Sunday, December 21, 2008

2008, I barely knew ye.

Once again, Tom Spurgeon put a Five for Friday question out there, and once more, I was unable to respond in a timely manner, due to lack of time and just plain laziness + fuzzy thinking. But after having seen the responses of others to the latest FfF, I think I can make my own list and put it here for all of youse, since the end of 2008 is rapidly approaching and one is inclined towards backwards-looking of this nature. So anyway, here's the question:

"Name Five Memorable Comics-Related Things About 2008 (A Book You Read, An Experience You Had, An Event That Made You Take Notice -- Anything That Would Help You In The Future Recall This Year."

I went back through my far-from-comprehensive 2008 blog post archives, and found several things that I thought were noteworthy enough to comment on.

First, here's what I would have sent in to Tom:

The death of Dave Stevens
My first published art in Fatalysia #3
My first commissioned sketch!
Getting my Super-Hip illustration from Fred Hembeck
Being invited to contribute reviews to Hopefully they don't regret it.

And here are some other memorable things from 2008 for me, comics-wise:

Gene Colan's illness and the response from the Comics Blogosphere.

Strange & Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko.

Comic Book Movies: Iron Man/Dark Knight/Hellboy 2/Watchmen hype.

Discovering Scalped, Blue Beetle, The Vinyl Underground.

Freddie & Me and the correspondence I had with creator Mike Dawson about the book and Queen.

Finding out the story behind the "Man Who Owned the Earth" story that I had as a kid and would love to read, hopefully, someone someday will scan this and put it online.

The death of Steve Gerber and the death of Jim Mooney. Ironic that both died in a year that saw the release of a new version of their collaboration, Omega the Unknown.

The Diana Prince: Wonder Woman collections: Having mostly skipped these when they originally came out (when I was about 9 years old), I had been interested in reading these for a long time, and just didn't want to spend the bucks to get a set on the ebay. That said, they were a bit of a disappointment, mostly, but I enjoyed them just the same and am glad to have them, and look forward to the next collection. Reviews here, here and here.

Returns by Thriller creators Robert Loren Fleming (via the mostly disappointing Ambush Bug: Year None) and Trevor Von Eeden (The Original Johnson at ComicMix).

The return of Dan Brereton's Nocturnals.

The demise of the Minx line.

The whole "supernatural divorce" thing in Spider-Man. Talk about a tempest in a teapot.

The whole Final Crisis...well, we probably shouldn't call it a fiasco just yet, because it's not over and there have been a few pretty good comics to come out of it so far. But it sure does seem like a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, and the whole event has suffered as a result. I mean, when even Todd Klein is ragging on your product, something is amiss.

Three really good animated series, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Superjail. Oh, and the third season of the superlative Venture Bros.

...and that's about it. It's been an interesting year, for the most part, and it will get a lot more interesting in 2009, I'm sure. Hopefully, I'll be up to the task of blogging about it. I have a lot of meat-world things (as Ellis so charmingly puts it) going on that conspire to sap my time and energy, and I often find myself wondering how I did it back in, oh, '04 or '06. I'm considering making this an all-purpose blog again, and going back to writing about movies and music and TV as well, and getting rid of the Off the Record blog, which I never seem to have the energy and enthusiasm to post to. I don't know. Regardless, I will continue to do what I can when I can, and I am, as always, grateful that you care to read whenever I do manage to post something.

I plan to get at least one more big comics review column up before 2009 strikes, and hopefully I'll get a few more posts up before year's end. I'm saving one in particular for Christmas that I'm excited about; it's a video clip of something Xmas-related that just knocked me out a year or so ago. So as always, stay tuned!

Oh, and the above illo is what I thought was a pertinent-to-2008 comic by Chris Sanders, from his great Kiskaloo series (which has been, unfortunately, on hiatus for far too long). I hope he doesn't mind me putting it up there.

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