It is true; my first post was on March 17, 2006. I have a tool that counts the number of visits and hits (I am not sure what the difference is between the two) and provides information about incoming links. Frankly the statistics are just of mild interest to me since my goals for blogging concern my fascination with Simon and Kirby and not a desire to write a popular blog. Had popularity been my desire I would hardly have selected such a narrow focus for my blogging. I have never paid much mind to the very low number of visits my tool indicated I was getting. Occasionally I would be surprised by some post resulting in a jump in readership. For instance in 2006 I wrote about a cover drawn by John Byrne and inked by Joe Simon. For me it was just a mildly interesting case of an unexpected collaboration, but a Byrne web site linked to it and suddenly my readership sky-rocketed. (I always found it amusing that there is so much interested in a modern artist and so little in earlier masters; John Byrne is a talented artist but honestly he is no Jack Kirby.) After a few days following one of these unexpectedly popular posts, the number of hits would drop down and return to the normally low numbers.
That is what my first two years were like, but then something strange happened. This year after a readership jump the number of visits would not quite return to the previous value. In fact I began to notice increases even without any incoming links to popular posts. Currently my number of visits is almost an order of magnitude greater then last year. Now I know that I have not suddenly become a great writer. Further my posts continue to have the same narrow, historical focus. So if it is not me then I can only conclude that what has changed is a greater public interest in Simon and Kirby. I do not have to look hard to figure out what has caused this shift in public perception, it was Mark Evanier’s book “Kirby, King of Comics”. I believe Evanier’s book has had an impact that greatly surpasses any previous publication about Jack Kirby. And an increasing interest in Kirby has meant a greater recognition for Joe Simon as well. I also want to believe that Titan’s “The Best of Simon and Kirby” (see my previous post below) will further elevate public awareness of Simon and Kirby.
When I started this blog I had not even considered how long I would write about the Simon and Kirby studio. As this blog enters its fourth year I have still only scratched the surface. If nothing else there are many chapters to go in my serial post The Art of Romance. My new serial post, The Little Shop of Horrors, has just started. Although I believe that It’s A Crime has now gone past the time when the Prize crime titles were produced by S&K it still deserves some more chapters. And I do not intend that all my future posts will be limited to those particular serial posts. There are many other fertile grounds to cover.