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Friday, December 31, 2010

The Aquaman Shrine in 2010

I think all of us Aqua-Fans would agree that Aquaman--and his family--had an amazing year in 2010.

When the year started, Aquaman was still a flesh-chomping zombie in Blackest Night. And while it was great to see Mera suddenly brought to the forefront of the DCU and presented as a tough, compelling character, an equal to her husband, it was still a bit disconcerting to see our hero in such form.

But by the time Brightest Day kicked off, mid-year, the hero we all know and love was back, along with his bride. And while there are some dark clouds on the horizon, to be sure this isn't anything the King of the Seven Seas can't deal with.

There was also Aquaman's high-visibility in no less than three Big Time TV series--Brave and the Bold, Smallville, and Young Justice, all of which didn't just feature the character, but each gave us some new piece of Aqua-History to add to the legend.

Probably the biggest news in all of this is something more behind the scenes but vitally important--that Geoff Johns will be, in some fashion, taking control of the character's future in 2011. In many cases over the years, Aquaman's biggest foe was not Black Manta or Ocean Master--rather, it was DC itself, which for many years seemed either uncertain what to do with Aquaman or, in some cases, downright hostile to one of their own characters.

But that attitude has seemed to have changed over the course of 2010, and I have to assume it was partly due to Johns' presence and his unabashed favoritism towards the character (in addition, over on the other end of the country, Brave and the Bold Producer James Tucker was also a big champion of Aquaman, something that could not have gone unnoticed in the halls of DC). For the first time in a very long time, Aquaman has fervent supporters high up in the company, which for a long time was a key, almost-always missing ingredient. Seeds planted in 2010 are about due to grow in 2011.

It was also a great year for the Shrine--our audience grows week by week, year by year. We added something like eighty new members of F.O.A.M. in 2010--a new record. We got a chance to talk to people like Sholly Fisch, Stewart McKenny, Kurt Busiek, Prof. James Kakalios, Bob Greenberger, the aforementioned Mr. Tucker (twice!), and had additional chats with Aquaman scribes Paul Kupperberg and Steve Skeates.

On the pop culture front, the Shrine got mentioned in several places in the outside world, most notably with my "Aquaman BP" cover, which showed up in dozens of print and web outlets (not to mention Geoff Johns' Twitter page), culminating in a big spread in the British newspaper The Observer. The Shrine also showed up in a profile on the swell blog It's A Dan's World, as well as in print in the magazine Extra Sequential. I am humbled by all the attention this weird little blog of mine, started on a lark, gets from people--it is truly appreciated and means quite a lot to me.

The Shrine also ran some great Guest Posts from devoted Aqua-Fans like Andy Luckett, Adam Bezecny, Joe Slab, and Dennis Doucette. While I still definitely think of the Shrine as being from my particular, obsessive POV, I absolutely love having this much input from the other F.O.A.M.ers out there, and judging by the response the posts, so do all of you. I hope the Shrine has the chance to run even more Guest Posts in 2011!

I could go on even more about all the cool stuff that's happened, but there's a risk of this becoming the longest post in Shrine history. So I'll just stop here, and say Happy New Year to everyone--and, as usual, the Shrine will be here tomorrow, with something really cool to kick off the new year. I think 2011 is going to be a great year for Aquaman and his fans!


Adama said...

Rob! Congrats on another great year. I need to get off my butt and submit something Aqua-centric. I did buy the Aqua-hoodie not long ago...

Michael Jones said...

Have a Happy Newt Year!

JRainey said...

Happy New Year to all the Aqua-Fans and FOAMers out there. I am happy that Aquaman has had the success he has had this year. I look forward to seeing more of him in the future. I do have one regret and that is with myself. I was at the New York Comic Con this year and I was picked out of the crowd by Dan Didio becuase I was wearing my AquaHoodie and he asked me what I thought of Aquaman in the Brightest Day. The only thing I could think to say was I was glad he was back. I felt afterwards and still do I should have said more. But I didnt know what to say at that moment. I was called out in front of a crowd of people and I became tongue tied, which is unusual for me if you know me. But I think back to all the things that race through my head. I wanted to say he should have his own series. What is happening doesnt jive with continuity. They should bring Garth back. And the questions I wanted to ask. Like what happened to Arthur Joseph and will he come back? But unfortunately I didnt say anything. Even after the panel was over and I got to meet Dan Didio up close, I still said nothing. I feel I let you all down. I am sorry. As a true AquaFan and fellow FOAMER I should have said everything that came to mind and truly proclaimed my love for the Sea King. However I promise this year and the years to come I will do better. I will let the world know how great Aquaman is and I will not let any of you down again.

Saranga said...

have a great new year celebration!

Thansk for all your hard work on this blog, I love that there's this dedicated aquaman reasource!

Wings1295 said...

Here, here to a great year that is passing. And here's to an even better and bigger 2011, to all the F.O.A.M.ers and to you & yours, Rob! Thank you for all you do!

Shawn said...

Rob -
I want to thank you for doing this every day. I know that every morning there will be at least one (or two, or three) new pieces of Aquaman goodness and you are the reason for that.
Thank you so much!


Oscar Olalde said...

Ever so lucky in finding about the Shrine and the awesome job Rob does to make it happen.

Things definitely look up for King Arthur next year and support it's what he needs from us to keep it going.

Happy new year and best wishes for everyone.

Joe Slab said...

Awesome post to end the year with rob!

And Happy New Year to Aqua-fans everywhere!

Joe Slab

Orin's dad said...

rob!, great post. What a great year it was to be a fan of Aquaman and a member of F.O.A.M. Happy New Year to all the Aquafans out there! Looking forward to an awesome 2011!

matthew jones said...

Happy New Year to you Rob and to all other Aquafans. Here's hoping for another good year for Aquaman and his Shrine.

IADW said...

Awesome recap Rob! Aquafans have really gone from minority to majority in pop culture in 2010 and thats helped in part by the daily posts you do with Aquaman's number one home on the net!

Thanks for all your efforts i giving us fans a great online home.

Happy New Year Foamers!