24 Actual Search Engine Terms That Pointed Readers to This Blog, Where They May or (More Likely) May Not Have Found What They Were Looking For
1. “calendar man”
Back when I first started this site, I played around a bit with the features on the WordPress dashboard, like the “Search Engine Terms” section of the Stats page. Every WordPress writer should do this; it’s a fascinating way to see what kind of searches are driving users to your site, and a few unexpected phrases (“plastic removable planet”…?) turned up among the mostly predictable list of superhero names and comic creators that I expected. As of today’s date, the word at the top of the list of search terms pointing people my way is “thor”… no big surprise, considering the recent Marvel movie and my list of lame Thor villains that not-so-coincidentally came out around the same time. Coming in at No. 2, ahead of even the many requests for “michelle pfeiffer catwoman”? “Calendar Man.” That’s something I wouldn’t have guessed; the villain mentioned in my list of office supply-inspired super-villains isn’t one of Batman’s A-list rogues, despite his upgraded role in The Long Halloween as a Hannibal Lecter-like figure. If anyone can help explain the online love for this ten-time loser, I’d appreciate it.
2. “gay smurfs”
It’s funny how the lists that take the least effort can end up generating the most online interest. I tossed together a list rating various characters from the Smurfs back when my young son discovered them on our local retro cartoon station. It wasn’t strictly comic-related, but what the heck — they starred in a Marvel comic once, right? As of this date, “smurf”, “smurfs,” “brainy smurf,” “papa smurf” and “baby smurf” are all among the top ten search terms for this site. And then there were the two requests for “gay smurfs,” which clearly came my way because I briefly addressed the stereotypical gayness of Vanity Smurf, but I have a feeling that’s not what the searchers were looking for. My apologies to anyone I may have misled in their search for the blue love that dares not speak its name.
3. “fantastic four the girl”
Seriously, people? She’s the Invisible Woman. Or Sue Richards, if you prefer. She hasn’t been known as “the girl” in the team since 1982 or thereabouts, when then-current FF writer John Byrne had the good sense to update her moniker. If this was a search for information on the ways in which her character was misused in the two Fantastic Four movies, then have at it. If not… I got nothin’.
4. “art and drawings of cattlemen cowboys gunfighters”
Part of the reason why I started this list, aside from the (cough cough) instant fame and fortune that comes with discussing comic books in an online forum, was the chance to revel in some of the more non-superhero parts of comic culture. I mean, I love a good superhero story as much as the next comic geek, but there’s more to life than that kind of stuff, you know? Anyway, I’m guessing this search term brought someone to my list of comic-book cowboys with “kid” in their names, one of the harder lists to compile because of a relative lack of information about old Western comic stars.
5. “51 and 16 married”
I have no idea what this refers to, or what the searcher was looking for — maybe advice on how to deal with the challenges that come with extreme May-December romances? In any event, I’m doubtful they found any help on a list of “I Married….” story titles that I put together to commemorate 10 years of wedded bliss. Fellows: if you ever find yourself a woman willing to put up with boxes upon boxes of books in her basement — marry her.
6. “fucked-up archie comics”
As a general rule, I don’t like using swears all that much — not because they make me blush, but because they don’t always deliver the precision that a consummate wordsmith needs. Take this search, for instance; in what way, exactly, does an Archie comic qualify as “fucked-up” in the mind of this searcher? Is he/she looking for the most bizarrely written Archie stories? Instances of accidental or intentional sexual innuendo in Archie comics? Issues of Archie comics that suffered from printing errors and are now highly sought-after collectibles, like that U.S. stamp with the upside-down plane on it? Alas, all I can offer is a page of comic covers depicting heartwarming wedding moments where the worst swear I offer is an “effed-up” in reference to Scott Summers’ and Jean Grey’s romantic past.
7. “comic villains ending in o”
Now, this sounds like a fun list to compile someday: “…and Mysterio was his name-o!” [UPDATE: Done.]
8. “superman help lois just because the heel of your shoe came loose?”
9. “crappy comic book”
Yeah, I think you’re going to have to narrow down those search parameters just a wee bit….
10. “where to buy superfriends superhero cupcake ring in london”
And then there are the search requests that you really can’t make heads or tails of. London gets a mention in my list of real-life cities and places utterly destroyed in comic-book stories, while my list of humorous comic teens who attempted to dethrone Archie mentions one of those teens living in the improbably named hamlet of Cupcake Corners. Probably not what this harried baker was looking for.
11. “sharks with laser guns”
Ever wonder why super-villains always put the heroes in elaborate death traps instead of just blowing their brains out when the hero is at their mercy? I came up with a list of 14 plausible reasons for why a super-villain might opt for the death-trap approach, and in a moment of whimsy I titled it “Ooh, Sharks with Laser Beams and Machine Guns — Now THAT’s a Death Trap!” But now I find someone is online looking for “sharks with laser guns.” The mind shudders at the implications. Who’s looking for this online — a freelance terrorist with a flair for the dramatic? An evil marine biologist who thinks an unarmed Carcharodon carcharias isn’t scary enough? Should I contact Homeland Security? Interpol? Maybe Sea World?
12. “what does star wars, indiana jones, road to perdition, history of violence, and the dark knight have in common”
Oooh, I know this one! They’re all adaptations of literary works? No… Star Wars and the Indiana Jones character rule that one out. They were all scored by John Williams? No…. Okay, I give up. Anyone out there with an answer?
13. “words to sgt furys lonely hearts club band”
At first, I thought this poor searcher just got the Beatles song and the Marvel character mixed up, but it turns out there was a story titled “Sgt. Fury’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in an issue of Not Brand Echh (Marvel’s answer to Mad in the ’60s). And through Google I’ve found a 2010 podcast using that same title, so it’s possible someone was looking for one of those and not my list of Beatles song titles doing double duty as titles of comic-book stories.
14. “independent, tentacle comics”
I don’t want to know. Seriously, I don’t.
15. “complete list of all comic books published in the 1950s”
Not really the kind of lists I’m offering here; you’re better off going through the Overstreet Guide with a highlighter.
16. “dr doom giving toys to children”
I love this. I’d like to think there’s a whole community of comic fans out there swapping their own images of super-villains committing good deeds, maybe Darkseid helping an old lady across the street or the Red Skull playing a rousing game of ring-aroung-the-rosie with appreciative orphans. Alas, I have nothing to contribute to any such community, as my only page with the words “dr doom”, “toys” and “children” on it is one devoted to pairs of comic characters that share the same name.
17-24. “naughty bookworms”/ “unintentionally sexual archie comics”/“comic book nudity”/“hypnotized slave”/“girls hypnotized into being slave”/“wet hooter girls”/“wonder woman helpless”/“marvel nudity”
Listen, I don’t know what kind of website some of you think I’m running here, but this here is a family establishment. I mean — okay, I happen to mention a book in which Elektra is kind of naked in my list of recalled comics, a list that also mentions an unauthorized Hooters girl comic book… and yes, typing “wonder woman helpless” takes you to my list of horrifically botched women’s-lib “message” comics… and “hypnotized slave” might bring up my list of lame Wonder Woman villains… now that I think about it, if this is the kind of stuff people are looking for online, maybe I should consider a “VIP” section of my site. You know, for those willing to pay for the more racy lists.