Walk tall and carry a polarizing stick
We all have our opinions. That's a known fact proven with science. What we all don't have are a lot of readers for our blogs. How can you fix that? By polarizing! Nothing beats a review of the newest issue of Amazing Spider-man like a polarizing opinion. To illustrated my point, I'm going to provide two reviews of an imaginary issue of Amazing Spider-man starring Solo, Cardiac, and a new made up villianess Relapse(who has the ability to control the biological processes in other people's bodies! TM!):
ASM # 632 is a pretty decent read. It gets a little wonky at the end when Solo shows up to help Spiderman fight off Cardiac and Relapse. Fills like it was rushed on the art and all that decompression about Peter Parker's new role as a PE coach left little time for some onscreen fighting. However, there is one issue left of the arc, so I figure I'm invested this much.....might as well pick it up and see how it ends. Eh.ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Here's how you properly write that review.
Dude! WTF?! Solo!? THAT ASSWIPE?!?! Fry all but one of my brain cells and I could still come up with better crap than that! You know what would have made this issue good? If Spider-man quit wasting time moping about life as Peter Parker and started delivering more double whammy webbed up punches to Cardiac's head and then ran the Spider-Mobile over Relapse just because she had the gall to wear Red, Green, and Purple in public! Give me an issue with Spider-man web-fisted-punching and Spider-Mobile hit-and-running and I will show you camera phone pics of me having sex with it. Are you listening, Marvel?! Can you handle the Spider-Mobile Hit-And-Run action that I'm throwing out here?! God, I hate comics so much sometimes, after reading a comic like this, its just I-...I-...I WANNA QUIT READING COMICS!!!!! YES!!!!! THAT'S IT!!!!! I'M DONE WITH COMICS!!!! IN YOUR FACE, MARVEL!!!!! HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!That's what I call a polarizing opinion. You read that and all you can say is "Oh hell yeah, brother. Spider-mobile Hit-And-Run? I'd buy THAT comic. From now on, your blog is the first blog I read every morning at work!" That or "Dude, this guy is all wack......I better keep reading. And leave a comment. Yeah!" Need I say more?
Pretty the place up
Buy a scanner and scan your whole collection. As fans of visual narrative, it is imperative that you post pictures from comics that you are blogging about. If we wanted to read text, we'd buy books! But we don't! We buy comics! So put some pictures next to those words! 'Nuff said!
When in doubt, whip it out
Your back issues, I mean! (Pervert.) If there one thing that comic book readers absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! its ollllllllld comics. And not just any old crop of comics. Specifically, Silver Age Comics. Golden Age comics work great, too. Nothing makes for a great post like some scanned panels from Sissy Lou Candy Fun # 253 and The Righteous Rifle Brigade Winter Special '72. Behind that wilted cover of Dr. Nuclear # 3 lies some of the most far out, grooviliscious, hackneyed pages involving Magenta Nega Rays, a Danish aerobics instructer named Irma, Saw wielding Fight-o Bots, Boddhisatva, and a suggestive drawing of bananas. And that's just the 2 page origin! Posting those panels will instantly garner you a stable crop of readers, just begging for more! Entire blogs are run on the commentary of the comics from days gone by alone. Not only can we revisit the good old days, but we can finally talk about that one thing that has been so elusive in the comics coming out today: Fun!
In your stupid face, Modern Comics!
Don't read Manga!
Why? Because Manga is not comics! Next!
Keep on top of the topical
In this day and age of hype upon hype upon hype, it makes sense that you stay in touch with what's going on in comic book news. Whether its about the newest crossover, creative change, or sexual harrassment at the con, it pays to be on the up and up. As much as us comic book readers love to read about these changes over at NewsArama and the Pulse, it excites us to no end to read what our favorite bloggers have to say about these developments. With emotions that range from utter disgust to sheer delight, your thoughts on the newest summer blockbuster comic with super star artist and writer attached is fodder for good blog posting. As guys like Joe Quesada and Erik Larsen start running weekly columns, you have a guaranteed source of blogging material for you to pick apart and talk about at length. Given some time and luck, someone else will blog about what you said, further the discussion even more and most importantly....getting you more hits! Isn't that what this is all about anyways?
Just Imagine Spencer Carnage.....
Here, we talk about the two Xs of comic book blogging. And we're not talking about the X-men and Lex Luthor, folks. No, We're talking about Remix and Context!
Sometimes just posting a panel isn't enough to convey how you feel about it. What you need to do is come up with your own witty Remix. Taking a few pages and throwing your own hilarious dialogue over it makes for a great read. One of the greatest ways to mock a current issue on the stands that you do not like is to reimagine the dialogue with jokes about how crappy that comic is. What was just a boring ol' page of Superman and Batman discussing the current dilemma that they face and how they're going to solve it now becomes a page where the two discuss how they secretly want to bang each other.
Which brings us to the our next X....Context! Even better than just remixing the word balloons to say how much Batman and Supes want to shag like wild dogs is taking those panels and using them out of context to show that they in fact DO love each other. Just post the picture and let it speak for itself(with additional snarky commentary, of course.) Once you hit that [POST] button, just sit back and watch the comments roll in...
Start and/or participate in a meme
Speaking of remix, what's Steve Rogers typing on his computer?
Is he updating his myspace profile? Trying to find love in the Casual Encounters section of the Houston, TX Craigs List site? Playing minesweeper? WHAT IS GOING ON!?!? I don't know. You tell me.
And that, my friends, is how a meme works.
Linking is your friend
According to Technorati, the number one source of information on the current state of blogging, the more you get linked, the more popular you are. But whose going to link to your new comic book blog if no one really knows you're there? How DO you get the word out?
Link to other bloggers.
Bloggers, by nature, are vain and dramatically self-obsessesed. And no blogger can resist the temptation to follow a link to their site from someone else's, if only to see what the hoopla's all about. If your blogging is banging, they just might leave a comment or two, congratulating you on a job well done for linking them. If you're lucky, you could find yourself on their own "blogroll", increasing your blog status by exactly one link. This back and forth between bloggers is what separates us from the rest of the folks who still maintain their crappy geocities homepages.
Google is your friend, too
And not because they can serve up to 22,600,000+ results for 'spiderman' in 0.0538 seconds. No. Google can tell you how people came to your site and what search terms they used to get there. Considering that 83.6821% of the users on the World Wide Web are perverts, most of these searches will be dirty in nature and not suitable for your mother. Some posts consists of nothing but asisine search terms that people used to find your blog. Examples such as, but not limited to:
Superman Gets Busy Radio Shack
Superman Hugs Bunny Love
Superman Necro Variant Cover Make Me Millions
Superman Depends On Batman Depends Underwear
Superman Sodomy Kryptonite
Superman Tasteful Nudes
Superman Chinese Mp3 Paris Hilton Video
Superman On Superman Mud Wrestling
By reading that list, you would never assume that those are all Google searches that lead to a post about Action Comics # 493! Just like that, unsuspecting pervs searching Google have found your blog. And by posting the funny results, you perpetuate the cycle for the next time that someone types "Superman Depends On Batman Depends Underwear." Its almost like these blogs blog themselves!
Find yourself a mascot
In the world of comics, there are a great many characters for us to find ourselves enamored to. Everyone love Spider-man, but what about Forbush man? Where's his love? Right on your blog, that's where. When the casual readers stops by and sees Forbush man, along with a couple panels talking about how bitching and kick ass he REALLY is, the cold, cold hearts inside your average comic book reader will defrost just a bit. Who knows? Maybe they love Forbush man, too. Lord knows that I do. Scipio made it work with Vibe. Brian Hughes is bringing the non-stop Modok love. And you don't have to use some Reject like D-Man or the Red Bee. BeaucoupKevin has the whole Kirby Catalogue pretty much. However, for maximum effectiveness, lovable losers are always a sure fire win.
I call dibs on Star Thief!
Adopt a Running Theme
Just like the mascot, themes are excellent. Whether its Guy Gardner week at Dave's Long Box or the non stop face kicking over at the Invincible Super Blog, themes help us to appreciate the zany things that you can only see in comic books. Wanna show some love for our distant cousins, the apes? Have a theme week. Hip to crossovers featuring Batman? Have a theme week. Think Wolverine is uber wack and you want to prove it to the world? Have a theme week. Like the aforementioned Invisible Super-Blog, you don't have to limit it to just one week. When ever you see a dude getting rock-a-shocked in the face by someone's boot or you feel like your mind is being blown, you know your in Chris Sim's house. Whose house?! SIM'S HOUSE!!
The most important thing to remember about having a Running Theme: Stick with it!
Nobody cares about your life
Unless of course comics are your life. Then we care. Even if comics are your life, there are other things that out there in which you probably have same kind of fanboyish(or girlish!) obsession for that you might want to post about occasionally. In all honesty, spare us! In the comic book blogo-a-hydron, we only want to read about comics. Its a proven fact that anytime you stray from the matter at hand(COMICS!), you lose us all. And losing us means you lose one of the only things that matter in comic book blogging: comments! Non-comic book related blog posts have been shown to reduce commenting by approximately 73 to 99.9%. Your comic blog readers will flock away in droves for other blogs that allow them to comment on the things that they love: comics!
That's all for today! Of course this doesn't cover everything, but its enough to guarantee at least 3-5 comments a month which should be enough to keep you going until you realize that blogging does absolutely nothing substantial for you in the Real World, resulting in quiting for other things like lurking, commenting, and message board posting. Until then, good luck!