"If this means no more pop criticism, I'm all for it. No more low crawling self-important nerd's purgings."
-Gilbert Hernandez, 2011
Five years and two days ago, the first post on this blog--an excited review of Grant Morrison's first Batman issue--went live.
The initial intent of this blog was twofold--to entertain a girl named Nina, and to document whatever I was reading or watching at the time. Nina became my wife, and the desire for all-encompassing documentation passed. So the thing kept going, mutating. I started writing it as if there was an actual audience, even though I knew from the little "Overview" button in the blog's interface that there really wasn't one. Then--and I'll be honest, it still blows me away how quick it all happened--Dirk Deppey started linking to the site, and then Tom Spurgeon, and then Heidi Macdonald, and all of a sudden somebody was actually paying me to do something that I had only started doing because it was making this one girl laugh, and that was it. And yet, somewhere along the way, I fell for it. I went to Mocca and met heroes like Jog, Chris Mautner and Gary Groth (Nina loves to tell people that story, I'm content with just saying that what she calls sweet I refer to as embarassing), and I got the chance to connect with people via email that I'd only known from the blogposts of theirs that I was staring at and marveling over. (Sean Witzke was the first, but Noah Berlatsky was close behind, and David Brothers probably sent the best "hey there" email I'll ever receive from anyone.) And the people who I looked up to--people who I still look up to--came along and wrote under the TFO banner, all of them for free, and all of them so good it made me ashamed I was sandwiched alongside them.
And the blog got meaner, sillier. It was fictional characters at times, amplifications of real personalites, an attempt to seperate from the cut-and-paste websites that were destroying the individual voices that had attracted me in the first place that would sometimes result in convulted incest jokes and revealing slices of exploitation. Sometimes it was funny, sometimes it wasn't.
Whoever you people reading this are, you've come here enough that I was motivated to keep going, and the gifts I've gotten out of writing these posts--the relationships they've given me, the place I now work, the sanity that TFO's playpen has provided--are ones that I don't believe I would've gotten without you. I don't know what else to say to you but thanks. It seems like it's so minor, and in the great scheme of things, it's a blog, so of course it is. But this isn't the great scheme, it's mine. You made it a great one.
I hope to see you around. We're not dead yet.
-Tucker Stone, 2006-2011