This is an historic post, as it is the 1,000th post in the history of Atomic Anxiety.
It seems nearly impossible to me that the site has reached this milestone. I’ve had blogs prior to Atomic Anxiety (The Fret, Planet Killer, Bring the Crazy) and none of them lasted all that long. The Fret was too focused on comics, Planet Killer was too all over the place, and Bring the Crazy was too focused on sports. The real problem was that I didn’t really know what I was doing with those sites and as much as each new beginning offered a new topic to focus on, it also allowed me to trot out a new narrative identity. As I mentioned in post #999, Neil Gaiman once said that writers often start out by aping other writers until they find their own style, and that’s what I was doing with those earlier sites.
Even in the early days of Atomic Anxiety, I was struggling to figure out exactly what this site was going to be. There were a few early posts about the environment and sports, a few pointers to interesting stories or YouTube clips, and I was determined to not write reviews unless I had something meaningful to say.
Well, 1,000 posts later, with most of those posts being movie reviews, clearly I feel like I always have something meaningful to say.
Atomic Anxiety debuted just short of four years ago, on May 16, 2010, with a post about grey whales that has since been deleted. Almost all of those early posts, as the site was searching for an identity, have been deleted, but on May 23, 2010, the first post that signaled what the site was to become hit the internet, with a quick reaction to Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Immediately following that, I praised the series finale of LOST and argued that Jack Bauer should have died in the final episode of 24.
For a while, I had themed months – I’d write about horror movies for October, Westerns for November, Holiday movies for December, and so on. There were times when the site was very Doctor Who heavy, and others when it was seemingly all Avengers, all the time. The spotlight shifted but the overall focus was movies and tv, with posts sprinkled in about my fiction.
One thousand posts in four years means I’ve been averaging about 250 posts a year, give or take.
That’s a lot of writing. I’ve enjoyed doing it. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it.
There have been times when I thought about killing the site and writing only fiction, but I just love writing and talking about movies way too much to ever let Atomic Anxiety go. I’ve got a personal blog now to handle my travel writing and personal thoughts, but I’m more interested in talking about movies than myself.
Which is my way of saying that 1,000 posts in and I have no interest in going away.
So what’s coming next? I’ve already published one book of collected reviews: ATOMIC REACTIONS: MARVEL COMICS ON FILM, and I’m preparing several others, including the forthcoming ATOMIC REACTIONS: SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY FILMS, 2012-2013. I am making mundane decisions about these projects – do I want to publish a big, 100,000 word, 6×9″-formatted book that collects my SF/F reviews from 2012-2013, or do I want to publish two smaller, 50k-word, 5X8″ books? The amount of time I spend trying to decide roughly equates to how long it would take me to become a Michelin-starred chef.
The long-term plan is to publish a DC COMICS ON FILM collection, multiple DOCTOR WHO collections, a WRESTLEMANIA collection, and SCI-FI/FANTASY collections working backwards from 2013 to 2012 to 2011, etc. Eventually, I’d like every review here to see print somewhere. Partly, this is for my own satisfaction, but it’s also to find a way to monetize all this work – I don’t get paid to do this, I don’t run any ads (though WordPress sometimes does, apparently), and I don’t get invited to film festivals or sent screeners. I do it because I like to do it, but given that almost all of my reviews break the 1,000-word barrier, I ain’t turning down anything that gets me closer to buying this.
Man, maybe I should start a car blog …
Anyway, I’m almost done talking about me. Sometimes I get asked about what my favorite reviews are on the site, so let me lay out a handful of reviews that I’m still either really proud of, or that make me giggle:
1. The AVENGERS Reactions. There’s a general review for the movie and then 11 individual reactions, one each for all of the film’s prominent characters. It was these 11 individual reactions that have dominated the history of Atomic Anxiety; when I published them in the month following the film’s release, I saw page hits at a level never achieved before or since. They were a blast to write. Eventually, I’d like to do this for all of the Star Wars movies, but shortly after hatching this plan this past Christmas, I got massively sick and haven’t had the chance to come back to it.
2. HIGH NOON. If I was being paid to write these reviews and thus had all the time I needed to not only write something deeper than my own reaction to a movie but to really dig into the research, the HIGH NOON review is what I’d write more often.
3. THE CANNONBALL RUN. As much a part of my childhood as Scooby-Doo, Star Blazers, and Marvel Comics. I really like this review, and not just because I got to write the line: “More than anything else, CANNONBALL RUN probably introduced to me my love of cars, chase movies, Dean Martin, and boobs. Thank you, Hal Needham and Brock Yates. Thank you.”
4. SHARKNADO. I’d like to thank William Faulkner coming back from the dead to write this one for us.
5. BATTLE: LOS ANGELES. Definitely the most truthful movie review I’ve ever written.
6. NESTOR THE LONG-EARED DONKEY. This poor, freaking donkey. If the actual God behaved in the manner of the Rankin-Bass God, I’d want to punch him in the face.
7. RUDOLPH’S SHINY NEW YEAR. This one is awesome for the comment at the bottom. Not everyone is going to like what you do, kids. Just remember, you got them to read it, so you win.
8. DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER. Other than perhaps my review of STAR TREK II, I don’t think any idea expressed here has gotten more people to tell me I’m an idiot (this usually happened on Facebook, back when I was on Facebook) than the idea that Sean Connery is overrated as James Bond: 3 great performances and then four increasingly mediocre films and efforts from Connery. Really, though, I included DIAMONDS here because I think it’s my favorite title for any review.
Last, but most importantly, I want to thank you, the friends and fans and stray cats that keep coming to the Anxiety every day to read a review or tell me I’m stupid.
I don’t know if I’ll hit 2,000 posts, but the fist 1,000 have been an absolute blast.
— Mark Bousquet, May 7, 2014, Reno, NV
And for those needing visual proof: