Saturday, January 28, 2012
MitchWords: Part Three
If you don't know who Gail Simone is (shame on you), she's the current writer of Batgirl. Her previous work in comics notably include Birds of Prey, Secret Six, and a rather enjoyable run on Deadpool, just to name a few. Essentially, she writes some pretty awesome comic books. She's also a very good sport about interacting with her fans through social media. I can personally testify to this.
A couple days ago I wrote a post about some of the theological implication in an issue of Secret Six. I have a lot more to write about that title, but for the time that one Daily Post will be sufficient. Since I already follow Gail Simone on twitter, I figured it couldn't hurt to send a short, innocent link to the post her way. At the most I hoped that maybe, just maybe, she would actually read it and possibly even like it. In my wildest dreams maybe she would even leave a comment giving me a feeling of validation for working on this blog.
While she did not leave a comment, she did something way more awesome. She retweeted my tweet. For those unfamiliar (yes, there are people out there yet unfamiliar with twitter), that means she re-posted my link as her own so all of her followers could see it. About a dozen people follow me on twitter. Most of them are family, friends, or bots. Actually, most of them are probably bots. But Simone has close to 20,000 followers.
And a small portion of them proceeded to check out this site. They numbered a few hundred, and while that may not seem like much in a world were many sites get thousands or millions of visits each day, it was a flood of activity for Wednesday Theology. Normally this blog will receive about 10 visits a day, mostly from close family and friends. So receiving a couple hundred hits in one day was huge.
And it was an odd feeling for me. As far as I know, I personally know anyone that's ever read anything I've written on this blog. But all those people that came because they followed Simone on twitter...I have no idea who they are. I never met them. I probably will never meet them. So, for perhaps the first time, hundreds of complete strangers were reading something that I wrote. I'll be honest, it was a little terrifying. It was also extremely exciting. I consider it a good day.
Does this mean Wednesday Theology has made it to the big time? Of course not. More likely than not, this was just a blip spurred by a person of influence who generously aided me in some shameless self-promotion. Hopefully some who came for the first time liked what they saw and might check in from time to time for further updates. Likely, though, most read it, may have found it interesting or an oddity, and continued on their merry way navigating more familiar territories of the internet.
But they are now aware. Even if they never return, they are now aware of Wednesday Theology and that increases the chance that word of mouth might make others aware. And for any of you that decided to stick around and are now reading this: Welcome. Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy it. I hope you get something out of it.
Speaking of being aware, though, I also realize that many of those that visited on that day are also aware of quite a bit more. Maybe I chose a poor time to attempt this, sense I had just began to really insert myself and my personal issues into this blog. I noticed in the stats that other posts were also getting a lot of hits, especially the MitchWords columns.
So now there are a lot of strangers out there that know I'm coming out of a long term relationship and am very bitter about it. That is also a weird feeling. They know way more about me than I am probably comfortable with. I know I said that I was trying to "make it all for everybody, always." But I expected "everybody" to be those same 10 people. Now I'm beginning to realize what that really means. I mean, so few people usually read this that I created a fictional group of fans, the Avid Fan Base (AFB) so it didn't feel like I was writing for no one. But that's kind of a moot point now. At least it was for that one day.
Hmm, this has been way too cheery and optimistic for a typical MitchWords. It usually contains more hate, anger, and pain from my personal life.
For any new readers, I hope all the personal stuff isn't putting you off. Sometimes I fear it has no place here. But I'm also becoming more and more convinced that it's starting to make Wednesday Theology more accessible. As I work through my pain and grief through this blog, it surpasses pure academia and exhibits some form of personal and (hopefully) practical application.
Oh, maybe it wouldn't hurt to introduce myself to any new folk. My name is Mitch and this whole Wednesday Theology idea started when I went to Sioux Falls Seminary to get a Master of Arts in Bible and Theology. For some reason I started talking about comic books in my classes and ended up writing a thesis entitled Wednesday Theology: Theology and Language in Graphic Literature. This blog is an extension and progression of the research that went into that paper. If interested, you can always hit me up on the twitter and the facebook.
So what is the goal of Wednesday Theology? Is it purely fame and a large readership? No. That would be nice, but that's not the goal. The goal is to show someone, anyone, that graphic literature can be well used for theological discourse and is already being used for such discourse. It is a prime medium for finding the divine in the profane and perhaps expressing Sunday morning ideas on a Wednesday afternoon after picking up new issues from your local comic book shop.
Or maybe I'm just a tad bit crazy.
One more thing, be sure to follow Gail Simone on twitter as well. She's pretty awesome. You can also check out some her work on Amazon. You won't be disappointed.
Bitter. Sarcastic. Handsome.