Superior New Beginnings

When I first started Chasing Amazing (the very first post was made in November 2010 but I didn’t start to consistently contribute to the site until around February 2011), I had been co-running a blog site about a professional basketball team and finding the work generally unfulfilling. I wanted to write about something that I had a more personal connection to — something that would allow me to inject more of my personality, sense of humor and wit. While the team I was following at that point was pretty bad at basketball, there was only so many ways for me to snarkily write “this team stinks” before it became an exercise in repetition and boredom, and I wasn’t going to take the last morsels of my free time and dedicate it to something that aggravated me.

Per the suggestion of my wife, Chasing Amazing became the ideal outlet for me. By documenting my “chase” to collect every issue of Amazing Spider-Man, I gained a new sense of purpose in my writing. I loved talking about Spider-Man comics, but having a “chase” to write about was something that I thought gave my blog a unique hook and vibe. A few months after launching Chasing Amazing (and thanks to support from some of the bigger comic book blogs out there, especially Brian Cronin at Comics Should be Good), I soon found more like-minded fans out there. Maybe some of you were chasers like me, or just passionate Spider-Man/comic book fans who liked reading some of my goofy, home-spun anecdotes that I managed to work into every one of my posts, whether it was about a classic comic or a brand new release. Either way, I felt like I built a community at Chasing Amazing. And that community kept me fueled, even when my chase started to slow down (it just so happened that the birth of my first child coincided with me having about 10 or so of the most expensive Amazing Spider-Man issues left to purchase — in other words, perfecting timing!).

As most of you know, my chase to collect every ASM reached its conclusion last October. Within that post, I speculated about the future of Chasing Amazing. While a post celebrating the conclusion of a lifelong goal was not the time to inject some potentially downer news to my audience, I knew that with the purchase of my final issue of ASM that Chasing Amazing — as it was originally intended to be — had effectively come to an end. Everything I was contributing to the site at that point felt like I was just mindlessly dribbling to run out the clock. That’s a sports analogy by the way — something that’s probably left over from my days writing about the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets.

All the same, there was the community I created that I had to think about. I couldn’t just be like Peter Parker in ASM #50 and dump my suit and all of my responsibilities in a garbage can and claim “Chasing Amazing No More!” I mean, I could have done that, but then I probably would have heard from someone who reminded me of Uncle Ben and then I would have thrown my suit back on and screamed “I’m back” in a typical, schmaltzy (but awesome) Stan Lee-scripted sequence.

Fortunately, one of the people who became a part of my community was Dan Gvozden. Dan, like, me, was chasing every issue of Amazing Spider-Man. A few years ago, Dan approached me about starting a podcast where we could talk about new and classic issues of Spider-Man. When looking at other Spider-Man podcasts and web sites out there, Dan mentioned that he wanted our show to reflect how I wrote about Spider-Man comics on Chasing Amazing (with the caveat of adding more detail/criticism of the artwork). In other words, in every review we conducted, we wanted to levy fair criticism that also injected elements of our fandom and passion. By launching Superior Spider-Talk (now Amazing Spider-Talk), I believe we accomplished what we set out to do, even as our reviews have become a bit more negative over the past year.

Dan took that passion and energy and launched a few years ago. His web site featured a full array of Spider-book reviews, along with news items and unique features that forced Spider-Man fans to think outside the box. He assembled a helluva staff who back up his vision, and quite frankly, I think his page has emerged as the best, most thorough  Spider-Man site on the internet. It’s a blog any one who calls him or herself a Spider-Man fan should be honored to be a part of in any shape or form.

Even with my own personal chase being over, I love to talk and write about Spider-Man comics. And I want to indulge my own community any way I can. But I also understand that there are limits to my own time and abilities. Running a site like Chasing Amazing by myself is just too much — especially when you consider that the “chasing” element of my blog has been defunct for months, meaning all that’s left for me is single-handedly reviewing all the new books and trying to squeeze in time and energy to talk about all of those classic (or infamous) Spidey comics. That’s why the announcement I’m about to make is not only something I’m totally estatic about … but it’s just something that makes sense given where I am in life.

As of next week with my review of Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1, all of my new Spider-Man writing will be found on Chasing Amazing will still exist on the internet, but it will primarily serve as an archive of my lifelong chase to collect every issue of Amazing Spider-Man. Meanwhile, I’ll be reviewing SOME of the new Spider-Man comics, along with generating new and exciting content for Dan and his community that relates to Spider-Man comic book history. And in an effort to make Dan’s life a little easier, I’m going to help him out with some of the behind-the-scenes duties that will ultimately make not only the greatest Spider-man web site out there, but the greatest comic book-related site on the world wide web.

I don’t view this post with any kind of real finality, so I’m not going to say something cheesy like good-bye or farewell. You can still easily find me on the internet writing about Spider-Man and hopefully most of you who are regular readers of Chasing Amazing have been reading anyway. To make this transition a little easier, I’ll continue to update this site for the time being with links to my new writing, but hopefully after a while, this whole switchover will appear seamless. I also expect getting away from a single-man operation will allow me to unclench a bit with my writing and deliver to you all some of the best analysis of Spider-Man past and present that I can muster.

Of course, I still do need to thank all of you who built this site to the point that making a post like this was even appropriate. Obviously, if I didn’t have a dedicated base of readers, I could just disappear into the night without anyone noticing. Now, I’m asking you all to follow me on the next leg of my journey.

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