Monday, January 14, 2008

A Banner Day!

I spent most of my summer off work while I took a two month nursing program. I had a lot of downtime, much of which I spent goofing around on the internet. One of my regular haunts become The Aquaman Shrine (link at right amongst the Teleportation Tubes.) Now, I'm fond of the sea king, but more so, I just really enjoyed Rob Kelly's daily posts and format. Seeing what he was doing with Arthur Curry got the juices flowing to revive and rework my old "Martian Manhunter: Rock of the JLA" fan site in a similar manner.

Unfortunately, I didn't come to this realization until after I went back to work. Further, I decided to jump in immediately, rather than plan things out with any care or the foresight to develop a lead time on posts. Kelly had a gorgeous, finely colored, classic image of Aquaman and spotlight comic covers as his banner. I meanwhile cobbled together a handful of low-res, poorly executed scans obscured with a basic Microsoft Paint font. Where Kelly had a batch of adorable little Aquaman icons surrounding his various well organized links, I had a slew of unwieldy tags and a slapshot detail crop of one washed-out Art Adams scan taken in the previous decade. Rob has legitimate press coverage for an undervalued super-hero recognizable throughout the world. I just kind of hum along with whatever traffic the search engines send my way for my thoroughly B-list favorite that's only just recently become a blip on the pop culture radar after 52 years of service (if you count the entire 1970's, which you probably shouldn't.) Rob's blog has its own street team/organized fan club. I can name pretty much everyone who's ever left the slightest trace of a presence on my blog in fairly short order, and they ain't gettin' no Friends Of Our Martian novelty certificates. If J'Onn and I weren't such a pair of under-achieving isolationists, you could see a case of blog envy developing.

Darn it though, J'Onn J'Onzz still deserved better than I'd given him, and one of the only creators to bother with him in the 1970's knew it. Mike Netzer had stumbled upon a passing mention of his work on this blog, though the specific reference related to a misattributation, and he felt obliged to correct the error. I was very pleasantly surprised by his attention, and made a point of mentioning it. Better still, he even noted, "Very nice blog. I enjoyed reading through it. It does give the itch to work on MM again, and I'd sure like to, among other possibilities at DC. But they seem to like young blood, I suppose. Almost everyone I know from my time just can't find work in the comics anymore. So, we build eccentric web sites and shoot our mouth off about the injustices of the world and other silly things." By God, but I would be glad to see Mr. Netzer return to the character someday, and my Hanukkah hope was bestowed upon me. "You know, the only thing missing from your logo is an Oreo Cookie. And Christmas is around the corner. So watch out for Santa this year."

Easily the best present I got this year was the above banner, lovingly crafted by Mr. Netzer in just a couple hours from scratch. I remain stunned by his generosity and skill, and it pained me to sit on it for nearly a month while we went through all that Crisis on Infinite Earths material and the "origins" week I was set on ringing in the new year. Ultimately, the intention was to take care of a lot of unpleasant but (I felt) necessary business in one big chunk, so that I'd have the opportunity to give the blog something of a fresh start in '08. I hope my few but dear readers enjoy the changes I have planned, and I have no doubt everyone will love the work Mr. Netzer has done to beautify the page. If not, hey, here's a cookie from the Idol-Head of Diabolu. It's quintuple stuffed. Dig it!

Also, do take a gander at Michael Netzer's own regularly updated family of blogs, starting with rEvolution/Messiah Complexity. In fairly short order, I'll be getting around to his 70's work here. I had intended to start by day/decade scheme here this week, and there'll be some evidence of it. However, I think all these lengthy synopsis and the rigid structure of late has been punishing for everyone, so I'll try to cool it down a tad. In the meantime, I'm going to wallow in the restored greenness of my favorite blog, staring lovingly at my precious and very permanent logo. Precious... my precious...


Luke said...

That banner is mind-bogglingly awesome! Idol-Head Oreo!

Diabolu Frank said...

It's minty, in case you were wondering.

Michael Netzer said...

The strategy to deconstruct the site templates for the last few weeks has helped make this debut even more effective. I can't help but think you had this in mind. Thank you profusely for the kind words.

However, we cannot sit idly by and allow rumor of MM's demise to take root on the web or at DC. I believe we need a course of action and I'll get back to you on this later.

Diabolu Frank said...

Kind words? Statements of fact, you mean!

Bit of a telepath yourself, eh? If it works for the C.I.A., I figured it would work for the blog. :)

I'm clearly a lot more resigned to J'Onn J'Onzz's short-term potential demise than yourself, but I love a good scheme, so I look forward to hearing yours.