THE AMAZING NEW ADVENTURES OF THE FORTRESS OF BAILEYTUDE
And I’m back.
Well, I never really went anywhere. Sure it’s been quiet here at the Fortress and basically it has served as a second home for From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast but I’ve been around mainly in the podcasting arena. Four shows a week takes a toll on the old free time so posting on a daily basis has been the biggest casualty of all of the editing and recording I’ve been doing. Sure it’s been fun but I kind of feel bad that I have this blog that I do, in a roundabout way, pay for that is just kind of sitting there.
The biggest problem I’ve had outside of the whole non-existent free time thing is finding content for the blog. Just about any scratch I have comic book wise can be itched on Views From The Longbox or From Crisis to Crisis or Back to the Bins or Tales of the Justice Society of America. Every time I thought, “Hey, that would make a great post!” the next thought is, “It would be easier to just talk about that on (insert podcast name here.)” So basically it comes down to laziness and that bugged me. So I started thinking about it and just couldn’t find a focus for the blog. I wanted to start kicking out content but the muse just wasn’t there. Then something happened that I was 100% sure would never happen.
I dropped the Superman titles.
Seriously. I have dropped the Superman books. I still have some to buy because they were being pulled for me, so I will be fulfilling my obligations there but after Superman #700 I am done and as I previous stated I NEVER thought such a thing would happen. From about 1994 until just a few months ago I was a devoted Superman reader, fan and collector. Sure I bought the books before that. As I have said a thousand times in the past I started reading and collecting the Superman titles circa May/June 1987 it was after I graduated from high school and was really making decisions on my own that I became the addict fan that I was for nearly two decades. It really got bad in late 1996 when I started buying EVERYTHING Superman related and buying back issues and making a more concerted effort to learn as much as I can about the character. I joked for years that I signed a contract to be an Official Superman Fan, which grew from a simple joke to the point where I nearly sat down and wrote a legal sounding document. Basically I used it as an excuse to explain why I would watch what is commonly considered to be the worst parts of Superman in the media and to collecting titles like Superboy and the Ravers. I also used it as an excuse to continue buying the titles long after it was apparent that I should just drop the books and walk away.
Well, what was once an inconceivable act has now come to pass and frankly I think I am better for it.
It’s kind of funny to think about what led me to drop the books. I mean I have continued reading through some pretty dark times on the book and you would have thought that the cluster fuck that was the year or so after Infinite Crisis would have been the breaking point, but no. Then you would have thought Superman getting taken out of his two titles would have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, but no though it very nearly did. Finally you would have thought that it was Superman: Secret Origin that took everything I liked about Superman in the comics was taken out back and shot execution style but still I was keepin’ on keepin’ on because through all of that I kept thinking the same thought.
“It’s going to get better. I just need to be patient.”
So what finally led to me to dropping the ax?
The fact that Clark Kent isn’t coming back to the books after the whole New Krypton thing.
I am going to get into that on Monday because my thoughts and feelings on Clark Kent’s place in the Superman mythos are long winded enough to deserve their own post but suffice to say that to me Clark Kent is an integral part of my enjoyment of the Superman books and I went through a little over a year of Superman books where Clark wasn’t in the books at all and several years where he was, at best, marginalized as a character. Clark needs to be as important as Superman when it comes to the ongoing story. Sure you can have stories and issues where he is not a big part of the overall plot but at some point he has to be there and when it was announced that Lex Luthor was going to be the main character of Action Comics and that Superman was going to wander the Earth like Caine from Kung-Fu1 that was the moment I went, “That’s it. I’m done. Stick a fork in me.” I just couldn’t do it anymore. To play into the whole contract thing from earlier there was an escape clause that stated if Clark wasn’t in the books for over a year all of the terms of the contract became null and void and I would go strictly freelance as Superman fan.
Now most of the time when a person like me drops something that he or she has been doing for nearly a quarter of a century they tend to also divest themselves of everything associated with that former obsession. The thing is while I have quit reading the books I am still very much a Superman fan. In fact my Superman fandom has gotten more intense because I have quit the month in, month out, hustle and bustle of collecting. There is a void in my fandom and nature abhors a void so I have been filling that with not only my back issues of Superman and From Crisis to Crisis but also my trades collecting the Golden Age material and comic strips as well has the audio books I have and I have even pulled out most of my action figures to pour over and stare at. I even have a rotation of some thirty odd Superman images cycling on my computer desktop.
Sure I’ve been reading a lot of All-Star Squadron for Tales and the random comic from both Marvel and DC for Back to the Bins and I am all over the place for Views From The Longbox but other than that it has been all Superman all the time and that 2 brings us back to this blog and why I am “re-launching” the blog and bringing it back to its roots in a way since the Fortress of Baileytude started out life as Superman centric blog before I decided to make it more of a general comics sort of affair. So now that I am, as dramatic as it may sound, a Superman Reader in Exile 3 I thought it might be fun to kind of chronicle all of the bits of business that I am reading or watching or putting back up on the bookshelf or comic box.
So in the weeks and months4 to come I will be making week daily posts all about the Man of Steel. Hopefully things will evolve so that I have specific departments but I’m pretty bad about that so for the moment while I have a few things that are going to be continuing in nature but other than that it’s going to be pretty random. Maybe it will be pictures of my action figures. Maybe it will be reviews for a trade paperback. Maybe I’ll tell stories of my misspent youth as a Superman fan. Maybe I’ll talk about how freaking awful the fourth season of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman is now that I am finally getting to see it. The only constant I will promise is that every Thursday will have a post for the latest episode of From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast because, well, it is relevant to the blog.
Mainly I want this blog to be a place where I can just talk about Superman in all of his incarnations and express my thoughts and feelings on the character be they good, bad, amusing, snarky or indifferent. I mean yeah I’ve dropped the books but my love5 for the character has not diminished and I am really looking forward to just geeking out about the character and I hope that if you choose to stick around that you’ll like what I have in store for the blog. So come back tomorrow when I’ll have Fun Time Friday at the Fortress for you and as always…
More to follow…
- To borrow from Quentin Tarantino. ↩
- FINALLY. ↩
- Though I promise not to head off planet and end up on Warworld and then have Draaga come to Earth and want to kick my ass because I didn’t slay him as his honor demanded because frankly I got enough going on in my life right now than some ugly alien on an honor kick like Chozen from Karate Kid Part II. ↩
- And hopefully years. ↩
- For lack of a better term. ↩