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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Hello, I Must Be Going


So it has come to this...

What's this, you say? This, my friends, is where Black & White and Bronze Age Comics goes on hiatus. Yesterday's closing review of Maus was not only the realization of a long held goal (and labor of love) to review that classic tale, but somewhat coincidentally it marked exactly one year since publication began in this little corner of the Internet.

I'd mentioned back in June that I thought posting had the potential to become sporadic. Although the first month of my summer vacation, June was particularly busy for me family-wise. But I caught a second wind and was able to spend several days through the end of the summer getting ahead. In fact, by Labor Day I'd scheduled all the way to the end of October! That was a good feeling, since I knew this school year was going to present many new challenges for me. I've been appointed to a new position, largely administrative, and it has greatly restructured my life with numerous meetings and classroom observations each day - and consequently made the nights challenging for writing from an energy and focus standpoint. So it's best to lay this thing to rest, at least for the time being, while its pulse is still strong.

Here's what I said as this blog began:
"...my initial ambition is to highlight Bronze Age artists who excelled in the black and white format. In the future, you might see reviews of full stories or of pages or even panels. I'll identify the penciler and inker, and sometimes we may just discuss that pairing  - was it a good fit? On other days you may see sketches, or pages of original art. And we won't necessarily be limited to just the Bronze Age - watch for anything from Golden Age Batman newspaper strips to Jeff Smith's Bone to pencil art from Batman comics of the last decade. While my personal comics wheelhouse of 1973-1980 may receive the bulk of attention, hopefully there will be at least a little something for everyone!

Just to give an idea of where this may go, here's an incomplete inventory from my comics library:
  • Planet of the Apes Archives, volumes 1-4
  • Savage Sword of Conan, volumes 1-4
  • Doc Savage Archives, volume 1: The Curtis Magazine Era
  • Bone: The Complete Cartoon Epic in One Volume
  • Batman: The Dailies, 1943-1944, 1944-1945, 1945-1946 
  • Spider-Man Newspaper Strips, volumes 1-2
...and several Marvel Essentials collections, numerous Artist Editions, etc."
If I self-assess, I'd say I met those goals and then some. Throughout the year I received some nice recommendations here and on Twitter. I read some Vampirella stories for the first time, as well as Solomon Kane. I stumbled across a hardcover reprinting of the Blazing Combat series while in Washington, DC last July and purchased it. What a Wow!-factor that book had! I love the diversity of the black & white format, and the roll call of spectacular artists fluent in the genre never ceases to amaze.

But it's been a nice run. Here's a tale of the tape, current the night before this posts.
Posts: 111
Pageviews: 58,500+
Comments: 680

Most viewed post: Claws vs. Talons, in the Savage Land Sky!
Post with most comments: John Byrne's Star-Lord
Number of reviews: 50
Number of creators mentioned: 118
Thanks for putting up with me, and for your interest in the material I've covered. My love of this material has grown over the past several years, but definitely during the past 12 months. I appreciate those who made recommendations to me, and pledge to enjoy those resources moving forward. My "tolerance" for non-superhero comics continues to improve, and I've experienced real joy in some of the new genres or books I've tried. As my friend Karen long ago said, we live in a Golden Age of reprints, and I am so very thankful that much of the black & white material from the Silver and Bronze Ages is readily available to fans.

Be sure to use the navigation features on the sidebar to get at old reviews and artist appreciations. And leave a comment - I'll see it and will interact.

Be well - and whenever I decide to scratch a new itch, I will certainly publicize it on Twitter so that you might come back and enjoy some pretty pictures and perhaps a bit of conversation. Thanks.

Doug

14 comments:

  1. Ah, well. All good things...

    Although a bit disappointing, I completely understand why you need to step back. And I'm grateful that we got an additional year of blogging from you after you and Karen shuttered the Bronze Age Babies.
    So if I haven't said it before, thanks for all of the great posts, Doug. Be well and enjoy the holiday.

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    1. Thank you, Edo. And thanks for all the conversation lo these many years. It's been a blast!

      Happy holidays to you as well, my friend.

      Doug

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  2. Thank you for sharing with us. You will be missed and hope you post from time to time.

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  3. It was a good run. Still amazed you got back in there for a year. Your dedication to and joy of comics in their many forms is truly wonderful. Well done partner.

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    Replies
    1. I'll see you around - count on it! Thanks for stopping by.

      Doug

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  4. Well, you go on hiatus on a high note! Your Maus reviews were engrossing. Actually, all your posts have been a pleasure. You definitely have a way with words.

    Totally understand the need for some mental refreshment and personal time. You've earned it. If and when you post again, it will surely be a must read. Take care, and keep in touch my friend!

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    1. Thanks, Red! I always looked forward to an exchange with you on "Maus days". I'll miss that!

      Be well, friend -

      Doug

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  5. I'm sorry to hear this, Doug. Over the last year you've spotlighted some beautiful artwork and your reviews have always been erudite and heartfelt. It would be great if you could revisit the blog when time and energy permits but, for now, it's still a wonderful repository of Bronze Age goodness we can dip into.
    I can completely understand your need to put the dreaded "real life" over blogging - I'm having something of a crisis of faith with my own blog - and I'm just thankful that you've managed to put so much work into this project. I'm sorry if I haven't commented as much as I should ( it's that same old lack of time / energy etc. ) but rest assured I've enjoyed every post.
    All the best to you and yours, have a great Christmas ( sorry, being British, we don't say "happy holidays" ) and I'll no doubt catch up with you on the ol' Twitterz.
    Simon ( cerebus660 )

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words, Simon! I will definitely see you around the Twitterverse.

      Happy Holidays to you and your family -

      Doug

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  6. Fare thee well Doug!

    Mike from Trinidad & Tobago.

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  7. It's like the end of BAB all over again, sob...

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  8. You are too kind to make that comparison, Colin.

    Be well!

    Doug

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