It’s not quite the end of 2016 yet of course, and this is probably not quite the last post before the beginning of 2017. Nevertheless, it feels like a good moment to take stock of what 2016 has been like here on the Jinty blog. What have we been posting about, and what has caused the most excitement and interest? What new ground have we broken, and what core material have we been filling in the gaps on?
The main focus of this blog is to be a resource, as it says – so the key elements are always the posts on issues, stories, and creators. We now have around 100 posts about individual stories, and nearly 50 posts either about individual creators, or interviews with people involved in comics creation or publishing. It’s a bit harder to count the posts on individual issues directly, due to some overlaps in categorisation, but certainly these posts have kept on coming throughout the year. Often they are posted either at the time we write a story post covering that time span (so you might get a few related issues being written about at the same time), or as and when missing copies reach us and we fill in gaps that we weren’t able to post about previously. Overall, we have posted around 95 times this year (Mistyfan being a considerably more frequent poster than I have managed to be).
The year hasn’t only seen posts on those core areas though: I have spent time looking at whether there were computer-based ways to identify writers who are otherwise not recorded, as well as at a structured way to assess how rounded the representation of characters in girls comics – something to take us beyond a Bechdel test, if you like. Mistyfan has also gone beyond the main focus of the blog by creating lots of OuBaPo experiments with Jinty and girls’ comics content. And in the latter end of the year, lots of excitement was generated across the community of UK comics fans and experts, when Rebellion announced their acquisition of a very substantial number of classic comics copyrights. Their September publication of two Misty stories was scrutinised carefully for what it might mean for the newly-acquired IPC copyrights. Not that this was all we saw about IPC in the last few months of the year, as I also reviewed Steve MacManus’s memoirs and Hibernia’s publication about IPC’s short-lived horror comic, Scream.
Finally there has also been a little bit of re-jigging of the site’s structure: I split the Articles page to create new pages on Analysis and Analytic Methods, Book Reviews, and Interviews. Mistyfan has particularly focused on adding and enhancing a number of panel galleries including highlights of art by individual artists, as well as adding in galleries of OuBaPo work. Most recently I have also added a page to list that issues I or Mistyfan have for sale / trade, and issues on our respective Wants lists. Finally, I have also just added a page for posts about Stories in other titles and about Issues of other titles, both of which give valuable context for discussions of Jinty.
Particular high points of the year have included:
- In January we wrote 23 posts between us, 9 of which were posts on individual creators (Ron Smith, José Casanovas, Hugh Thornton-Jones, Anne Digby, Peter Wilkes, Hugo D’Adderio, Miguel Quesada, Unknown Artist ‘Concrete Surfer’, and Robert MacGillivray). This started off a bit of a theme for the year as there have been quite significant additions made to the resources about individual creators.
- In February I started to look at whether there were computer-based ways to identify writers who are otherwise not recorded. In the end this was inconclusive but as a part of this we also looked at stories and creators in Tammy to give a wider context. This continued in subsequent months as both Mistyfan and I looked at Sandie and Misty, and at earlier stories in June & Schoolfriend, as well as stories in Girl, Dreamer, Princess, and Sally. As a result, we now have much more context on other titles published before and around the time of Jinty‘s span.
- In April, the talk that Mel Gibson, David Roach, and I gave in London galvanized some posts both about the talk itself and about artists covered in that talk – Ana Rodriguez and Emilia Prieto / Cándido Ruiz Pueyo in particular.
- In August and September there was a lot of discussion about the IPC copyrights news along with the review of the Misty reprint, followed in October by an interview with Pat Mills, the review of the MacManus book, and then in November an interview with John Wagner.
- November was another bumper month overall, with 22 separate posts, including story posts on older narratives “No-One Cheers for Norah” and “They Call Me A Coward!“, giving us context on other girls comics titles.
Phew! You can see that it has been a productive and interesting year on the comics blogging front. All that remains for this post is to wish all a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, with all best wishes for 2017.