Monday, June 16, 2014
How's That for Half a Decade?
Karen: Five years? Has it really been that long? Wow. I can remember very clearly when we started the BAB -everything else is a blur...But seriously, I know both Doug and I feel a sense of achievement making it this far, and most of that feeling comes from you guys, the BAB community, without whose interaction it just wouldn't be the same. I mean, without you guys, it'd just be me and Doug talking to each other, or ourselves, and while that could be fun for a little while, it's not five years worth of hoots and hollers, so hats off to you all, for making this the place that we hoped it would be when we started five years ago.
Doug: Funny story -- way back before we were on our first blog, when the discussion was taking place concerning what we wanted to do about expanding our thoughts on various Silver and Bronze Age comic books, Karen suggested we start a blog. Guess who was skeptical just about up to the date of that first publication? Yup -- me. I think I've warmed to the idea since! And as we've said many times, it's been a labor of love. I want to express again how great this venue has been for me in terms of really getting me back into comics reading. I had been going through the motions in the late 90s-early 00s, buying books that just stacked up, languishing atop the longboxes in my basement comic room. But since I've been a part of two blogging teams, my readership of books I loved (and some I never knew) has taken it's rightful place in my spare time. So I'm thankful to have this forum every day to come and meet some friends for some cordial conversations.
Doug: Looking back over the past year, there are some innovations and milestones worth mentioning. First off, forming a presence on Twitter has brought us new readers and commenters, as well as a wonderful opportunity. Through use of @bronzeagebabies, we have been fortunate to meet several other wonderful bloggers, and those new associations and friendships gained us a part of the second and third renditions of the Super Blog Team-Up. Speaking for Karen (if I may), we were so proud of our first post in this series, when we took a tour through the convoluted history of the Vision and the Original Human Torch. I will again laud Karen for her research in kicking off that post so that we could both then run with it. And it was our presence on Twitter that got us close enough to Kurt Busiek to be able to email him a couple of questions. Those of you who read the post enjoyed his lengthy explanation of his thought process in explaining some of the ways he "undid" the damage wrought by John Byrne in the pages of Avengers West Coast. As to our more recent offering in the SBTU on the Frightful Four, the deadline approached during a somewhat trying time for each of us. Again, if I can speak for Karen, I don't feel that either of us was satisfied with our output on that post. Perhaps it was due to the personal life factors, perhaps it was due to our chest-puffing over the Vision post... but I would never say that we put our best efforts into the FF post. I think I can say publicly, because I don't know why it wouldn't happen, that our pal Osvaldo Oyola will be bringing The Middle Spaces to the ranks of the SBTU on our next go-round in the early autumn.
Doug: As to the milestones, you may recall that we recently published our 1500th post; today's offering is #1544 for those scoring at home. Also for you numbers geeks, either today or tomorrow someone will make the 23,000th comment on the BAB. I guess that more than anything brings a sense of satisfaction to us that we've done what we set out to do -- seriously... 23K comments? Please hear my applause directed at you, the reader. You've done what we wanted you to do when we started five years ago -- to partner with us in a venture that would electronically create the feeling we may have gotten in years gone by, standing at the spinner rack or newsstand the day new comics came out. One more number: tomorrow I'll review Detective Comics #363 from the recently-released Tales of the Batman: Carmine Infantino hardcover. It will be the 489th review by the Bronze Age Babies.
Karen: Now I know some of you might have wondered what's been going on here lately, as I've been less active in these parts. It was even brought to my attention that a few thought there might have been problems brewing here between Doug and I . Nothing could be further from the truth! As we're moving forward I feel like I owe you all an explanation. Back in September, my Dad was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. As you can imagine, this was devastating news. Over the last nine months my life was pretty much consumed with this situation. Then last month, Dad passed away after fighting so hard. Throughout it all, Doug has been just outstanding in his support for me. I could not have asked for a better blog-partner, or friend. It took an enormous load off of my mind knowing that I did not have to worry about the blog during this time. I'm very thankful to him for everything he's done, and continues to do, here. However, going forward, I have started to think about my priorities, and I realize I do want to spend some more time with my husband and loved ones, and I need to achieve some goals I've had for myself for some time. This being said, something has to give, and for now, that means fewer partner reviews on the blog. They just take an incredible amount of time for me. But that doesn't mean we won't still do some! Things are just changing a bit, and I hope you understand why.
Doug: I've of course been very supportive of Karen, and she of me. Not wanting to wreck a good thing, I nonetheless questioned the direction of the BAB with her fading into a less-regular role. I told her (in one of our editorial meetings -- do you know how hard it is to buy/bring the donuts to a meeting when the person you are meeting with is over 1500 miles away?) that I thought we had two "spirits" of the BAB: our partner reviews, and the great community of readers who rally around this space daily. I even offered an opinion that we close this down and immediately re-open on another blog where we'd operate a bit more as individuals -- I was thinking of our readers and your expectations of us and of this blog. I think in the end her advice is very sound -- we need to keep the BAB going, as our readers have adapted to every new idea we've thrown your way through the years (even the clunkers here and there). So when you come by tomorrow, we'll both be here -- as David Byrne said, "Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was". But a seven days a week schedule? That's probably not to be seen for awhile, unless one of us throws something together quickly on a weekend.
Doug: And speaking of the beginning of the 6th year (sheesh!), here's what you can expect -- my solo reviews of the first four issues of Frank Miller's turn on Daredevil, as well as a George Perez Wonder Woman, and then in August to celebrate the release of the Guardians of the Galaxy film, we're going to get back into that partner review saddle and bring the BAB treatment to the first four Guardians (the real Guardians, no less) issues of Marvel Presents. And, Karen did note to me Saturday that it is a shame that our Giant-Size July feature will go on hiatus this year, so for old time's sake we're going to squeeze in a partner review of Fantastic Four Annual #5. So, the more things change, the more they stay the same, huh? Oh, and to Edo Bosnar? You know how you're always singing the praises of DC's Blue Ribbon Digest? I have a new discussion-based category coming your way this week, with that title. Just wait -- it'll be fun!