Saturday, November 20, 2010

Overdue Books, Extra Medium, and The Whole Story

I just finished html-tagging in a bunch of pictures for reviews and articles in next week's posts, including something like a dozen panels of nothing but the Hulk beating up other superheroes. That felt good. I need a cigarette.

(not really, I quit)

I did a bit of reorganization of my links lists; specifically the links to my own reviews. First, I've retro-posted a bunch of reviews here that I originally posted on other sites. Second, I used to have a long list of links to every individual review, but I've changed it by adding labels to all the relevant blog posts and then just linking to those labels. So you can click on the "Graphic Novel/Comic Book" link and just scroll through all the relevant posts.

Third, you'll see I have a list of links called "Features." Now the "The Whole Story" link leads to nothing right now because I haven't posted any of those articles. But Overdue Books and Extra Medium are features I did for other sites: Extra Medium was for Trouble With Comics and Overdue Books as for Comic Book Galaxy.

Retro-posting those to the blog was weird. I can't believe I did the Overdue Books columns 5 frickin' years ago. That would make me 5 years older than when I wrote them. That seems implausible. I don't buy it.

Both are columns I started with a lot of excitement and unfortunately I let both fall by the wayside. Extra Medium was about Comics being brought to other mediums, or the subjects of other mediums brought to comics (e.g., a comic book movie or a comic book based on a video game). Overdue Books was conceived out of necessity. I wanted to write something for CBG, but I had no discretionary funds for comics (that hasn't really changed). Alan Doane suggested I try the library, and that gave me the idea to do a column about books I got out of the library. Every week I reviewed 2-3 graphic novels, all starting with the same letter. I got as far as E (Electric Girl, ElfQuest and Exiles) before I let procrastination and laziness and everything else get in the way.

I might bring these features back, but not on any kind of regular, scheduled basis since I already have three weekly features to deal with. Just more of on a whenever-the-hell basis. I'll probably do an Overdue Books fairly soon. I needed to stop by the library today anyway so I went ahead and started where I left off. I took out Flight, Vol. 1, Fortune and Glory, Funny Misshapen Body and Footnotes in Gaza.

I was reminded of how I had this strange sense of, I'm not even sure, integrity maybe, when choosing the books for Overdue Books. I felt like if I found a book that started with the right letter, I couldn't pass it over because it was unfamiliar or intimidating. I was reminded of this because the libraries in my region have a LOT more manga than they did when I first did Overdue Books in 2005. And there were not one but two manga series at the library starting with F. Now I like manga. At least I've exposed myself to a lot more manga and certainly enjoyed some of it, but these series didn't look like my particular can of soda. One had a title I don't remember and the other was named Fruit Basket. I breathed a deep sigh of relief when I saw that there was no first volume in the library for either series, giving me the perfect excuse to pass them up. Of course, maybe I shouldn't want to skip them. Maybe I should embrace the unfamiliar, even if they do look like teenage romance stuff. I worry I wouldn't be able to give them fair reviews because it's a genre I wouldn't normally be interested in. I just think it's funny that I feel like I need to follow some strange bushido code about what I will and won't pick at the library. I mean, if I just want to pick up Fantastic Four and Firestorm, it's not like the ghost of Harvey Pekar is going to be standing behind me and shaking his head.

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