Some 1,600+ posts later, I'm still having a great time. In fact, my biggest disappointment in 2010 is that my writing deadlines and responsibilities off-line are keeping me from posting more stuff online.
My introductory post, from 2005, began like this:
"Hello everybody, welcome to my blog. And to start us off, I quote the illustrious Admiral James Stockdale: "Who am I? Why am I here?"
My name is John Muir. and I'm a published author who writes under the name John Kenneth Muir, not because I'm pretentious or anything (though I am...) but because - for some reason - there are a lot of writers out there named John Muir.
Specifically, there's the great American naturalist from the last century, and also a fellow who writes about fixing Volkswagens. Others too, I think. In the age of the Internet, I realized I had to distinguish myself a little for Google, Yahoo, Lycos, Ask Jeeves and other search engines, so for the record, I'm the John Muir (the John Kenneth Muir...) who writes about film and television for a living.
And I know nothing about Volkswagens, so don't ask...
To let you know a little bit about my work, I'm the author of fifteen published books and several articles and short stories. I live in Monroe, North Carolina and work out of my home office penning books on film and television.
You may (or may not...) know some of my titles. From Applause Theatre and Cinema Books I've written: An Askew View: The Films of Kevin Smith (2002), The Unseen Force: The Films of Sam Raimi (2004), and Best in Show: the Films of Christopher Guest and Company (2004).
McFarland, a publisher here in North Carolina, has published eleven of my books, including award winners Terror Television (A Booklist Editor's Choice, 2001), Horror Films of the 1970s (A Booklist Editor's Choice, 2002 and ALA "Best of the Best" Reference Book '03), and 2004's The Encyclopedia of Superheroes on Film and Television.
I've written about prominent horror directors (Wes Craven: The Art of Horror , The Films of John Carpenter , Eaten Alive at a Chainsaw Massacre: The Films of Tobe Hooper ) and several TV series studies, including Exploring Space:1999 (1997), An Analytical Guide to TV's Battlestar Galactica (1998), A Critical History of Doctor Who on Television (1999), A History an Analysis of Blake's 7 (2000), and An Analytical Guide to TV's One Step Beyond (2001)...
That answers the first question, who am I? The second question, why am I here? involves pop culture, film and TV. I hope I can utilize this space to discuss, debate and ponder trends in movies and TV programs...Basically, I just hope to create an ongoing journal about contemporary and classic entertainment."
In the five years since I offered that opening gambit, I've written six additional books (Horror Films of the 1980s, The Rock'n'Roll Film Encyclopedia, Mercy in Her Eyes: The Films of Mira Nair, TV Year, Music on Film: This is Spinal Tap), and updated one (Encyclopedia of Superheroes on Film/TV; 2nd Edition).
I've also written essays for published anthologies (Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy, Ken Russell: Re-Viewing England's Last Mannerist), penned short stories (Space:1999 Shepherd Moon), and even created an award-nominated web-series, The House Between, that lasted three seasons and twenty-one episodes. And heck, I'm raising a three year old kid, which feels like a full-time (but wonderful and very rewarding) job.
But through all that, this blog has been a part of my daily creative process. So to celebrate my fifth anniversary, I'm including links to some of my most popular reviews. Again, these are, in a sense, your selections; the links most visited by readers of this site. Interestingly, these most-"read" reviews don't always seem to be the ones that generate the most comments. Not sure why that is.
1. Jaws (1975)
2. The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008)
3. Body Double (1984)
4. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
5. The Black Hole (1979)
1. Otherworld (1985)
2. Battlestar Galactica (2005)
3. Space:1999: "Dragon's Domain" (1975)
4. The Vampire Diaries (2009)
5. Harsh Realm (2000)
1. An Interview with Chris Carter
2. Don't Tell Them What You Saw: Les Diaboliques vs. Diabolique
3. The Tao of Michael Myers
My most-requested (by-readers) movie reviews, which I'll be presenting soon are: Blade Runner (1982), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (I've been promising this one for a while...) and Session 9.
The TV series I am most often asked to review is SGU, followed by Caprica. I've got SGU in my queue, and when a full season of Caprica is available, I'll get to that too. Promise.
So -- five years in -- a humble thank you for staying with me and this blog. The best is yet to come.