Friday, 31 December 2010

2010: a cyberspace oddity.

Essential Iron Man Volume 1
Essential Iron Man Vol 2. Now available from
Amazon for a mere £104.80. 
John Lennon once said, "And so this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over, a new one just begun." He was of course completely wrong. The year isn't over at Christmas, nor has a new one just begun.

A week after Christmas is however a whole other ball park. It's a ball park in which we find ourselves looking both backwards and forwards at the same time. In such a state we're likely to hit few home runs but might just contrive to hit on a few home truths.

For this site, the year began in March when, mildly fired up by reading such blogs as Bronze Age Babies and having bought an early issue of Marvel UK's Avengers weekly, I decided to share with the world my thoughts on the comic books of my youth.

I can't deny that, right from the get-go, it was a half-hearted project and, after a few reviews, I'd pretty much given up on it till Cerebus660 posted a comment on one of those missives. It was the first ever comment on the blog and, spurred on by the sudden realisation that real-life people were actually reading the thing, I began posting again. So, thanks to Cerebus for that. I know you've had a tough year but you have at least brought a little light into the lives of others. Speaking of which, my best wishes also go out to Comics Bronze Age's Andrew Wahl who I know's also had his problems. I hope you'll be back blogging before too long - although only when you want to, of course.

And so here we are, ten months later, sitting supreme at Number 74 in the Comic Blog Elite's chart. OK, so maybe this site's never going to be challenging Wikipedia for visitors but it's been a surprise to me how this thing's readership just keeps rising. By the end of today, I should have almost exactly 6,000 page views for December alone, topping by some distance November's then-record of 3,600 page views. I suppose the challenge now is to see if I can get over the 10,000 mark per-month at some point in the future.

And what of that future? At this time of year a man's nothing without resolutions to allow him to convince himself he's capable of being a better man.

I on the other hand know I'm not capable of being a better man and therefore my resolutions are feeble and self-serving. They are:

To get Essential Iron Man Vol 3. There's a reason I want this, which I should be going into in my next post. As you'll discover in that, Iron Man might've made his debut in Tales Of Suspense but in my case it'll be very much a journey into mystery.

To get Essential Daredevil Volume 4. I've resisted it because I didn't enjoy the first three volumes but I live in hope that things'll pick up with the arrival of the Black Widow. The Black Widow does show up in Vol 4, doesn't she?

To get the first three volumes of Essential Defenders. The Defenders is my favourite super-hero strip of the 1970s and it's a mystery to me why I haven't bought any of these collections yet. Been too keen on individually buying the originals I think.

And finally in the Essential envelope, to buy Essential Thor Volume 1. The fact it'll set you back £75 to £80 at the likes of Amazon and means I've never been tempted to buy it. Fortunately it seems there'll be a new edition out in February, meaning at last it'll be available at a price that non-millionaires can afford.

Then again, if I thought that was extortionate, I've just found out Essential Iron Man Vol 2 could now set me back a whopping £104 on Amazon. I know from personal experience that, if shrewd, you can buy the original Gene Colan Tales Of Suspense stories in VGd condition for less than a fiver each which means you can theoretically get the original run for less than the cost of a black and white book of reprints. How can this make sense?

I'm also thinking of buying the the entire runs of Marvel UK's Titans and Planet of the Apes comics. Much as I loved the likes of Mighty World of Marvel and Spider-Man Comics Weekly, there's no point me buying them, because, thanks to the aforementioned Essentials, I've already got the stories they contained. Most of the stuff in Planet of the Apes and The Titans, I'm never likely to have in the Essentials, so there is a point in buying them. At last I shall be reunited with the likes of Gil Kane's Warlock, Lord Barrington Windsor-Smythington's Ka-Zar, and Various Artists' Gullivar Jones on Mars.

So, that's me and my adventures in cyberspace covered. All that leaves me to do now is thank you for coming here and making the site the almost-success it is and for me to wish you all the best for the new year. If I haven't mentioned you by name, that doesn't mean I don't appreciate you.


cerebus660 said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Steve. And thanks for calling me a "real-life" person - sometimes I don't feel like one!

Seriously, I was genuinely moved to read that I had in some small way contributed to your blogging activities. Can I just say for the record that "Steve Does Comics" is one of the most well-written, humorous and heartfelt blogs around, and it always manages to cheer me up. It helps that you've got great taste in comics too! ( I won't mention your irrational hatred of Nick Fury... )

Have a great New Year, mate, and keep on bloggin'!

( PS £80 for Essential Thor? Bloody Hell! I bought my copy for 132 francs in pre-Euro Paris and never knew I'd made such an investment... )

Kid said...

Ditto most of what cerebus660 said - a most enjoyable blog - I always take a look.

Steve said...

Thanks most kindly to the pair of you.

Doug said...

And a "thanks!" and the best of health, wealth, and whatever else to you in 2011!

Always lurking,


Steve said...

Hi, Doug. Nice to hear from you.

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