Karen: Between that introduction and the picture on the right, some of you may have run away screaming, but I promise, it isn't that bad.
Doug: If there is one thing I got out of the month of January, it was a sense of relaxation in knowing that every day was already set to run and that our readers would stop by as you always do and to some extent carry the load. And let me make this clear right up front: I really don't find the blog to be a burden, and I love participating with everyone on a daily basis, whether I created the topic, make a few comments, or just lurk. But it has at times become difficult to come up with topics that I feel meet the standard we've set over the past 5 1/2 years. I don't know if it's writer's block or if we've truly exhausted all of the great topics... But sometimes I feel like I'm going to leave you folks wanting, and I don't like that.
Karen: I'll second Doug's comments, and just say that I can't even tell you how many times I've started writing up a post to find that we've already covered the same topic before. We have been around on a near-daily basis for five plus years! I suppose it's inevitable that certain subjects pop back up, but we feel a desire to keep it fresh, and that's become a bit difficult at times. It was amazing and refreshing to see the ideas that you folks came up with during our vacation. And inspiring...
Doug: So here's the deal -- neither of us feel like we can contribute to the blog as we have in the past. We're not going to make excuses to anyone, nor do we want anyone's pity. Everyone is busy, life keeps moving faster, and all that. So we would like to make a proposal, and what we're about to say has been about a month in the works.
- We will continue to post on the blog as we always have, but just not as frequently. Neither of us can commit to our self-imposed need to be creative 5+ days a week. It's a pace we chose many, many moons ago and to be honest we think it's caught up to us. What we'd like to do going forward is post when that moment of inspiration strikes. It may not be at that clockwork time as it has been for so long -- shoot, we may go a couple of days with nothing and then both of us toss something up on the same afternoon. Who knows?
- We will make a solid effort to get back to the partner reviews on comics. I think everyone reading would agree that our past reviews have been one of the hallmarks of this space and it's been a real sense of pride for Karen and I when we look back on reviews like Amazing Spider-Man #s 121-122, our massive Vision retrospective, and even this week's examination of The Winter Soldier. Those sorts of posts were a tremendous amount of fun; a lot of work, but many smiles when complete. But neither of us can commit at this time to the exhaustive plot synopses and art scans in the double digits. Instead, we think what we did with "The Winter Soldier" may be closer to what you'll see moving forward.
- And here's where you come in. Let us repeat -- here's where you come in: It was in our first several months of publication when we were approached about hosting a guest writer. We about freaked out. If you know anything about Karen and I, we're both a little Type A. Give up control of our blog and its content? Heresy! Well, as they say, that was then and this is now. Using our BAB email address (if you don't know it, it's on the sidebar), we would like our readers to submit not ideas, but fully-formed posts. That's right. Now instead of using the Suggestion Box and having us sit back and say "Nah, that's not really in our wheelhouse", you can send us your idea written just as if we would have written it. Got a great topic for the Open Forum? Go. A singular issue for Discuss? Send it. But what about reviewing some classic comics, whether we've reviewed them or not? By all means. We'll supply the lay-out, using our headings. You supply the text and attach any art you want used to the email you'll send. Of course there's a catch (always is, right?) -- we will reserve editorial control over such things as grammar and spelling, and of course the acceptability of topics. The BAB is no place for Omaha the Cat Dancer, regardless of its merits.
I would suggest we use the BAB Yahoo email and solicit reviews from our readers -- guest columnists. There's no reason they couldn't send us art samples if they chose. We'd be strict in reserving editorial control for content and scheduling. But I think we could get a little help and foster the community aspect we've liked. Hey, what's not to like about regular installments of "Hulk by Humanbelly"?Of course Karen countered with a restriction of 5000 words per post -- love ya, HB!
Karen: Think of it as a challenge, HB!
Doug: So that's where we are. We were both a little taken aback at the seeming attachment to this space that some of you expressed on Tuesday. We sure don't want to let anyone down, but that includes ourselves. So that's why we want to be up front with each and every one of you -- whether you've been with us for years (as several of you have) or today is the first day you've happened by. If you'll agree to help us, in the spirit of what has gone before, I think this thing can morph into something bigger and better as we move along.
Karen: I'm sort of looking at this as BAB 2.0. And I'm anxious to hear everyone's thoughts.