Monday, August 21, 2006

Welcome to the new home of Speculative Friction, an occasional blog of literary and comic book criticism and theory by Bill Baker.

During the short time that Spec Fric was housed at, which serves as my professional home on the web, I was mainly concerned with talking about what I'd read that previous week. Occasionally this lead to more in-depth and searching thoughts, but often it just became an exercise in doing some decent short reviews of the generally great books, graphic novels and single issues or short runs of monthly titles that I'd encountered the previous seven days. Useful and illuminating enough, I suppose, as blogs go, but it sometimes left me feeling that I wanted to say a bit more, or perhaps dig a little deeper than I had in a particular piece. Sadly, the commitment to doing a new, increasingly larger column stuffed with telling reviews of what I'd just finished often became the focus of that work, pushing the more theoretical and wild-eyed musings to languish until a more appropriate time presented itself...or to be simply unused and unuttered. It's not that the review or other work I was producing was unsatisfatory or even unsatisfying in its own way; rather, it's more of a case that I wanted to make the blog do more for me, and my potential reader, intellectually and emotionally, even if it was only a momentary thrill or small insight.

I'm hoping that the switch to this open-ended format, which allows me to post almost at whim, will open that process of blogging up for me, leading to more posts with more real theoretical and critical meat on the bone, so to speak. Not that I plan on ditching the reviews. I'll still be doing those regularly, perhaps not in bunches once a week as before, and I might not even discuss most of the single comic book issues I read, but I'm hoping that these reviews will now act as springboards and excusses for thoughtful exploration of theme, style, approach and other artistic concerns, and as catalysts for new insights into the creative process, as much as they serve as selling tools.

Well, enough babbling for the moment. Thanks for checking out Speculative Friction, and I hope you like what you see here enough to return to the site...or even to some of the the future.

Bill Baker
journalist and author


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