Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy One Year Anniversary!

Well. It's been an entire year that I've been working on this blog. Isn't that amazing? In this post, we're going to look at my Top Twelve Favourite Posts of All Time, one from every month of the year. This is different than my 200 post spectacular because I'm going to go chronologically and show how I've grown as a writer on this blog, how I've developed the voice that you've all come to love.

Playing with Jacques Tati
In this post, I started what was my critical voice, where I analyzed something, a work of art, a movie, a comic, and I "reviewed" it, that is, I judged it based on its merits and foibles. In this case, Playtime, a French film from the Sixties, was judged as being awesome. I also started doing some jokes that were over the top, and weren't really that funny. It makes the review easier to read, especially considering that I delve into politics and sociology for a paragraph. I love this post because it started the wheels turning in my brain on how to see something in closer detail. This blog helps my brain keep functioning, especially since I'm not in school anymore.

My Summer Vacation
It's going to have to be that. For five full months, this blog concentrated on my own personal growth using a summer vacation. Sure, I read some comics and watched some movies, but in my life, my real life, there were three things that propelled me through: my job, my new girlfriend, and the summer vacation. In March, I was promoted and started dating the girl that I love with all my heart, and in March, I figured out what I was going to do with my summer vacation, but all of that was triggered by an intense desire to do something more with my life, as outlined in this post. I also really like this post because I said I would do things, and I did them. I also said I would revisit the post, which I did. I committed to something and followed through. I haven't done a lot of that in life, and this blog helped me do that.

Doomsday is the worst movie of 2008
And I stand by that statement. March was a tough call. This was when I was at the peak of my blogging frequency. This was also when I started really reviewing things, and a lot of them. There were very few "filler" or "low-content" posts in this month. I struggled to go with either my Into The Wild review, which I mean, was awesome, but not terribly critical, or with my "review" of
Doomsday. I think that the Doomsday review is funnier, more entertaining, and I have a couple clever turns of phrase. I was getting more confident in how to review a movie and how to explain my thoughts.

DC One Million
I didn't review this nor read it for the first time, but this is the post I had the most fun writing, and it comes off that way. This encapsulates my love of comic books. Only in this medium would have all the fun and zaniness, the surrealism and the confusion of superheroes and time travel. I also love this post because I had never before tried to convince somebody of my love for Morrison's future-epic. I love this post, and that's saying a lot in a month where I had hit my stride.

I'm doing research
This was a tough one. May was the month of 35 posts, a lot of reviews, a lot of comics, and a lot of books. I was really trying to read as much as I possibly could and I was getting really excited about California. There were two major posts about Cali in this month, the first one being California Dreamin', in which I dreamed about my possible route and where we wanted to go. I like that post, but I much prefer the second major trip post, I'm doing research, in which I posted pictures from Google Earth about the places I was going to and lo, I did. A close runner-up is my review for Tom Perrotta's The Abstinence Teacher, a novel I loved and really examined with a critical eye.

I'm still alive!
Ah, the vacation month. For a good portion of June, I was gone. This post, simply a picture of me near the famed Hollywood Sign, was actually posted in a hotel in San Pedro. That itself is the reason why this post is my favourite from June.

The Echo Maker
This was a really really tough one. In July, I posted about San Diego, I reviewed both Donna Tartt novels, a Stephen King,
Revolutionary Road, and The Dark Knight. Wow. But, as a personal triumph, I finished Richard Powers' The Echo Maker, a difficult novel filled with science and very complex. I really like my review of it because I actually peer beneath the text and make a conclusion from it that wasn't handed to me by either the author or another review. I finally achieved a sense of balance when it came to reviews.

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond
This was an easy one. Possibly one of my favourite posts ever, this started out as a review for Morrison's 3D tie-in to his own miniseries, but the post ends up being a critical examination of how "event" comics unfold and how it's similar to "hyperlink" cinema, a theme that I had already touched on when I spoke of Ellis'
The Informers. And, just so you know, it's now January, and the second issue has yet to be published.

Speed Racer
This one was a little tough to decide. I wanted to go with Why I Don't Give Stars, almost because it's meta, but I decided that a much stronger post, one with good content and good prose, is my review of Speed Racer. This is a good sample of my style of reviewing, and I'm proud of the conclusions that I make. Ebert once said that it's the average films that are the hardest reviews to write, and considering that, I'm glad I accomplished this.

Secret Invasion 7
This was the low-content month. I was so busy with work and with my beloved g/f that I had nary the time nor inclination to post. I also moved out of my parents' house that very same month. I chose to go with my review of Secret Invasion 7 because I'm fairly proud of the quality of prose in this post. I made some good jokes and made some good comments about the quality of the story and art. It's a solid review, nothing spectacular, but solid.

The Politics of Barack Obama
Yes, We Can. I was saying that a lot around November, and I felt that I could have been accused of hero-worship. So I sat myself down and took a long hard look at Obama to figure out if I could even support him. I like this post because I don't come up with easy answers. There's things that Obama and I disagree on. Nothing's monochromatic in life, and I'm glad I took the time and the effort to research and determine where he and I sat.

Friday at the Comic Book Store
I like this post because it's funny and because I talk a little about the incongruous and self-defeating business style of some comic book shops and I support the one that does it right. It's a simple post and I like it.

Where do I want to go with my blog, you ask? Well... nowhere different, really. I think after a year, I'm happy with the style I've created and I've been slowly building a small reading audience. If I had to choose one thing that I'd like to do differently or better, it's have more posts about books. I want to read more this year, and I want to blog more about books. That's really about it.

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