Sunday, August 26, 2012

Exfanding Your Horizons Turns 4 Years Old!

It's official: Exfanding Your Horizons is four years old! Happy birthday to us!
Because it's now a tradition, we'll be following in the blogsteps of the last three years with a Q&A format guaranteed to please new readers and longtime Exfanders alike. (DISCLAIMER: That's just talk; we guarantee nothing.) Due to various circumstances, this year we've condensed the list from ten questions down to five. There's probably DLC already on the disc for the other five questions, though, so it's not like we're totally gypping you.

Our blog rules.

Hey...didn't there used to be two guys writing this blog?

NATHANIEL: Um...there did used to be two of us. It just occurred to me that perhaps I didn't back up the Alex Posts Stuff widget before I asked my HTML-savvy wife to do most of the work overhauling the blog, because I haven't seen him since.

ALEX: *Crawls out from under his rock, locks around, sees shadow, thinks about heading back under his rock.*

This past year, in an effort to minimize filler and still continue to write amidst everything else going on in your lives, you introduced a new weekly column and several revisions and reductions to the regular posting schedule. For the last six weeks, one of you has been blogging solo while the other has been completely occupied with other endeavors. How do you feel about all that?

ALEX: It certainly wasn’t the ideal for me to stop writing for the blog, but unfortunately, it was (and, sadly, still is) a necessary evil. I’ve pretty much stopped sleeping in an effort to extend the day, so sitting down to write up an Exfanding post should theoretically be something I can handle. And yet, apparently I cannot.

Handle writing an Exfanding post, that is.

I actually just got back from a week in LA for work, and this week has been nonstop crazy as I try to finish off everything that’s due. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though, and I honestly do hope to be back to the blog pretty soon.

NATHANIEL: Hey, you're here now, and that means a lot. Writing solo for a two-person blog is like performing without your co-star when the marquee clearly says "[pick one: Laurel and Hardy / Abbott and Costello / The Blues Brothers / Jay and Silent Bob / Penn and Teller / etc.]." You can make references to the other person, and carry on with the same kind of material as usual, but after a certain point it's almost disingenuous to work as a one-person duo.

It honestly feels like a different blog now than it did a month ago. Yes, the new look is part of it. But I think what was most jarring to me was spending a couple of years posting every single day virtually without exception, and then suddenly looking at the blog one day to see that it'd been just me posting two or three things per week. That all happened over the course of less than a month, and I don't think either of us expected things to be so drastic or last so long.

It'd be one thing if we'd just decided to pursue other projects, and I ended up starting up a blog of my own, but Exfanding has always been about collaboration. I find myself missing the joint posts and the theme weeks and the daily back-and-forth e-mail banter that we had before things got busy for us--and I miss having Alex's posts to read. Like I said two years ago, I'm a fan of Exfanding.

All that being said, there's still been a lot of good to come out of the changes we've made to accommodate both our crazy schedules. Sunday Spotlight has rejuvenated my focus on sharing new fandoms, which is ostensibly what this blog is all about. By relaxing our self-imposed posting deadlines, I've been able to take my time on writing the kinds of long, rambly posts I like best. Consequently, that occasional feeling of, "Aw, I need to write a blog post tonight," has all but disappeared, and the number of new "favorite posts" I've been able to write will make our Year in Review for 2012 even more of a challenge, assuming we get to our 2011 edition before then.

Whether it was Flashback Week, being on a Konami kick, the epic tale of the wedding saga, New York Comic-Con/Anime Festival, the ups and downs of self-publishing, or your latest D&D quest, you've told a lot of stories in the last twelve months. You've also been a bit more outspoken, reflective, ranty, and soapboxy than usual. Where do you see your writing going over the course of the next year?

ALEX: Hopefully on the blog.

No, really. I don’t care what I’m writing about; I just want to have the time to write for the blog again.

NATHANIEL: Well, if Alex will be writing again, then maybe I won't take over his Waiting for Wednesday column and talk every week about all the comics on my shelf that I picked up ages ago but haven't gotten around to reading yet.

Actually, that idea's not half bad...

::ahem::  I'm looking forward to taking a break from sprawling stories than span multiple posts. Writing them is fun, but it's also exhausting, especially when you get up to seven or eight parts. I've always been a short story and poetry kind of guy, and these things keep turning into novellas, so I'll be striving to find new ways to keep my storytelling concise. I'm hoping to maintain and expand the variety of topics I cover as well; I mean, off the top of my head, I can't even think of the last time I mentioned Mega Man.

Got any big, geeky plans we can look forward to hearing about in the near future?

NATHANIEL: Once The Avengers comes out on video in late September, you can bet I'll be hosting a 13-hour movie marathon of everything the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to offer so far.

Now that I've already brought up Mega Man once in this post, I can also mention that I'll be doing something for the Blue Bomber's 25th anniversary in December. If I can swing it, I'll do a streaming livecast marathon over the Internet, but I make no promises because I'm not even sure if "a streaming livecast over the Internet" is the proper terminology for what I'm thinking of, let alone something I've got the technology or know-how to properly pull off. I might have to get one or two of my tech-smart friends involved.

Alex, I know you've got something exciting planned.

ALEX: Yes! I have spent the past several days piled under printer files for my forthcoming children’s book, which is scheduled to be on sale the first week of October.

Aside from that, I’ve also started work on a comic book for which I’ve hired a really kicking artist. We plan on completing the entire first issue, then posting it (for free) on KickStarter in an effort to get people to pay for the rest of the series. It’ll be a four-issue mini, and it’s an idea I’ve toyed with for a while now.

Hmmm…what else? Oh! I’m going to the Baltimore Comic Con in an effort to drum up some interest in the children’s book, and in the comic series. I haven’t been to a convention since last year’s New York show, so I am really excited to make that trip.

Dare I ask about that blog book you keep threatening to release?

ALEX: I don’t even want to talk about books, or getting books printed. Seriously. Ask Nathaniel.

NATHANIEL: Oh, sure. Ask Nathaniel. I think it's been long enough now that we can file this one under "Things We'd Like To See, But Probably Won't," along with the full story of The Great Comic Book Adventure of 2011 and Part 2 of that Transformers 101 guest post.

Oh, jeez. Didn't we promise you a t-shirt, too?

ALEX: And Exfanding Hand Puppet Theater©.

NATHANIEL: Yeah. You can officially stop listening to everything we promise you.


JoeReviewer said...

Alex! It's good to see you out of your rock! Anigneous, though I am greatly anticipating your return, please know that I am in full support of what you are focusing on right now. Besides, it'll make for some awesome posts when you get back :)

Mr. E [PostApocolyptica] said...

Wow, four years already? I remember back when you guys were celebrating three years; some Star Trek picture with a cake comes to mind, though I may be completely wrong. As for Alex's break from Exfanding, there's no harm in waiting for him to make his return some time in the future. Just make sure you keep that rock clean and tidy, mister.