Tuesday, 21 January 2014

TooBusyThinking Must Die !!!!

In which the blogger attempts to convince himself that TooBusyThinking must die, and succeeds;

cover by John Romita

I sent a Tweet last night;

"Trying to write a farewell post for my TooBusyThinking blog. It's proving remarkably hard to write."

The response was, to my mind, as generous as it was entirely unexpected. Aspergers means that I'm not particularly good at predicting other people's responses, and I'd fully expected that there'd be no response at all. Why would there be? To my utter surprise, folks were curious, kind, good-humoured and supportive.

It's more than 12 hours later and it's still proving difficult to write a farewell post. I've grown very fond of blogging here, and I've no doubt at all that I'll miss it greatly. Yet the truth is that TooBusyThinking has long since done its job, and I probably ought to have signed off a good while ago. It's here that I wrote myself back to some measure of sharpness after ill health, and through doing so chanced into some wonderful opportunities both in print and elsewhere on the net. It's here that I've had the chance to exchange ideas with a great many smart and engaging folks, and here that I learned about coping with the consequences of regrettable mistakes made in public. I even used the blog to chalk up 10 000 hours of writing, a spurious appropriation of Gladwell's pop-science that still felt satisfying once accomplished. In short, TooBusyThinking's been one of the most important experiences in my life. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. It's even offered me somewhere to come out - as it were - and admit to an ASD, as I should've done long ago.

cover by Dan De Carlo & Rudy Lapick
     
But to restore TooBusyThinking back to full strength would take a huge effort, and the opportunity cost of that would be immense. To attempt to do so would involve putting aside other writing projects, and that's something that I'm sure I'd regret. I never wanted this to be a blog where posts only appeared occasionally, and where their contents were in any way predictable and over-familiar. To me, TooBusyThinking was at best an overfrequent, sprawling, messy, contrary, enthusiastic and amateuresque attempt to express a sincere if often baffled love of comics. As other projects have appeared, I've spent less and less time here, and that makes me wish that I'd closed up shop some time ago. That the visitor stats have remained unexpectedly strong, with healthy links to old posts constantly appearing, can't hide the fact that the blog's lost much of whatever ramshackle virtue it had.

Better then to end TBT while it's still being visited by a welcome number of splendid folks, and to express my thanks to everyone and anyone who's ever passed this way and stayed awhile without indulging in a spot of drive-by trolling.

cover by Neal Adams
    
What I do want is to end this blog on a better note than a rather sober goodbye. So once I've got ahead of my writing responsibilities elsewhere, I'm going to charge up TooBusyThinking for one last sprawling, messy, contrary, enthusiastic and amateuresque bout of over-posting. From March 17th to the 25th, I'll be lining up the sugar and caffeine bursts and posting every day on as wide a variety of topics as I can. There'll also be several guest posts appearing here during that period, and, all in all, I think it'll be a good way to end things. I hope you might consider popping over during that period, for you'd certainly be very welcome.

Until then, the blog will be relatively - although not entirely - quiet. I'll be posting links to things of mine which are appearing elsewhere while reprinting the comics review columns which originally appeared in Q Magazine from 2012 to 2013. There's not so many of them, and they're but 400 to 500 words long. But I'd like to have them here for nostalgia's sake, and I'm grateful to Niall Doherty at Q for allowing me to post them. Then there'll be that 9 day splurge of content in March, and then .....

   
I hope the above didn't sound as if I believe that the closing of TooBusyThinking is of any consequence to anyone but myself. In truth, I just wanted to think things through in black and white, and if what I've written suggests a bloke who was trying to convince himself of something, then that's because he was.

There, I've said it. Now I'll have to do it. 

I hope our paths may cross again. For whatever it's worth, I'm certainly not going to stop writing about comics. Shameless? will continue over at Sequart, I've a chapter in a collection that's on its way to being published, and there's a few other opportunities in the pipeline. But the truth is, I know that I've really got to up my game where my writing is concerned, and that's what I'm off to attempt to do.

Thanks again for popping in to this blog. I do appreciate it, and I wish you the kindest of tomorrows.

Or, as I used to write here, and as I never should have stopped writing, Stick Together.

panel by Frank Quietl

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70 comments:

  1. Colin, sir, you are way too humble.

    "And whoever wants fame must take leave of honour and practice the difficult art of leaving at the right time. One must stop being eaten when one tastes best: those who want to be long loved know this." So said Mr. Nietzsche through the voice of Zarathustra - and I mostly agree - though I think you would go on to "taste best" for much longer.

    I will miss your sharp and articulate take on comics and hope that you will continue to share links here and/or on Twitter to your other work in other places and I hope they will remain readily accessible to usfolks across the Atlantic.

    I wish you the best on all your future endeavors and remind you that you are always welcome to swing by The Middle Spaces to comment or even add a post if you were ever so inclined.

    Cheers!

    - Osvaldo

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    1. Hello Osvaldo:- As always, your generous words and infectious enthusiasm are most appreciated. I'd certainly like to find a way to join in with the blogosphere's babble again, and if I do, it will undoubtedly be enjoyable to cross paths with you again. It's certainly good to have your kind offer re: The Middle Spaces, a smart, committed blog that's always worth the visit. Thank you :)

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  2. Shame you're going. I only dip in occasionally, but I've always found you an interesting and intelligent read.
    Cheers and all the best

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    1. Hello There:- Thank you for dipping in as you did; any blogger who feels that that's anything other than a welcome business needs their head examined. And I do appreciate you leaving this generous comment too. My best to you :)

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  3. Aw, man! I'll miss the hell out of this blog. Hopefully, this is like that bit where they try to walk James Brown backstage but he keeps bursting back into the spotlight.

    I'll be continuing to read the Seqart pieces and coming back in March, count on it.

    Thank you for continuing to run a top notch blog, one that has been a favorite since I found it. Too Busy has been uniquely intelligent, opinionated but with evidence to back up those opinions, and ever welcoming. I appreciate the effort you put into your blog, and I'm glad it worked out for you. I'm still impressed with the way you "came out," as that took guts.

    As always, I hope all your days are good ones and your writing continues to find a greater audience.

    - Mike Loughlin

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    1. Hello Mike:- Thank you for saying so. I too will miss the hell out of this blog. I really shall. Folks have so been unexceptionally kind both here and on Twitter, and it's leaves me wishing that I could have made the blog work in a more efficient way. But I didn't want to turn around in a few years time and, though pleased that I'd kept TBT going as a 4/5 times-a-week blog, realise that I might have finished a book or two instead. I do love writing about comics, as I do about music and film, novels and TV. And I would jump at any chance to develop my chops in a new environment. But, as I'm trying to convince myself still, I think this blog's time has been and, for me, sadly gone.

      I shall certainly miss the chance to exchange words with you and the other good folks who I've come to know through these comment blogs.

      Did coming out, as it were, take guts? It was somewhat intimidating, and I've no doubt that it will be seen as offputting with some people who don't understand what Aspergers means. But I will admit, I should have done so earlier. Not because what I do matters to anyone, but because I've little but a hypothetical writing career to put even at the slightest risk, and because everyone who can be open about it helps create a different climate. It may only be half-an-atom of change, but it was my half-an-atom, and I should've said so earlier.

      But believe me, I appreciate you saying so!

      I hope the day is going kindly for you. But then, if it were up to me, they'd ALL be going kindly for you. As always, my best.

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  4. I am saddened by this news, Colin, but I'm happy that you are concentrating on making it pay for you and look forward to seeing what you have planned for the future.

    Best of luck with it all!

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    1. Hello Brigonos:- As always, it's splendid to hear from you. There's certainly been little but an upside to keeping TBT going, but as you imply, there is a moment when even the most enthusiastic blogger needs to accept the truth of a compelling cost/benefit analysis.

      Thanks for your best wishes. I hope your own many projects catch a fair wind that's heading in the right direction too.

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  5. I'm gonna miss TooBusyThinking, it's been one of my very favourite corners of the comic internet for the last few years and I've been proud to play my part with your logo.

    But... I've no doubt your stated aim of improving your craft as a writer has been a success, and I'm certainly looking forward to whatever you've got planned next!

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    1. Hello Mark:- Thank you for saying you'll miss the blog. As I know I've said several times above, I'm going to miss it myself. As for your splendid logo, which has never once failed to make me smile, I'm glad that it'll still see service until the end of March. Your logo did a huge amount in setting the blog's tone. I doubt I'll ever be able to catch sight of it without nostalgia being sparked. Once again, my thanks :) You're undoubtedly a splendid egg. Undoubtedly :)

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  6. I admit I'm a bit selfishly sad. Your thoughtfulness and writing is a constant inspiration to me and I just love Too Busy Thinking About My Comics. TBTAMC is not only one of the best comics blogs around, but one of the best and most thoughtful blogs around. But you need to do what is best for you and Too Busy, and so I'll happily follow you in all your other writing projects.

    Thanks. (Now, I think I've got something in my eye).

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    1. Hello Carol:- It means a great deal, that a writer of your accomplishments should say that. Thank you for doing so. I wish I could've found a way to make TBTAMC work, but it was always an odd proposition and was undoubtedly lucky - very, very, wonderfully lucky - to find the audience it did. I've always appreciated your kind words, links at Twitter and so on. Thank you for all of that.

      And the very best of luck for all your projects too :)

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  7. Well, I'll miss the blog, but it's always good to just end it and walk away. I'm more bummed when I go back to old blogs and find they just kind of petered out. Make a clean break!

    As much as I like your positive writing, you're one of the best at articulating why a book is terrible, which is a great skill. Far too few people actually think about the comics they're reading, which is why so many of them stink. I know I've thought about comics in a different way since I started reading your blog, and that's a very good thing. So well done - you made me even more obnoxious!

    Thanks for all the good reading, sir!

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    1. Hello Greg:- As always, it's a pleasure to hear from you. I will admit, I'm not so much walking away as admitting a form of defeat. I couldn't succeed in raising the blog's profile, and thereby generating the kind of connections and opportunities which give that satisfying sense of forward momentum. There's a whole series of problems involved in blogging, such as, more posts equal more hits, but more posts mean the chance to polish work is limited. Or "focusing on one genre brings in the fans of that genre, but limits a blog to that group". Or "writing about a broad range of topics brings in less readers, not more, since many readers quite understandably like to read about what they're most interested in". As such, the blog keep demanding more imput, and yet the returns weren't reflecting the increased imput". Though I have loved blogging about comics, and though I wish I could keep going, the truth is that the blog had, I believed, reached out as far as I could take it. In doing so, it ate into the time I could spend on other writing projects. So, what to do? It's a real privilege to have good eggs dropping into a blog, it's been, as I said, one of the best times in my life. By the same token, I don't think I could have developed the blog further, and familiarity - the same old stuff from the same old me - would have soon seen it decline. Or at least, I fear so. But I must say, putting down the privilege of chin-stroking away is a tough business. I have done so with extreme reluctance.

      I'd better get a good novel out of this!

      I do think that, as an epitaph, "He made splendid comics critics more obnoxious" is one I can be very happy with. I grew up with the smart, vicious Brit music weekly papers of the 70s, and with the fractured, divided comics fandom of the same period. A touch of smart-minded friction has always appealed to me, and I can't help but note that periods of great popular criticism often coincide with, shall we say, interesting times in art.

      Thanks for popping in here at times. It was fun.

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  8. Eyyeeee... Well, it was too good to last, right? At least there is quite a bit of the older stuff for me to right, and - hopefully - those other places. But I fear there won't be any in-depth looks at current books, which is one of the main facinations for me in this blog. I have been reading comics for almost 45 years, now, and the unconditional love I used to have for the medium is long dead, but your writing has given me a new way of looking at it that revived the old thrill quite a bit... Many was the time that I wanted to chime in and comment, but I'm just too insecure about my English. But I will do it now, to say "thank you!" - though, surely, not goodbye!

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    1. Hello Yatz:- Thanks for being so generous! I do appreciate it. I can now see why "proper" - I'm sure you know what I mean by that - writers/artists go back on their promises to retire :) For all that a blog like TBT is the most minor of contributions to the debate, there is still a debate going on, and it's heartening to think that folks on occasion sharpened their own opinions against my scattershot ramblings.

      By the way, your English was splendid! Thanks for putting it to such kind use.

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  9. Dear Colin,

    Oh drat.

    I'm feeling a tad on the selfish side as well, since I simply love your blog, and all of your cunning insights. But it IS your blog, and as much as I will miss it, going out in a Blaze of Glory is not a bad thing.

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    1. Hello Sally:- I'm not sure a Blaze Of Glory will be the end result! But there will be a Blaze Of Posts! I intend to enjoy those last 9 days of posts here, I really do.

      Thanks for being such a good egg, and for having been so here before. It's always been appreciated, I promise you. I hope the day - the week, the year etc etc - goes exceptionally kindly for you.

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  10. Colin, I'm sad to see this go.

    Whilst I have certainly fallen off commenting, I always made time to read your new posts and I'll hate to see it go, but will certainly follow your work wherever you go in the future!

    Good luck!

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    1. Hello Kazekage:- Thank you for saying so :) As for "falling off commenting", I never understood why commenting has so often been seen as a mark of a laudable visitor to a blog. It's - mostly! - lovely when folks drop in for a chat, but the fact that anyone ever pops over this way and reads a sentence or two is the truly heartening thing. I'm really grateful for you having done so! It was good to chat with you, it's good to know you've been around at this time or that. Take care & the best of luck to you :)

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  11. Hey Colin: While I understand fully why you have made the decision you have, I must say that understanding, in this case, doesn't temper my sadness. I will echo the posts above by saying that your blog has always been one of my favorite places to read insightful, lucid, thought-provoking articles on the medium we love. TBTAMC will be missed, but as long as we are still able to find your writing out there in the internet, the sadness your parting engenders shall be tempered just a bit.

    Good luck with everything that comes your way in the future, sir. You have inspired me to write better and be more serious in my thinking -- for that I thank you.

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    1. Hello Daniel:- I really appreciate you being so kind. Of course, I pop over to your writing at CB, and it's extremely generous of you to offer such a positive thumbs up. It's a big blogosphere out there, and one of the most heartening aspects of it is wandering around, reading people's work and thinking "I'm not only reading their work, I've swapped words with them and they're good eggs".

      The best of luck to you, Daniel. Take care.

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  12. Colin, when I was first linked here to read your essay on Superman: Earth One, I little imagined you would ultimately persuade me to seek out All Star Superman; little more did I think this would become the first blog I would check each day; certainly I couldn't conceive of a time when this would be the only comic book blog left in my newsfeed, but so it has come to pass.

    Cheers to Too Busy Thinking About My Comics and cheers to Colin Smith! May the archives always be with us!

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    1. Hello Michael:- Gosh, that Superman Earth One piece was a while ago, wasn't it? I do like to think that we've been swapping words at this moment and that since then. I've learned alot from you, and always enjoyed doing so. (Even reading posts about movie history, which isn't my normal, er, Thang at all, has been fun!) Thank you for popping in and being so positive and generous. I hope the day isn't too winter-blasted, and in all other ways exceptionally kind, over on your side of the pond.

      All the very best!

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  13. Short time listener, first time caller. I only came to this blog very frequently, and I love it, so this is a bit of a surprise. But best of luck. I look forward to March.

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    1. Hello slepkane:- Thank you being so generous. It is appreciated. In a strange way, hearing from you has really brought home the opportunities which stopping TBT will close off. We've never swapped words before, and so, as I always do, I took the chance to pop over to your "Unattended Articles" blog. I can only recommend anyone else who's running an eye over this doing the same. It's obviously a destination I should have been heading towards long before this;

      http://slepkane.blogspot.co.uk/

      Of course, that's all self-evident. I just meant, it's good to make your acquaintance, and it's always good to find somewhere else on the net to enjoy visiting.

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  14. Hi Colin, that wasn't a sad post at all, you're moving on while leaving treasures behind to be enjoyed. I look forward to March, and seeing you around. I shall miss TBTAMC, but am excited to see how your personal Phoenix its ashes.

    (Oh dear, that was painful, I should take some time off too...)

    Onward and upward!

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    1. Hello Martin:- Thank you, I shall most certainly attempt to attain an appropriate degree of onwardness and upwardness :)

      I doubt you would recall ever doing so, but you were the first person - bless your natty lil'cotton socks - to ever leave a comment on TooBusyThinking. It seems like a long time ago, no? Thank you for coming to wave me off - as it were - too.

      TooDangerousForAGirl was at the races befor TBT, and it'll be cantering around for a good while after TBT's gone. That's as it should be, I think. Your blog has always been an ethusiastic, insightful and entirely unpretentious place to spend time at. And if you are to, as you say, "take some time off", I hope it's not going at the expense of my reading pleasure. An expression of entitlement culture on my part it undoubtedly is, but you've a blog to be writing!

      All the best, Martin. Thanks for being such a good egg :)

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  15. Hey Colin, please don't stop blogging [or whatever the actual term is, I know relatively little of the ways of the internet and how to operate it] you will still keep this open though, wont you? Id love to read old posts of yours, and also will you still be taking part in our Legion APA?
    Please reconsider leaving us. This is a good place to read intelligent thoughts about comics.

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    1. Hello Karl:- Having just spent a disastrous hour managing to write nothing but pap, it fair cheered me up to read your generous comment. Though TooBusyThinking will have to go into mothballs after the 9 days in March - and I regret that very much - I hope to have work appearing here and there in addition to Shameless at, bless them quite sincerely, Sequart. And I will certainly be wanting to contribute to the Legion APA, and to do far better at it than I have so far! It's a lovely community there, and I really would like to make a better contribution to it.

      I hope you're having a fine day. Thank you for making mine a considerably better one.

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  16. Hi Colin! I'd just like to echo the previous comments and say how sorry I will be to see the end of TBT ( and I'm sure I've said this before ) but wish you all the best for your future projects. I always enjoy reading your eloquent, passionate, intelligent and fiercely moral posts and you've certainly pointed my way towards interesting new comics and encouraged me to re-examine old favourites. I'm looking forward to this blog's Last Bow in March ( plus whatever goodies you can pull out of the bag in the mean time ) and I'll hopefully catch up with you in other corners of t'internet. All the best to you and yours,
    Simon ( cerebus660 )

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    1. Hello Simon:- Thanks for your much-appreciated kind words and best wishes. I certainly do hope that our paths will cross in the blogosphere again. One of the best things about blogging has been making the acquaintance of generous and insightful folks such as your good self. I think that I shall miss that most of it.

      My best to your good self and your family, including those two cats! Take care.

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  17. I guess there's not much to say, Colin except "thank you", "you'll be missed" and "good luck". Thank you for hosting such a consistently enjoyable blog, one that has allowed me, I believe, to improve as a writer, a comic book reader, and a person. You'll be missed, because your voice, conversations, and kindness were always appreciated. Good luck on whatever you end up doing; you could have the success of a Dan Didio or Robert Kirkman, and it would only be half as much as you deserve.

    Cheers.

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    1. Hello Ian:- An unexpectedly early start to the day saw me reading around the net and finding myself feeling uncomfortable about the way that debate is dealt with in some of its corners. To pop back to TBT and find your absolutely welcome comment is to be reminded that the blogosphere is also a kind and generous place too. I needed to be reminded that after coming across several snotty disputes elsewhere, and I'm really grateful for you doing so. Thank you for leaving such magnanimous sentiments. You've really made this cold east-o-England morning seem a much less bone-freezing place :)

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  18. I certainly leaned a lot here- only three years into reading comics as an adult, the task of catching up was daunting, to which you contributed in a scholarly fashion. I will sorely miss your writing on the subject, but I would never stop a man from going forward, and so I'll send my very best instead.
    Yours, Colin

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    1. Hello. as I've always enjoyed typing, Super-Duper ToyBox - Thank you for your kind wishes and your generous words. I'm glad that there was some benefit from you popping in. On my part, I'm grateful to you for the visitors who've popped over here through your blog feed. It's always been a pleasure to cross paths with you through one way or another; my very best to you!

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  19. All this time, I couldn't put my finger on it...I told my Hubby how easily I get into a comfortable groove with your wonderful writing. Your modus operandi was so much easier for me to understand than other bloggers. So you too are an Aspie.
    Figures. (-:
    I love your insights. But more importantly I love the way you talk to people. Everyone has a valid opinion here and that's what has made this a gem to read and visit. No cheap or snarky shots here. Your positive attitude and respect is something I have carried into my own blogging.
    The first article of yours that I read was your breakdown of Iron Man. It was so good I shared it with non comic book, film fans of Iron Man. They liked it too. The article bridged the gap of comic book fans and the civilian world. Well done!
    I have taken your recommended reading to heart for my new purchases. Your reviews helped me remain a comic book consumer. Buying comics these days is rare for me. The constant high body count is too much for my tastes.
    One of the articles you wrote that I reread a few times was "Super Moby Dick of Space." You focused my entrenched perspective of the LSH and that was delightful.
    Thank you for everything you have done here. I will still come back to read back issues.

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    1. Hello Teresa:- Heh :) Hats off, you set up your closing snare-line in your first paragraph with real skill; I'm still smiling :)

      And yes, I'm an Aspie too :) Glad to make your acquaintance under a flag of, for want of a better word, transparency!

      Thank you for saying you've appreciated the tone of the blog. I started TBT in part because I found the atmosphere at several big comics sites to be toxic. My thought was, if I can't find a place to talk to folks over there, I'll talk to myself over here. I never imagined that visitors would pop in and chat back, but that has been the best thing about the whole process. (And I think that the times when I slipped into sarcasm and even anger in the main posts were, in retrospect, often serious mistakes. There's a time for both, and sometimes they worked, but there were moments when I should have used those tools more sparingly.)

      You're very kind in what you say. And you've left me with food for thought should I ever take another punt - in some form - at this comics-blogging business. You generously speak of that long-ago-posted John Forte/LSH piece. I find it astonishing that anyone would recall it in any way - self-esteem is perhaps not my strong suit :) - and yet you'd be surprised how often people mention it to me. I'm certainly always surprised! Someone e-mailed me from Tokyo about it just last week. I don't think I'd've attempted such a piece today, and I suspect that's a sign of a loss of nerve on my part. Thanks for speaking kindly of it, and of starting me off thinking about what is and what isn't best written about.

      My very best to you and your hubby. I hope the world wll be as kind to you both as can possibly be hoped for :)

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  20. Well, darn. What can I say that hasn't already been said so many times above, and probably with great eloquence than I can muster? Yes, I'll miss the blog, I've enjoyed the many conversations I've read and occasionally participated in here, and I loved that we seemed to share the same perspective on certain characters like the Ancient One and the Red Guardian that are usually beyond the radar of most comics readers. However, I understand and respect your reasons for closing shop. Like Teresa, I'll try to make it a point to go back and peruse your archives.
    Otherwise, I wish you all the best in all things.

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    1. Hello Edo:- It's always good for a blogger to know that there people out there who also share, as you say, a taste for some of the more obscure characters. The Ancient One, the second Red Guardian? Not characters that are likely to be the leads in a big-screen Marvel movie, and perhaps I like them all the better for that. The less used a character, the less continuity and idiocy tends to get heaped into their heads. It was most certainly a pleasure to cross paths with your good self, Edo, and what appears to me - of course - to be your admirable good taste.

      Thank you for your kind words, The very best of luck to you and yours, good sir.

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  21. Argh! Gutted!

    But hey, as you say, you'll still be around.

    I will miss this blog quite a lot - the net NEEDS sites like this, and when something truly treasurable goes then it's cause for a little bit of sadness.

    I do wish you the very best in all you go on to do, Colin.

    Until we meet again, Sir...

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    1. Hello Karlos:- Thanks for saying such generous things about the blog. I'm glad that this was a place where you might on occasion pop into. It makes the business of keeping TooBusyThinking going for these years - years? crickey! - feel worthwhile. By which I mean, my thanks to you too!

      I hope the day's been kind to you, and that tomorrow will be at the very least as kind. All the best :)

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  22. I read this when it was first posted Colin, and have been trying to think of something to say. The words don't seem to be coming, however, so best of luck and thanks for sharing everything with us.
    Dina

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    1. Hello Dina:- Thank you for your best wishes. I've always enjoyed exchanging ideas with you, and I shall miss the opportunity for such to occur. I hope the day is treating you with kindness, and that all the subsequent days do too.

      All the best :)

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  23. Thank you for all your work and Godspeed!

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    1. Hello Rabbi Joe:- Thank you for your kind good wishes. It's always been fun swapping ideas when we've met in these comments. Godspeed to your good self too :)

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  24. Hi Colin,
    Having decided to take a break from twitter (and a bit more) I nearly missed the new that you'd be closing the blog, luckily I dropped by before all the boards were nailed to the doors and windows!
    I'd just like to say it's been a pleasure reading your blog. Thank you for your time, and for your support.
    Best wishes,
    PaulHD

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    1. Hello Paul:- though I've noted - and selfishly regretted - your absence from Twitter, I know you found it at times wearing and I hope you've benefited from the break.

      Thanks for your kind words. It's always been a pleasure to wave a flag for work I value and enjoy, and yours has very much been both of those things.

      All the very best :)

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    2. I must admit that I'm enjoying my short, so far, twitter break although I'm sure I'll eventually resurface. If you're missing my scribbles I'm still posting stuff on tumblr here http://pmhd.tumblr.com/
      And thank you for the kind comments :)

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    3. Hello Paul:- I can fully understand why an absence from the babbleverse would feel enjoyable. Thank you for sending on your Tumblr address; I have already favourited your neck of that woods.

      All the best, Paul.

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  25. I've enjoyed every one of your posts. Thank you for taking the time to write so much here. Your writing has often cheered me up. Good luck with the rest of your writing projects!

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    1. Hello There:- Thank you for such encouraging words, and for your kind good wishes too. I do appreciate you having dropped in here, and I certainly wish you all the very best :)

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  26. Ugh. What a dispiriting surprise.

    Let me just say that you, The A.V. Club's writers, Wait, What, and Comic Books Are Burning In Hell (in that order) got me back into pop comics. However, I appreciated that you strayed from that to talk about children's comics and art comics and strip comics and artbook comics and everything else that makes the medium such a sprawling joy.

    For real, at least use this and your social media feeds as a way for fans to keep up. I'm worried the path to quality comics will be too tough to navigate with your light dimmed.

    Thanks for all of the splendid writing! Enjoy your new projects and your non-comics life.

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    1. Hello GhaleonQ:- Thank you! Your generous words are very much appreciated. That's terrific company that you've been kind to place TooBusyThinking in. (The very thought makes me - immodestly I fear - smile.) It's also good of you to say that you something of worth in the "straying" that went on here :) I enjoyed the chance to roam around and touch on different subjects, and I'll miss doing so.

      Thank you such heartening and encouraging words. I hope the day's going kindly for you, and that our paths will cross again someday :)

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  27. Colin!

    You can add me to the pile of those sad that you're closing up shop, but let's be honest, the signs have been pointing this way for a while and we're all lucky you've kept the blog hanging on as long as you have.

    I discovered your blog at a time when I was in a pretty isolated and depressed time in my life, and having someone who seemed genuinely happy to hear from me and entertain my ideas (however off-topic they got) was pretty significant. The way you moderate your comments to keep everything civil is a welcome relief from, well, the rest of the Internet.

    The need to balance one's commitments to keep abreast of all one's interests is an issue close to my heart at the moment. Between a full-time job, girlfriend, and band (or 2, or 3), it's really hard to figure out how to prioritize the parts of my life. How do I figure out how much socializing I need? How much alone time? How much time recording versus practicing with the band? How much time working on other, non-band-related music?

    Anyway, I sympathize with the pressures, and I wish you the best of luck in their resolution and your continued evolution as a writer and appreciator of comics and/as art!

    (If you'll permit an Asperger's-related comment, I recently read a couple books by John Elder Robinson, and they're pretty interesting. He's the brother of Augusten Burroughs, and has some really interesting perspectives on growing up & raising a kid with Asperger's. He's had a really interesting life himself, designing rocket-shooting and fire-breathing guitars for KISS, and later having his son be prosecuted for experimenting with explosives. Anyway, it's a pretty well-written & I thought you might enjoy it if you have any time for non-comics-related reading :) )

    Noah (historyman68)

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    1. Hello Noah:- Firstly, let me thank you for speaking so kindly of the blog and the way that debate was - mostly :) - undertaken here. One of the things which led me to start this blog was the problem of finding somewhere civil to talk about comics. Better, I thought, to waffle on to myself than try to compete with the hubbub in many - if not all - of the forums that I'd briefly associated myself. That other folks graciously turned up and chatted along was the real surprise of blogging for me, and it's one that I'm immensely grateful for. In the same light, I'm grateful for you - and indeed anyone and absolutely everyone else - who, popping in, left a comment that was civil and thought-inspiring.

      Thank you also for your best wishes. Though I shall miss the blog tremendously, I'm becoming more and more excited about what's ahead, which is a real blessing, I'm sure you'll agree.

      Thanks again for the book recommendations. I'll certainly add then to the list and look forward to getting to them.

      Good luck in all you do, Noah. I hope the world proves to be exceptionally kind to you and yours :)

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  28. Fell a bit behind, and now I'm seeing this: all the best, Colin. Thank you for sharing your comic book thoughts over the past few years.

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    1. Hello Mark:- Thank you for your best wishes. It's been a privilege to have a chance to bash out pieces on this blog, and I appreciate you having dropped in to see them.

      All the very best to you :)

      Delete
  29. Your blog made me a better reader of comics, made me appreciate more the masters, and made me discover new authors and books. I have enjoyed reading the posts, specially the ones that focus on a particular topic, comic book or character. I specially had great pleasure in the ones that analyzed the medium itself. It is with pity that I see this blog ending. Thank you for writing it. I gained something in reading it.

    Ana (Porto, Portugal)

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    1. Hello Ana:- I do appreciate you taking the time to leave such heartening thoughts. I'm glad that TooBusy helped you whittle away a moment or two, it makes the whole business feel even more worthwhile.

      My very best to you :)

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    2. Thank you, Colin :)

      Reading the last comments of this post, my opinion is that you should keep the blog online. It will be a source of information for future readers, it will be a way of older readers to re-read some entries. I do understand that your views may change with time and that your style of writing may improve. I've an artist background so I see your point. But a publish work is a publish work. If you delete the blog, all the info that is in it, all the readers contributions, will be gone for ever. What would be of the literary world if the writers deleted their old work and only the most perfect work remained? ;) Just my thoughts. By the way, I'm reading Steve Ditko Doctor Strange and while I'm reading I'm remembering your great thoughts about that series (I don't know if I read them here or other place).

      All the best to you :)

      Ana

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    3. Hello Ana:- You're quite right to suggest that a conversation, in all its aspects, is a shame to delete. Though I'm more than uncomfortable about my own contributions to that conversation, I'm very comfortable with the idea of the too and fro of a good-spirited exchange of ideas. And in that context, yes, I'd like to leave TooBusyThinking up. It's another way of thinking about it, and I'm grateful for the encouragement to try to do so.

      The very best to you too, Ana :)

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  30. Commenting a bit late on this. This is sad to hear.

    Will the archive remain online? Apologies if you explicitly address it and I just didn't see it.

    This blog is like a book collecting essays (and some of the discussions in the 40+ comment sections actually enhance the articles themselves). It will be missed if gone.

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    1. Hello There:- Thank you for the kind words. I was thinking of leaving the archive up, but I'm currently of two minds. Writing a blog over such a period of time means - or at least it did for me - that there's alot of work here that should've been alot better. But as you say, the comments were always a wonderful thing, and it would be a shame for that to be lost. On the balance of things, I think I'd hate the comments to disappear more than I'd like my own work to, so I suspect the blog will stay up.

      Thanks again for such positive thoughts. It is appreciated :)

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  31. I know how it feels, if you do something creative, your skill improves with each successive work, then one day you look back at your old creations, whatever those might be (articles, artworks, scripts etc.) and find some of them lacking. It makes sense because your skill has improved.

    Point is, most of the times this is visible only to the author, not the audience! Every interesting thing you've put your heart to write, or draw, or edit etc. is part of the journey, even if at some point you decide to change route, or do something else.

    Here's hoping this "book" remains online for as long as the internet exists in its current form. Many articles (e.g. those on Kingdom Come, or The Authority) are some of my favourites, and I'd like to revisit them for future reference :)

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    1. Hello There:- Those are kind and generous thoughts, and I can't deny that they're welcome ones too. Thanks for being so positive, and I hope the evening is going kindly for you.

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  32. My first--and given the circumstances, likely last--comment, I've been a long-time admirer of your work. While I haven't agreed with every article, your intelligence, insight and ethical standards are nothing short of an inspiration for my own (very) nascent authorial ambitions.

    Obviously, given both your busy schedule and evident long term planning for the final blogathon, 'requests' would likely be the last item on your agenda. However, there are two particular topics you've brought up in the past that were to my knowledge never followed up on, that would seem to be relatively easy to incorporate into the broader discussions of issues facing the industry that seem to be on the horizon for March. Specifically:
    Alan Moore's attempts at redefining the DC Universe in line with his own narrative and logical standards, an article suggested in "Roots: Elliot S! Maggin, Alan Moore, Superman & 'Last Son Of Krypton'", and
    A discussion of the Lois Lane of All-Star Superman (and indeed in general) and why such a character would show no interest in the selfishly-minded 'Superman' of JMS's Earth One, indicated at the end of part two of your comparative analysis of the two texts.

    I appreciate your consideration. While here, I'll throw another request onto the pile that the blog remain in operation, and thank you for your (relatively) recent discussion on your Aspergers diagnosis, a great challenge in my own childhood.
    Best--David Mann.

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    1. Hello David:- Thank you for saying that you've popped in here on occasion despite not agreeing with all that you've found; I can think of nothing more heartening to read. In a world in which, we're told, folks are tending to seek out opinions that they already hold, it's much appreciated that you should do otherwise.

      And of course, I do very much appreciate the kind things you've said in addition to that. It's a bittersweet business, giving up a blog, and - as the days pass - I can feel how much I'l miss it. But by the same token, it's heartening to get to swap a few words with good folks such as yourself before I hang up TooBusy :)

      Both of your suggested pieces are undoubtedly enticing ideas. I've got most of the last blog pieces underway to a lesser or greater degree, with a few spaces left for reviews of that week's comics. (Can't miss the chance to write a few more reviews.) But I can't deny, those are pieces I would like to write.

      My very best to you, David. I hope the day has been treating you kindly :)

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    2. Thank you very much, and while I briefly command your attention, I'd ask if you know of (and if not, raise to your awareness) a small but fascinating series of stories by Samuel Hawkins. Reminded of him by your article on the bootleg "Silver-Age Superman" and it's rightful place in the character's canon, he wrote a series of Superboy text stories that while essentially in the realm of fanfiction, I recall receiving endorsement from no less an authority that Elliot S! Maggin, and are indeed some of the finest works the character has known. Linked from the following
      http://everythingsuperman.weebly.com/superman-stories.html
      are his four pieces--Taking Time, Tomorrow's Lesson, Strange Visitor and Martha's Story, along with several other pieces such as Maggin's delightful short story "Luthor's Gift"--the latter in particular standing tall alongside the likes of All-Star Superman and Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? as one of the definitive tales in the character's history. I thought them worth potentially calling to your attention, as well as any other observers of this comment.
      Thank you, and once again best--David Mann.

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    3. Hello Dave:- Thank you very much for your welcome recommendation. If you and Mr Maggin are recommending those tales, then you can rest assured that I will be swiftly be checking them out.

      Thanks again, it's much appreciated :)

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