Karen: It was a year ago that Doug and I started this little blog of ours, and I have to say, I've really enjoyed what we've done. Being able to expound on some of our favorite comics, movies, and music has been a blast, particularly when we get comments from those of you out there (you know who you are!) who seem to enjoy what we're doing. So thank you for all your support and enthusiasm.
Doug: Agreed -- this has been a fun trip down memory lane for me. Years ago, when Karen and I were headquartered on the Avengers Assemble message boards, I remarked that I just didn't take the time to read comics. I could find the time, but was just too lazy to trudge down to my basement "comic room" to pick out something. Well, after reviewing 74 comics/tpbs over on the Two Girls, A Guy, and Some Comics blog, and another almost-100 here, I can say that I am having the time of my life. It's been such a joy discovering and re-discovering many of the books I had or read as a child.
Karen: We've been looking back at all the posts and seeing which ones seemed to work really well, and which ones, well, might not have been such a great idea! First, let's discuss some of the posts we enjoyed the most. I'll start by bringing up our recent three-part review of Iron Man's Demon in A Bottle story. I think we both found ourselves really digging that story, and it came across in the posts. We also got a fair number of comments on it. It probably didn't hurt that Iron Man 2 was about to come out!
Doug: I've had a little experience with alcoholism in my family, and I thought David Michelinie did a super job portraying many of the issues associated with that condition. For me, it was sometimes very real, and I'll offer that it was not trivialized at all for the comic book medium.
Karen: Our journey through the changes in the Comics Code was a fun look at how much standards have changed. Some of the things that seemed so forbidden 40 years ago now look so mild; but the industry was still reeling from Wertham and the damage he inflicted.
Doug: You know, I did enjoy that collection of posts, but at 10 in length it's by far been our longest inspection of any title/subject. While I had a blast, and think it was an interesting way to get into the greater exploration of the Bronze Age, I hope we didn't lose anyone along the way. My favorite part of that run was the criticisms of Amazing Spider-Man #'s 96-98, the so-called drug issues. Lee-Kane-Romita and the Green Goblin. What's not to love?
Doug: I also really liked the All-New, All-Different X-Men issues we looked at. The Sentinels are always cool, and it was really fun to revisit the birth of the Phoenix. Claremont's early characterization for such icons as Wolverine was interesting as well.
Karen: Agreed, doing those posts made me remember how important X-Men was to me back in those days -and what an exciting run it was. With all the overexposure of the team, I'd nearly forgotten how good it once was.
Doug: One little run of posts I was surprised at was our discussion of the O'Neil/Adams Green Lantern/Green Arrow stories. As I said (at least I think I said), it was my first time through the reading -- I'd looked at them a bunch in the past, but had never read them. One of the conversations Karen and I had offline was that we felt we were being really negative on those issues. Many of you readers commented on the timeframe, the revolutionary writing, etc. Overall it was a healthy exercise, and I am sure we'll be getting back to another 3-4 issues in the not-too-distant future.
Karen: I actually felt a little guilty, saying anything negative about those stories! But read today, they felt heavy-handed. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate what they were doing with them some 40 years ago.
Karen: In a similar vein, I thought our review of the first appearance of Tyroc in the Legion was pretty negative -but deservedly so!
Doug: Ah yes, Tyroc. He is currently holding down a place of honor on our masthead. We have really meant to get back to the Legion, but we keep getting other ideas! Rest assured, 30th Century fans, that we shall return! And by the way, we'd advertised a look at The Great Darkness Saga a few weeks ago -- that is on hold until the new edition of the tpb and/or hardcover is released in the fall.
Karen: Some of the reviews I really enjoyed doing were our look at the second coming of Galactus in Fantastic Four and the recent Giant-Size reviews. We have to get back to some more Roy Thomas FF issues.
Doug: Roy needs to get back on the schedule. I'd also like to delve into Galactus' next appearance, which kicked off with a Golden Gorilla (everything's better with gorillas...) and then had a nice throwdown between the Thing and the Destroyer!
Karen: We've done a number of continuing features, and I think the best of these is probably the Two-in-One reviews. I really enjoy seeing what Doug has picked out for his part of the review.
Doug: The sentiment's the same. We have different tastes in comics to a degree -- I somewhat consider Karen more of a risk-taker. I always enjoy the education I receive when Karen goes solo.
Karen: I also like the lists -and I realize, we've only done two "Top Ten Stories" features -one on Avengers and one on Thor. I think it's time we do a few more.
Doug: Yeah, I don't know why those fell by the wayside. We certainly shouldn't hurt for material. We should give that treatment to Spidey and the FF this year.
Karen: The Dressed for Success/Fashion Disaster posts are always fun for me. There seems to be an almost limitless amount of subjects for us to draw upon!
Doug: I think my favorite posts in that series were the Wonder Man one -- just because everything he's worn (sans the "civvies") was so gawdawful gawdy -- and the Phantom Lady post. Rest assured that the Phantom Lady got us a lot of visits because we originally had the word "pornographic" in the title. Ahem... But just discussing the practicality of her outfit was fun. No chance that's staying all in place!
Karen: On the other hand, some of the features I thought should work really haven't seemed to elicit much response at all. I don't know why, but none of the movie or TV posts seem to get much interest. The music posts do though. And let's not talk at all about the Weird Wednesdays stuff...I was going through a phase!
Doug: I liked your Weird Wednesdays posts -- how can you go wrong with Bigfoot and UFOs? But I agree -- we didn't seem to generate much conversation with any of that.
Karen: I'm really curious though, to know what our wonderful readers would like to see more of. More comics reviews? More lists?
Doug: And just so you can give us some feedback, Karen's cooked up a poll to your left. Let us know what we've done right and should be doing in the future.
Doug: And thanks for all of the visits and especially the comments -- the feedback is welcome!