Blogaround Challenge 2007

By | Thursday, January 25, 2007 1 comment
Okay, I'm tackling another meme here with Comic Book Commentary's Blogaround Challenge 2007. The idea is to review three blogs that are NOT in your own blogroll. Seeing as I don't actually maintain a blogroll, I figured this would be a great meme to tackle! :)

But, hey, this is "Kleefeld on Comics" so you know I'm still going to keep this comic-centered and, hopefully, point you to some cool stuff.

1. News From ME - By Mark Evanier, writer of Groo, DNAgents, Garfield and Friends and a bunch of other stuff.
Mark's been running his blog for centuries now, long before "blogging" was even a term. (I think his earliest posts were actually cuneiform carved into clay tablets.) His blog reflects pretty much whatever the heck he feels like yammering on about -- from politics to cartoons to Broadway shows to the cuteness of baby pandas -- so you never really know what to expect when you stop by. Although I tend to gloss over his posts about the internal politics of the Writers' Guild, he often posts many times throughout the day and there will almost always be something interesting and/or insightful there. He has a phenomenal number of personal anecdotes about people in the entertainment industry, and a deep appreciation for what they do. I've been reading his blog long enough that I generally trust his judgement, and I often make it a point to check out his comic book/cartoon/TV/movie recommendations. I've learned a great deal about the inner workings and personalities in the history of all those media, thanks to Mark. Even though he hates me.

2. Confessions of an Aca/Fan - By Henry Jenkins, director of MIT's media studies program.
Henry has written a few books on how people interact with media, often focusing on popular culture like television, movies and comic books. He has a deep understanding of what drives things like comic book fandom, and his blog is an extension of that. What's interesting, to me, about his writing is that he's a fan of these media as much as he is an academic about it. (Hence, "Aca/Fan".) He'll talk about the sociological and psychological aspects of fandom, but openly admit that he also simply enjoys Star Trek. In my recent studies of comic book fandom, Henry's work has been very useful and poignant. If his books didn't prove it to me, his blog certainly would show that he's up there as one of the, if not THE authority on the fandom of all sorts. Henry uses his blog as an extension of the published work he's already done, and it's something of a cross between a "normal" blog and notes and sidebars to his books.

3. Double Articulation - By Jim Roeg.
Jim is a fan of a great many comics, and what I find engaging is that he's quite adept at articulating both his love of the medium, and an analysis of WHY he loves what he does. He writes very intelligently on why he feels the way he does about comics, and brings in all sorts of literary and psychological theory. Check out this quote from a recent post: "For me, the new Baxter series of The New Teen Titans represented the acme of juvenile fantasy, not simply because it was so fanboyishly satisfying (which it was), but because it provided a very unique sort of consolation for the misery and uncertainty of junior high: it was an object that validated my precocious snobbery—my belief in the sophistication and maturity of my tastes and my conviction that, even though I felt like I had little in common with most of my classmates, there was some parallel universe in which a twelve-year-old's capacity to appreciate the beauty, darkness, and, yes, profundity of the world was actually recognized." While that doesn't sum up everything he writes about, I think it's very typical of the types of thoughts and throught processes with which he puts into his blog. Wonderful stuff! My only complaint about Double Articulation is that Jim doesn't update it often enough.

I'll also give some honorable mentions to Blah Blah Blog, The Comics Reporter, and A Trout In The Milk who examines Marvel Comics, indie comics, and... ????* respectively.

* I'm not sure I could really quantify plok's blog very succicntly. He's often all over the comics map with subject matter -- something like this blog, I suppose -- but he always seems to have something interesting and intelligent to say. I'm kind of reminded of an intelligent, well-read, well-versed, but somewhat schizophrenic and occassionally drunk friend I had in college. (That's meant as a compliment, BTW, plok.)
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Thanks for playing along, Sean! I'm not familiar with Jenkins' blog but it sounds very interesting.

Winners announced here.