Like you, I started visiting this site because I’m a fan of comics, but I kept coming back because I became a pretty big fan of iFanboy, too. You’ve been to a lot of comics sites. I don’t have to tell you what it’s like out there. When I washed up on these shores, I was drowning in a sea of negativity and boorishness, crashing against the rocks of comment threads when cheerful iFandom threw me a life preserver. It wasn’t long before I had crept on to the staff like a stowaway, attaching myself to the site like a barnacle in an overextended metaphor.
That’s why, even five years (!?!?!) after joining the staff, I still feel a twinge of pain when an article begins its descent off the front page. At this point, we have so many writers cranking out the good stuff that every article is practically born in motion. That’s why I try to look back each year to highlight some of the good stuff you might have missed. That is also why highlighting the good stuff has become next to impossible, making this once fond annual reminiscence into that scene in the movie where the guy has to decide whether to cut the green wire or the red wire and if he forgets Paul’s My Little Pony review he blows up. Instead of trying to cram in as much as I can this year, I limited myself to five. If (when) I leave out one of your favorites, please (please) feel free to bring it up in the comments.
(Also: be warned that the following list, improbably enough, contains Marvel’s The Avengers spoilers. Just in case you were spending your time reading this but still hadn’t gotten around to seeing the biggest comic book movie of all time. Which… I don’t even know how to talk to you. Anyway.)
In no particular order:
Phil Coulson Week
My personal favorite iFanboy moment of the year came when it turned out some mad genius on the staff had decided to celebrate the release of the Avengers’ movie by dedicating the entire week to their unsung pillar of strength, Agent Coulson. Like Phil’s appearance in the movie itself, the week’s tributes began lighthearted and ended poignant; when the week was planned, none of us knew that Phil Coulson was about to be killed in a scene right off of page three of The Joss Whedon Trope Handbook. (Aside: remember when you liked Whedon because you didn’t know what he was going to do?) When everyone online was in the throes of Avengers mania, Phil Coulson Week seemed like the most iFanboy thing we could have possibly done.
GREAT E-MAIL THREADS: The JLA Work on Thanksgiving
Technically, he joined the staff at the tail end of 2011, but there is still a good chance that historians will remember 2012 as the year of Timmy Wood. This young scalawag came from out of nowhere and not only brought us the delightful Comic Book Job Evaluations, but also discovered a treasure trove of confidential e-mails in which JLA members grapple with the mundane conflicts that beseige any workplace or peacekeeping satellite headquarters. The most fascinating look into the renowned super-team’s inner workings came when Wood uncovered how they decide who has to work over the holiday break.
Paul Montgomery reviews My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, is driven mad… joins cult?
Few could have imagined when people were drawing straws best-three-out-of-five to decide which fully grown professional person would be tasked with reviewing the new My Little Pony comic from IDW that it had the power to change lives. While Paul’s heart has always been open to wonder, the experience he had reading this book caused him to wax rhapsodic at length in a review that careened from Pennsylvania to Berlin, from childhood to the time of the Visigoths. Star ratings may come and go but this, the Gilgamesh of Hasbro comic tie-in reviews, will stay with everyone who reads it, not to mention Paul, who went from zero to Brony like whoa.
This is another one of Timmy Wood’s that started this year. Just as the week’s new comics are listed, some of the highlights from the same week in 2003 are posted, I suspect, to make me feel old. If so, it works every week.
Real Geeks, Fake Geeks, and Girls, Girls, Girls
Back in myyy day, when someone called you a geek, you denied it. “Not me!” you’d say as they surrounded you, limbering up their wedgying fingers. These kids today, though? They fight over who truly has the right to label themselves with this prestigious honor. Left is right! DC is Marvel!
This topic seemed to come up over and over in 2012; it may be the issue by which I remember the year. Of course, that may be because internet dickheads are my pet fascination and I would quit my job tomorrow and become a professional, full-time trollologist if I could only get one of you to cough up a grant. This time it seemed like other people wanted to talk about it nonstop too, though.
After years of lip service being paid to attracting the Elusive New Reader, after years of asking iFanboy “how do I get my girlfriend to read comics?”, the comic book “community” at large saw an influx of girls to their clubhouse and promptly circled the wagons of hateful shitheadery. Molly talked about how her cosplay wasn’t an open invitation to objectify her, offered oglers some helpful tips on how to act like human beings at conventions, and inadvertently blew up a load-bearing section of the internet. The boys’ club is on edge about this topic. Even the pros weren’t immune: Tony Harris went on an online tirade about female cosplayers’ fake geek bona fides and attention craving, prompting our own Ryan Haupt to mount a passionate defense. I made my own humble attempt to pick apart why the whole nontroversy was a crock, but I have a feeling the dying generation of Real Geeks is going to make a lot more noise before we’ve heard the last of this one.
Like I said, this list barely scratches the surface. This list lightly brushes the dust on the patina on the surface. There were, I want to say, something like 1,900 posts added to the site this year. Feel free to pitch in with some of your own fond memories, and we’ll see you around in ’13.
Jim Mroczkowski wrote this because he loves sentences that begin, “No love for…?”