… the site | … the responses | … the constraint | … Oulipo | … guest contributions | … the author | … the podcast | … the publication | … the collections | … sponsorship | … the ads | … the review copies | … the ratings | … contact information | … social networks | … the about page

About the site

The first blog I created wasThe Stop Button; if memory serves it was in late 2004. It was more of a colloquial comic book-reading and film-viewing experience blog, as opposed to just responses. It was hosted at Jablog, which was “a free service dedicated to making web journaling easier and more accessible.” So I guess it wasn’t a blog at that point.

Jablog’s creator is still around but he doesn’t talk about Jablog. I assume the lack of mention means he doesn’t have an archive.

None of the Jablog comic responses exist anymore. Except, perhaps, via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

After Jablog, The Stop Button went to Blogger for a while. A very short while. I think I really wanted tag clouds. Because mullets were cool once too.

Next up, in terms of platforms, was Sandvox. In those days, self-hosting was the cool thing to do–it showed commitment, because it costed–and Sandvox was the face of The Stop Button for quite a while. At this point, The Stop Button still had comic and movie posts.

Sandvox was never great in those days for daily updates and the site eventually transitioned to a self-hosted WordPress install. Over time the posts had become less colloquial and more “formal” responses to films. As such, I spun the comic side off onto its own site.

The comic sites have gone through a number of locations and a number of titles. I believe Comics Slop was a popular one, but I finally landed on–and stuck to–Comics Fondle, even though a friend came up with it.

For a while, Fondle was just a Twitter feed with very space constrained capsule reviews.

In late 2010, I decided to get away from GoDaddy, where I hosted The Stop Button as well as the various comic sites. Not just because they killed elephants with my monthly fee, but because they started charging more for WordPress installs. So I decided to try out WP.com for a new, permanent Comics Fondle site. With some add-ons, Fondle has happily been residing here since.

About the responses

While I might refer to Comics Fondle posts as “reviews” in some places, both internally and externally, it’s mostly for SEO. I consider the posts to be responses, which are far less formal. Reviews have a structure (or should) and people either are paid for them, get free swag to produce them or are writing them pro bono in hope of eventual pay or swag. Responses, on the other hand, are whatever the author wants them to be, structured or unstructured.

About the constraint

I employ a 150-word length constraint to Comics Fondle responses, though graphic novel responses are constrained to 250 words. The constraints of the Oulipo group inspired Comics Fondle‘s constraints.

About Oulipo

Dr. Jess Stoner, alternate reality wife of Harry Matthews, guest contributes this definition:

Oulipo, founded in 1960 by writer Raymond Queneau and mathematician Francois Le Lionnais, is a movement that began as a gathering of folks to create constraints, like acrobatic mathematical formulas for novels to follow. The group’s name, an acronym for Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, translates into “workshop of potential literature.” This was not a writing group, where stories were workshopped; their goal was not necessarily to write finished works, but to create constraints that might produce them (hence, the “potential”). Oulipo was created in some way to resist or defeat the notion that inspiration is singular or divine, or to put it another way: to show that artificial imposition of constraint can provide the opportunity for artistic breakthrough, and that this kind of imposition is a form of play–which they considered a very serious endeavor.

About guest contributions

Occasionally, I get email offers of “guest contribution” posts. Sadly, I do not accept such posts. Nothing personal. Unless it is, but since I do not accept any such posts, it really doesn’t matter if it’s personal or not.

About the author

I have a couple advanced degrees, one in writing, which is why I complain about bad narratives. As opposed to when I complain about Rob Liefeld. I complain about Rob Liefeld because he’s a bad artist. The other vaguely relates to comics, but doesn’t inform on the subject.

About the podcast

I co-host the film podcast,“An Alan Smithee Podcast”, with Matthew Hurwitz of Cinemachine.

About the publication

In 2013, I began releasing a monthly collection of blog posts entitled “To Each His Own Rocket.” A manga-sized publication, “Rocket” is available in (two) stores in the Chicago suburbs and online from Indyplanet. The publication tends to come out–due to printing delays–approximately fifteen days after the month ends. For example, the February 2013 issue made it to stores on March 15. Issues at Indyplanet–including back issues–are priced as low as possible (rounded to the nearest 9 cent figure).

About the collections

There are a couple collections of Comics Fondle posts. All proceeds go to site upkeep and food for my cats.

About sponsorship

Comics Fondle now invites weekly sponsors. Sponsored weeks are instead of weeks with WordAds, so I will not actively be seeking sponsors. If you are interested in sponsoring Comics Fondle, see the sponsorship page.

About the ads

Comics Fondle participates in WordPress’s WordAds program, which are hopefully inobtrusive. All proceeds go to site upkeep and food for my cats.

About the review copies

I do occasionally get review copies from publishers. For the last few years, these review copies have all been digital, often proofs. I do not mention when I am writing about a review copy because these digital copies do not reflect the finished product. In other words, I talk about content not presentation. If I do talk about presentation, I would note if it were a review copy.

About contact information

This contact form probably works best, though I just delete hate mail. Well, not if you’re famous.

About social networks

I’m on Twitter, but not as often as I’m on The Stop Button‘s Facebook page, which Comics Fondle shares.

About the about page

I wrote this about page on 9 July 2012. I haven’t updated it. A very (very) similar about page is also on my film response site.