New Daredevil creative team & Dusting off the TOMP archives

Matt and Elektra, from Daredevil #506, by Diggle, Johnston and Checchetto

In between an unusual amount of work and various additional committments in the evenings, it’s been a little while since I’ve posted a Daredevil season three episode review. I don’t expect to get the next one up until Sunday, and I’m very much looking forward to recording an episode with our friends at The Defenders Podcast on Sunday evening.

Tomorrow, I’m joining a couple of friends who have yet to see season three for a big screen marathon, so all episodes will once again be fresh in my mind. In the meantime, here are a couple of other things to discuss!

New Daredevil creative team

The big news from yesterday takes the focus away from the Netflix show and puts it squarely back on the comics, with the announcement of the next chapter for the Daredevil comic book. As most of you know, I haven’t been following this most recent run with much enthusiasm, and am a few months behind at this point. It’s kind of a shame since, up until the most recent run, I’d reviewed almost every Daredevil issue from the early 100’s of volume 2, as they came out. 

Promo picture for the launch of a new Daredevil #1 in February.

I also haven’t been paying too much attention to rumors of Daredevil’s imminent demise, figuring it to either be a stunt of some kind or a soft reset. So, imagine my surprise when I hear news about what’s coming next and catch myself feeling actual excitement! We obviously know very little about the new run at this point, except that it appears to feature Matt Murdock (and not some replacement character), and will mark the launch of yet another volume with a new #1. Does that make it volume six? I may have lost count.

At the helm of this February 2019 relaunch, which will follow the weekly miniseries “Man Without Fear” in January, we find Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto. Checchetto has worked on Daredevil before, and is honestly one of my top ten favorite Daredevil artists. That alone has me excited. (See below, and the featured image, from Daredevil #506, by Andy Diggle, Antony Johnston and Checchetto.)

As for Zdarsky, I’m not at all familiar with his comic book work, despite owning the first TPB of Sex Criminals, which I picked up at a con and have yet to read (better get on that). What I am familiar with is his very delightful and friendly trolling of Applebee’s from a few years ago. What can I say, I’m a fan of how this guy thinks.

Matt talks to Frank Castle, from Avenging Spider-Man #6 by Waid, Rucka and Checchetto
Avenging Spider-Man #6 by Mark Waid, Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto

Dusting off the TOMP archives

Another thing I wanted to mention was the little project I have going in the backgrund, so to speak. With more than 800 posts and more published words than you would find in five-six average novels, there’s a lot of material on this website, and it’s a frequenct concern of mine that it’s not sufficiently accessible to new visitors. There’s also the question of search engine optimization. This site gets a decent amount of traffic, but I’m sure I could have done better if I had actually paid a little more attention to best practice as The Other Murdock Papers grew steadily over the years.

So, I’ve set out to update old posts, improve the quality and numbers of internal links between them, and add better meta descriptions where necessary. I also intend to put together a half decent guide to those older posts that still hold up. Not everything I’ve written is relevant anymore, in particular posts that were published in relation to something that was news years ago. But, there are posts, some I’d even forgotten about myself, that I’m still proud of. Others just need some minor tweaks, and they’ll be as good as new. It just seems a shame to not do more with all the material that’s already available, but hard for people to find.

In the end, I hope this little project will create a better experience for current readers as well. As I wade through all this stuff, I hope to find some forgotten gems to share on Facebook and Twitter. I’m also looking to maybe reach out and try new channels, like YouTube.

If you are a longtime TOMP reader, and you have a favorite post or category of post, let me know! Maybe there’s something I’ve missed or forgotten about that made some kind of impact I wasn’t aware of.

On being a Daredevil fan, 600 issues later

Daredevil just passed the 600 issues mark. Meanwhile, this site (very quitely) celebrated its 10th anniversary a little while back. The very first posts, three of them, went up in December of 2007. In March of 2008, I posted the next batch of posts and this site slowly started taking off. Well, in terms of readers anyway. I’ve never made any money off of this site, nor did I ever intend to. Anyway, I’m glad that I was able to get enough content up in the first eight years of blogging that there’s still been a lot for new visitors to discover during the last couple of years when I’ve been largely inactive.

This doesn’t mean that my life has been lacking in Daredevil. Just last week, I was invited back on the Fantasticast – for the sixth time! – to discuss an isssue of Marvel Two-in-One featuring Matt Murdock. As always, I had a great time recording with Steve and Andrew (listen to the end result here). If you have even the slightest interest in the Fantastic Four, I think you’ll find their podcast difficult to beat. It covers every FF appearance, in chronological order! I also co-authored a chapter for an upcoming Daredevil anthology, edited by Travis Langley. Daredevil Psychology: The Devil You Know will be released in June.

As many of you know, I’m also working on my own book, a little bit at a time. Things have been getting much more manageable since I finally spent the money on the Scrivener software, on the recommendation of the always helpful Antony Johnston. When you have a lot of sources to keep track of, with notes attached, it really helps. I’m also finding myself working on several chapters in parallel, which works fine when each chapter is really its own independent essay, and Scrivener also allows you to do just that quite easily.

Some time very soon, I’ll post a little bit about my work on this book. I’d be very interested to hear what people might best respond to in terms of content. Thus far, I’ve tried writing about the things I want to write about, based on the things I find interesting. That means that there’s quite a bit of science in there. And, time spent on explaining scientific concepts is obviously time not spent listing tidbits from the comics. These chapters become more and more focused on Daredevil as we move along from the core concepts to the specific concepts that are most relevant to Matt’s world, but there’s still a lot of ground to cover that I find difficult to skip because I really want people to understand why I arrive at my own particular interpretation of what makes sense for this character. What I’ve tried to do is use other Marvel characters as examples when Daredevil hasn’t been a good fit, and I hope that keeps people interested. Anyway, I’ll get back to that in my next post.

Matt explains his radar sense, from Daredevil #1

If you’ve read this far and are starting to wonder when I’m going to get to Daredevil #600, here’s a big plot twist for you: I haven’t read it yet. Nor have I read the ten or so issues leading up to it, though I have the whole pile of issues waiting for me in the next room. I felt kind of bad having to confess to this when I went on the Fantasticast podcast, and I feel even worse confessing to it here. Especially after that rather suggestive post title. But, the fact of the matter is that Daredevil has six hundred issues to his name, and I’m still a fan. And I guess that’s what I wanted to talk about.

A couple of years ago, just after season two of the Netflix show came out, I remember mentioning on Twitter that, one of these days, I should write a post about the emotional ups and downs I’ve felt experienced as a Daredevil fan. Because it’s been really rough emotionally at times. Probably ridiculously so, considering that we’re talking about a comic book superhero, and not anything that really matters that much in the real world. But what makes Daredevil so unusual in my own life is that I’m not naturally a “fannish” person. Don’t get me wrong. I have passions and interests, but they hardly ever revolve around famous people or properties. There are actors and musicians I appreciate more than others, but I never had a single poster of any of them growing up. Nor have I ever collected anything, or followed a particular sports team (and I actually quite like sports). There have been TV shows and movies that I’ve loved, of course, but never to the point I’ve seen in people who identify strongly with a particular fandom. When I fell head over heals for Daredevil, more than a decade ago, it was quite unexpected. And I’ve never felt that way for anything else since.

The problem with being attached to anything the way I’ve been attached to Daredevil, is that you tend to become a bit possessive of “your” character, and your own interpretation of him. The farther back in time I’ve followed Daredevil, the less important it’s been for me that the character on the page adhere to my own standards of what is both “reasonable” and more or less in character. That’s why Daredevil landing a spaceship in the middle of Central Park – guided by the absence of heartbeats! – is just funny to me, while seeing him read a computer screen by touch thirty years later is not. Not only is it not funny; when I first read that issue, I was devastated. The same goes for certain other events in the history of the comic that are not at all restricted to Matt’s senses, but have to do with his portrayal in general. There have been those runs when I’ve just not been able to relate to Matt at all, and there have been others where he’s come very close to the Matt Murdock that’s in my head, one that I’ve come to form a close relationship with despite the fact that I’m certainly not delusional and well aware that he’s a fictional being.

The problem with being too invested in a character is that, like with any relationship, you risk being hurt. And, when you have a property like Daredevil that is continually being recreated and reimagined, not only by creators, but by fans as well, yours is not the only version of the character. The “risk” of others having a different idea about this character than you do is very real. Which is fine, really. But if your devotion to a character (and for me, this blog is obviously a manifestation of my personal devotion) is the same thing that causes you to actually, you know, feel things that might put you off, you have a bit of a problem.

Daredevil's costume. Image from the trailer for The Defender.

What I’ve been struggling with over the last couple of years has been that balance between caring enough and caring too much. And, in many ways, my “crisis of faith” has been brought about by the Netflix show, which debuted exactly three years ago today. Which is ironic considering that 1) I think it’s extremely well-made, not to mention well-acted, and 2) it actually generally does a very good job of hitting many of the notes I care most about. Yes, the tail end of season two was painful as hell to watch if you’re someone who cares about Matt’s relationships with people other than Elektra, but overall, I think it’s a good take on the character. Considering all the ways a live action show about Daredevil could have played out, the Netflix version really does a good job overall.

However, when you take a property like Daredevil from the comicverse, where he is being read by roughly 30,000 people in the U.S., and probably twice that worldwide (though I must admit that I don’t have the most recent numbers), to a platform where he is being watched by millions, that sense of the here and now being more important than that which is obscure and in the past is magnified. For most people, the Netflix show inevitably represents the dominant take on the character, the one that people will be most familiar with. This has had the effect that anything short of perfection, as measured by my own and very personal standard, has had a completely blown-out-of-proportion effect on me.

With season one, in particular, I got over whatever these minor transgressions were. And, I got over them pretty quickly. With season two it was tougher, even though I think that season two was actually better in many ways. When it comes to The Defenders, I prefer not to think about it, though the things I didn’t like about the show generally had little to do with the portrayal of Matt/Daredevil specifically. Either way, it’s been hard for me to look at Netflix Daredevil as just another iteration of the character, the way I’ve been able to do with runs of the comic.

So, even when the Netflix take on the character actually gets most things right in my book, I’ve sort of let that get in the way of my “inner” Matt and allowed minor details to dictate how I should feel. Add to this the disappointing last few issues of the Waid/Samnee run (I still rank the first 80 percent of it among my favorite runs), and the complete lack of emotional connection I’ve felt with the Soule run, and it’s been pretty much inevitable that, as soon as I allowed myself to back away and take a break, other things would come along in my life and fill the void to the extent that it takes a conscious effort to carve out the time it takes to blog on a somewhat regular basis. And, in order to do that, a certain amount – the right amount – of passion is required.

I don’t know if it’s because spring is in the air (really, Swedish winters are no joke), but something has changed over the last few weeks that really makes me long for a return. One way I can tell is that I even feel like writing fan fiction again, something I haven’t really done in the last six years or so. Yes, at one point in time, when I had a substantially lighter work load, I actually wrote tons of it. I’ve never advertised it much here because it felt like I’d be exposing more of myself than I felt comfortable with at the time. This is something different than being able to work on my (science) book, which doesn’t require as much of an emotional investment as an intellectual one.

Daredevil jumps over a statue in Daredevil #26, by Stan Lee with art by Gene Colan

By this time next week, I may very well have caught up on my reading of the Soule run, which I hope I’ll be able to approach a little differently than I have thus far. I’m also looking forward to writing a follow-up post to last year’s “hit” post “The 50+ ways in which Marvel’s Daredevil reminds you that Matt is blind (for real)” which only listed examples from season one. I’ve had several people ask me to cover season two and Defenders as well. Another thing on my to do list is writing about season two of Jessica Jones, as underwhelming as it was. Because I’ve missed this. I’ve missed writing. I’ve even missed writing in English specifically (not something I do on a daily basis, outside of Twitter). And, as much as this post may seem like a meandering mess, just stringing this many words together feels like real progress.

Thanks for reading and an even bigger thank you to all of you who have reached out with words of encouragement. Let’s get this show back on the road.

‘Twas the night before Iron Fist

I know what you’re thinking: “Did hell freeze over? There’s a new post!” Personally, I knew this day was coming eventually, and for the last couple of months, I’ve known that it’s been drawing nearer. Having said that, going on hiatus for close to a year was an absolute necessity for me. Come December, this site will have been online for ten years, so in some ways it’s probably more remarkable that this has been my only long hiatus (I’ve taken shorter ones in the past), considering all the changes any person’s life goes through over the course of a decade.

For me, this hiatus has coincided with plenty of time-sucking projects at work, as well as a big move. Some of you might remember that I also moved in the fall of 2015, but this two-stage process was always part of the plan so, yes, I moved again in October of last year. I now live in a big apartment I absolutely love and where I plan to stay for many years to come. I’ve put a lot of time and energy into painting, buying new furniture, getting rid of old things and sorting through many years of crap. I’ve always tended to be on the messy side, but for the first time in my life I’m well on the way to building the kind of home where everything is just the way I wanted it. I’ve even realized my lifelong dream (I’ve obviously been a nerd since childhood) of having my own library – a room full of nothing but books. And an armchair.

What about the elephant in the room? Yes, I’m talking about Daredevil himself. As many of you might recall, the ending of the second season of the Netflix show didn’t sit well with me. This is paradoxical in some ways, since I feel that, in terms of sheer production value, the second season outperformed the first in my opinion. The only problem was that it broke my heart, starting with the ninth episode onward. By the time we get to the scene where Matt declares his love for Elektra, my heart felt stomped on. It was the wording of it really, the way he – in my view – rejects his civilian life that really got to me. I realize that 1) characters on screen (just like real people) are not always the best judges of their own thoughts and feelings, and 2) that this can just as easily be read as a protective “good riddance” reaction to the fact that he actually feels rejected by everyone in his civilian life at that point. Whatever the case may be, the latter half of the Netflix show is something that I hesitate to revisit, even to this day. I will get to it, though. If nothing else, I think it might be therapeutic to just get through it. And, it almost always helps to have this online community to bounce ideas off of, and get a new perspective on things.

When it comes to the comic, I haven’t read it in about six months. I’ve dutifully picked the book up from the shop, but I have a bunch of issues at home that I haven’t even opened. I suppose that’s pretty sad coming from someone who has run a Daredevil blog for almost ten years, but I simply can’t compel myself to care. And it’s not that I don’t still care about Daredevil. I do. I think about Matt Murdock daily. The core of the character, as I imagine him, is still alive and well in my mind. It’s just that, for me personally, the comic doesn’t feel relevant to me at the moment. I’m sure that’s unfair to the creative team, especially since I haven’t even read the last stretch of issues, but it feels odd to force yourself to read a comic book when you don’t feel like it. I’ll get caught up eventually, no worries. But it’s part of why the past year seemed like a good time to just back away for a while.

As I’m writing this, we’re fewer than twelve hours away from the release of Iron Fist. And to think I didn’t even get around to commenting on Luke Cage yet! I’m sure I’ll have reason to return to Luke in the future, now that I’m sorta kinda blogging again. For now, I’ll just say that I really liked it. All of the Marvel Netflix shows thus far have had some pacing issues, and I found that to be true for Luke Cage as well. On the flip side, I quite enjoyed that it took its time and didn’t rush things. While there was plenty of action, the show’s creators didn’t shy away from more letting us spend some quiet time with the characters, more so than I’ve found with the two seasons of Daredevil. Aside from the Frankenstein overtones in the episode where Claire does surgery on Luke with acid and a toaster (which I did quite enjoy), it felt like a very mature show.

When it comes to Iron Fist, early reviews of the first six episodes have been average to poor. I still hope and expect to enjoy it. It may very well be that the final Defender might not have as strong a first outing as the rest of the gang, but that still leaves room for some pretty solid viewing compared to many other things on TV. It also seems like there might be some mass psychology at play here. A lot of people seem to have been anticipating a dud, and the somewhat absurd controversy about the casting of Finn Jones is part of it. I agree that there aren’t enough parts for Asian actors on mainstream television, especially for the male action hero type. I’m just not sure that the conclusion that a ninja type must be played by an actor of Asian descent isn’t equally problematic. If you really want to shatter some stereotypes, make sure you have Asian men in other kinds of roles. It seems to me that a lot of the criticism on this particular point comes from people outside of the comic book reading population who are not familiar with Danny Rand. Who knows, it might be a mess of a show, but I’m not going to assume that going in. And it may be culturally insensitive for a number of reasons, but again, I’m not going to assume that. What do you guys think? (I’m going to allow full spoilers for the show in the comment section for those of you joining us after it’s aired.)

Well, this was my first post in a long good while, and it’s going to take me a little while to build up to anything near my posting frequency of two or three years ago. It’s actually a bit scary to notice just how quickly you can break a good habit and how the time you used to devote to something fills up with other things. But, one step at a time! Last, but certainly not least, thank you so much to the people who have kept commenting and even sent messages of support and encouragement over the last year. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

Countdown to Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix!

Hey gang! It’s time to launch The Other Murdock Papers’ official countdown to the Daredevil show on Netflix, now less than two weeks away. For a literal countdown, I’ve even added a timer in the sidebar that counts down to the exact minute the show starts streaming. You’re welcome! 😉

I’ll keep this first countdown post brief, but will add a new post every day between now and April 10 around different themes. Tomorrow, I’ll talk a little bit about my favorite stand-alone single issues, covering several decades of the book’s history.

The next post after that will talk about Daredevil’s origin and discuss the handling of it in the Netflix show, based on what we’ve learned thus far. Speaking of which, a new thirty second TV spot was released today (see below), featuring previously unseen footage, much of it focusing on the character’s earliest history.

Is there anything in particular that is relevant to this show that you guys would like me to cover? If so, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. And what do you think of the new footage?

I will see you back here tomorrow!

Time to rebuild

Scene from Daredevil 227, by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli

I’m going to tell you right away that this is going to be a much more personal post than usual. You’ve been warned. Hopefully though, it will be one that will jumpstart this blog again. As I’m sure everyone has noticed, I’ve really let things slide in the last year or so, particularly in the last few months.

It used to be that whenever I found it hard to blog as often as I thought I should – whether due to a lack of time or lack of inspiration – I would always feel pretty bad about it. I would also worry that people would stop coming. Which, as fears go, isn’t totally unwarranted. Blogs pretty much rely on a steady stream of new content. However, I’ve also come to realize that it’s perfectly reasonable to not be able or feel inspired to blog regularly week in and week out (I have been doing this for over six years, after all). It’s perfectly natural to have to take a break from time to time. More importantly, forcing myself to write would be completely counterproductive. It would turn a hobby and source of joy into nothing but a chore, and that really wasn’t what I wanted. So, I’ve allowed myself to take a step back. Besides, I also knew that there was enough content available already to satisfy newcomers at least.

To be perfectly honest, the past year has been rough for me on a personal level. My trip to Baltimore Comic Con last September was a real high point, and I’m so grateful I was able to pull that off. It was also a strange reminder of how long it had been since I felt that happy. I’d almost forgotten what that was like and that was a bit of a wake up call as well. Somewhere along the line, I’d lost my spark, and gotten completely stuck in a rut.

At the same time, the past year, and particularly the last few months have been very busy in terms of work. That phase is now behind me, which on the one hand is wonderful (I finally actually have time to blog without having to sacrifice sleep!), but on the other hand has given me too much time to dwell on things. And that can be scary. Burying yourself in work is a great coping mechanism for when there are things you’re just not ready to deal with.

One of the major things I’ve had to contend with over the last year was my decision to finally admit to myself that I’m primarily attracted to other women. Even in a very socially liberal family, in a very socially liberal country, I’ve had a bit of an identity crisis that I’m still in the middle of. Yes, I told you this would be a personal post, and I’m telling you this for the sole reason that it terrifies me to do so. If there’s anything you can learn from Daredevil, it’s standing up to your fears.

Scene from Daredevil 227, by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli

My love of Daredevil has not diminished over time, quite the contrary. It’s a bit ironic that my slump has come at a time when the Daredevil title itself has been so consistently great. Amazingly, it’s often felt like events in the comic have come to me at the perfect time. The current creative team’s handling of Matt’s emotional struggles have been great, and in light of my decision to come out, the gratitude I expressed for the new addition to the Daredevil cast in my review of Daredevil #1 (vol 4) came from a very personal place.

I’ve never really been one of those fans who particularly identify with Matt Murdock. I’ve always cared for the character, obviously, but I’ve never really felt like we had much in common. Now I find myself drawing strength from him. I also recognize the tendency to want to bury things, and it will be interesting to see what Daredevil will have to face in the next few issues. I suspect the current storyline has come at a perfect time as well.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to talk to you about my oft-mentioned “secret project,” which is another thing that needs rebuilding, for very different reasons. The project in question is a book I’ve been researching and working on, on and off for the last couple of years, under the working title of The (Unofficial) Science of Daredevil. This is not something I’ve intended to make a lot of money from (if any), and I’m probably going to either self-publish or, more likely, release it as an ebook. But it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. Sadly, during the summer, a colleague spilled juice all over my laptop and pretty much annihilated everything on my hard drive. Much of the content was already backed up in various places. The huge Excel sheet which contained sensory annotations of well over one hundred issues was not (though some part of me still suspects I have it backed up on a flash drive somewhere, because I have a distinct memory of saving it somewhere). I was heart broken when it happened.

However, I’ve chosen not to invest the time and energy into looking into whether the hard drive can be restored by someone other than the Apple store, since I know that would still be a long shot. More importantly, I’ve also realized that this particular project within a project, was always a way of stalling anyway. I don’t need it to write the book. It may have even kept me from sitting down to do the really hard work of just writing. So, rather than get discouraged, I’m going to take it as a sign that I should just get on with the book as I imagined it originally. I’m also going to set a new deadline for myself and work to have it ready in time for the Daredevil Netflix series.

I’m now recommitting to this project, and this blog. But I think I need some help from you guys. Now, more than ever, I’d love some post ideas to get me going again. There will be plenty of news to report as we draw closer to the premiere of the Netflix show. That aside, are there any questions you’d like me to answer? Characters you’d like me pick apart? Is there any major topic that I have yet to cover on this blog? Any and all ideas and suggestions are most appreciated.

Thank you all for “listening.” And to all of you who comment and keep the conversation going here at The Other Murdock Papers, your contributions mean so much to me. More than you’ll ever know.

Daredevil news and TOMP survey results

Hey, gang! For today, I wanted to do a little news update, since there is quite a bit of news to report that I haven’t really had a chance to post or talk about, at least outside of the more frequently updated Facebook page.

I also wanted to show you some of the results from the survey I did earlier this month. I won’t cover all of, quite a bit of it is probably of more interest to me than to Daredevil fandom as a whole, but I did want to share some of the findings that shed light on who you guys are, what you’ve read and what you like about Daredevil. I finally got 81 responses, which I’m more than happy with since that clearly shows that I was able to reach more people than just the regular commenters. Thanks to all of you who participated!

What’s new in the world of Daredevil?

Before the survey results, let’s get to the latest news! First of all, there is the unlettered preview of Daredevil #36 – the last of this volume! – that was posted to Comic Vine just a few hours ago. I seriously can’t wait!

We also have Marvel’s April solicitations that were released last week. Coming up is Daredevil #2 and a special one-shot to commemorate Daredevil’s 50th anniversary: Daredevil #1.50, with interior art by Javier Rodríguez and a beautiful cover by Paolo Rivera. The first issue of the new Elektra series also comes out in April, if you’re interested in checking that out.

There are two recent interviews that I wanted to mention, in case you haven’t read them already. One is this January 9 interview with Mark Waid and Peter Krause, where they talk about Daredevil: Road Warrior. The other is this more recent Mark Waid interview by ManWithoutFear.com’s Kuljit Mithra.

I also wanted to let you know about a (relatively) new Daredevil podcast that I really like, even though I haven’t listened to all the episodes just yet. It’s very professionally done, and I give two big thumbs up, even though it makes my own podcast sound extremely flaky by comparison. 😉

The TOMP survey

So, here are some graphs for you to look at that I put together based on the responses to my survey. As mentioned, 81 answered my call. Some of the graphs (such as age and gender), show the actual number of respondents, but questions that allowed people to check more than one box have answers given in percentages.

It seems like the typical TOMP visitor is a man in his late twenties to early forties who has been reading Daredevil for a long time. My readership seems to generally consist of pretty hardcore Daredevil fans, which really should’t come as a surprise and most people have been coming to this site for several years (though I didn’t make a graph of that last bit of data).

As always, click each image to zoom in, click again anywhere on that same image to close it. If you have any questions, let me know in the comment section! I hope these are pretty self-explanatory though.

Pie chart showing where TOMP readers are from
Chart showing age and gender distribution of TOMP visitors
Chart showing when TOMP visitors first started reading Daredevil
Chart showing which percentage of TOMP visitors have read various runs of Daredevil, vol 1
Chart showing which percentage of TOMP visitors have read various runs of Daredevil, vol 2 and 3
Chart showing which percentage of TOMP visitors have read various Daredevil mini-series
Pie chart showing how TOMP visitors rate their degree of Daredevil fandom
Chart showing what people like most about Daredevil

In closing, just a few words on what I learned from how people rate different types of posts on this site: I will definitely keep things as diverse as I have up until now. People seem to differ a great deal in what kinds of posts they like, so the best way to cater to everyone (and my own tastes), is to keep doing what I’m doing. It was a bit of a relief that people at least, on average, don’t seem either straight news posts of the Silver Age panels that I always feel guilty about posting. The Silver Age stuff is usually what I post when I don’t have the time to write something long and insightful, and I tend to feel bad about it, but a good chunk of visitors really quite like that stuff. Great!

Again, thanks everyone! I’m glad I did this survey, as I learned a lot from it. And, I hope you guys now know a little more about all the other people who visit this site!

5 years & 600 posts!

First off, Happy New Year! I hope all of you have had a great holiday season and an excellent start to 2013. As far as resolutions go, I haven’t made that many – it’s better to keep the list short and attainable – but one resolution I have for this site is actually to make fewer resolutions.

From now on, I’m going to stop apologizing for the fact that I may write five posts one month and twelve the next, and I’m not going to make promises that I never seem to be able to keep for when a particular post will be up. This site is a one-woman operation and I’m pretty sure all of my readers are aware that I don’t exactly do this for a living. No one expects me to be CBR, and I’m sure that you guys have plenty of other things to do besides reading this blog. So, no more apologizing! I will post when the mood strikes, just as I always have, and not beat myself up if I occasionally let two weeks go by without an update. 🙂

Still, the fact that this site recently had its 5-year anniversary (my first post was published on December 3, 2007), and that the post you’re reading right now is post number 600, has made me reflect on what’s gone before as well as what the future might bring. One thing I realized is that I might have to redesign the site a bit in order to make it easier for first time visitors to actually find what they’re looking for. The front page really only gives you the most recent posts which is fine for regular, old-time readers. But, I actually did a word count of the contents of this site and it came back with a number that exceeded 350,000. That’s the equivalent of about three standard novels. That made me realize that it might be a good idea to put more “featured” content up on the start page to guide new (and old) readers directly to some of the older stuff that’s still worth reading rather than having it buried on the archives page. In keeping with my “no resolutions” resolution, I will not set a deadline for this development, but don’t be shocked if you arrive one day and I’ve given the site a make-over. Nothing too extreme though, I promise. 😉

Things I’m looking forward to in 2013

First of all: Daredevil (i.e. the main title). I guess that goes without saying, but I’m really excited about what’s happening right now and where the story might be heading. The Matt vs. Foggy dynamic is interesting and I expect to see some great character development coming out of this conflict. Then there’s the Milla mystery, the issue of who has been pulling Daredevil’s strings, and all of Matt’s unresolved personal issues. And, given that we’re about to be reunited with Stilt-Man in Daredevil #22 (see panels from the preview below), I can’t wait to see what new and old villains Waid, Samnee and the rest of the team will line up for Daredevil in the following issues.

Daredevil and Superior Spider-Man vs Stilt-Man, by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee
Daredevil and Superior Spider-Man vs Stilt-Man, from Daredevil #22, by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

Secondly, as of Daredevil: End of Days #4 (which came out yesterday), I finally find myself genuinely intrigued by where that series is going. We’ll have a final resolution to the story by the time the eight and final issue comes out later this spring.

Another thing to look forward to is a project I’ve actually been involved in. It’s an anthology published by Sequart and edited by Ryan K Lindsay called The Devil is in the Details: Examining Matt Murdock and Daredevil. I wrote the chapter on Foggy for this book, but am really looking forward to reading the other chapters. Check out the details here and keep your eyes peeled for this one!

Well, that’s it for now! What are you hoping for in 2013, Daredevil-related or otherwise?

News Roundup, December 5

Cover to Daredevil #10

Yup, it’s one of those news roundups again, and it’ll be a brief one too for which I offer my profuse apologies. The look at Daredevil’s first adventure with the Avengers (in 1970 as it happens) that I promised about a week ago is in progress and forthcoming, but due to the fact that I’m insanely busy for the time being (don’t I wish writing this blog was actually my job…) you’re going to have to make do with this update.

First of all, there was plenty of Daredevil-related info in the Axel-In-Charge feature on CBR, including art sneak peaks from the Amazing Spider-Man tie-in, Daredevil’s upcoming guest appearance in Punisher and the gorgeous cover to Daredevil #10 shown on the left. Paolo Rivera also posted it on his site along with a close-up of Mole Man that really shows off the detailed drawing that went into this absolutely stunning piece of art. I love the line engraved look of it!

Okay, that’s it for now, sorry about that!

New York Comic Con – Part 1

Photo of one guy wearing enormous hulk arms with the rest of his costume dragged on a cart by his friend.

Hello all! I know it’s a little late to post info on NYCC, but if you’re actually at the event, finding the time to get away to blog about it is a little tricky to say the least. I’m leaving to fly home to Sweden in a few hours, but I thought I’d take the time to post a few pictures from the convention, following up tomorrow with some more Daredevil specific things (things that have been in the news as well as pictures of Daredevil artwork).

Standing in line Friday morning

I actually had a four-day pass and also visited the convention on Thursday for about an hour. I didn’t do much that day except stop by Paolo Rivera’s table to say hi (this, by the way, would turn into a daily thing, poor guy. ;)). On Friday, the whole thing really exploded with a line that went all around the Javits Center.

Photo of people standing in line to get into NYCC on Friday, October 14

On the way in, I also spotted these guys heading to the back of the line, and this little snapshot came to be known as “Hulk Disassembled.”

Photo of one guy wearing enormous hulk arms with the rest of his costume dragged on a cart by his friend.

Friday at the convention

Deadpool turned out to be a common character for cosplayers, but my favorite would have to be this lovely Lady Deadpool. Below the picture of the convention floor is one of the Avengers-themed Marvel booth.

Photo of Lady Deadpool and others at the convention
Photo of the stylish Marvel booth which looked like the upcoming Avengers movie

In the afternoon, it was time for the Amazing Spider-Man (and friends, including Daredevil) panel and it was really tons of fun. Paolo represented the Daredevil team and we got some new glimpses into upcoming stories. These have been reported elsewhere, but I’ll have reason to get back to this in my next post.

Paolo Rivera, Dan Slott, Ellie Pyle and others at the Amazing Spider-Man panel

Miscellania

Standing in line on Saturday morning was no picnic either. This time everyone had to wait in the basement before being let upstairs at ten o’clock sharp.

The basement filled up with people waiting in line on the final day

I found these little guys at a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts on Sunday on the way to the con. Aren’t they just adorable? 🙂

Photo of two kids dressed up as Cap and Iron Man at Dunkin' Donuts

Good bye, NYCC! When leaving on the last day, I had to turn around and take this picture of the entrance. I will try my hardest to make it back next year as well, it really was a lot of fun and most definitely a worthwhile trip!

Photo of the entrance to the convention on the last day

The Other Murdock Papers – 500 posts later!

Almost four years ago, in December of 2007, this site made an anonymous debut. I didn’t announce it anywhere, didn’t link to it, just put the site up – then hosted on Blogger – and wrote three posts. I made a conscious decision to wait to do anything else until I knew I could commit to a regular schedule. In March of 2008, I decided that the time had come and since then post has been added to post to finally reach the nice round number of 500.

Some months, reaching or even exceeding my own target of 8-12 posts has been easy, at other times, I’ve fallen short of my goal. However, what has kept me going relatively strong this entire time has been all the joy and inspiration I get from the Daredevil comic itself, as well as the community of fellow fans that keep coming back to this site, commenting or in other ways engaging with the content. I cannot thank you enough!

New contributor

I had some pretty lofty goals for post number five hundred, some of which I’ll get to later in the fall (such as setting up a bona fide resource section), but the time got away from me and I wanted to get this milestone post up before going to my very first New York Comic Con in less than eight hours. One thing I did manage to arrange however, was to reach out to a new recruit. I decided that the time had come to try to branch out a bit, and get more than my own views represented here, so I asked frequent commenter – and former guest post writerAaron K whether he’d be interested in coming on board as a TOMP contributor (now doesn’t that sound fancy?) on a one post per month basis, at least to start. Now, this new addition is not reason for me to slack off, rather it’s an opportunity to bring in some new blood. Aaron’s first post will be up next week!

A look back

I know many of you have been TOMP readers for a long time, but there are some who may be new to this site. Regardless of which category you belong to, I thought it might be fun to show you two previous incarnations of this site. The first one is from the Blogger days when, for the first few months, this site could be found at theothermurdockpapers.blogspot.com.

Screen capture of The Other Murdock Papers, from the blogger days

In the fall of 2009, I decided to move the site to self-hosted WordPress, and for a while, it had the below appearance:

Screen capture of The Other Murdock Papers, from the early WordPress days

As you might guess, I like to change the look of the site occasionally (without losing too much in the process in terms of branding), and I’ll probably change it again some time in the future, as more content is added.

Ways to connect

For many of you, this won’t be news (and the info is already on the site), but I’d like to take the opportunity to once again remind new and old readers alike of the ways you can keep up with new posts.

  1. I always post information about new posts on my Twitter account and the TOMP Facebook page.
  2. You can also subscribe to posts via email or by using the RSS feed.
  3. You can also follow new comments site-wide, by subscribing to the main comment RSS feed.

In closing

Here’s to the first 500 posts! I hope you’ll all stick around for the next 500 and beyond, and thanks again for all the comments and words of encouragement over the years. Now, I’m off to NYCC! 😉