Evergreen to Ephemeral

Hey, howsitgoin?  It’s been a minute, eh?

Sorry ’bout that.

Been a bit busy with “da real life” and, to be completely honest, quite directionless creatively… even more so than usual.  While I’ll admit it’s been rather refreshing to step away from the mic and keyboard for a beat, I can’t seem to shake the nagging feeling that I should be, ya know, doing something (at least somewhat/tangentially) creative.  On some level, every day I’m away feels like a failure.

While Chris is on Infinite Earths and X-Lapsed eventually evolved into things I actively dreaded having to do, they were still a teeny-tiny little mark I could leave on each and every day.  Something I could point to and assure myself I “existed”.  Good or bad… popular or ignored, it was still something.

In an attempt to not completely abandon this creative outlet, I have been half-assed “remastering” old posts over the past few weeks.  The transition from Blogger to WordPress was not a “clean” one.  Many of my migrated posts are janky jigsaw-versions of the originals… fonts and sizes are all over the place, images are repeated or just plain missing… many posts didn’t migrate over at all, while others migrated multiple times!  The deeper I dug into the archives, the more cluster-frigged it all looked.  It honestly left me wondering if there was any saving it… or, if saving it was even worth the time investment.

One of the things about going through one’s own archives, is that you get to see yourself… your words, your takes, your format evolve (or, perhaps even devolve) over time.

One of my goals in starting my own little blogging/podding corner of the internet was to create “evergreen” content… evergreen, or as close to evergreen as possible.  For awhile, a pretty long while, I think I was successful (at least in concept) in doing just that.  I was discussing comics in a way that my little articles could be read at any time and still be… I dunno, enjoyed?  On the pod-front, Reggie and I were putting out, for lack of a better term, weekly audio documentaries.  Heavily-researched, largely “evergreen” content… discussing seminal (and lesser known) moments in comics history on a very deep level.

Then along came X-Lapsed.

After Reggie’s passing, I felt like I needed to do something “different”.  I didn’t feel right about continuing anything that might in any way resemble the Cosmic Treadmill or Weird Comics History.  I still wanted to discuss comics, I still needed to… but, it couldn’t be in our old format.  The ‘Mill  and WCH were (and are) sacred to me.

And so, X-Lapsed became my “brand”.  And my “work” went from evergreen content that could be listened to/read at any time to ephemeral fluff that could (and would) be forgotten about as soon as it’s been consumed.

I went from putting out documentaries, to hosting The Tonight Show… opening monologue and all!

But not just The Tonight Show.  It was The Tonight Show… with insane continuity and zero good “jumping on” points!  It became a show where, if you missed an episode… it didn’t matter.  If you missed a week of episodes… you probably didn’t need to bother coming back at all.  It was ephemeral… only “important” in the moment, and even then… largely forgettable.  Add to that my inimitable vocal talent and natural charisma… and, that’s one helluva recipe for disinterest.

Over the years of X-Lapsed-ing, I feel like I kind of “lost my way”.  My creative outlet became a rut… and, a “job”.  I found myself caught in a trap of my own design… unable to indulge in (or enjoy) anything not having to do with an “X”.  I’d forgotten how to read comics for fun.  I’d just plain lost the ability to.  Every comic I read had to be a “multitasker”.  I robbed myself of one of the very few things in the world I actually enjoy… which isn’t a good place to be.

Now, I want to make it clear.  I don’t regret X-Lapsed.  I’ll admit that for a little while I did resent it… but, I don’t regret the thousands of hours (and dollars) I’ve dedicated to the project.  It’s still a massive “body of work” to be at least somewhat proud of… impenetrable as it may be.

Not sure what’s next.  I still have that voice in my head nagging at me daily that I really ought to be doing something “creative”… just, at this point, I’m not really sure what that might wind up looking like.  Hopefully it’s nothing as cringy or self-indulgent as this post!

Anyway.  Just a bit of a mind-dump here to clear out some cobwebs.  Thanks for reading.

2 thoughts on “Evergreen to Ephemeral

  • Hello to you. Long time no read. Just wanted to say that what you did on the blog and on the podcasts mattered. I am still working my way through every post in order. ( I’m stuck somewhere in 2017 right now but that’s my problem.) I can’t tell you how many times I have recommended cosmic treadmill episodes to other comic fans looking for info on a subject that you had covered there. And I came in late to Cosmic Tredmill so I am a convert and not a long time listener.
    If you ever decide to write again, know that I will be reading. Even if you just want to reminiss about going to a comic book store as a kid, or a long search to find a “Holy Grail Issue”.
    I haven’t collected comics since 2009. I don’t miss buying comics or even reading new comics, but I do miss talking about comics with other people who love comics. Your blog posts and podcasts have always felt like that to me. A conversation about comics with someone else who loves comics too. So if you ever want to talk about old comics, I’m here.

  • Hey Chris, glad to see another post from you after a bit of an abesence (an absence I totally understand).

    Your writing and podcasts–evergreen ones like the Treadmill and WCH or more ephemeral ones like X-Lapsed–have definitely mattered to me. As a fan of comics they mattered to me. And as a writer and comic historian myself, they mattered.

    I’ll admit I have listened to more of the evergreen ones, but that’s more a function of me coming to the party late and starting from zero instead of with the more recent ones. (Why do I feel like I have to start from the beginning now with anything, comics or outside comics like TV shows, when I used to jump into things in the middle and catch up later?) But I’ve also enjoyed X-Lapsed, although I’ve more gravitated toward the Essential ones (nothing against Krakoa era, but I found Essential listens a little more interesting because I like listening to things I’ve read less recently).

    I’ll also keep reading and listening. Also, if you ever want to talk new or old comics, content creation, or life, let me know and I’d be happpy to do it in front of a mic or not.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *