Rusty Staples’ socially-distanced third year saw something of an experiment: having been occasionally pretty lax in previous years I decided that I would not let a single week go by without posting something on the blog, and I’m happy to say that I managed to succeed at that. Every Friday, without fail, loyal readers (and disloyal readers: let’s not leave them out) were rewarded with a brand-new post!
That’s an experiment with which I do not intend to continue in 2021, however: it’s just too much work, and it can be a tad depressing now and then when I’ve spent an entire day working on something only to find that it garners less than a dozen views.
But as for the posts of 2020 that proved to be the most popular, well, here they are in reverse numerical order. (I’m not counting the Hatch, Match and Dispatch articles here, although a couple of them did receive enough page-impressions to make it into the top ten.)
10. Oddities: Judge Dredd movie promo badge
The popularity of this feature really caught me out, but I’m not complaining! The history of Judge Dredd’s iconic chest ornament is explored in some detail, and this seems to have brought in a whole new batch of readers (I can tell when that happens because of a specific post because the other articles to which that post links get lots of fresh hits).
9. Comics on TV: Life on Mars
Not to be confused with From Mars (which is my other blog and doesn’t warrant a mention here) this was the first entry in a series that would track down the comics that appeared in the background of TV shows. Unfortunately, the post triggered a burst of replies about comics that had appeared in other shows, jumping the gun on a good eight or nine entries I had lined up for the series. Grr.
8. Introducing… Madcap!
Madcap is not a comic: it’s a free on-line utility I created that’s specially designed to take the drudgery out of calculating comic-book dates. I won’t go into details here because the page itself does all that: do check it out!
7. Pocket-Money Comics: Star Wars Weekly
My look at Marvel UK’s classic Star Wars comic was another one that brought in a wave of new readers: I’m guessing that it was mentioned on a Star Wars fan site somewhere… whoever did that, I thank you!
6. Happy 30th Birthday, Judge Dredd Megazine!
The Mighty Meg turned thirty, meaning that readers who were a little too young to read it when it was launched potentially now have children of their own who are old enough to read it.
5. Dateline: 26 Feb 1977
To celebrate 2000AD‘s forty-third anniversary, I took a look back at all the British comics that would have been on the newsagents’ shelves in the week in which 2000AD was launched. Or most of them, anyway: I wasn’t able to find the appropriate covers for every comic.
4. Retro interview: Steve Dillon, 1990
The great and much-missed Steve Dillon lived in Ireland in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and was a good friend to the Irish Science Fiction Association (of which I was a member, and, for a while, chairperson). In 1990 Steve kindly allowed me to interview him for the ISFA’s fiction magazine FTL.
3. British Comics Top-10 Issue-Count Chart — 2020 edition!
For the first time, the issue-count chart — which is updated every time 2000AD overtakes another of the “dead” comics as it moves up the chart — went a bit sort of viralish and garnered a lot of attention. All going well, there’ll be another update pretty soon.
2. Enfari’s Syndrome: Captain Britain
The Enfari’s Syndrome articles are more in-depth than their Pocket-Money Comics counterparts, and this one — an exploration of Marvel UK’s first home-grown superhero’s debut in his own self-titled comic — proved to be very popular indeed.
1. Comics That Never Were #9
My (partially) recreated and wholly coloured version of a “lost” cover that was originally intended for issue #93 of 2000AD, a casualty of a truly terrifying month at the end of 1978 when the comic disappeared without explanation.
Thank you all for your support throughout 2020, “Rusty Staples” readers! May the coming year bring you peace, happiness, prosperity, a vaccine, and all the comics you’ve ever wanted!