a portrait of the author in profile
Photo: BSL © 2009.

Hi. I'm Blam. Welcome to my blog.

I still haven't solved the cut-and-paste problem mentioned in my first post, but I'd like to start rolling out more content, so it's time for a proper introduction.

The name "Blam"? I was signing my art for the school paper "B. Lamken" way back in 7th grade when my friend Laura started calling me "Blamken". It caught on big, even with teachers, and it stuck through college and beyond, finally getting shorted to just Blam. No similarity to the sound effect made by guns and bombs in comic books, or any of the other usages found on Wikipedia, is intended or implied. You can call me Brian if you prefer.

I can't hear the phrase boldfaced above in my mind's ear without thinking of a Bobs song called "Welcome to my Fog". The Bobs are an a capella group whom I first saw in college on their last tour with Gunnar "Bob" Madsen, who wanted to retire from performing in favor of other pursuits; next time I saw them, he was indeed gone. The song was a concert staple, but I found while searching the Web that it had never been recorded until Madsen released it on his children's album Ants in My Pants — available [updated] in MP3 and CD form from Amazon (where I get a kickback) as well as to stream or purchase for download from Bandcamp. You really have to hear it sung to get the the effect of the punch line, but in case you can't here are the relevant lyrics, copyright 1985 Gunnar Madsen & Richard Greene.

Welcome to my fog
There's room for you
To come right in

Welcome to my fog
I guess

Folks who know me probably figure that this blog will be in large part about comic books. I've been fascinated with them essentially my entire life. I started writing about them professionally in college, first for the venerable Comics Buyer's Guide and soon for a variety of other sources. After college I worked for Fat Jack's Comicrypt — one among many great comic-book stores in the Philadelphia area — on the sales floor, in the office, and producing the weekly store newsletter. During and since that time I've freelanced as a writer, cartoonist, and graphic designer; published and participated in a handful of books; served as a judge on the selection committee for the 2000 Eisner Awards; and produced an acclaimed but too short-lived magazine called Comicology, no relation to any of the websites with similar titles that have cropped up since it went on indefinite hiatus in 2001 (on which more another time). Nearly three decades of comic-book collecting came to a halt several years ago when poor health drained my financial resources, but I've recently, tentatively re-engaged with that world.

So I will indeed be writing about comic books, but also about other aspects of pop culture. As someone who loves wordplay (too much, perhaps) I've devised the sections that you'll notice as the blog grows, including Screen Savor, my umbrella title for thoughts on movies and television; Siteseeing, the ever-popular links to fun stuff on the Web; and Rounds of the Night Table, a look at what I'm reading. No doubt it's all going to take a while, because of the health issues that have kept me away from writing for so long, but apparently blogs are nothing if not places to announce grand plans.

And there you have it. Welcome to my blog.

I guess.

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