Friday, December 31, 2010

Comic Cuts - 31 December 2010

So that's it for 2010. Hope you've all had a fantastic time over the Christmas holidays and you're looking forward to tonight's celebrations. I'd like to beg your indulgence and take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to Bear Alley over the past year, not only the people who have written columns but also everyone who has sent in comments, corrections and additions to the text and scans to fill out the galleries. Thanks, too, to everyone ordering through the Amazon links as it helps finance Bear Alley.

500 posts this year... I'm as surprised as anyone as it has been a thoroughly disrupted year; packing for the house move in July and sorting ourselves out after dominated our lives for eight months. I'd be lying if I said we were now completely sorted, but after a mad dash on the run up to Christmas I can say that we're a little more comfortable and hopefully will now begin to settle into village life. To everyone who sent in messages of support during the move, I can only offer my heartfelt thanks and say that your well wishes helped us get through all the disruption. Anyone who sent in enquiries and never got an answer, my apologies. A lot of e-mails went astray while we moved and, what with one thing and another, a lot of mail that did come in never got a reply.

A quick look at the stats shows that Bear Alley had over 219,000 unique visitors this year, who loaded 365,500 pages. That's a scarily big audience for what is, after all, quite a specialised set of interests that I cover here. A snapshot of the keywords that have brought people to the blog today include Jose Maria Jorge, Matania, Doc E E Smith, Clarke's Commandos, Juan Gonzalez Alacreu, Erotic Comics, Oliver Frey, Harry Rountree, George and Lynne, J. D. Salinger covers, Princess Tina Magazine, Fantasy Fanzine Index Holland (blimey! I'd forgotten about that!), Wildlife artist Harry Pettit, Anton Lock, Ed Valigursky, Paul Brickhill, Ladybird Robert Ayton, Geoff Squire, Clint Eastwood, Dashiell Hammett covers, Alistair MacLean covers, Pierre Probst, Roland Davies, Georgette Heyer detective novels, Racey Helps woodland card game, Hulme Beaman... and a whole lot of others. Most of the traffic comes from Google with a tiny fraction from Bing and Yahoo. Bear Alley does pretty well on Google, although I guess that's the result of covering things nobody else seems to be covering. I must admit that one of the reasons for starting up Bear Alley was for that very reason; that's why you won't find a whole lot about American comics or British small press comics as there are some damn fine news sites that cover those areas far better than I ever could.

Next year Bear Alley will have a couple of things to celebrate: at the rate I'm posting we should reach post 2,000 in the next few months, possibly around the end of February, and in August its our fifth birthday. I'll have to see what I can come up with some sort of online party. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

OK, I've rambled on long enough. Again, I'm going to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helps bring you Bear Alley every day and I hope you get as much fun out of it as I do putting it all together.

Happy New Year to you all.

And here's today's random scan...

(* Harold Hare © Look and Learn Ltd.; Mother Tells You How © IPC Media.)

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