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Pre-emptive FAQ

“Where is my comment?”
If you have already made a comment on any Modern Ideas post, and received approval for your comment, additional comments should appear as soon as you submit them. Comments from “first-time” guests are held in moderation until the site administrator reviews them. I generally log into the site at least once per day, but it’s possible that your comment may not be reviewed for a day or more in some cases. If it has been longer than that, your comment may have been deleted; most comments are approved except those which appear to be spam. If you attempted to leave a comment and you believe that it may have been erroneously discarded as spam, do try again. Your chances of success may be improved by entering an e-mail address which does not include the names of pharmaceutical products in the host domain, by using identifiable English words in your comment, and by leaving a comment with specific reference to the content of a post, i.e. not “This is your best post yet!”

“What’s ‘dear auld ISU?'”
Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, where I studied graphic design in the late 1990s and earned my BFA in May of 2000.

“So why…”
I employ the phrase “dear auld ISU” as a sort of running joke, at this point, but my use of the phrase also has genuine, specific significances. Close to 90% of my intent in referring to “dear auld ISU” is to express my sincere and undying love for the place; the remainder of my intent is to make an ironic comment on both the pomp and self-aggrandizement of my by-no-means-perfect alma mater, as well as my own sappy, sentimental, clichéd loyalty to it.

“I love your Spider-Man and FF timelines! Could you make more of these? How about an X-Men timeline?”
At present I have no plans to make further timelines of this type. From a design standpoint, it feels like I have explored the greater part of what there is to explore in organizing this kind of information. From a content standpoint, there really aren’t any other long-running “franchises” with which I have a level of knowledge approaching my general familiarity with the history of Fantastic Four and Spider-Man comics. (And even with a pre-existing base of knowledge, attempting an exercise like this for Marvel’s X-Men comics would probably lead only to mental breakdown and institutionalization.) That said, if someone else wants to do the research and present me with the relevant information in completed form, and/or to pay for my work on a new timeline project, I would be happy to discuss possibilities.

“What’s up with all of this comics stuff anyway?”
The amount of comics-related content on Modern Ideas is probably an artefact of both actual personal interests, and various tendencies of human behavior and the networks we create, in general. Which is to say, I have a range of interests, at present, but in some sense comics probably have a disproportionately-large representation compared with the relatively modest amount of time and money I spend on actual comics, themselves. Over the course of my life, though, the presence of comics looms larger; I have been collecting them for two-thirds of my life,  and to some extent the legacy of more-intense past interest persists. I still have a large collection of comics and graphic novels, even though its growth is now almost glacially-slow, and thus I have a large volume of reference and resource material for projects on hand, e.g. And, though I spend much more time reading novels, nonfiction books and news than I spend on comics, I still feel much more connected to an online community of interest in comics than in any other subject as a result of being a follower of and participant in online comics discussions for 15 years; I have the sites bookmarked, I know the insider references and shorthand, I get the jokes, etc., etc. Basically, I continue to think about comics because I have thought a lot about comics in the past, and none of my other interests really offers quite the same combination of graphic-content, readily-available resource material and familiar-to-me online community; thus, comics work into Modern Ideas more than other interests.

“Would you write abc for my xyz?”
I’m certainly interested in opportunities to write for other fora and publications; by all means contact my literary agent to discuss requirements and rates. (Which, since my only “literary agent” is at present, myself, would presumably mean contacting me.)

“Would you publish guest content on Modern Ideas?”
Maybe. Feel free to make a suggestion. Though I will just note that lots of people seek to “publish guest content” in the form of comments which promote some or other commercial product or service, and I pretty much uniformly reject these “offers.”

Questions not answered here? That number, er, that e-mail again, one more time: