Saturday, August 2, 2008

OYL Retrosepctive - The Weekly Crisis One Year Later

One year is a long time, especially when it comes to making regular posts and deadlines for an online blog. Over the past year, I've written hundreds of reviews, tried numerous different columns and features and the site barely resembles that default Blogger themed, once a week review blog it started out as.

In honour of the one year anniversary, I've decided to put together a quick timeline of events that have changed the Weekly Crisis over the past year, along with my own annotations, ranging from new features, like previews and moments of the week, to failed attempts at new columns, like Crisis of Faith and Cover to Cover.

I hope you enjoy the trip down memory lane. It helped remind me of the reasons why I love writing this blog and I can't believe how much the site has changed since I launched it a short year ago.

Weekly Crisis Year in Review

August 1st, 2007 - Weekly Crisis Comic Book Reviews for 08/01/07

What can I say? This was the first post and first set of reviews here at the Weekly Crisis. I can't believe I've somehow managed to keep this up for the past year. While I've gone back and changed the title, I originally started out using a "volume" naming scheme instead of the date.

The original title was actually Weekly Crisis Volume 1, which didn't really tell anyone anything, so I changed it to Weekly Crisis Comic Book Reviews Volume 1. The "volume" naming scheme was just too ambiguous and made it hard to tell when a volume was originally published, so I finally settled on the naming scheme you see today.

And, yes, the original reviews came out on a Thursday. Crazy, no?

August 29th, 2007 - Crisis of Faith - Immortal Iron Fist

My first attempt at a non-Wednesday comics review. It took me longer to research, write up and format than my normal reviews and didn't really drive any traffic or comments, but I enjoyed it and kept with them for a few weeks before retiring the feature.

September 19th, 2007 - First Post-Crisis Previews

The original Post-Crisis Previews came out the day after my reviews. These ended up being too quick a follow up on the reviews and people just weren't interested in reading previews for the next week's books when they hadn't even finished reading and digesting the ones that came out that week. This resulted in the previews being pushed back day by day until they settling on their current Monday placement.

October 3rd, 2007 - First Comic Book Moments of the Week

One of my favourite features, the Moments of the Week debuted a little over two months after I started the blog. These were a hit from the start and are still one of the more popular features on the site and seem to garner a lot of traffic in the archives.

October 13th, 2007 - First Comic Book Character Spotlight

Hot off the success of my Moments of the Week, I attempted to create a new feature with the Comic Book Character Spotlight. The first one featured Sodam Yat, who was set to make a big splash in the Sinestro Corps War as Ion at the time, and these Character Spotlights were fairly popular and garnered a lot of comments for me, at the time. The Sodam Yat one is one of the most popular pages on the site, to be honest.

However, they took a lot of time to gather the information, find out origins and appearances and write up, despite how short these posts actually were, and I eventually let the feature fall by the wayside.

If people are interested, they can feel free to write a guest post on their favourite or new / upcoming characters and submit them to me through my contact page.

October 17th, 2007 - First Quick-Shot Reviews (later became Final Crisis Reviews)

The site was becoming fairly popular at this point in time and I was growing more confident in my writing abilities. Prior to this, I was simply updating the Weekly Crisis Reviews post and sticking 10+ reviews in that single post.

The new, second review post on Thursdays allowed me to put more focus on the first set of Wednesday reviews, brought people back to the site on Thursday for the new post and made it a lot easier, in general, to write and post the reviews.

November 27th, 2007 - Holiday Comic Book Gift Guide

At the time, I hadn't done that many non-review based posts and the Holiday Gift Guide was a lot of fun to put together. I'm not sure how well it went over at the time, as commenters were sparse in those days, but I was really happy with the post and it lead to the next key post...

December 19th, 2007 - Best of 2007 Comic Book Awards

I don't think I enjoyed writing up any other post more than the Best of 2007 Awards and I'm looking forward to writing up the 2008 version later this year.

March 1st, 2008 - First Comic Book Cover to Cover

At this point, I had four regular columns - Monday's Previews, Wednesday & Thursday's reviews and Friday's MotW - and was still looking for a Tuesday post to fill out the work week. Crisis of Faith, Character Spotlights and other features had failed, but I was undeterred. That sparked this Cover to Cover feature, which was a fun idea, but it quickly became apparent that it was harder to describe why covers were good or bad than one would think and this feature only lasted a couple of weeks.

May 7th, 2008 - Quick-Shot Reviews Become Final Crisis Reviews

I had never intended the Quick-Shot Reviews name to last as long as it did and had asked for reader suggestions on several occasions. Looking to keep the "Crisis" theme going and seeing as how these were the "final" reviews of the week, I renamed the Quick-Shot Reviews to the Final Crisis Comic Book Reviews.

May 29th, 2008 - First Contest at the Weekly Crisis - Atomic Robo Giveaway

I had been running ads on the site for a while and using the occasional affiliate link, but hadn't, up until then, made any real gains off of them. However, using the small amount of money I had garnered, I approached Brian Clevinger through email and asked if he would be willing to sign a few Atomic Robo TPB Volume 1: Atomic Robo & the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne, which were due out around the time of the contest.

He was more than happy to sign the books and I quickly put together the contest, which was a huge success that spurred a lot of traffic and attention to the site and lead to the current OYL Anniversary contests.

June 8th, 2008 - First Poll - What Did You Think of Final Crisis #1?

I can't believe it had taken me over 10 months before I attempted to run a poll here at the Weekly Crisis, but it was. They were fairly popular, taking in over a 100 votes each, and I'm still running them on occasion, such as the case with the current Comic-Con related poll on the sidebar.

June 11th, 2008 - First Top 10 Tuesdays

In my most recent attempt to fill the Tuesday time slot with a post, I came up with the Top 10 Tuesdays and it's been a resounding success, both in terms of reader comments, traffic and my own satisfaction in writing them.

August 1st, 2008 - One Year Later Anniversary

And all that brings us to the big one year anniversary of the blog, which I'm celebrating with my One Year Later theme. We've got contests, like the Manhunter Vol 1 TPB Giveaway and the RSS Exclusive Immortal Iron Fist Vol 1 TPB Giveaway, and retrospectives, like this post you've just read, and other goodies planned.


I hope you've all enjoyed this timeline and my thoughts on the events of the past year. It's hard to believe the number of changes that have occured since I first launched the site and I didn't even go into the numerou cosmetic and functionality based changes.

It's been a crazy year and I've seen my traffic grow from the sad state of one person - me - viewing it on most of those early days to the 1000's of people viewing it on a daily basis today. This year was a long journey that nearly saw me give up on the site a few times during those early days, but I'm glad I stuck with it and I owe it to you readers for all the kind words, comments and acknowledgement over the past year. And that's why I'm hosting the current round of OYL contests - to reward you guys for the past year and continued support for the years to come.

Feel free to let me know what you think of the past year here at the Weekly Crisis - what you liked, what changes you were around for, any columns or features you would like to see a return of, what worked, what didn't, anything major you think I should have featured on the list of major events for my timeline, etc.

Thanks for reading and you can look forward to another year of comic book news, previews, reviews and more!

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Rawnzilla said...

I can't remember the first time I found your site, it was probably the link from Nerd Rage Report that got me here. As soon as I saw the clean layout of the site, and read your reviews, I knew this was a site I would want to keep track of in the future. I've been coming back every day since. Keep up the good work.

Andrenn said...

I didn't start reading the site until around March or late February, I can't remember, but I've definitely enjoyed it since I first visited it and enjoy stopping by nearly ever day to see whatever thing your posting.

Also, best of 2007 was great. I look forward to your 2008 Best Of segment.

Michael said...

Well, I started reading the blog back around October; what got me into reading it was how we have similar taste in comics, and your recommendations got into comics I wouldn't have considered before.

Thanks for your time and effort.

IslandLiberal said...

I started reading your blog, hmm, probably fairly early on; I believe I followed a link you left at Rokk's site.

Congratulations on the first year; this is one of my favourite places to go on the internet.

Eric said...

Of all the stuff you have stopped doing I the Crisis of Faith the most. Either way, this is a great blog. Good work Kirk.

Ethereal said...

I think I started reading this blog around the end of the hockey season, so sometime in what, March? I'm happy it's gone so well and seeing new things all the time is pretty nice. You got me back into comics (Well, you, Rokk and Marvel being good.)

I might take up the offer on trying my hand at the character thing. What are the guidelines for the article?

Chris said...

This is a great blog. I admire your commitment to getting these article out every day. I think the first time I read your blog was after you said something good to one of those idiots on the old newsarama boards. I enjoy reading this blog every night and heres to many more years

Tyler said...

I found your blog through CBR Comics should be good blog. I found right at the atomic robo give away, and hev been hooked ever since!

Salieri said...

Curiously enough, 2nd August was my Birthday.

Anyway - Happy Anniversary!

Kirk Warren said...

Just want to thank you all for taking the time to comment and you're continued support over the past year.

@rawnzilla - I remember finding out about the Nerd Rage Report (I always pronounce this like the Colbert Report for some reason, ahah) back when my blog started really gaining some traction and was greatful for the constant stream of visitors from the blog, which obviously includes you.

@andrenn - I know it's a long ways off, but I've been jotting down random ideas for this years awards, ranging from new awards to designing some tropheys or logos for the awards and so on. Even thinking about some possible reader interactions, like polls or nominations. Look forward to it and don't you or anyone else be afraid to throw out suggestions about post ideas or possible improvements whenever you feel like it!

@michael - Oct was about the time I started really hitting my stride with the site with the first redesign, addition of moments of the weeks and previews and more. Good to see you've stuck with my ramblings for so long, ahah. =D

@islandliberal - Rokk's site has been a great source of traffic for me and I'm always greatful for his support and links to me. I haven't kept up with the comments as much as I'd like, but as my blog has grown, my time for commenting seems to have dried up. I shoot him an email every once in a while to keep up with him, and other bloggers, though, as evidenced by the guest post this week and the new banner I helped design for him.

@eric - I missed doing the Crisis of Faith posts, but they really took a lot of time and effort.

However, that was early on when I was less experienced and less confident in my writing. Maybe it's time to brush the dust off the ol' column and start throwing one or two out every month. My Manhunter trade reveiws were basically Crisis of Faith articles, too.

This was something I was hoping guest posts might be able to help out with, as well. Since the weekly reviews and other posts take up a lot of my free time, I was hoping readers might be able to write up macro reviews of their favourite arcs / trades and submit them for publishing.

We'll see how things work out once things settle down after the anniversary and I'll see what I can work out for this.

@ethereal - I'm going to write up a formal submissions guideline for guest posts after the OYL anniversary wraps up, but, in general, I'm just looking for something similar to the Sodam Yat, Hood and other spotlights I did.

- Character with major role coming up (ex. Illyana is going to be returning, has a lot of history and will star in X-Infernus and would make a good candidate if I were to be doing this again, but there are dozens of others that could be spotlighted).
- Give the name, aliases, powers & brief origin
- list key issues and storylines
- and basic reasons why they deserve to be spotlighted (going to star in new event, returning to action after years of inactivity, taking over role, like Yat for Ion, etc)

Not looking for copy and paste Wikipedia entries and "trying" to keep it brief (I'm rarely, if ever, brief, ahaha).

If you, or anyone else, has ideas, drop me an email through the contact section in the link menu and we can talk some ideas before committing to writing anything.

@chris - Ahah, thanks for the continued support and try not to be too hard on the Newsarama posters - they mean well and are comic fans too. =D

@tyler - While the contests were primarily aimed at rewarding my current readers, I'm happy to know they've brought in new people like yourself and I hope to see you around more often!

@salieri - Happy Birthday to you, too!

CaptainLameo said...

Congrats on the anniversary, can't believe it's been a year already. I can't remember when I started reading it, but I know it was fairly early on because I got the link from when you posted over at Major Spoilers and I believe they closed back in October or so (thankfully they're back :p).

Always glad to read an intelligent opinion on comics and I particularly appreciate the extra features/columns (the moments of the week in particular)

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