Monday, September 8, 2008

Year Two

Well, by the end of the Idol-Head of Diabolu blog's first year of existence, primary subjects Martian Manhunter and Zook were both dead. You might be wondering what kind of horrors will be visited in the deuce (hint: global recession,) and while that's out of my hands (as for as you know,) I thought folks might be interested in the shifting gears of this engine of destruction for the next 52 weeks:

  • Fewer Issue Synopsis: I've made this a primary feature of the site in the past, as I'm a big believer in knowing your history. This has been especially true since the Martian Manhunter Memorial Month, where I hit what I felt were issues in dire need of visitation, and never quite stopped. However, issue synopsis are a massive time suck, hits drop the more I employ them, comments are sparse, I get burnt out, and the focus tends to be too narrow. To be honest, I myself often skip issue synopsis on other people's blogs, either because it's a book I've already read, one I intend to read and don't want spoiled, or one I plain don't care about. I figure a lot of visitors here are the same way, and I don't want the page becoming a slog or something to scroll through and pass. I'll post synopsis for as long as this page exists, but I don't think anyone wants them 5-6 days a week.
  • Fewer Anniversary Posts: Sure, there's a tendency to mark the earliest milestones, but between post 350, the Annual, and post 400, that'll be three fan fiction indulgences inside two months (four if you count the two-part "Annual.") I personally hate fan fiction, and don't want to inflict it on anyone, especially in excess. Expect three more, 400, 450, and 500-- and maybe 550 to bring us to the "present," before those switch to more like a yearly appearance.
  • More Information: This connects to the first two cutbacks. While writing (and rewriting) the anniversary pieces, I found myself having to dig deep and re-reference material that should have already been covered here. Specifically, I decided to use hotlinks in the "Annual," only to find I was sending people to other sites for reference they should find here. I'll be focused less on specific issues and more on overarching information to make reference browsing easier on everybody
  • More Buttons: Folks seem to get a lot of use out of the Vile Menagerie and history-by-decade buttons on the sidebar. I like them quite a bit myself, and will be adding more.
  • Better Organization: I want to make it easier for folks to navigate through issues in sequence, hotlink to additional resources, and so forth.
  • Return of the Michael Netzer banner: I felt the Memorial Month warranted a somber header, and as the issue synopsis run toward depressing times like the end of J'onn's first solo series and the deaths of the Justice League Detroit members, it continues to apply. I had the crumby original banner up for anniversary week, and as we move toward Justice League coverage in happier times, that gorgeous piece of Netzer art created for this blog will be restored.
  • New Features: I've been wanting to start a "Wizard of 1,000 Menaces" column for a while now, in which Professor Arnold Hugo will display and discuss technology appearing in Martian Manhunter comics-- sort of an irreverent, egomaniacal Eliot R. Brown. As I've noticed shortcomings in other areas, I'm planning a full-on, work-in-progress Martian Manhunter Encylopedia to complement it. Finally, once my synopsis of the House of Mystery run goes on hiatus (to eventually cover the issues I missed the first time,) I'll represent "Commander Steel/Benson's Notebook," a series of pieces by the noted Silver Age authority that were once featured at "Martian Manhunter: The Rock of the JLA."
  • More Icons: I had trouble getting Google to accept new art for a while, but the problem seems to be fixed. I never intended the sidebar icons to be so Silver Age specific, but was waiting to reach other periods of history before adding more. That will be changing, as I've mentioned.
  • More Stuff: I've focused on comics to the exclusion of all else, so expect more toys, trading cards, videos, etc.
  • More Interactive Content: I'm going to try to use more polls, ask more interactive questons, and hope more people will comment. I've noted the difference between Martian Manhunter and other characters in the past, and expect that carries over into the personalities of their fans. Hopefully, I can work to get more people to open up to what's working and not regarding the character and this page.

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