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Monday, December 26, 2011

The Aquaman Shrine's Best of 2011: 5th Anniversary!

This year, The Aquaman Shrine is going to do something a little different to wrap-up the calendar year: a "Best of 2011" week, compiling some our most popular, influential, or just plain favorite posts of the year.

Rest assured, we will still be offering new stuff throughout the week, but after the year we--and Aquaman--had, we thought it'd be cool to reflect just how far we've both come in 2011!

Okay, anyway--first up is The Aquaman Shrine's 5th Anniversary post, which featured a touching story from one our favorite comic book artists, Chuck Patton, about how the Shrine changed
his life. This post originally ran on October 13:

It's the Aquaman Shrine's 5th Anniversary!

Hard to believe, but it's been half a decade since I absent-mindedly created the Shrine on a quiet night in October, thinking it would be a fun lark that might go for a couple of months. Little did I know!

Unfortunately, since I spent so much time and effort on Aquaman's 70th Birthday Celebration during the year, I really didn't have any room left in my schedule to come up with something really spectacular for the Shrine's 5th anniversary. So this year's celebration is going to be more low-key, with just a story I wanted to share--but a story that makes me enormously proud of the Shrine.

It involves superb artist and Friend to the Shrine Chuck Patton, who drew Justice League of America in the 1980s, and had a hand in the creation of the "Detroit era" of the team. I interviewed Chuck--who sort of disappeared from the world of comics not too long after he left JLA--in 2009, and had a great time talking to one of my all-time favorite comic book artists.

Since then, Chuck and I have remained in contact, and during the lead up to the 70th Birthday post, he kept telling me about the Aquaman sketch he was working on for me and the Shrine. In return, I told Chuck he didn't need to do a sketch for me, since I didn't have the money to pay him what a Chuck Patton original would run. But in emails he reiterated that he "owed" it to me.
I said that was absurd; if anything I owed him for doing the interview and providing answers to questions I had had for years. It was then Chuck told me his story:

"Because when you posted that interview with me--besides the lovely fan responses and attention it netted me, it also helped reconnect me with someone from my past who was very instrumental in my going into comics.

We had lost contact with each other for over twenty-five years and DC wasn't very helpful in keeping up with my whereabouts and I moved around so much in animation, that she was just about to give up when she came across the Aquaman interview and the JLA Detroit article about me.

Long story short, she found my email address, and we reconnected. And about six months after that, I re-proposed to her (trust me, another long story in that too--LOL) and she's now my fiancee.

sgHere's another bit of trivia about us, she was the model I used for the femme fatale in my first comic assignment for the Brave and The Bold comic with Batman and Karate Kid. Ironic, that when she contacted me, I was just starting to do storyboards on the Brave and the Bold animated series.

So there ya have it--I owe you for reuniting me with my lost love---she wanted me to make sure I told you and thru all the excitement of having her back in my life again, I plum forgot to do that!

LOL--so thank you very very much for being there, Rob."

What's to add to this? Nothing, really, so I'm just going to thank every single one of you who comes and stops by the Shrine; its all of you (and Aquaman himself, of course) who have helped make this site such a huge and special part of my life. And now I know, not just my life, either!

Onward to Year Six!

One Last Thing: Below is a map showing where all of you come from, at least in the last couple of months (click to see a bigger version):
A couple of thoughts:

1)No fans in Russia?
2)The Shrine will not rest until we've cracked Mongolia!
3)A big shout-out to our fans (plural?) on the South Seas island of St. Helena, located between South America and Africa, and is only 10x5 miles big! If we ever have an Aquaman Shrine Convention, we're having it there!


Tempest127 said...

St. Helena, huh? That is seriously cool! You just gotta love the reach of the Internet!

Anonymous said...

Singapore should be up there! :(

rob! said...

The map is not ALL readers, ever, its just a snapshot from a particular (very small) time period, so some countries may not be represented.

Unknown said...

Hawaii loves Aquaman!

John Trumbull said...

Wow! I'd missed the Chuck Patton story earlier this year -- What an amazing tale!