Awesomeversary Special: Year Four In Review

Four years.



Yeah, I know: Blogging about blogging is a sin. But, since the guy who taught us that spends his anniversary tallying up his favorite posts from the past year, I’m pretty sure he’ll forgive me for doing the same.

After all, four years of more-or-less daily updates to the ISB is a long time. Heck, to be honest, I’ve been at this longer than I’ve ever done anything, with the exception of the job I’ve got now. I could’ve gotten a degree in that time! And yet, here I am, four years after going public with my New Year’s Resolution to write more and a suggestion from my friend Phil to try this whole blogging thing. Man.

But before I get all maudlin, I’m going to go ahead and take tonight to look back on what I was writing about in 2008 when I should’ve been sleeping.

January started off with my disappointment at the lack of punchlines in Kiyohiko Azuma’s Azumanga Daioh and an attempt to improve the situation with the help of Charles Schultz. The side effect, of course, was a debate in the comments over whether I understood the nature of Japanese humor, but considering this is the Internet, that’s to be expected. In any case, it’s an idea that I thought would’ve made a good recurring series, but unfortunately, the second half of Azumanga (which I’ve heard had a different translator) actually is pretty funny, so there went that. Still, though: Oopsy Doopsy Ex Floopsia. Kills me every time.

February, of course, brought us the Cheerific Spiritacular that was Bring It On Week, in which I attempted to alienate my readers by devoting seven days of content to my love of the greatest Cheerleading movie franchise of all time. The reviews that week–wherein I ranked the books I read by which characters from the series they were most like–are probably my favorite of the year, because really: Where else are you going to find out that Conan the Barbarian is the comics equivalent of plucky Torrance Shipman?

Of course, Bring It On Week was slightly overshadowed by the reaction a few days earlier to The Star Crossed Love of Jimmy Olsen (Or: Maeby Not), a story that I took issue with because it features Jimmy Olsen Jr. spending a lot of time making out with his freakin’ cousin, only to find out that a vocal section of my readership had no problem with that whatsoever and thought I was the weird one for being alarmed. If I’d known on January 5, 2005 that I’d have to wade through that comment section one day, I’m not sure I ever would’ve written the post about Wolverine fan-fiction.

Next up came March, where the introduction of Christopher, my caffeine-free alter-ego who was very concerned about the lack of a college degree and the presence of a full run of ROM: Spaceknight in its place, was overshadowed by what were probably my two best ideas of the year: The Pulp-inspired A Different Class with Archie (which I’d been putting together off and on for about a year), and my discovery of DC’s all-but-forgotten kids’ comic, Li’l Bruce Wayne. Shockingly, there are still some people out there who think I fabricated the latter as some kind of joke, but I ask you…



…could I make that stuff up?

In April, the big news was the final defeat of Dave’s Long Box, the comics and humor blog of the ISB’s longtime rival, David Campbell. Alas, such victory is fleeting, and Dave just recently came back to the blogging scene with his new place, The Society for the Advancement of Dave, which I will grudgingly admit is pretty freakin’ rad.

Also of note from April: My breakdown of my favorite episode of Batman ’66, The Londinium Larcenies. WARNING: Includes Adam West’s sex face.

In May, when I wasn’t flipping out about Speed Racer, which is seriously awesome, I turned the spotlight back onto Unintended Consequences and kicked off an informal series about the late-80s Batman comics that I grew up with that would move on to include looks back atOne Batman Too Many, The Untold Legend of the Batman, and Ten Nights of the Beast. I know! Me talking about Batman! Can you believe it?!

With June came a return of the ISB Movie Review with The Machine Girl, and while it’s downright egomaniacal to quote yourself, the line “In Japanese culture, accusing someone of murder over breakfast is a major social faux pas, and often results in tempura” is worth a chuckle or two.

July brought us The Dark Knight , and brother, if you thought I was thinking about Batman a lot before

…then you should’ve seen August, when I wrote a painfully detailed piece on the Joker that, in retrospect, failed to take into account the fact that he was part of the Joker/Luthor team in World’s Finest, a role that clearly had to go to Batman’s archenemy years before the “transition” I cited in “The Joker’s Five Way Revenge” and “The Laughing Fish.” Oh well!

While it didn’t quite reach the heights of March, September was another good month on the ISB, mostly owing to the LEGO-based Fumetti I did about a dragon-riding Shaquille O’Neal fighting Batman and his nunchuks made of sharks. This led to Kate Holden’s version, which in turn led to the nunchuk contest. Beyond the fun of blunt trauma, though, there were other gems, like my response to Tom Spurgeon’s list of things every comics collection needs, the best Archie panel in years, and the return of my urban fantasy epic, The Chronicles of Solomon Stone!

October brought its usual focus on the Supernatural, and man… I was a little freaked out by the defense of incest in February, but defending Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest?! That’s just unimaginable!

Of course, the biggest news for me in October–and the biggest news all year, really–was the formation of The Action Age of Comics:



It started with the six-page “trailer” for Exterminape, but really, the creation of the Action Age goes back to late 2007, when Chad and I first started working together on The Hard Ones. In the months since, we’ve put up short stuff like Boxcar Dragon (also by me and Matthew Allen Smith) as well as the free, full-length Impossible! #1, a book that Matt Fraction called “a Goddamn romp of a thing to read,” Benito Cereno said was “great work,” and that Dan McDaid called “awesome.” So if you haven’t read it yet, the whole thing’s available online in both webcomic and .cbr format, so get on it.

And really, while I think that was a good way to start, 2009’s bringing it even harder. Chad and I both have stuff coming out individually–Monster Plus for him and the long-awaited Solomon Stone adaptation from me, as well as at least three other projects we’ve written together that we haven’t announced yet. It’s going to be the Year of the Action Age.

Anyway: November was… well, November was just about amusing myself, really.

And then there was December and the holidays, and while I didn’t do a Christmas Carol this year–because really, you try finding pages that match up with “Good King Winceslas”–I did see the debut of the first full-length comic I’ve been paid to write, the Saturn Knight Before Christmas!

Not a bad way to end it, all things considered.

So there it is, the highlights of a year’s worth of the ISB, and while I’m pretty sure I’ve used up my entire allotment of self-promotion for 2009 with this post, I’m confident that I’ll find a way to be even more shameless in the future.

As for my favorite post of last year? This one. Believe it.

And welcome to Year Five.

17 thoughts on “Awesomeversary Special: Year Four In Review

  1. I will also mention that week where everything comments page seemed to boil down to body image, particularly the one with Bully and Tarot.

    Also, I’d like to poor one out for all of the angry nerds who stormed off in a huff.

  2. Many happy returns, dude! And re: that L’il Bruce Wayne cover: ventriloquism jokes ALWAYS work, regardless of the medium. Old Time Radio? Works, doesn’t matter that you can’t see whether his lips are moving. Comic books? Even better.

  3. Happy New Year and Happy Blogoversary, Chris! Can’t wait for another fun-filled year of this…

    Wait! Did you say Dave Campbell has a new blog?!? Wahay! Right, well, erm, ahem, see ya later… (hits the link and navigates away to Dave’s blog)

  4. Congrats on four awesome years, Chris. I too made a New Years resolution to write more this year. It’s now January 7 and so far … I’ve written you congratulations. So, y’know, that’s going well.

  5. Congo Ratz, baby. As a complete nobody, who found your website by chance, I’ve spent the past two years regularly checking in and being blown away by your insight in the industry and your humor. Please keep the good times a-rollin’. Teh internets wouldn’t be the same place without you.

  6. Way to go, man! Only a couple more years until everyone can start complaining about how you’ve changed and the OLD ISB was so much better and how they wish you talked about the Legion more and Batman less and the Legion less and Batman more and blah blah blah driven to suicide blah blah…

    Where was I? Oh yeah, congratulations, Chris!

  7. Way to go, man! Only a couple more years until everyone can start complaining about how you’ve changed and the OLD ISB was so much better

    This has already happened. Twice.

  8. You’re still wrong about Azumanga Daioh. Anyone could have gotten that joke.

    Anyway, congratulations. I love you.

  9. Y’know, I bet that’s just about how 2008 is described in The Book of Destiny.

    That and “Obama got elected – yay!”