Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Bridge: An Attempt to Figure Out the Purpose of One's Actions (online edition)

Why do I read? Why do I write? Why do I "link"? To learn, interpret and share, I guess. To help people understand the stuff I like, and by extension, me. Why is that important to me? Is it a cry for attention? Is it a gesture of good will? Or some sort of indescribable compulsion?

I like to think I'm a Good Online Person, and as a GOPer (I may need to rethink that acronym), I strive to avoid adding to the shitpile of negativity and ignorance that comprises 78% of all Internet traffic. I like to point out writers and subjects and articles and things that are fun, interesting, maybe nostalgic, usually nerdy, always cool.

I really don't care about pageviews or "traffic" (well, not too much). I'm happy if one person sees a ZCB blog or Facebook post, or a tweet, and grins a little. And if everyone misses it, eh, there's a lot more where that came from.

This blog started as a simple diary about my attempts to sell a bunch of comics. It then started sprouting new offshoots on a variety of subjects that interested me. And then it got to be too much - too many things interest me, and there were too many Real Life distractions to write about it, and I never got any traction or momentum. After the initial series of posts, I kinda lost my purpose for Zombie Cat Bacon.

Today, as I'm listening to Ta-Nehisi Coates being interviewed by Chris Hayes, a thought occurred to me. Something Ta-Nehisi said got me thinking about ZCB. As I'm writing this, I can't even remember the specifics. But he spoke of the energy he had to share. Suddenly, I had an image of a metaphorical bridge in my head. The idea that my reading/writing/sharing had something to do with a desire to have people do more than grin. I wanted them to remember and understand. I wanted to "bridge" the space between us.

We forget our history, every day. Hayes said every day is like Momento. I laughed and realized he's right. The news cycle and the news feed and the present are all never-ending, looping constantly and eradicating every prior moment. (Did you know there was an Olympics this year? I forgot about that. It just nine months ago. And I love sports. This blog was started during the LAST one.)

For 2019, I'm going to try to build my own bridge, and connect with time again, and with the timeline I share with you. I'm going to do that by writing. I can guarantee there will gibberish. But, for me, this will be a chance to pause and stop and rest, and when I write, I can do that.

So, soon, I'll start. There will still be comics and booze and sports and food and t-shirts and TV and games and books and other potentially grin-inducing content. Haven't quite fleshed out the format, or even if I'll stay here on Blogger. Regardless, I'm looking forward to it and I welcome you along for the ride during our all-too-brief time together.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

All Blogs Go To Heaven Part XVI

Sweet 16!


Comix 411 - Now part of a larger entity called Gear Live. However, the comic page hasn't been updated in over four years.

Francis Manapul's Art Journal 2.0 - This was abandoned in 2011. Francis can be found on Twitter and Tumblr.

The Kid's Comic Book Reviews - They made a "we've moved!" announcement in 2011. The site to which they moved is gone. They were going strong for a couple years though (08-09).

I Believe In Bat-Mite - Almost the same story as the above Kid. Hot'n'heavy in 08-09 and dead by 2011.

CHESTERFEST - CB Cebulski's been busy since this blog stopped in 2011. He's now Editor-In-Chief of a small publishing outfit called "Marvel".


Ordster's Random Thoughts - Jerry Ordway has been blogging here intermittently since 2007, but only one post in the past few years (last August).

The Defenders Fansite - To be honest, I'm a little surprised to see a recent post (May). They've gone from a weekly to a monthly blog schedule.

Big Glee! The Albert Bryan Bigley Archives - Al Bigley has gone from a daily to a monthly, but he's still going, bless 'em.

Retroactive Continuity Redux - Well, his dog died, and so did his Twitter feed: "Evidently my Twitter feed no longer works. I shall investigate it in the timely manner to which you've all become accustomed." Just all gone now.

Brainfreeze: Comic Love - I don't know. Is this it now? Probably not...

I've been visiting old comic blogs to see what's still alive and where everybody went. Some are still going, some are dead dead dead and some have evolved into a Big Deal. Most of the links are Twitters.

I've been using Comicblogupdates (CBU) and Update-A-Tron (UAT) to facilitate this project. (Quite a few of the links on these two sites rely on RSS/feeds. Some sites are still there; the provided link is just defunct)

Friday, June 15, 2018

All Blogs Go To Heaven Part XV (and T-Shirt of The Week)

More bloggity bloggity...

I've been visiting old comic blogs to see what's still alive and where everybody went. Some are still going, some are dead dead dead and some have evolved into a Big Deal.

I've been using Comicblogupdates (CBU) and Update-A-Tron (UAT) to facilitate this project. (Quite a few of the links on these two sites rely on RSS/feeds. Some sites are still there; the provided link is just defunct)


Dollar Bin Blues - moved to Blogger in 2011 but by early 2012 it ended. Jamie Rosen is still on Twitter occasionally.

Cover Date Chronology - Chrono Nomo II

Comics Comics - I was positive I'd covered this one. But looking back, I guess I hadn't. Weird. It feels like I did. Anyway, this site was a big one for me. Check out this Murderers Row of contributors:
T. Hodler
Dan Nadel
Frank Santoro

Dash Shaw
Jason T. Miles
Jeet Heer
Joe McCulloch
Nicole Rudick

About seven years ago, most of this crew took over the Comics Journal online. I will check to see where each of these fine comic folk are now, later.

The Want List - In 2007-08 Foldedsoup blogged and blogged and blogged some more. The blogging started drying up by 2009. Marriage fatally struck this blog down on 1/1/11.

Twilight Guardian - I really enjoyed Troy Hickman's Common Grounds back in 2004. This blog was devoted to his next project, Twilight Guardian. TG came out in 2011. Really not sure what Troy's up to now, though he does have Twitter.


According To Me - Christopher Priest moved his blog over to Wordpress. Believe it or not, he's still somewhat active on it.

Looking To The Stars - "Starman" has been blogging nearly every day for nearly a decade, but he's now at My Geeky Geeky Ways. Each post (either TV recaps or comic reviews) are lengthy and detailed. So far in this project, I've come across very few blogs with this quantity of content. Good job.

When Fangirls Attack - WFA was a big deal back in the mid-oughts. By August of 2011, it just stopped.

Random Longbox - TomO reviewed random comics from his big ol' comic collection, and blogged about until 2011.

Nedor A Day/Ragmop/Boxburning - These are three separate blogs. All lived briefly and then died in 2011, about the time Facebook started to grow exponentially and consume the world.

Oh yeah, this too...

T-Shirt of The Week

It made me giggle.

Have a weekend.

Friday, June 8, 2018

No one needs to read about my thoughts on Anthony Bourdain, but here they are anyway

Let me try to explain my feelings about the sudden death of Anthony Bourdain.

I spent a decade in the restaurant industry, at all levels - dishwasher, cook, server, bartender, manager. I worked in pubs, chain joints, all-night breakfast troughs, a fancy place or two.

I loved/hated it for all the reasons one does - late nights, tax-free cash, shitty managers, insane owners, random hook-ups, long-term friendships, good food, free booze, access to drugs and parties and places most never see, for it is where the night people roam.

I discovered Kitchen Confidential in 2000. I was in transition from working in pro baseball to something new. Not sure what the "new" was yet, but I was kinda/sorta certain I was going in the right direction.

The business I started in 2000 imploded in September 2001, when my business partner, having lost friends due to the 9/11 attacks, bugged out and vanished. I had to do something to keep the lights on so I returned to the industry which sustained me through my twenties.

I read Kitchen Confidential and immediately recognized the voice. It was me, kinda, though I never dabbled in the hard(er) stuff and hadn't been to the Cape (yet). At the time, I began to work on a new life, an ideal life, and through a series of serendipitous circumstances I may describe at a later date, the ideal began to become a tangible, real thing. And I once again freed myself from living on tips.

I may have pursued my chosen path anyway, and after seeing his new show, A Cook's Tour, I had no fear of moving, of keeping the ground under me fluid and changing. It wasn't just a TV show that pushed me towards parts unknown (yes, that's intentional). It was the action itself. A self-perpetuating machine, seeing it set in motion by dudes like Tony, and realizing I already owned one of my own. I just hadn't really figured out how to turn it on to full power. I was certain I could survive and thrive on my own, with full Ownership of my present.

I was confident, driven, happy, optimistic. I owned It. Still am and do, by the way.

He seemed to own It too, moving from one network to another, improving his situation with each new deal. CNN gave him total control. Ownership.

I don't know Depression. I can't comprehend that kind of darkness. I don't understand the depths of despair one must feel to make that ultimate decision. I haven't a clue as to why one would leave behind that life, really any life, so full of love and adventure and success.

He, as many others have, inspired me to do things that may have never even occurred to me were possible.

I guess he no longer found it possible.

I'll never understand. And I am selfishly mad. And very very sad for those left behind that were infinitely closer to him.

I don't know how to end this, so I'll end it by imploring all 17 of you who'll read this to help those that need it, including yourself.

Just take care of each other, please.

Call 1-800-273-8255

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

T-shirt of the week

New thing announcement...

I'm going to highlight a t-shirt every week, chosen by it's connection to something I love. Could be food, booze, TV, comics, sports, obscure/defunct corporate logos, anything really.

I was just reading an article about barbecuing pork featuring Chris Lilly, the pitmaster at Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, a Decatur, Alabama institution I have had the honor of visiting a while ago.

I like this shirt

I receive NO compensation for highlighting this product. If this link results in a mad rush to buy apparel from Big Bob, and Big Bob realizes I am the Bringer of Apparel Revenue, and wants to share his new found bounty with your humble reporter, I won't say no. And I'll let you know if he does. Cuz that'd be cool.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

All Blogs Go To Heaven Part XIV

Where were we? Been a busy month; apologies to the dozens of you following this project...

Let's get back to it!

As a refresher, I've been visiting old comic blogs to see what's still alive and where everybody went. Some are still going, some are dead dead dead and some have evolved into a Big Deal.

I've been using Comicblogupdates (CBU) and Update-A-Tron (UAT) to facilitate this project. (Quite a few of the links on these two sites rely on RSS/feeds. Some sites are still there; the provided link is just defunct)


Optimum Wound  - Chris La Tray stopped posting here in 2010, but he can be found at his own joint here. And Twitter of course. monitor room - No longer monitoring since 2016. However, If you're into Teen Titans lore, lots of it can be found here.

Comics Ate My Brain - Tom Bondurant moved from this blog to the Wordpress platform but hasn't used it since 2015. No matter - he's at CBR (but nothing since March - someone see if he's OK).

Comic Coverage - Hard to tell if Mark Engblom is still updating this site (which has dozens of categories with hundreds of posts). He is on Facebook.

Tom the Dog's You Know What I Like? - From 2004-08, TtD was a very frequent pop culture commentator, and I do remember reading his stuff occasionally. He packed it in early 2009. Not sure what he's doing now; I think Tom the Dog is unlisted in the Googlepages. UPDATE - He's on Tweetster.


Picture Poetry - Leigh Walton is far too busy with his Top Shelf job to bother with silly blogs.

Michael Zulli Working - Michael only posted a few entries here (last being in 2012). His self-titled website is not in operation. Regardless, I remember Michael from his utterly unique series, Puma Blues. This just in - Aftershock Comics released an anthology last month featuring a collaboration from Michael and someone called Neil Gaiman.

My Blue Sky - Amy Mebberson can found here instead of this blog, which stopped in 2011.

Inky Fingers - Jody MacGregor moved over to Tumblr in 2011, but hasn't posted there either for about a year. Twitter?

Are You A Serious Comic Book Reader? - Brandon Soderberg has been busy since moving away from comic blogging. If I have the right person, he moved to Baltimore from Raleigh, and began a career in independent journalism.

See you soon. I mean it.

Friday, April 20, 2018

All blogs go to heaven Part XIII


Cerebus: A Diablog - Oh, yes, Cerebus. One of the great loves of my so-called comic reading life. It had its ups and downs, its controversies, it is an Universe unto itself, and should be read by anyone interested in the medium. This issue by issue overview of the series was written by two shining lights of the comic world of the past 20 years, Laura Hudson (now at The Verge) and Leigh Walton (still with Top Shelf). They got to issue #11 before life got in the way and took them from this project. Please come back.

Fortress Of Fortitude - It only exists in the form of a post saying goodbye (plus the archives have been deleted, and the Twitter account mentioned in that post is gone too). That's all, folks.

The Annotated Flash Rebirth - Three posts in three months, then ran away.

Dick Hyacinth's One-stop Hyphen Shop - I think DH is the DB Cooper of the comic blogging world. He (?) was prominent and prolific, then just...gone.

Spoilt! - From 2005-08, this was a popular site for DC story line spoilers. Died in early 2009.


The Ameliaverse - Jimmy Gownley doesn't use this blog anymore, but he's out there in many places. This is a good article about the challenges of publishing Amelia Rules. Also, check out Kids Love Comics (though not sure if it's been active in 2018).

The Seahorse - Jill Thompson is now at the International School of Comics in Chicago.

The Comic Book - This Nickelodeon Spongeblog was managed by Dave Roman and Chris Duffy. Most recently, Dave's site, Yaytime, Happy Birthday'd Chris. Both are twittering here and here.

The Blog of Gene Luen Yang - Gene is right here (website) and here (Twitter). The blog has been retired, as he moved onto more modern techniques of communication.

Precocious Curmudgeon - Not sure where David Welsh went after ditching the blog and moving to Manga Bookshelf...

As always, I'd love to hear from any of the bloggers mentioned in these posts regarding whereabouts, projects and other intimate personal information.

(* Permanote: I'm using Comicblogupdates (CBU) and Update-A-Tron (UAT) to facilitate this project. Quite a few of the links on these two sites rely on RSS/feeds. Some sites are still there; the provided link is just defunct)