Favorite iFanboy Moments of 2008

If there is any one sentiment I see most often in this site’s comments section (besides “you guys have a total [whatever books I happen not to read] bias”) it is “half the fun of reading comics is sharing them with people at iFanboy.com.” It’s a sentiment I definitely share; between the podcasts, the videos, the reviews, the discussions and the Revision3 forum, iFanboy was integral to my reintroduction to comics, giving me the chance to meet scores of cool people who share my interest in teenagers who can punch a hole in reality while also introducing me to dozens of books I would not have read/known about otherwise, robbing my child’s college fund of thousands and thousands of dollars. So either she gets some scholarships, or she enters the workforce armed with nothing more than a complete run of Criminal. Win-win, if you ask me. Both educational in their own ways.

All of this daily discussion and periodical pontification comes at a price on the web, though: something new is posted every single day of the year. Tomorrow’s content is always around the corner, ready to push today’s content off the front page and into the dreaded Archives, where it will only be seen again by Google stalwarts who, say, search for “biggest ass” and stumble upon Sonia’s article at #8. (Ron made that discovery. I didn’t ask him how.) As one of the guys responsible for iFanboy’s articles and little else, I shed a lone tear each day as someone’s writing drops into the oubliette. With all this in mind, when I looked back on comics in 2008, I couldn’t help thinking of all the fun we had ’round these parts last year and couldn’t resist the urge to bring some of my favorite writing out for a curtain call.

Last year began with Josh famously declaring, “You will never hurt me again, Joe.” J. Michael Stracynski’s The Twelve had just debuted (great tapdancing Buddha, could that have possibly been a year ago?) and everything about it made it sound tempting to Mr. Flanagan except the letters J, M, and S in the credits. The author had a habit of starting strong before wandering off into a corner, and this time Josh was going to learn from history. If I recall correctly, this gauntlet chuck resulted in a number of you rabble rousers mailing copies of Thor to Josh’s house. I have no idea whether this resulted in Josh, in fact, Getting Fooled Again. I also have no idea if The Twelve amounted to anything; the only other time I heard it mentioned in ’08 was when Chris Neseman used it as an excuse to pour himself a Black Widow.

A few weeks later, the operating-on-a-level-that-makes-me-feel-like-a-paste-eater Jonathan Hickman began his stint at iFanboy by talking about digital comics, a subject that would be revisited many times as the year went on. Mike Romo discovered the depth and breadth of comics piracy for the first time in November of 2008, which is roughly the 400th piece of evidence I’ve seen that he’s a better person than I am. Gordon looked at the issue from a more environmentalist approach, while Sonia examined the physical comic as an object of desire, outing herself as one of comicdom’s many paper fetishists. As for me, I was positively obsessed with this topic throughout 2008 in a way that made me make a lot of Lewis Black faces as the industry spent all year quietly waving at the century as it passed by. I was especially obsessed during that week in July when some criminal mastermind swiped my DCBS shipment right off my front porch, leaving me with the knowledge that I could replace the entire shipment in ten minutes just by walking inside, firing up my laptop and putting on my eyepatch and peg leg. On Christmas Eve, as I was leaving my family to schlep halfway across town to buy periodicals that could easily be e-mailed to me, I thought about all these articles and the head-smacking lack of progress that accompanied them last year. Maybe one of the majors will finally step up in ’09. Or, you know, go out of business rather than risk someone illegally sharing a copy of ROM: Spaceknight. Either way.

Tangentially related to the digital discussion, the economy began to seep into this part of our lives too. Late in the year, Conor had the audacity to suggest that there was an upper limit to how much he would pay for comics, which occasioned us a visit from Brian Wood and so many ensuing comments that I forgot what we were talking about. There were mercifully few tempests in teapots on the site this year, the most notable of which had to be that time B. Clay Moore said that his book was beyond criticism and Josh called him on it, resulting in an early Talksplode episode, a fairly reasonable discussion, a number of people failing to change their minds, and a substantial dentist bill that I accrued by grinding my teeth in half as I watched the whole thing unfold. I thought both sides eloquently expressed their positions. That’s where I’m leaving that.

Mostly, though, it was sunshine and gumdrops and camp songs around here. Community was a running theme throughout the year, particularly as evidenced by a lovely anecdote reader Dave Carr shared on Veteran’s Day. More than anything, I found myself laughing a lot. When Ron picked Rob Liefeld’s Cable Classic as Book of the Month, I thought the site had finally crossed the streams, but then I realized it was April 1st and laughed for the rest of the week. Mostly at the thought of Ron having to write two reviews for the sake of the joke.

Any site that can muster up even a shred of positivity for the Sentry is a pretty cheerful, accepting place. In the middle of the year, in fact, the site cheerfully accepted Paul, Mike, Sonia and me as spanking new members of the staff (some more spanking than others). Just as a reader, I’ve loved seeing the new directions the site has shot off in; we’re all comics fans, but we are all vibrating on very different frequencies. Nobody else could discourse on superguy shaggability quite like Sonia. (Possibly Josh.) Nobody else has Mike’s enthusiasm or Paul’s thoughtful approach to the craft. (I could stand to see more of Matthew Mindcarp and Dr. Pol-Arity soon, too.) I consider myself immensely lucky to be in their company.

And as for being in that company, there’s no doubt that this weekly roll of my mental dice has been the highlight of the year for me. (Maybe the kiddo learning to feed herself. They’re neck-and-neck.) Looking back at ’08, I was newly struck by how much fun it has been talking to you. I loved writing about books I loved and books I haaated. I loved Stack Week, which we badly need to revisit. I loved being a contrarian about Alan Moore and Brand New Day and whether comics are dying and, I guess, basically everything else. I loved being a Hand ninja writing home from ninja camp. I loved G.I. Joe fanfic. Above all, I loved the day I opened my e-mail to hear Augie de Blieck reading “Ode to the Beyonder.” In a year that was admittedly not all high-fives and holidays, being a part of iFanboy was one of the best things that happened to me. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into ’09.

Oh, and the site’s gotten a lot more readers since Josh came up with the drinking game. We should probably revisit that, too. Somebody get Neseman on the phone.


Jim Mroczkowski has now memorized this site’s archives. If he forgot one of your favorites, include it below or remind him via Twitter or Jimski.com.



  1.  Great recap.

  2. This was a good year for comics if for no other reason then iFanboy is bigger and better then ever. i think that you can never dissmiss your daughter taking out school loans to put herself thru college its working for me. By far i think the best ifanboy moment was reading Ode to the Beyonder. Thanks for the great work Jim and Everyone else for the amazing content they continually give us.

  3. Awesome recap.  Love the picture of Ron, I have a picture of my cousin riding a turtle…but Ron’s is ten times awesomer.

    Forgive my ignorance, but I always thought that it was a running joke that Josh had a Green Lantern tat.  It was always mentioned in the video podcast, but he never busted it out.  That just made me think it was a farce.  Thats what I get for not joining iFanboy sooner!

  4. I did do a review on that Thor book.  But I’m still not reading it regularly.  I stand by my JMS decision.

  5. Man, I forgot about Ode to the Beyonder! Must have been one of those busy work days.

    Great job, Jimski – between the idea and the execution (including the coding), you should get a week off.

  6. 2008 was definitely a great year for iFanboy, and I look forward to 2009.  Now, here’s hoping that life provides me the time to enjoy it. 🙂

  7. The Ode to the Beyonder article and mini podcast was the best thing this site did in 2008. No offense to anyone else who works their hardest on this site but….you just cant top that.

    I must’ve just joined when the Cable BOTM April Fool joke was on the site. That sounds really hilarious.

  8. But the best podcast of all time was the "Jaws" homage done back in Sept or October….that was my first or second podcast listening to you guys…..it was that episode that made me a fan!

  9. The best book JMS is writing right now is "The Twelve".  It’s very very good.

  10. Thanks fpr the highlight Jim! So many good ones.

    So many good moments so little text with which to expound. Cheers to all.

    Favorte Jimski: "7 Things I Hope you Learn drom Comics."

    Paul:The Superman Articles.

    Mike: The Mike turner Tribute

    Josh Ron and Conor All of the First Shop Series

    Oh, and thanks to Dave for the technical website wizardry.

  11. How come we haven’t got a Ifanboy episode after they have played the drinking game?

  12. Ooh, those "My First Shop" ones were good!

    I’ve spent all day suddenly remembering good ones I didn’t include.

  13. umm, they’re all my favourite moments, hello

  14. my first LCS was AWESOME!! love the pic of Ron on the hippo.

  15. BTW…what’s happened to Daryl Stalking the Streets of New York!?!?…I miss that guy!

  16. Have you read Kick-Ass?

  17. @target242 – I agree. A good start to 2009 would be an update on what’s good from Daryl, it’s been far too long since we’ve heard from the man.


  18. Darrel is a gift from the Gods.  We may not request him, only receive him.  For you cannot harness lightning.

    I think he calls some other podcast now…

  19. 2008 was a really terrible fucking year for me!  I got fired from Genuardis because I forgot to pay for a yogurt after working grave all night, got a DUI for driving under the influence of prescription medicine, got a bunch more tickets, had to fix my car at least 10 times, watched my grandmother suffer & die from cancer, got jumped by a bunch of greaseball pizza shop owners for being late for work one day, and had my jaw wired shut for nine weeks on top of everything else.  Although, 2008 is the year that I went to see The Dark Knight and Iron Man which got me back into reading and collecting the comic books again, a hobby I dropped over a decade ago.  2008 was definitely the right year to start a new collection.  I think there are probably a couple of others who just got back into it recently this year too.  Thank God for Wikipedia, right?  Oh yeah, I got PS3 for Christmas 2008 too, so there were a couple positive aspects after all!  🙂


  20. This one time, in October, my phone battery died.

  21. i don’t remember the drinking game, lol. i woulda added dodson, though i’m not sure what that means.

    "so…do you just call him…jock?" brilliant. 

  22. That might be my favorite question I ever asked.  My favorite was that his name is just Mark Simpson.

  23. @cenquist: The drinking game is for you, not us.  🙂

    @Matrix: "Dodson… we got Dodson here" is a reference to JURASSIC PARK.