a number of reasons:
(1) I’ve always found going through my collection very calming, at least once the
boxes are in place and I’m simply merging in stacks of newer acquisitions, bagging ’n’ boarding, and pruning out material to trade or sell. Now the sorting has taken on a whole new level of complexity, however, as my collection gets moved from a largely alphanumeric system to a chronological one broken down by groups of characters, genres, and publishers’ lines for better context.
(2) Also, I would really like to free up space and make some cash off my stash. My
use of eBay and such is, unfortunately, at least as hampered as my blogging and sundry online activities by my connectivity problems.
(3) Finally and perhaps most importantly, I’m convinced that done right I Have
Issues is likely the best use of my free time and energies. While the reaction to my writing on other topics has been rewarding, as has the writing process itself, that project is a deeply personal, extremely large and long-term undertaking that will quite literally be my life’s work; it took me a lifetime to date to build up this collection and
it’s probably going to be a race against the rest of my natural lifespan to read through the collection one last time offering reviews and remarks of varying detail. Lots of folks can analyze Fringe each week as well as I, but nobody else has my attachment to my specific assortment of Flash, Fantastic Four, Famous 1st Edition, Firearm, and The Forty-Year-Old Hippie.
Even before I Have Issues goes live as a blog, I hope to finally unveil Adventures in Comicology, a website archiving my accumulated output of articles, interviews, and essays about comics. Despite the fact that mental focus is often a physical struggle of its own for me, unearthing, transcribing, editing, and ordering my past published work is less physically demanding than heaving boxes, it requires less workspace, and until the final push to transfer it all online it’s less dependent on an Internet connection. I’m also putting together a book of interviews that I conducted for outlets from the venerable Comics Buyer’s Guide to my own short-lived magazine Comicology, which will probably be available both electronically and via a print-on-demand service, but save for the longer interviews just about everything of substance that I’ve written on comics up to and including recent material from Blam’s Blog will be online, free — logged for posterity, Wikipedia sourcing, and general perusal. My aim is for Adventures to house new posts as well, picking up and expanding on some of the features that I began on this blog prior to the vandalism, although that’s entirely subject to my health and, you know, Issues.
Which brings us back to what I still want to accomplish with Blam’s Blog. I’ll almost certainly be shying away from TV reviews, with the exception of lingering posts in need of updating or polish that I’d like to publish when the fall television season begins. Likewise, I have movie reviews in the can that are now awaiting DVD releases to regain their relevancy, and because I tend to discuss TV more than film at friends’ blogs
(when energy and Internet access permit) I’m sure I’ll be tempted to throw up quick thoughts on anything I get to sample at the cinema to stoke potential conversation here. The goal is to not start writing entirely new posts before getting through the clog, however. Most pressing are reviews of ongoing comics, which like those of TV series become outdated fast, and in the case of the several posts on DC properties that have been growing since last summer there’s renewed urgency due to DC’s upcoming relaunch.
So my focus for the rest of this month is to finally put up my reviews of last year’s landmark issues of Superman and Wonder Woman along with the bits I’ve sampled
of J. Michael Straczynski’s tenure on each, a series of posts on the Batman titles from the Batman Reborn period through Grant Morrison’s Batman Incorporated, and the rest of my own imagined DC reboot, which together with musings on the actual initiative were among the small swath of files that couldn’t be recovered from backups when my hard drive failed a couple of months ago. Pending resolution to my ongoing Internet travails, which ended up not being solved by Apple’s replacement of my laptop’s Airport card or the house’s switch in provider from Comcast to Verizon FiOS
— and which are not limited to our house, meaning the problem definitely lies in the laptop — I’d like to get back to both transferring Blam’s Blog to another hosting service and sprucing up the blog as it currently stands by adding more pages, restoring posts that have been missing, and quite possibly rebuilding them from the ground up while preserving links, stats, and most importantly comments so that necessary edits can be made, because at present any posts older than late last year cannot be touched lest
their HTML go haywire.
The friendships and camaraderie that I’ve made or rediscovered through the mere presence of this blog, as well as my activity here and elsewhere online, have been its greatest dividends — but it remains tremendously satisfying just to be writing again even when the state of the blog is indeed a slog or a clog. I apologize to those of you to whom I owe correspondence or comments and who are waiting me to finally get the heck on Facebook. And I thank you all for reading.
Related: Welcome • The Slog • Blest of the Bog